As Hayden and Tenley navigate their newfound but slightly unstable relationship, they want to trust each other, but Hayden is hiding a dark and shameful past that he doesn’t ever want Tenley to find out about. And Tenley has secrets of her own that could make Hayden run away forever. When Tenley asks Hayden to put a beautifully elaborate tattoo across her back, the two form what they thought was an unshakeable bond. But when Tenley’s past shows up on her doorstep, will Hayden stand by her side…or run?
This was a very dark and very sad story, but it was one of the best books I’ve read in a while. Both the characters have suffered more than can be imagined, but somehow they manage to find each other and offer a level of comfort that haven’t had before or since their tragic stories. Tenley and Hayden will both break your heart, but there is also a spark of hope that had me turning the pages furiously.
Tenley’s back story is horrifying. I can’t even being to imagine the pain and torment this girl must live with everyday. But even though she was trying to move on and forget, she was still haunted by all of it. I found it interesting that while her master’s thesis was on deviant behavior, that is what she leaned towards to deal with her pain and grief. She used piercings and tattoos as a release, which seemed to help, but only masked the true issue of Tenley not really dealing with everything that happened.
Hayden was another sad story (although not quite as horrifying as Tenley’s…at least in my opinion, but still pretty freaking bad). He was another one not dealing with the horrifying events that changed his life. He compartmentalized everything, which resulted in a raging case of OCD and at it’s worse using drugs, alcohol and sex to ease it. Hayden, mainly because he’d had many more years to live with his tragic events, has learned how to live with what’s happened and given up the vices that were sending him on a downward spiral.
Now you’d think the Tenley and Hayden being together would be a disaster, but they worked. It was almost as if their broken souls recognized each other. Their relationship wasn’t perfect and they had way too many demons to battle, but they were getting to the point where they were stronger fighting them knowing they had each other at their back.
I will forewarn readers, because I like to be forewarned myself, there is a bit of a cliffhanger that leaves the reader trying to figure out what the hell just happened. The good news, the sequel to Tenley and Hayden’s story, INKED ARMOR, comes out in May 2014. But don’t let the ending stop you for picking this one up. Despite the darkness of the characters, it’s a book well worth reading.
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