on m/m romance, baking, knitting, and occasional smut

Tag Archives: Ari McKay


Congrats to these winners for:

Shadows in the Night by MA Church: Gigi

Blood Bathory: Like the Night by Ari McKay: PaParanormalFan (Renee)

Thick as Thieves by Tali Spencer: Ann

I’ve already emailed Gigi, Renee & Ann, so they should already have gotten the news 😉 but if not, please email me at armchairreader[dot]coleriann[at]gmail[dot]com so you can get your book. Thanks for playing everyone and thank you all for stopping by and commenting on these wonderful authors’ guest posts and my review of Blood Bathory:

MA Church introduces Shadows in the Night + Excerpt + Giveaway!
My Review: Blood Bathory: Like the Night by Ari McKay + Giveaway!
“My Blurb Has Balls”, a guest post by Tali Spencer + Giveaway!

Buy Links:

Shadows in the Night by MA Church: http://www.amazon.com/Shadows-in-the-Night-ebook/dp/B00DW0GTGE/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1374340374&sr=1-1&keywords=shadows+in+the+night+church

Blood Bathory by Ari McKay: http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Bathory-Like-Night-ebook/dp/B00DRL9640/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1374340443&sr=1-1&keywords=blood+bathory+mckay

Thick as Thieves by Tali Spencer: http://www.amazon.com/Thick-as-Thieves-ebook/dp/B00DTNALTK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1374340478&sr=1-1&keywords=thick+as+thieves+spencer+tali

bloodbathory185Title: Blood Bathory: Like the Night
Author: Ari McKay
Publisher: Torquere
Length: 123,500 words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Paranormal Romance
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 2 – Few and Far Between
Keywords/Tags: Series, Co-Authored, Vampires, Shifters, On the Lam, Past Trauma/Abuse, Cops (FBI), Friends to Lovers, Best Friends, NYC, Paris, Artists (Photographer), Grief, Second Chances, Sexy to the 999s, Machiavellian Bad Guy, Villain, Mythology
Rating: Really Liked It


Evan St. John, a young fashion photographer running from the pain caused by the death of his younger sister, is thrilled when he is offered a job with House of Nadasdy, a leading fashion house in Paris. What he doesn’t know is that Elizabeth Nadasdy, the elegant and powerful owner, is a centuries-old vampire with a penchant for collecting beautiful people. To Evan’s horror, he is turned into one of her “children”.

Unable to bear what he has become, Evan flees to New York and to his best friend, police officer Will Trask. For years, Evan has nursed an unrequited love for Will, but he also knows Will is the one person who might be able to help him. As Evan and Will try to deal with Evan’s condition, they are drawn into the world of the theriomorphs: shape-shifters who are guardians of life and the sworn enemies of vampires. Caught in an ancient war between two powerful supernatural forces, Evan and Will find they must choose sides — because if they are to have any chance of a future together, they must destroy Elizabeth Nadasdy before she destroys them.


These two authors have been one of my favorite writing teams for a while now, and I knew that I wanted to review this book before I’d even heard of it or read the blurb. So when I finally did read the blurb I was even more exited, especially for such a long book. And finishing it took me a couple of days, mostly just because I wanted to enjoy it, so I spent my time reading it totally for pleasure and enjoying every twist and turn.

Evan St. John and Will Trask have a tumultuous past. Roommates their Freshman year of college at Columbia, they soon grow to be friends. Evan is openly gay and an art photography student, always carrying around his camera, while Will is a manly jock through and through. For reasons that Evan never understands, Will sticks by him and the bullying he was experiencing dwindles when people start to realize that Will will aways have his back. As they grow closer Evan starts to understand Will better, including Will’s White Knight Complex, his need to protect and care for those he loves, to an almost fanatical, save-the-day to-the-rescue level.

Their dynamic changes when Evan’s sister is dying of cancer and their relationship grows during the emotional period — Evan is distraught and barely keeping himself afloat while trying to understand and come to terms with her turn for the worse. And Will picks up the slack, in more ways than expected. But the grief sends Evan running to Paris and three years go by, where Evan becomes a famous fashion photographer taken on by The House of Nadasdy, run by famous and infamous Elizabeth Nadasdy, and Will becomes an agent with the FBI.

We’re first introduced to Evan in Like the Night as he escapes Paris during the day to fly to New York City and seek help from Will. He’s a newly made vampire under the gruesome and tyrannical rule of Elizabeth Nadasdy, a modern day remnant of her famous human days as Elizabeth of Bathory. Above all (except herself), she loves beauty and hoards a collection of “children” all turned by her for their extraordinary beauty, which she believes deserves to be preserved for eternity. Evan was a prize for her, and his rejection of her extraordinary “gift” is tantamount to the ultimate betrayal, something she relishes punishing him for. But Elizabeth doesn’t expect the trouble it will take to find and deal with Evan. With him, someone whose beauty hides his intelligence and cunning, are a group of allies who seek one common goal: the eradication of Elizabeth Nadasdy. And of course Evan has Will, his White Knight, ready to stand in front of any threat to his best friend.

