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Slippery Creatures

(The Will Darling Adventures #1)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  3,933 ratings  ·  825 reviews
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, an
ebook, 265 pages
Published May 13th 2020 by KJC Books
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Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,933 ratings  ·  825 reviews

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Aug 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-reads
“What I say is, one can be as moral as one likes but one should have the courtesy to do it in private, like any other bad habit.”

K.J. Charles certainly knows how to write an entertaining story. I already expressed my sincere appreciation of her books, but I’ll say it again — she certainly knows how to grab your attention with a clever plot, compelling characters and easy narrative flow, not to mention spicing it up just a tad with a rather non-cringeworthy romance bit.
Thank God they were
Talia Hibbert

Read if you like:

- electric slow-burns
- razor-sharp wit
- hilarious, unique and relatable characters
- anti-establishment spy vibes
- explosive chemistry


What does one even say about a book like this? I'll begin with the fact that it hooked me from start to finish despite my current case of Quarantine Brain. I'm struggling to focus on so many excellent books, but th
Richard Derus
Real Rating: 4.5* of five

The whole review is posted on my blog.

If you remade NOTORIOUS with Steve Cochran opposite Cary Grant instead of Ingrid Bergman, it would feel a lot like this read. And I hope y'all've been paying enough attention to me to know that I mean this as a deep and sincere compliment.

A lovely period piece in the vein of the smoldering hot film about finding Nazi spies. This was as much fun as I can remember having in ages. And, as a note to lazier writers, I will point out that,
* A Reader Obsessed *
3.5 Historical Hearts! - Team review with Adam!

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a historical MM connoisseur but Charles’s Magpies series is one of my favorites, and I’ve been wishy washy over what next to read of this author’s and instead of diving right in, I’ve avoided them all until now.

To say the least, I’m charmed, especially titillated by the idea that the rest of this trilogy is planned to come out this year and features one couple - all of which greatly appealed to my quirky prefe
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jan, Simone, Snjez, A Reader Obsessed, Lisazj1 , Shile,
*5 stars +++*

Reread August 2020
Needless to say I loved this all over again. I totally adore Will, the way he is willing to stick up for his principles and high moral code. He is a 100% genuine guy. Despite all the trickery and betrayals we can see that Kim has also a very vulnerable side, something Will with his sharp mind and acute observation skills has noticed, too.
Loved (again) what happens in the bedroom between them - the passion and heat with generous helpings of tentative feels.

Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
Mar 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
Darling is sassy!

The humor and the entertainment in the writing is everything what I wasn't looking for but which I really needed that I didn't know.

I just want to meet the uncle who started with all the code to solve the mystery.

The plot is thick and all it involves is a book shop with lots and lots of books, and the scary people ready to pounce on our sassy main character.

We just got to look for the hint in the books.

And...the characters. Damn. I love their chemistry so much. Each character
mina reads™️

Will Darling, king of stubbornness and morality methinks
I've given this an A at AAR.

K.J. Charles’ new series,  The Will Darling Adventures , is a set of three rip-roaring adventure yarns in the style of 1920s pulp fiction, so readers can expect thrilling adventures, clever mysteries, dastardly deeds, and evil villains pitted against tough, tenacious and upstanding (well, mostly) heroes who triumph against all the odds.  Needless to say, when the author announced this was to be her next project, I was rubbing my hands with glee in eager anticipation
4.5 very satisfied stars

On this basis of this terrific start, this trilogy is going to be vintage KJC - one of the high points of her writing.

What's so good about it?

Well, for a start, this is a clever book, as most of her books are. It's clever in its nod to the pulp fiction of the time - nasty anarchists, missing papers, innocent heroes caught up and proving their worth under fire. It's clever in the way it subverts its own context: the hero is disillusioned rather than innocent, the forces
h o l l i s
Oh look Hollis loves a KJC book. No one is surprised! But seriously, I'm pretty sure I can count on one hand the amount of this authors' works that didn't rate a four or higher. And this author isn't short on books.

