Prickly Business

Piper Vaughn; Kenzie Cade
Prickly Business
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Dreamspinner Press
Release Date
July 2015
Book 1 of Portland Pack Chronicles
Erotic Romance, LGBTQ, Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense/Mystery

Some people might call Avery Babineaux a prick. He's a hedgehog shifter from an old-money Louisiana family, with a penchant for expensive shoes and a reputation for being a judgmental snob. His attitude is why he and his fated mate are estranged. Not that Avery cares. He doesn't want to be mated to some blue-collar werewolf anyway. Or so he keeps telling himself.
No werewolf likes to be looked down upon, least of all Dylan Green. He doesn't need a mate, especially not some snotty hedgehog who sneers at his custom motorcycle shop and calls him a grease monkey. But when Avery gets into trouble with a shady loan shark, Dylan can't stand by and let him be hurt—whether he wants the brat or not.
Yet once Dylan steps into Avery's world, he realizes there's more to Avery than his prickly exterior, and that unexpected vulnerability calls to Dylan's protective instincts. The sassy little hedgehog needs a keeper, and despite their horrible first impressions, Dylan starts to believe he might be the wolf for the job.

Book Review by BookAddict (reviewer)
Mar 24, 2016   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
175 people found the following review helpful
Enamoured with alpha werewolves or cat-shifters, it takes a daring author to cast a spoiled brat hedgehog shifter as the main character. Avery Babineaux is a rich boy who is tired of being under his parents' restrictive rules. He takes his ten thousand tax free monthly allowance, thumbs his nose at them and goes to live in a werewolf territory. As most children who have never worked a day in their life and receives easy money, Avery finds himself with first world problems of his own doing.

This book is mixed for me. I loved the writing style. The storyline keeps me riveted. The story pulls me into this new world I want to explore. Then the kicker -- I hated Avery. When I do not like a character, it is hard for me to enjoy the book and give it a good rating. I can say that Avery slowly grows on a reader. Avery contains all these flaws which are my pet peeves. The authors Vaugh and Cade do an excellent job of creating a flawed character with just one redeeming quality -- Avery has a good heart and he wants to do better.

The problem with a spoiled child is that he takes too many things for granted and he is a bit of a snob. The way he wastes money for a first generation Chinese person like me is appalling. I wanted to smack Avery for his frivolous purchases. His idiotic choices plus his naivety to be swindled out of money pushed all my buttons. His drama queen antics and lack of maturity makes him completely unlovable for me. Is it a realistic portrayal of person? Definitely. And I loathe those people.

I feel bad for Dylan, Avery's fated mate. Dylan has his hands full cleaning up Avery's mess and protecting Avery from himself. From a character perspective, the authors did a great job of creating memorable characters who come to life.

So why did I read this book? Honestly, it was because of the hedgehog. I love hedgehogs and I wanted to see how a hedgehog shifter would be written. It is well done. The way Avery behaves as a hedgehog is closely aligned with hedgehog behaviour. Avery is kind of cute, cuddly, prickly and helpless as a shifted hedgehog. This is pretty close to how he is as a human. How do a hedgehog and wolf mix? Oddly enough, quite well. The relationship between these two almost seeps into Daddy Dom territory. This story is not kinky and not BDSM. However, I would suggest that behind the doors, Avery needs a strict Daddy Dom whuppin' his ass. Dylan is the man to do it. This relationship is fun to watch because it isn't insta-love. They struggle against the mating pull. They don't even seem to fit together. It isn't that opposites attract. It is more opposites repel. Yet somehow, the authors create a plausible fit for these two, especially when they are in their shifted shape.

The suspense in this story is good. It does help add an additional layer to the story. I enjoyed the setup of it to give Avery growth and purpose. In addition, it helps to lead in to the next book in the series which now I'm interested in because there is hope for Avery. Avery isn't bad, he's just squandering his potential.

Recommended for m/m paranormal romance lovers who enjoy a little boy growing up into a man theme.
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