BLOOD IN THE WATER
Oldewolff Alternascents; 1st edition (December 19, 2014)
Blurb: Kyros Vindex, treasure-hunter, has a problem. He's carrying a torch for a fellow pirate with the sexual awareness of a teaspoon. Rumors say the man has killed hundreds. He's determined to knock some sense into the work-a-holic that captains the Midnight Sun, but damned if he knows how.
Eric Deumont has more pressing concerns than the treasure-obsessed Kyros. There's a creature inked into his chest that no witch in the seas will lay hands on for all the gold in the world. He knows it gives the Midnight Sun a cursed reputation and that doesn't make living any easier. He has heard stories of spirits trapped for lifetimes inside spelled puzzle jars. Eric tracked down three of the pieces for such a jar with a lead number four. The fifth is still out there.
Even then, the spirit of vengeance that lives in Eric's skin has no intention of giving up such easy access to the mortal realm. It craves blood and the light of the moon allows it to wreak unchecked havoc. Cursed is an insult. This is madness.
Pretty much the only thing better than a well told and sexy pirate novel is one with a demon involved. The author told me this was an Elizabethan era piracy story, but I did not detect anything especially Elizabethan, but that did not matter at all. The pirate meme is sufficient unto itself. I was reminded of Helen Hollick’s wonderful Sea Witch series, only one better – two guys madly ripping off each other’s clothing. It’s funny how a little thing like the doubling of the number of penises can change one’s mind!
Anyway, the pace is quick, the complications many and sudden, the danger ever at hand, and the chances for mad sex too infrequent, but Tami Veldura knows her stuff. There is not one word out of place. The HFN ending just promises more hotness and demons. The language gets a little modern in places, but how many forsooths can two randy pirates manage in one sentence after all?
The sequences with the demon are riveting. The creature is continuously ethered to Eric’s nipple ring unless exposure to moonlight releases it. It swarms out of his chest to attack and kill anyone who opposes it. The only way Eric can trap it again is if he sprinkles cinnamon on himself and it. When it leaves his body it causes pain and blood that seriously affects him. Part of the story is the quest that both Eric and Kyros are on to locate all the pieces of a magical jar that can hold the beast. It will only hold it for a year, which is what leaves the HFN at the end of the novel. Another spirit/demon attacks Kyros in Havana and leaves him seriously burned. The cinnamon needed to control these beasts is often very hard to find and Eric is on his way to find some or die trying when Kiros finds him again.. All of this is well thought out and ably dramatized, leaving the reader breathless.
Special notice needs to be made of the African quartermaster, a woman with a build on her like an oak or, as they say, a brick house. She was refreshing in every way. And I have read enough tall ship novels to say the terminology and understanding of how a ship works seemed right on to me.
Great cover, by the way.