Review: ‘Hunt on Dark Waters’ by Katee Robert
I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Hunt on Dark Watersby Katee Robert
Series: Crimson Sails #1
Published by Berkley on November 7, 2023
SubGenres: Fantasy Romance
Source: the publisher
Audience: 18+/Rated R
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Sail the magical high seas with this first book in a new sexy fantasy romance series from Katee Robert, the New York Times bestselling author of the TikTok smash-hit Neon Gods.
Evelyn is a witch with a perfect storm of impulses: terrible taste in bed partners, sticky fingers, and a lust for danger. After she steals from her vampire ex and falls through a portal to another realm, she’s fished out of the waters by a band of seafarers and their telekinetic captain. She’s immediately given a choice—join their group or die.
Bowen has no memory of his life before he became one of the Cŵn Annwn. He and his pirate crew are bound by vow to patrol through Threshold, the magical sea in between realms, keeping the portals to other worlds safe. When he rescues Evelyn, he doesn’t expect to be attracted to the unflappably brassy pickpocket. The longer he spends in her presence, the more he begins to question if his heart is the next thing she’ll steal.
But as tension heats up between Bowen and Evelyn, danger escalates as well. Because Evelyn has no intention of keeping her vows to the Cŵn Annwn, and if she betrays the crew, both she and Bowen will pay the ultimate price....
I was looking forward to reading Hunt on Dark Waters, the first book in Katee Robert’s new series, Crimson Sails, which is a portal fantasy with witches, pirates., vampires, etc. It kind of reminded me of one of my favorite movie series, the Pirates of the Caribbean (somewhat), but a spicier version.
I enjoyed the storyline where the FMC, Evelyn, ends up in another realm to escape her ex-girlfriend, who wants to unalive her after Evelyn stole some things from her. However, she ends up in a place called ‘Threshold’ where a Captain and his pirates rescue her, and the Captain gives her a choice to join them or die. The Captain, Bowen, has no recollection of his life before he joined the Cŵn Annwn. All he knows is that his crew of pirates needs to protect the islands from creatures of the sea and knows he has to continue to follow the laws of the Cwn Annwn, which means the sassy witch he rescued must follow the laws or die. She’s not going to make it easy for him, and he can’t help but feel attracted to the witch, even when he shouldn’t, especially when she starts to have him question the Cwn Annwn ways.
This was a good start to a new series from Katee Robert with a promising storyline. I was invested in learning about Threshold and the characters Evelyn and Bowen, as well as the secondary characters. Bowen was the one who stood out the most to me in this book because not only due to his cinnamon roll personality but his teleketic powers. Those powers are used a few times in intimate times with the FMC. He’s definitely got some unique talents with those powers.
Katee Robert doesn’t disappoint in creativity when it comes to the smexy times and heat level in her books with her characters. If you enjoy instant love, or in the case of Evelyn and Bowen, instant lust, you may enjoy this story. I just wished I would have more of a deeper backstory of the main characters, especially Bowen, but I understood Bowen doesn’t remember his past before Threshold. He’s also been too busy being a Captain of his ship to have a connection with anyone until Evelyn and Evelyn is on the run from an ex who wants to unalive her.
Here’s the issue I had while reading, and it’s mainly due to the FMC and the ending. I didn’t connect with Evelyn and found her insufferable and selfish for most of the time I was reading, until towards the end, she changed, but that time, it was already too late for me to like her. She also drove me insane with how much she worried about her ex-girlfriend coming after her, which didn’t happen until the very end of the book, which brings me to my other issue. The ending felt rushed and didn’t read as a HEA, but an HFN for now since Bowen and Evelyn’s story didn’t feel complete. The ending is actually leading to the next book with new main characters, but I’m hoping that Bowen and Evelyn’s characters appear in that book.
Katee seems to be leading the next book to continue the storyline from this book to the next book with new leading characters, which means these books will need to be read in order. I’m not sure how I feel about reading Evelyn’s ex-girlfriend’s book because I didn’t like her in this book when she was introduced, but we’ll see.
Story Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Standalone or Part of Series: It’s part of the Crimson Sails series and I recommend reading in order.
Would I recommend this book? Yes. Readers who enjoyed Katee’s Dark Olympus series may enjoy this new Fantasy Romance series, which has pirates, vampires, witches, etc.
Genre/SubGenre(s): Romance | Fantasy Romance
Trope(s)/Element(s): Portal Fantasy | Instant Lust/Love | Found Family | Pirates | Witches | Vampires | Bisexual Witch FMC | Telekinetic Pirate Captain MMC | Cinnamon Roll MMC | Heroine on the Run