Nov 19 2017 10:00am

Helena Hunting: A Sexy, Angsty, Funny Superstar

Clipped Wings by Helena Hunting

NYT and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting is best known for her Pucked hockey romance series, but as advertised on her website, she also writes everything from contemporary romance to romantic comedy and angsty new adult romance. Her Clipped Wings series has been described as “twisted, dark, incredibly erotic” and enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon gush that “this book is everything!”.

With reviews like that, what romance fan could resist picking up one of her books?

It’s been a whirlwind journey for Hunting from the first draft to bestselling author. As she mentioned in one interview, the first draft of her debut novel was 400,000 words long (yikes!). Eventually, she cut hundreds of thousands of words and the original door stopper became two separate 100,000-word novels. Clipped Wings (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) was published in March 2014 and Hunting hit the NYT bestseller list with Pucked in June of 2015.

Clipped Wings began as Twilight fan fiction, but developed into the story it is today when Hunting incorporated two news stories that stuck with her after hearing them years ago. In one, a church collapsed during an earthquake that took place during a wedding. The couple survived that incident, but a similar incident didn’t end so happily. In that story, a tractor-trailer jackknifed and hit a limo carrying a groom and groomsmen on their way to a wedding. Unfortunately, there were no survivors. In a 2014 interview, Hunting describes how her exploration of grief and trauma in Clipped Wings was inspired by those events.

In these lines from Clipped Wings, the hero expresses his views on life and pain to the heroine:

“Everyone has scars, Tenley. If we're lucky, they're only on the outside.”


“Any kind of modification, whether it’s to alter physical features, like cosmetic surgery, or to decorate, like piercings and tattoos, cause some degree of discomfort. But that’s the point, isn’t it? It’s cathartic because it’s the promise of change in some form or another. My tattoos give the memory related to the art a place to exist outside of my head, on my body. At least that’s my interpretation, but not everyone feels the same way I do.”

Pucked by Helena Hunting

Hunting’s more light-hearted sports romances, on the other hand, are laugh-out-loud funny. She doesn’t shy away from creating ridiculous names for her characters, but somehow it works. In Pucked Over, (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) the heroine, Lily, has a hard time taking the hero seriously—and who can blame her when he has a name like Randy “Balls” Ballistic. Perhaps the only name that could be worse is that of “Buck” Butterson from Pucked Up. (Amazon | B&N | Kobo)

Not convinced that Helena Hunting will make you laugh? Check out these hilarious lines from Pucked: (Amazon | B&N | Kobo)

“I sleep best when my head is resting on your delicate pillows of love.” 

Aww, how romantic!

Or how about:

“Buck is a mammoth, like a yeti. A huge perverted, hairy whore of a yeti. According to the sportscasters, Buck's an excellent hockey player. I'd agree, based on his yearly salary alone. No one gets much money for sucking, not even extremely skilled prostitutes.”

I Flipping Love You by Helena Hunting

And then there are Hunting’s standalone novels. With titles like I Flipping Love You, (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) Hunting continues her foray into romantic comedy, although the sexiness never ceases. In The Librarian Principle (Amazon | B&N | Kobo), a librarian heroine is horrified when her boss discovers a stash of porn on her computer—with the heads of the male actors digitally replaced with his face. Finally, there is Felony Ever After (Amazon | B&N), a sort of experimental romance anthology with the tagline “13 authors, 1 story”.

Depending on your hockey team affiliation, you may be pleased or dismayed to learn that Hunting favors the Chicago Blackhawks. Tattoos play a big role in her books, from the inked-up athletes she writes about in the Pucked series to the tattoo artist heroes in the Clipped Wings books. And though there’s no plot crossover between the series, Hunting does sprinkle some extra reader catnip into her work when the tattoo studio from Clipped Wings appears in Pucked.

Hunting has an active schedule of appearances at signings and book events, so fans should check her website for dates and locations. So far, 2018 will see her traveling to Florida, Colorado, and Washington, DC for conventions and book festivals. Let’s hope she adds more destinations to her list!

For a fun peek inside the heads of Alex and Violet, the hero and heroine of Pucked, check out this interview with the characters! (Warning: Minor spoilers for Pucked, NSFW).

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Nicola R. White, blogger.

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