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Blood Bathory: Like the Night

The Guardians of Gaia

by Ari McKay

Blood Bathory: Like the Night - Ari McKay - Guardians of Gaia
Editions:Kindle - Second Edition: $ 6.99 USD
ISBN: B07BFMZ8L9
Pages: 348

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.

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Reviews: M Marshall on Amazon wrote:

A Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review (A MelanieM Review)
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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.

Like the Night by Ari McKay is the first in the new Blood Bathory series the authors are creating. And what a series it looks to be. Starting out with the historic Elizabeth Bathory herself as the sublimely evil ancient vampire at the core of all misery here, McKay builds the universe out to include an ongoing war with Gaia herself and her soldiers, the theriomorphs against the vampires who would rule. Caught in the middle are Evan St. John, a vampire turned against his will, and Will, a human police officer and Evan's best friend who is about to find out that the world is much stranger than he ever believed.

The author gives us multiple points of view which works here to let us know how many people actually have their own agendas in this battle for conquest. Hint, it's not just the main characters. So many manipulations going on here, so many secondary threads that will, of course, become major ones later on.

The romance between Evan and Will is one that needs major communication to move forward as well as some false (and hilarious) assumptions to be swept aside. I liked the heat between them and they worked great as a couple. One caveat is that Evan comes across as too much of the "weak pretty boy" here for someone who is a vampire. He has one scene where he shows his vampire strength and the rest of the time I feel that's wasted making the theriomorphs look tough to his detriment. Why not both? Not using a vampire's assets throws away a valuable weapon imo here.

Back to the theriomorphs and Gaia. I absolutely love this element. I hope its explored even more closely in the upcoming stories as the battle continues.

There are many great secondary characters, on both sides mind you. I can't wait to see what the next installment will bring.

If you love the supernatural, romance, vampires and shapeshifters, you can't go wrong with Like the Night (Blood Bathory #1) by Ari McKay. I highly recommend it for the great world building, wonderful characters, and a plot that grabs a hold of you right until the end.

Cover art: Lou Harper. I like the cover but it's not terribly representative of the characters, Evan is blond.


About the Author

Ari McKay is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who have been writing together for over a decade. Their collaborations encompass a wide variety of romance genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, gothic, and action/adventure. Their work includes the Blood Bathory series of paranormal novels, the Herc’s Mercs series, as well as two historical Westerns: Heart of Stone and Finding Forgiveness. When not writing, they can often be found scheming over costume designs or binge watching TV shows together.

Arionrhod is a systems engineer by day who is eagerly looking forward to (hopefully) becoming a full time writer in the not-too-distant future. Now that she is an empty-nester, she has turned her attentions to finding the perfect piece of land to build a fortress in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and baking (and eating) far too many cakes.

McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she’s relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse.


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