Novel: The Sugared Game
Author: K.J. Charles
Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance, Mystery
Part of Book Series: The Will Darling Adventures #2
Summary: It’s been two months since Will Darling saw Kim Secretan, and he doesn’t expect to see him again. What do a rough and ready soldier-turned-bookseller and a disgraced shady aristocrat have to do with each other anyway?
But when Will encounters a face from the past in a disreputable nightclub, Kim turns up, as shifty, unreliable, and irresistible as ever. And before Will knows it, he’s been dragged back into Kim’s shadowy world of secrets, criminal conspiracies, and underhand dealings.
This time, though, things are underhanded even by Kim standards. This time, the danger is too close to home. And if Will and Kim can’t find common ground against unseen enemies, they risk losing everything.
Post’s Author Opinion:
Note: This is a personal opinion, it does not reflect YaoiOtaku’s official position towards the novel.
I took a break in between the first and the second books of this series because I had this feeling I will want to jump right into the last book (that was not published yet at the time I started reading the series, a mistake of not looking it up on my part) once I finish the second one. I was right and now I’m in a rush to write this review so I can start reading the third book.
Will is, again, great. I liked him very much in the first book and I liked him very much in the second book as well. He’s so straightforward, so honest, and so very clever. I could also resonate with his struggles vis-à-vis Kim and his worries because, same as Will, I felt hurt by Kim’s attitude (or lack of) in the first few chapters. I already knew Kim can be very mean, that he lies to everyone with no effort at all and with seemingly no remorse, but I couldn’t help not feeling a sense of abandonment when he vanished for a while.
However, continuing reading I learned new things about Kim. His cold façade, his lying, and his lack of communication are meant to enable him to do the right thing. I learned that Kim is not without scruples, that he is not made of stone. It was obvious he cared a lot about Will (and also Phoebe), but I did fear a little that he might vanish for good at some point or that he would brutally reject Will. Instead, Kim’s feelings for this brilliant bookkeeper seemed to grow stronger and the intimacy moments between them brought me so much joy. I could weep. In this book Will and Kim’s relationship evolved into something deeper, something where one can lean on the other both literally and figuratively, where one can say a lot just by a squeeze of hand, and something where serious conversations take place. I loved their conversations a lot. It looks to me like Will and Kim are building a very strong and surprisingly honest relationship.
Apart from the development between these two stunning men, the book is very intense. In the first book Will managed to piss off Zodiac. Now, the adventure continues with intrigue and risky situations. It took me a while to figure out what was going on there and Will beat me to it, he’s definitely more clever. K.J. Charles did a beautiful job of setting the plot and revealing just enough along the way so the reader could not guess too early what was happening.
With a new understanding about Kim, about his past and what made him… him, and curious about what else is in store for Will and Kim, I can’t wait to get back to reading, my appetite is very strong. I will have to do a little detour, though, as I just found out there’s an extra story in between the second and third book. Not an issue, extra reading material about my favourite couples is always welcome.
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