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.
©2015 Piper Vaughn, Kenzie Cade (P)2015 Dreamspinner Press
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"Great narrator love this series!"
Avery is a hedgehog shifter who left his home territory of Louisiana and move to Oregon. Shifter law dictates that he must join the local wolf pack since Portland falls in that jurisdiction. Though his family has always looked down upon wolf shifters, Avery doesn’t care a bit, and happily joins the pack.
Avery finds his mate, a wolf, and in a drunken mistake, throws him over for not being “good enough”. Dylan is of course hurt, and somewhat glad, because he doesn’t ever want a mate anyway.
Two years go by, and the mates avoid each other at all costs. It isn’t until Avery ends up in trouble because of some gambling debts that they spend any significant time together.
Finally, the two realize how wrong they’ve been about the other and they begin a relationship. In the meantime, Avery gets involved in a missing person’s project that might just end up costing him his life!
This a little different than the average “shifter” romance. For one, though the instant attraction is there, it isn’t acted upon until much later in the story. In addition, the side stories – Avery’s gambling problems first and later a missing female wolf shifter – take up a lot of the book.
The world building is excellent and the character development is also well done. I enjoyed the romance between Dylan and Avery but I was disappointed by how little time they spent together. (This is remedied in book two – so consider this a slow burn for the series.)
When they do get together the smexy times are HOT and the feels are wonderful.
The writing was really good and I am definitely interested in seeing more from this series.
4 of 5 stars
Iggy Toma does a fantastic job with this! He gives Avery a delightful Southern drawl and helps us to differentiate all the other voices as well. I love his reading voice and found this really enjoyable as an audiobook. Definitely the best way to enjoy this story!
5 of 5 stars
Overall 4.5 of 5 stars
"The narration is fantastic"
I’m really at odds on this. On one hand, the narration is fantastic. On the other hand, the miscommunication in this is so extreme it almost drove me insane listening to it.
The writing is sharp (communication issues aside), the characters are multi-dimensional and not just cardboard cutouts, and the narration by Iggy Toma brings out a lot of nuance to the story. I love Toma’s character voices, timing, and expression. 5 Stars for the audio!
But…Have I mentioned I hated the miscommunication?
It’s an interesting premise for a shifter story with a slow burn, even though Avery and Dylan are mates, with a mystery interwoven throughout. Yes, the mystery ends largely unresolved, but, luckily for my sanity, the relationship is resolved. Very satisfactorily. And there’s knotting!
I’d absolutely recommend to those for whom communication issues aren’t a problem.
"A Real Story, A Real Romance"
A great rarity: a M/M Romance with a plot. I didn't think I wanted to read about a hedgehog shifter. I mean wolves are beautiful and even tigers but hedgehogs? I was wrong, not only is our hedgehog beautiful in human form, but his wolf shifter mate loves how cute he is an animal too, not that a hedgehog ever has to shift so he's a very pretty young guy most all the time. But this isn't just a fated mate book. Rather it's a book with a real plot. There is reversal of fortune, mystery, danger and an Alpha's daring mission to save his mate and others captured to become sex slaves.There is no insta-love in this story, It is a slow buildup to affection that turns to love. The families, the cops and even the pack leaders are not to be trusted. What can our hero do? The first thing he can do is save his mate. An excellent M/M romance story with top notch narration.
"Next book please..."
Now I'm intrigued. I need to know what's going to happen between the alphas son and the Beta.
"a fluffy shifters story"
Sure why not. It was a day spent at home. It was entertaining.
Sure. to anyone who is interested in reading about shifters and their mates. There is some humor in the book too.
Avery kicking the guy and hissing "and stay down"
maybe more romance. It was lost in the mystery and secondary characters
I might read/listen the second book. I just hope its tighter and more believable
"In spite of myself..."
In spite of myself...I thoroughly enjoyed this shifter story. My first thoughts...a 'hedgehog shifter' and fated mates to a wolf shifter...really. I suppose this is based on my ignorance of shifter lore. As I began the journey of Avery and Dylan...I became engrossed in the story. I listened to the story in one sitting...a good way to spend a few hours (11+). Angst, murder, mayhem, preconceived ideas, and learning about one's self. This book has it all. Piper Vaughn did an excellent job and the narration of Iggy Toma made the journey that much better. Definitely would recommend this story.
"A bold, enjoyable departure from the norm."
So I found this title via Goodreads and was pleasantly surprised by it. By all means this is not a super deep read but nor is it too fluffy and full of sex to qualify as a decent story. I was skeptical and was proven wrong. If you are looking for something fun, different, and daring then I would highly recommend this book. I'll move on to the second one now and hope it holds my interest just as firmly.
"Enjoyable but not much romance in it"
Enjoyable, with likeable characters but a bit longer than it needed. I would have liked more romance and less time spent with the suspense part of the story.
"Great performance and wonderful story"
I really enjoyed this different type of shifter book. A wolf and a hedgehog, why not! Avery is a flamboyant, southern belle from Louisiana. Iggy Toma does a masterful job bringing him to life, I loved it. Dylan is a typical wolf shifter and his fated mate. But in this AU, just because you are mates doesn't equate to "getting along" And two years ago, through a misunderstanding, they did not get along and have avoided each other ever since. They are accidentally brought back together and with the backdrop of saving Avery from a loan shark AND solving the mystery of what happened to a member of the pack, they learn to trust each other and ultimately we get a HEA. Buuuuut, the story doesn't end there, as the mystery is only partially solved. The story picks up again in Book 2, which I am now listening to.
I really loved Avery, despite a few TSTL moments. Both he and Dylan are stubborn and quick to believe the worst about the other due to their years apart. There are many, many miscommunications and misunderstandings; to the point you want to hit them both over the head. But the beauty of their story is how far they had to come out of their own comfort zone to find the love each was offering. A big part of my enjoyment was Iggy's performance. He is just wonderful and really brought this story to life for me. Highly recommended.
"5 stars = I freaking LOVED this book!!!"
I received a free copy of this audiobook to listen to and review for Wicked Reads.
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.
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