I really just loved this book. I took a while to read it because it is long, but it is also totally packed with plot and, just about everything under the sun, making the book seem even longer than it is. There’s an economy to the writing which gives you SO much story for just the first book of a series that it gave me the time and the opportunity to really sink into the story. What came through in this story most strongly for me was the pervasive mood of fear and impending doom. This is all because of the fact that Elizabeth is built up to such supervillain status that she’s made to be almost omniscient, with unlimited power. Add to this a connection between vampires and their sire, or maker, and the fact that Elizabeth could peek in on Evan at any moment and even make him do things or spy on his relationship with Will, or their planned resistance of her make the story suffused with tension.

I found the villainous characters in this novel to be quite interesting. We have Elizabeth who is the typical diabolical character. She relishes in the pain of others and not only causes death and despair because it gets her something (money, fame, power, etc.) but also because she enjoys the suffering of others. She firmly believes that she’s more worthy than anyone else to have the status that she does because of her beauty and the vision she has for the future. But, sometimes diabolical is boring. No matter how outrageously cruel Elizabeth can be, she’s still a character that doesn’t take too much effort to understand. My favorite villainous character is her daughter Anna, who I suspect will become a crucial and central character to the future books. Anna is raised in the shadow of her diabolical mother. She’s always second best, but raised to revel in the same cruelties as her mother. She’s made a vampire both because of her beauty which is similar to her mother’s, but also as a gift from her. But hundreds of years of oppression make Anna rather different from her mother. Though I suspect that they both have similar depth of cruel possibility inherently in them, Anna’s choices are governed by her hate of her mother and her acceptance that her only meaning to her mother is what she can do for her. That makes her cruel, but much more interesting than her mother. And of course, it’s going to be great when the two really turn on one another 😉

Anyway, I’m super excited for the second book. I hope it isn’t too far away. But honestly, I can’t really be sad because this is the first book in a while (that is the first book of a series) that actually gives us enough story to satisfy us for the first installment. 123k words is pretty long, yes, but it allows the book to give full and adequate world-building while also giving us a real story that will be carried on in the second part. We have a full and self-standing plot with only a few loose ends to pick up in the next book. If this is the case for the next books as well, then I can only imagine where this story will go before it ends!

Definitely Recommended!


Please leave a comment below to win an ebook copy of Blood Bathory: Like the Night by Ari McKay. The giveaway will last until Midnight CDT on Tuesday, July 16. I will choose the winner using Random.org and email the winner who will then have 48 hours from the time of the drawing to reply to my email. I will then forward the winner’s information to the author so the winner can receive their book.

Please enter the email you’d wish me to contact you at in the comment form, or if you prefer, leave it in the message.

Thank you and good luck!


bayleavesandbachelors185Title: Bay Leaves and Bachelors
Author: Ari MacKay
Publisher: Torquere
Length: 26,400
Genre: m/m Contemporary Romance
Heat: 2 – Romantic & Tame
Sex Frequency: 2 – Few and Far bBetween
Keywords/Tags: Restaurateur, Chef, Food, Historian, Fortune Teller, Family, HEA
Rating: So So

Reviewed by Sadonna


When a carnival fortuneteller gives him a bag of bay leaves to sleep on, telling him it will make him dream of his perfect man, lonely historian Clay Turner is skeptical, to say the least. Since he has nothing to lose, Clay tries it, and that night, he dreams of a handsome, dark-haired man. But even that doesn’t prepare him for the next day, when he literally runs into the man from his dream on the street!

Rhys Montgomery is a rich, successful restaurateur, and he seems smitten with Clay, who is dazed by the attention. Rhys claims that he wants a slow, romantic courtship, but Rhys’ continuous refusal to take their relationship to the next level plays on Clay’s insecurities.

Is Rhys really interested in a happily ever after with Clay, or does his interest mask a far more calculating motive?


Oh this started off with such promise! Then it fell into somewhat of a disappointment. I kept hoping that maybe there would be some paranormal or fateful meeting or that something would happen that would sweep me into the story. But alas, it didn’t.

Clay Turner is out on his thirtieth birthday with his sister and her husband and children at a fair. He and his sister go to see the fortune teller and she gives Clay a bag of herbs and tells them to put them under his pillow so he’ll dream of the man who will be his true love. He thinks it’s silly but he is rather lonely so he does it anyway. He does dream about a gorgeous man. The next day on his morning jog, he literally runs into the car of said man from his dreams. And lo and behold, the guy, Rhys Montgomery, asks him out. He starts seeing the man and finds out he is from an extremely old and successful family and he owns some restaurants. They bond over historic preservation and Rhys seems to really like Clay, but he wants to take things slowly. This pace feeds into Clay’s lingering insecurities that Rhys isn’t really interested in him for the long run. Then the comments of a few other people further fuel this seething inferiority complex that Clay has going on. A compromising scene between Rhys and another man then seems to be the final nail in the coffin and Clay walks out. Then comes the big (well in this case not that big) reconciliation.

