A review of the third work in the Hellscape Holidays by Milly Taiden this time on the Tale. I’ve adored the series from the first page and the first appearance of Portia, the main Succubus character of the series. The storytelling is wonderful, the characters are a delight. Most of all the world building invests the reader in the story and that is always good to have.
Still, what keeps my interest is seeing what Portia does, what is revealed about her and the bartender Lou, who both are wonderful teases. While they are what I think of as narrators of the series, and they have stories to tell, they can’t be the focus of course. That is left to the new main characters of each book and what their paths bring them to.
- Title: In Bed with the Vampire
- Author: Milly Taiden
- Published By: Latin Goddess Press, Inc.
- Length: 157 Pages
- Format: eBook
- ASIN: B0B7626ZXL
- Publishing Date: December 29, 2022
- This work in Kindle Format at Amazon.com
The work tells of:
The last two hundred years have been rough for vampire James Crassus. Things should be looking up, but what’s a vampire to do now that the war is over? He sure won’t find the answers at his brother’s bachelor party at Hellscape Holiday Resort. The trip takes a turn when a woman walks in…
Vivian Abbott is very human. So human, she is dying. Winning a luxury trip to HHR isn’t exactly what the doctor ordered, but she could do with a few drinks on the beach and a holiday fling in the sheets. But when she stumbles in on her ex and his soon-to-be-wife, Vivian falls flat on a vampire.
Little does Vivian know that her destiny is tied to the green-eyed vamp. He might just be the answer to her prayers, but old secrets and older enemies threaten the mismatched pair. This is what happens with the devil is your matchmaker!
Sometimes a wish is just a wish. Sometimes hope is just a word. Sometimes the unexpected happens and what you didn’t know you needed comes into your life. Sometimes, just sometimes, the universe gives Vivian and James what they both need.
Fitting in well from the prior works in the series, this is possibly the most emotionally draining of the romances so far. The undercurrent of looming despair seeps into the story and for each positive thing that happens, a shadow is cast over things. The hurt in the main characters, Vivian and James, are so very deeply set and it takes a lot for them to come to a point where there’s a glimmer of hope to build upon.
The passages with Vivian actually hurt to read through much of the story. It’s when she makes the decision to be with James, to see him for not just what he offers, but the truth that comes out in the honesty, that things take a turn and Vivian becomes such an inspiring force in the story.
The climax of the story however brought me to pause and try to understand why, exactly, Vivian’s choice made the difference that it did. Somehow it doesn’t feel right and I’m not sure why exactly that is. Possibly it’s the speed at which things happen and how strangely the solution to the problem James’ family has is solved by her. Past that the path leading to the close of their story is wonderful and the truth that Vivian discovers tells much about another character of the series that I’d like to know more about than we have so far.
Portia, the Succubus of the series, plays a role around the edges of the main story as she did in the prior work. This isn’t a Succubus story by far, but she does continue to bring me a smile when she appears and her relationship with Lou hints at a lot of things that I still would like to see explored. But this series may never focus on Portia and Lou alone and I think that would be the real shame here as they are just too much fun when they appear.
Three and a half out of five pitchforks.
The undercurrent of sadness around Vivian gives this work in the series a feeling of tenseness that makes the story read so much differently than what came before. It’s a wonderful story in settling the relationship of Vivian and James, if having a few points where I had pause over what happened. Again, Portia appears in the story but fleetingly which was a shame. This wasn’t a story really about her or of Succubi after all. Still, the untold story between her and Lou keeps getting teased and hopefully that will eventually draw the series to getting to why things are. That’s what I keep looking for, perhaps at some point that will happen.