Slippery Creatures by K.J. Charles (The Will Darling Adventures #1)

Will Darling came back from the Great War with a few scars, a lot of medals, and no idea what to do next. Inheriting his uncle’s chaotic second-hand bookshop is a blessing...until strange visitors start making threats. First a criminal gang, then the War Office, both telling Will to give them the information they want, or else.

Will has no idea what that information is, and nobody to turn to, until Kim Secretan—charming, cultured, oddly attractive—steps in to offer help. As Kim and Will try to find answers and outrun trouble, mutual desire grows along with the danger.

And then Will discovers the truth about Kim. His identity, his past, his real intentions. Enraged and betrayed, Will never wants to see him again.

But Will possesses knowledge that could cost thousands of lives. Enemies are closing in on him from all sides—and Kim is the only man who can help.

A 1920s m/m romance trilogy in the spirit of Golden Age pulp fiction.

YEAR: 2020
LENGTH: 2020 pages
AGE: Adult
GENRE: Historical, Mystery, Romance

Queer Rep Summary: Lesbian/Sapphic Secondary Character(s), Gay/Achillean Main Character(s), Bi/Pan Main Character(s).

SLIPPERY CREATURES is a dynamic story with vivid characters and intimate stakes for a former soldier come bookshop owner who keeps having his calm interrupted.

Normally I cannot stand books where one of the main characters is lying to the other, especially in the context of a relationship. I think what makes the difference is that Will figures out quickly that Kim is lying to him about some pretty important things, even if he doesn't know the precise shape of it for a while. Kim is fascinating as a character, but I would not want to hang around him in person. Will and Kim have a very nice time at their first meeting, but Kim keeps lying to him because he has priorities other than Will and it takes most of the book book to get to a point where Will might be more important to him than his prior commitments. Will for his part wants to know where he stands and wants everyone to stop messing up his life for the sake of something he originally didn’t know it was in his possession and has no desire to hold. 

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this, I will keep reading the series because I want to know what happens next. Future books seem likely to deal more with Zodiac and the relationship between Kim and Will.

Graphic/Explicit CW for sexual content, kidnapping, confinement, violence, torture.

Moderate CW for infidelity, toxic relationship, excrement, injury detail.

Minor CW for alcohol, grief, epidemic, war, parental death, death.

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A white man in a tan suit is seated, holding a knife at his side, while a tall white man in a tuxedo holds a book open before him


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