There is nothing inherently wrong with this story. I didn’t dislike either main character but I didn’t really like them either. They didn’t engender any feelings at all and that was the problem. I found myself predicting exactly everything that happened in this story and that’s not really a good thing. There just wasn’t enough about the characters or the plot to draw me into the story and in the end I just didn’t really care about what happened to them.

caribbeanblues185Title: Caribbean Blues
Author: Ari McKay
Publisher: Torquere
Length: 15,900
Genre: m/m Contemporary Romance
Heat: 2 – Romantic & Tame
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Story to Sex
Keywords/Tags: Adorable, HEA, Marine Biologists, On Vacation, Short Story, Sea/Sail/Rivers
Rating: Really Liked It

Reviewed by Nikyta


When Jon Lawson’s ex dumps him just before a romantic vacation to the Bahamas, Jon decides to go it alone in order to prove he’s not as boring as his ex claims he is. Once there, he meets marine biologist Derrick Mason, who seduces him into a passionate vacation affair and teaches Jon about more than just the dolphins that brought them together. But when Derrick offers his heart, can Jon put aside safety and security to take a leap of faith that will change his life forever?


The duo writing under the pseudonym Ari McKay are quickly turning into authors I’m starting to love. I look forward to each story I read by them and have enjoyed every one of them so far.

This one was no different. Jon gets dumped right before a romantic vacation to the Bahamas. To prove he’s not stuck in a rut and as boring as everyone claims him to be, he throws all caution to the wind and embraces his freedom by himself. In doing so, he gets to accomplish one of his lifelong dreams – swimming with dolphins. He meets Derrick Mason, the dolphin trainer at the resort, who’s love of dolphins rivals Jon’s. An instant attraction consumes them both and before long, they’re full-fledged into a vacation fling. Unfortunately, their feelings are running deeper than a passing attraction and it’s up to Jon to decide if he should stay his boring self and return home or embrace his new self-confidence and the love that gave him it.

One of the things I adored about this story is how much Jon grew as a character in such a short read. He starts out very self-conscious and self-deprecating but with Derrick’s tender care, he blossoms and develops that confidence he desperately needed to feel good and happy. I loved Derrick because of that and although we don’t know much about him beyond surface details, I enjoyed the way he was portrayed. Another thing I loved were the dolphins. I smiled whenever they were in the scene and how easily Jon bonded with one of the surliest and grumpiest dolphins at the resort – Scrooge. I just loved how much Jon and Derrick connected over them and especially the fact the story held that connection.

The book mostly consists of the beginning of Jon’s vacation and the end of it when he goes home. We don’t get much details in between but I strangely didn’t mind that because of how they interacted in the beginning. I will say the story was too short because I really would have enjoyed more details about them, especially in the end to see how they live their lives from then on. That was my main problem, I suppose. Although, I should warn readers that the ending gets a bit too sweet and it is insta-love but I enjoyed it nevertheless.

Overall, a good story with likable characters and sweet dolphins. A bit more development and details would have been ideal but it’s well-written and doesn’t feel rushed. It has sweet moments, playful moments and a tad bit of heartbreak. I definitely recommend it for those looking for a quick, easy read.

santasnaughtyhelper185Title: Santa’s Naughty Helper
Author: Ari McKay
Publisher: Torquere
Length: 15,100 words
Genre: m/m, Contemporary, Romance
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Story to Sex
Keywords/Tags: Adorable!!, Christmas, Co-Workers, Friends to Lovers, HEA, Short Story, Unrequited Love
Rating: Really Liked It

Reviewed by Nikyta


When shy attorney Kevin Anderson draws Erik Wilson, his hunky co-worker, in their office’s secret gift exchange, he realizes this might be just the opportunity he needs to make Erik notice him. Erik seems to enjoy the game of twelve days of naughty gifts, but can Kevin overcome his fear of rejection enough to go through with his plan and offer himself to Erik on Christmas Eve?


While the blurb is a bit vague, it actually does a great job of describing the story. Aside from the fact Kevin and Erik are also best friends, there’s something about unrequited love that gets me every time. I love the fear that’s always associated with loving your best friend.

I absolutely adored Kevin and Erik. Kevin is very shy and easily embarrassed while Erik is comfortable being the center of attention. It was fun seeing how Kevin fussed over his gift idea for Erik and then ended up creating a game out of it. He knew Erik would enjoy a game and it was the perfect ploy to get Erik to notice him. It was amusing to see Kevin’s gifts go from innocent chocolate and wine to more adventurous gifts like a variety of sex toys.

I really enjoyed the author’s writing style. While the story is short, we still get enough details about everything that provides just enough depth to the characters that they are real enough to connect with. It was easy for me to imagine the expression on Kevin’s face whenever Erik would fluster him. Aside from that, while it isn’t obvious of the feelings Erik has for Kevin at first, it becomes noticeable that Kevin’s feelings aren’t just one-sided. My only regret was that the story ended where it did. I’d have enjoyed seeing everyone’s reactions to knowing Kevin was Erik’s secret Santa, as well as, how people would take their new relationship.

This might be one of my favorite Christmas stories so far because it was both fun and cute. I liked the slow progression and Kevin’s gift ideas. I was amused by how much fun Erik was getting out of the game. It was a great story and I’ll definitely be looking for more books from this author.