Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to…
Book: Vacation Hell
Author: Eve Langlais
Narrator: Rebecca Estrella
Audio Speed: 1.5x
Series: Princess of Hell #4
Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance / Urban Fantasy
Source: Tantor Audio
Vacation Hell opens with Muriel and her family settling into their new lives as parents and lovers. Although everyone is extremely happy, Muriel is being called to the beach, someplace she does NOT like to visit, indicating larger forces at play. Yet with her precocious, meddlesome daughter, Lucinda, driving Muriel to emotional and mental exhaustion, the gang decides a family vacation to the beach is in order.
Vacation Hell is the fourth addition to Ms. Langlais’s wild Princess of Hell series. Although the story is mostly standalone, I wouldn’t recommend starting with this one – too much of the world is developed over the course of the previous books. With the nature of Muriel’s sexually charged magic, jumping in here may be confusing, and not as emotionally satisfying.
The story contained within Vacation Hell is light and short. Keeping in concert with the previous stories, Muriel must take on a new lover to feed a different aspect of her magic. This time she is practically shoved at Tristan, a merman and son of King Neptune, by someone in her own family. I like that Muriel is learning to be more at ease with her needs and the part other sexual partners play in her life. However, I am not happy with the fact that she was placed in the situation via manipulation. I also enjoyed that different than the past, Tristan is not ready to jump into the orgy as easily as her previous lovers. The author has made each male unique, with their own sexual needs, which keeps the stories fresh.
After eliminating the “big bad” from the prior books in Hell’s Revenge, the author creates a new story arc that will clearly span into the next book, as there is a huge aspect of this story that remains unfinished by the end of Vacation Hell. Since the ending isn’t a true cliff-hanger, I don’t mind that the story arc continues forward; however, the book is very short, and I felt the plot line was weak. So I would have preferred the author continue the story, creating a longer, more fulfilling book.
Ms. Estrella’s familiar performance creates a bit of comfort in this, the fourth title. I know what to expect and would probably not enjoy anyone different or new. With that said, I had a few issues that came up this time. The first is that Vacation Hell is shared from multiple POVs, yet the narrator voice stays the same, no matter whose POV it is. Second, the number of characters continues to grow, yet the number of unique voices doesn’t seem to keep pace.
In the end, Vacation Hell is a short adventure for Muriel and her family. The plot is a bit over the top, which seemed to suffer due to the short length of the book. I feel that the promise of a solid story, which was strong in the first couple of books, has been replaced with campy erotica. The story is fun, but not great.
My Rating: C+
Review copy provided by Tantor Audio
Juggling a happily ever after is harder than it looks, especially when it involves a fallen angel who is my soul mate, a hunky cat shifter who stole my heart, and a darkly delicious vampire who is like that piece of forbidden chocolate you just can’t resist. Add in a precocious little girl, who is totally spoiled rotten-not surprising given Nana and Poppa were Mother Earth and the Devil-and my life was a never-ending series of dramas, foot stomping, yelling, and tears. By me. I never knew being a grown-up could be so much damned work, which is why I decided we needed a vacation. But of course, as Lucifer’s daughter, that didn’t turn out as expected. Now I’ve got to figure out if my bathtub is big enough for a hunky merman-and is there room in my heart for one more?