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Mystery Date: Gareth vs. Simon Archer

Christmas and New Years Eve are the times of year you most want to be with the one you love to snuggle by the fire or dress up and go out on the town. Our two series – VAMPIRE EMPIRE and CROWN & KEY – feature very different male leads. If you were comparing Gareth and Simon on a dating site, who would you choose?


vampire prince of Scotland and masked freedom fighter



last mystic scribe on Earth and leader of the Crown & Key Society


Gareth: Dark, silent type. Stoic and calm. Polite and gentlemanly, but with a sense of danger lurking beneath.

Simon: Dark, but not silent. Garrulous and lively. A gentleman, but not always gentlemanly; sometimes risqué and ribald. His glib nature covers a studious and knowledgeable core.


Gareth: Women who fight for what they believe in.

Simon: Women who are smarter than he is.


Gareth: The savagery of his own kind. Hot weather.

Simon: Serving the wrong wine with beef. Magicians who prey on the weak.


Gareth: Edinburgh Castle. High on a rocky precipice above the gloriously grey city. Windswept and chilled, but it can be surprisingly homey. He will light a blazing fire for you if you’re cold, and a banquet can be arranged if you’re hungry.

Simon: Gaunt Lane, London. A slightly worn townhome on the slightly worn edge of Mayfair. Bachelor comfort. Charming if you don’t demand luxury. Fine for a cup of tea or a glass of whiskey. Shove the newspapers aside and have a seat. He doesn’t stand on ceremony. Breakfast is cheerfully provided, but isn’t usually sumptuous.


Gareth: Yes. He has opened his castle to herds of homeless cats who adore him.

Simon: No pets. Too much of a bachelor to commit to a pet. However he will become your dog’s best friend and playmate. He prefers big dogs such as wolfhounds. He has a contentious relationship with a local cat, but to be fair, that cat is also his landlord.

Relationship Pacing

Gareth: Prefers a slow relationship. He lives a long time; he’s not going anywhere.

Simon: Prepare for as much witty flirting as you’d like before getting to the steamy culmination. Or, if you’d prefer, prepare to be charmed out of your corset shortly after dessert. It’s up to you.

Gift Giving

Gareth: He knows that memories are the most important gift one can have. However, he also appreciates romantic gestures; he arranged to send a beloved cat halfway around the world as an unexpected gift.

Simon: He can let you see the mystical aether that has touched you with magic every second of your life, but that you’ve never been aware of before. You’ll never see the world the same way again.


Gareth: Dressing as the legendary hero, the Greyfriar, and saving human lives from vampire brutality.

Simon: Protecting the innocent from monsters, demons, and demigods.


Gareth: Reading and writing.

Simon: Drinking. Parties. Fencing.

Fighting Style

Gareth: Supremely skilled in physical combat. He fights with swords and pistols. He is also merciless with his clawed hands, fast, strong, and brutal.

Simon: Artful with a sword, but his primary weapon in the battle against evil is the ability to harness the power of aether with runic spells. He can perform miracles of creation and destruction.


Gareth: Human blood. Exclusively.

Simon: He likes refined cuisine, but also enjoys street food along with a steady diet of alcoholic libations.


Gareth: He speaks countless languages and learns new ones easily. You can take him anywhere in the world, and he will be conversant in a few days.

Simon: He speaks or reads several languages. He has a command of various ancient, mystical scripts that don’t serve in conversation, but can be useful repelling demons.


Gareth: No.

Simon: Yes. Intricate runic inscriptions cover his torso and arms. They glow with eldritch power when he uses magic.

Can He Fly?

Gareth: Yes.

Simon: No. Well, maybe. No one is quite sure.

Best Holiday Bet

Gareth: Christmas. If you want a to spend a romantic evening chatting by a roaring fire while the snow piles up outside, Gareth is your … man.

Simon: New Years Eve. You want to dress up and take a carriage to the best parties in town? Choose Simon.

So with those dueling profiles, who do you choose? Gareth or Simon?

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