Kyros, pirate captain and treasure seeker, can’t get Eric, a fellow pirate captain, out of his head. He keeps putting his ship in the path of Eric’s, and the only one who seems to notice this is Kyros’ quartermaster, Areceli. Kyros is determined to get Eric to notice him and Kyros needs to know if the rumors are true. The rumors of Eric being cursed and having killed hundreds of men.
Eric has no time for Kyros and no time to even think about any kind of relationship. Eric has a creature living in his chest and the rumors of him being cursed are true. The creature that seeks blood when it tears out of Eric’s chest, only to return once again to its host. Eric is on his own quest for a puzzle jar that can possibly trap the demon spirit and keep it locked away. He has found three pieces of the jar and will keep hunting for the other two.
Kyros wants Eric and one brief encounter with the long haired pirate is not enough for him. When he learns what Eric is searching for he makes it his business to sail after Eric. But, dealing with demon spirits and witches has Kyros stepping into territory he knows nothing about with disastrous consequences.
I’m going to start by saying that this is an incredibly imaginative and creative story. There are real pirates with an attraction to each other, and sailing adventures, with cannons, violence, blood, and demonic spirits. All of these aspects sounded interesting and made me want to read this book. When the story opened, I had a hard time finding my footing initially. There are a number of characters introduced, many by name, and not all of them are relevant. I then felt like I had been dropped into the middle of a story already in progress. The story is not a full length novel and there is a lot packed into the pages as a fast-paced pirate adventure unfolds. But, I had so many questions while reading the story and equally many questions when I was finished.
Kyros and Eric had met before, but the details of that meeting are not fully known and Eric did not even know Kyros’ name. When they do have a brief intimate encounter, both men want more. Eric mentions that he does not know how to seduce a man. I questioned if this was because he had never been with a man or if he was just not good at seduction. Eric has a demon living in him, a tattoo inked across his chest, and a piercing. The tattoo is shown as being directly linked to the demon, but how the tattoo came about is not clear. And, how did Eric figure out the piercing would its job? The full moon comes into play as that is generally when the demon will burst forth on its quest for blood. Yet, if Eric’s chest is exposed, the demon can come out then as well, as seemingly Eric’s shirt holds back the demon spirit. The demon spirit that is inside of Eric had been kept in a box and subsequent demons we encounter are also in a box. They do not get out until someone opens the box. Why then did Eric need to specifically have a puzzle jar when the demon originated from a box? The puzzle jar is the main adventure for the story. There were so many questions upon questions I had with the entire layering of the story line every step of the way.
The fighting scenes were visual and there was plenty of killing and blood. The time line of the story was interesting as we were given a scene, and then we were given a few seconds earlier and a few seconds later. This style was creative and offered a different perspective within the same moment. Araceli, Kryos’ quartermaster, offered a good depiction of a loyal female character in a time when women did not hold a place of authority on a pirate ship. But again, how her story line played out left me with just so many additional questions. The ending only sets up for a second installment and while one area is resolved for the moment, a new quest has just begun.
Blood in the Water is a fast moving dramatic story. It would be a good choice if you enjoy reading about the life of a pirate mixed in with demonic spirits. Perhaps you will not have as many questions as I did.
Note: Blood in the Water is available for free if you are member of the M/M Romance Goodreads group.
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