Will had gone to the War at eighteen, and come back five years later to find himself useless and unwanted. In Flanders he'd been a grizzled veteran, a fount of professional expertise who knew the ropes and had seen it all. Back in Blighty he'd become a young man again, one with little
4 Stars

K.J. Charles’ latest series-starter is a riveting M/M escapade of romance, mystery and adventure.

Set in London during the roaring-twenties, Slippery Creatures weaves an engaging tale full of double dealings, hidden agendas and secret societies, with a dash of passion and a dollop of action and suspense, and all set in and around a second-hand bookstore. *happy sigh*

The story follows the plights of war veteran Will Darling, whose newly-inherited bookstore becomes the keen focus of several
I read this 1920s-set romantic adventure on one of the most stressful days that I can remember, and it really saved me. It's so much fun!

Will Darling was an excellent, much-awarded soldier in World War I but has been at loose ends ever since...until he inherits his uncle's used bookshop and gets thrown into a lethal adventure full of secret agents, the War Office, a very nasty gang, kidnappings galore, treachery and hidden secrets. Luckily, it turns out that all of the skills he developed in th
Maja  - BibliophiliaDK ✨

Actual rating: 3.5⭐

Yes, yes it is and I'm sooo into it. Even though I'm not one for mystery thrillers, this just got to me. The historical setting and the queer relationship between the two main characters won me over And I'll definitely come back for more!

👍 What I Liked 👍

Mystery: Zodiac is a secret organisation hell bent on destroying the world for their own profit. Will get's swept up in their warmongering by accident and a thrilling mystery c
Hallelujah, I read a book! Thanks to pandemic brain I’ve had an exceedingly hard time reading at all. I started two weeks ago and stalled near the beginning. Praise be a question from Vivian got me to restart this morning and I read the whole thing.

This hit my sweet spot so hard. Tough guy, too stubborn to give up and smart enough to stumble his way through with a bit of help from an enigmatic bastard too twisty to be trusted and too enticing to be resisted. Like a historical m/m Dick Francis w
5 Stars!!🤩😍 Loved this 1920s themed suspense-thriller-romance with plot-twists and mystery till the very end 😱. This is one of those books that you just can't put down 😳
Will Darling is a World War I veteran and he is both physically and mentally weary of the war and it's aftermath. Having been unsuccessful in finding gainful employment in a war ravaged economy, he is relieved when he receives communication from his long lost uncle. His uncle's generosity literally saves him from the streets and
I loved everything about this.

K.J. Charles is honestly spoiling me for other historical romance authors. There's just something about her style (very detailed, historically accurate, flawed but compelling characters) that gets me right in the pleasure center. She also doesn't just write in one time period or keep it to straight romance. She's always messing around with spy fiction or mystery or golden age pulp (here and Think of England) or jewelry heists or homages to Georgette Heyer regency f
I've given this an A for content and a B for narration at AudioGals, so 4.5 stars rounded up

I always enjoy it when an author sets out to deliberately write a pastiche or homage to a particular type of book. It’s something that goes beyond employing specific tropes; it’s as much to do with evoking the style of writing and the era in which the story is set as it is with whichever elements of storytelling are involved, and there are few authors who can do this sort of thing as well as K.J. Charles.
Jul 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

“My dear chap, this is a bookshop. There’s never anywhere better to be."

