“A hedgehog mated to a wolf? Plumb ridiculous, as his mama would say.”
Prickly Business is the collaborative effort of authors Piper Vaughn and Kenzie Cade. It also marks the first book in their new Portland Pack Chronicles series. I have a few Piper Vaughn books under my belt and she is an author whose books I thoroughly enjoy. When I discovered that up next was a PNR shifter book, I was all in as I love the genre. Learning that one of our protagonists would be a hedgehog shifter not only piqued my curiosity but made me want to read this book all the more. How in the heck were these authors going to pull this off? I most certainly was not disappointed. This book turned out to be a fun and sexy read!
Avery Babineaux is a transplant in Portland, Oregon. Originally from the Louisiana, Avery fell in love with Oregon in high school during a brief visit. Despite the fact that the Northwest is a breeding ground for werewolves, Avery feels at home here. Living off his parent’s old money, Avery has settled in Portland. The lone hedgehog shifter in the midst of the big bad wolves.
Dylan Green is a broody and somewhat serious werewolf shifter. He owns and operates Green’s Customs and Restorations, a custom motorcycle design and repair shop. He works hard, has his close friends and is proud of what he has accomplished.
Avery and Dylan are surprised to discover that they are true fated mates. When they first meet both leave with a sour taste in their mouth and wanting nothing to do with the other. Avery came across as a judgmental snob looking down on the blue-collar werewolf. Dylan had no time for that and definitely did not want to get involved with a snotty hedgehog who can’t accept him for who he is. Fast forward a couple of years and Dylan and Avery have essentially managed to stay away from each other. Their run-ins have been few and far between. Despite the deep and profound attraction they share for one another, they both believe that a relationship between them would only end in disaster. But, when Avery lands himself in some dangerously hot waters because of some gambling debts, Dylan can’t stand by and allow Avery to get hurt.
I definitely took a little longer to warm up to Avery than I did Dylan. I loved the over-possessive wolf right from the start! Avery, on the other hand, was a little hard to love at first. He came across as a self-absorbed douche with a very superficial lifestyle. As he and Dylan start to become more and more intertwined, Avery starts to reassess his life and he goes through somewhat of a transformation. Also, as Dylan begins to spend more time with Avery, he discovers that there is more to him than he originally thought. Can both men open up enough to allow the other in and show their vulnerabilities? When Avery plunges himself into even more danger and turmoil, Dylan realizes that he would do just about anything for his mate.
This was a very enjoyable first installment to what I think will be a fun series. What prevented Prickly Business from being a five star read for me was the ending. There is no cliff-hanger at all but we are left at a place knowing that there is more coming for Avery and Dylan. The next installment in this series will in fact be about them. I am not a huge fan when authors decide to write more books about the same couple, especially in series where there are many other characters that I’d like to see get their happy forever. I would have preferred if the next book would be about two different protagonists with the overall story arc weaving its way through the second book. This is just my personal preference. I did really like this book and will be reading the next one.