Review: Preppy Part One by TM Frazier

I gave this audiobook a B for the story and a B- for Lance Greenfield’s narration and a B+ for Kirsten Leigh’s narration at AudioGals.
Narrated by Lance Greenfield and Kirsten Leigh
Having thoroughly enjoyed the first 3 parts of the King series (though I must admit that I never quite made it to Part 4, the second part of Bear’s and Thea’s story), my curiosity had definitely been piqued about Preppy’s story, King’s sidekick from the earlier books. Because of this interconnected background, however, I suggest that you at least read or listen to the first two books in this series (if not all four) to get a good sense of the setting of this story before starting Preppy. Additionally, to get Preppy’s full story, you will need to commit to listening to Book 6 (Preppy: The Life & Death of Samuel Clearwater, Part Two) – and possibly book 7/Part 3, out next week in print.
Interestingly, this book had a slightly different feel to it than the previous ones; it’s not quite as dark in its detailed descriptions or as twisty (well, at least not until the very end – be ready for one zinger of a cliffhanger). That said, as the hero of this book is a drug dealer and the heroine a junkie who has suffered horrible abuse to feed her addiction and has serious thoughts of committing suicide, it’s definitely what I would call a gray romance. While not quite as dark as some other books in this romance subgenre, it’s still not for the faint of heart either, or for those seeking a plain vanilla contemporary romance. In particular, please note that the background of this heroine includes extreme domestic violence and rape (though not by the hero), and the hero also experienced physical abuse in his younger years. With that warning in place, I will move on to the setting.
Samuel Clearwater (“Preppy”) has had a less than ideal upbringing, suffering terrible abuse at the hands of his own family, until King, his best friend, rescues him and makes him his second in command in his somewhat unique, criminal empire: together they run a pot business out of elderly women’s houses, where they grow their stash. This story picks up shortly after King is arrested, leaving Preppy holding down the fort, as well as trying to help King win back custody of his daughter.
He stumbles onto an attempted robbery of one of his grow houses. When he digs a little deeper, he discovers that one of the thieves, a junkie with a bad heroin addiction whose name is Andrea and who goes by “Dre”, is actually the granddaughter of the elderly home owner. When he tracks her down following the theft, he finds her on the verge of committing suicide, an attempt that he successfully prevents. As Preppy and Dre get to know one another, they feel a cautious but nonetheless intense attraction to one another. Fueling this connection is the fact that Preppy tries to help Dre come clean –  he even offers her a very lucrative incentive if she does a slightly illegal job for him, something that will help King get his daughter back. But will Dre agree to his terms? Moreover, can Dre successfully overcome her addiction? Given that the hero’s a drug dealer and the heroine a junkie, and they are constantly in dangerous situations, could there possibly be a HEA under the circumstances?
See the full review at AudioGals.