I know I've said this before, but I feel compelled to say it again. There are just some writers that I gel with. And no matter the story, I know I will captivated by it. And K J Charles is one of those writers for me. The endearing characters, the witty dialogue, the mystery and intrigue; I know I will never be disappointed. I stayed up until 3am last night finishing this book. Once I got to about halfway in, the
May 13, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m-romance, mystery
Not the greatest of KJ Charles' books. Starts out as a sort of spy mystery but the plot quickly falls flat and ridiculously predictable. My biggest qualm was that I didn't like the protagonists. Kim was an utter asshole and Will was an incorrigible idiot. It was almost cringy watching him make stupid mistakes and misplace his trust again and again. Kinda like Charlie Brown with the football. At some point I just want to throw my hands in the air and accept that he will never learn better. Becaus ...more
Apr 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An m/m 1920 romance, in which Will Darling, a WWI veteran turned bookseller, finds himself in possession of a secret wanted by many sides at once--and entangled with the mysterious and aloof Kim Secretan. Spying, romance, and very strong character work (I LOVE Phoebe, Kim's fiancée, who's just all around amazing). It was the perfect read for an exhausting day, and best of all was finding it's part of a trilogy! Cannot wait for the next book. ...more
Kaje Harper
This book is mostly what it's billed as - a pulp-fiction style adventure where our intrepid hero faces several kinds of peril at the hands of a secret anarchist society. Except KJ Charles wrote it, so the characters are interesting and multifaceted, the plot turns make sense, and there is some social commentary and a difficult romance in the face of real obstacles.

Will, our hero, is a man who was formed in part on the battlefields and trenches of WWI. After his return home, he was out of work an
Joyfully Jay
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jay
A Joyfully Jay review.

4.75 stars

I have been a K.J. Charles fan for years now, ever since I got blown away by her Charm of Magpies series way back in 2013. It thrills me that her books can still delight me and Slippery Creatures was no exception. The story takes place in the 1920s and there is a nice pulp fiction vibe that mirrors the style of the time. The mystery is clever, the story is exciting and thrilling, and Kim and Will are a really engaging couple.

We jump right into the action almost i
How fun was this book? So much fun! Although I do kind of regret not waiting until all three books were out to binge read them. Because the ending, while not exactly a cliffhanger, was definitely not a happily ever after or even a happily for now. 😭 And now I have to wait!!!! Boooooo. Curse my impatience.

Still, I loved this. It was the perfect mix of action, spy intrigue and romance.

Will and Kim positively sizzled together. Their chemistry gave me goosebumps.

I loved the side characters. Phoeb
May 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbtq, 2020, kjc, historical
this has immediately skyrocketed to #1 on my list of KJ Charles books. sis the drama
I've really loved the first book in KJ Charles' new series.

Pulpy, intricate and - as usual with her books - extremely well written, Slippery Creatures follows the (mis)adventures of WW1 veteran Will Darling who inherits a bookshop from his late uncle only to find himself dragged into an intricate plot involving secret societies, the War Office and a mysterious and attractive aristocrat, Arthur 'Kim' Secretan.

Will Darling is a great character. Mouthy and stubborn, completely disinclined to be b
9/1/20 Currently on sale for 99c via Amazon US: ...more
CW: (view spoiler)

“I was good at it,” Will said. “I enjoyed it. The danger and the challenge, mostly, but killing was part of the game too, and it was a lot better than sitting on my arse in a trench. I volunteered to go kill men who I’d have had a drink with if I’d met them in a pub, and that wasn’t courage, just a twist in the head that went the other way round to shellshoc
4.5 stars! Of course I loved it, it’s K.J. Charles, so it’s kind of automatic. I always love everything about her stories. Her ability to paint time and place so believably with words is phenomenal. Her characters are always so human. Though *mostly* good people, they have their flaws and issues and sometimes do the wrong thing. Her plots are exciting and her writing is always excellent. All of that held true here. *ok, fangirling over* *for now*

I really liked Will Darling. He’s had anything bu
3.75 stars rounded up

First thing first, for someone who doesn't easily believe (or even seems to have strong despise) the people coming to his bookstore over the "information" or those with authorities a.k.a. War Office, Will Darling seems to trust Kim Secretan VERY quick. Not just once, mind you ... I felt that was so reckless. Don't you learn something, Will?

Other than that, I quite enjoyed this. The whole 'looking for clues' inside the bookstore was fun to read. The exchange dialogues between
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KJ is a writer of romance, mostly m/m, historical or fantasy or both. She blogs about writing and editing at

She lives in London, UK, with her husband, two kids, and a cat of absolute night.

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Other books in the series

The Will Darling Adventures (3 books)
  • The Sugared Game (The Will Darling Adventures #2)
  • Subtle Blood (The Will Darling Adventures, #3)

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