Reviewed by Vicki
TITLE: Prickly By Nature
SERIES: Portland Pack Chronicles
AUTHORS: Piper Vaughn & Kenzie Cade
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 260 pages
In the four months since hedgehog shifter Avery Babineaux started investigating the disappearance of a young female werewolf from the Portland Pack, he’s discovered his life’s passion. Now he’s apprenticing under established PI Corbin Reid. Avery hopes his training with Reid will help him finally bring Lacey home, but detective work isn’t without its perils, and the potential dangers strain his relationship with his new mate, Dylan.
Dylan Green would be perfectly content with his mating and his motorcycle shop if it wasn’t for his constant worry about Avery’s safety and the fact that Avery’s never home. Proud as he might be of Avery’s determination to prove his worth and fulfill his promise to Lacey’s father, Dylan can’t stand the thought of Avery being hurt. Yet what right does he have to demand Avery give up his job when it’s clear Avery’s found his true purpose? Still, Dylan wishes he could, and the appearance of a new police detective who sets his sights on Avery only adds to the tension.
Something has to give, but stubbornness runs in both their veins, and it might take a catastrophe for them to find a compromise they can live with.
Back to the world of hedgehog and wolf shifters we go! I loved the first story in this series and I’ve really been looking forward to this one.
This book picks up not too long after Prickly Business took place, and follows the same two characters. Avery the hedgehog shifter, and his mated man, Dylan the wolf shifter. In the first book the two had issues bonding and cementing their fated mating. Neither wanted a mate, much less one of a different species. It took some time and drama to get them together. The plot other than the romance that ran through that book was Avery’s hunt for missing wolf shifter Lacey. Lacey had been kidnapped and sold in a human trafficking ring, and Avery, friends with Lacey’s father, was determined to find Lacey. The book ended with him on the track, but not having found Lacey.
In Prickly By Nature, we find Avery and Dylan together, but still on slightly shaky ground, neither having said those three big words to the other. They are living together but not as settled as they could be. Their romance gets pretty rough over this book, as Avery continues to hunt for the missing Lacey. Avery is now apprenticed to Reid, a local Private Investigator, and bird shifter. Avery has decided he wants to be a PI, not just to find Lacey but as a new career. This causes major disruption in the lives of Dylan and Avery, as Avery is not always in the safest places, and he won’t let Dylan help him, or drop this new life plan.
I liked this book, but it wasn’t quite as good as the first one was for me. I think Avery and Dylan spent a little too much time apart, and the story got bogged down in the hunt for the bad guys. I liked that as a background to their story, but it almost overwhelmed this book a bit. It was still good, I love Avery and Dylan, but I wanted them to spend a little more time on page together. There are a few sex scenes, but several fade to black scenes, that I wanted to see. I love the two of them together! I will say they pay a visit to Avery’s family in Louisiana that I thought was good, it showed why Avery is so…. distrusting of family situations, and why he has a hard time understanding Dylan’s need for his pack. I liked the additional characters, we get a new one in a sexy cop that could lead to some nice drama involving Jayden, Avery’s best friend. I’m hoping we’ll see how that plays out in another book. I liked Dylan’s crew as well, something is going on with one of them I also hope is leading us to another book.
Piper and Kenzie are a good team, the writing is very good in this book. The characters are great, I love the creativity of pairing together a wolf and a hedgehog. The mystery that runs through it was good, but like I said, overwhelmed the story a bit. Well, maybe not the hunt for Lacey storyline, but Avery’s other cases with Reid. Maybe that’s what bothered me, now that I think about it. That’s what distracted me as we followed Avery around. Anyway, it was still a great book!
If you read the first one and liked it, you need to read this one. If you haven’t read the first one, you need to before reading this one. It is not a stand alone story. If you are a fan of shifters, this is a very unique pairing, and well worth reading. Great writing, great characters, good plot, and a great ending!