Thursday, September 29, 2016

Prickly Business by Piper Vaughn & Kenzie Cade Audiobook Review

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.

Length: 11 hrs, 10 mins
Narrator: Iggy Toma

Add to Goodreads

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Amazon Audiobook  ~  Audible  ~  Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

It’s an awful thing to say, but I’m not sure that I would have read Prickly Business because I really couldn’t wrap my head around the concept of a hedgehog shifter. It just doesn’t scream sexy. However, when the audiobook review opportunity came up for the second book in this series, I had to have it and was lucky enough to get a copy of Prickly Business as well. Why did I have to have it? Because I adore Iggy Toma’s narration. Toma does such a wonderful job of creating voices for each of the characters and bringing them to life, that I had to give this series a try. And now that I’ve finished listening to book one, I am so glad I did because Vaughn and Cade have penned a fascinating character in Avery Babineaux and I’m already on pins and needles to start Prickly by Nature.

Avery is exactly what you would expect a genteel southern gentleman to be like, if he were an obviously gay man and a twink (at least that was my impression of him). He seems to possess delicate sensibilities that are easily affronted and he’s quick to spear the offender with a haughty look – and it’s largely an act to hide his insecurities. Don’t get me wrong, Avery comes from old southern money and can be quite condescending and judgmental, but over the course of the book he grows up, a lot, becoming someone I started rooting for without reservation. When he finds himself in a position where he’s forced to work for a living, Avery adjusts to it quicker than I expected. It’s not immediate and not without a good bit of grumbling on his part, but with his best friend, Jaden, providing guidance and emotional support, Avery begins to find his place in the local wolf pack. Oh yeah, Avery is a hedgehog shifter whose fated mate, Dylan, is a wolf shifter (who wants nothing to do with Avery), and his best friend Jaden is the alpha’s son. Circumstances bring Dylan and Avery into one another’s company, and as they take the time to actually get to know one another, they each find that their mate is nothing like the first impressions made a few years ago suggested. So as Avery begins to find his place in the pack and his way in the world, he also finds that there’s more to his mate than he expected and hope for a future together is hard to quash. But Avery’s job with the pack soon has him on a crash course with danger and Dylan may be the only thing that stands between him and a fate worse than death.

I realize that I have babbled effusively about Avery, and that’s not meant to be an indication that I didn’t enjoy Dylan’s character at all – because I did. It’s more that Prickly Business is Avery’s story and it removed the hesitations I had about a romance featuring a hedgehog shifter. That said, Dylan played a big role in Avery learning to stand on his own two feet and expect more out of himself. Now I’m not one who believes that a person’s worth depends upon their partner. However, when it comes to shifter romances, I cannot imagine anything more devastating and to be a bigger hit to one’s self-esteem than being rejected by your fated mate. Even though gaining Dylan’s love is not a measure of the man Avery is, it went a long way in healing a wound that affected his self-worth. And vice versa because Avery rejected Dylan as well. Thankfully Dylan has some great friends who yanked his Avery-blinders off and forced him to see what was right in front of him, because the prickly hedgehog and the grumpy werewolf make for a perfect pairing. I thoroughly enjoyed Prickly Business, both the story and the narration, and know that it will be on my replay list.

Piper Vaughn

Romance author, tea drinker, book junkie, tattoo enthusiast, typewriter collector, flirt. Lover of hedgehogs, piercings, tattoos, and hockey.

Piper Vaughn wrote her first love story at eleven and never looked back. Since then, she’s known that writing in some form was exactly what she wanted to do. A reader at the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book—fantasy, young adult, romance, she loves them all (and has a two-thousand-book library to prove it!). She grew up in Chicago, in an ethnically diverse neighborhood, and loves to put faces and characters of every ethnicity in her stories, so her fictional worlds are as colorful as the real one. Above all, she believes that everyone needs a little true love in their life…even if it’s only in a book.

Connect with Piper

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Kenzie Cade

Author, reader, klutz extraordinaire. Kenzie Cade was born and raised in the South where she spends her days in the sometimes stressful field of private medicine observing interesting people and committing them to memory for later use. When she isn’t reading, experimenting with recipes, or being distracted by social media, Kenzie spends time with her family, friends, and the Pomeranian/long-haired Chihuahua mix who likes to keep her company while she writes. As a young girl, Kenzie dreamed of princesses and their white knights. As an adult (or sort of adult), she dreams of princes and their proverbial white knights, which she attributes to fellow Arkansan S.E. Hinton and her novel The Outsiders. Writing to keep the fictional voices at bay, Kenzie enjoys the journeys her characters travel to find their happy endings, and she loves the challenge of writing a great love story.

Connect with Kenzie

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Blog  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Prickly Business (Portland Pack Chronicles #1) by Piper Vaughn & Kenzie Cade, narrated by Iggy Toma to listen to and review.

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