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The Sugared Game

(The Will Darling Adventures #2)

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  2,632 ratings  ·  490 reviews
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 know
Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published August 26th 2020 by KJC Books (first published August 23rd 2020)
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Average rating 4.31  · 
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Sep 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-reads
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m a fan. And this was a fun, suspenseful and yet cozy read.
“Unarmed, one-handed, outnumbered, and facing a professional killer. Will had to admit he wasn’t feeling optimistic.”
This is the second chapter in the story of unlikely “strange bedfellows” (double entendre crudely meant) in the 1920s Jazz Age London - Will Darling (a former soldier turned antiquarian bookseller, good with a knife and his fists) and Kim Secretan (a secretive disgraced aristocrat, former revolu
* A Reader Obsessed *
4 Hearts! - Team review with Adam!

Although I liked the first installment, this second entry brings more of everything - suspense, action, mystery and intrigue, and thankfully, romance!

This is not a standalone, so please check out Slippery Creatures first!

Last we saw Will and Kim, they had thwarted the secretive society The Zodiac, and both think they’ve mainly come to an unsaid agreement with the nefarious group to avoid the other and move on. Will and Kim have also moved on by enjoying each oth
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“infinitely unreliable, oddly vulnerable, painfully desirable”, a man with “a fashionable fiancée and a background of eye-watering privilege, and five names plus the title, and beautiful manners when he chose to use them, and elegant hands unmarred by calluses and scars."

“common as muck”, but “sophisticatedly thuggish”in a suit, a bookseller with no formal education to his name. A man inherently good, whose moral compass is permanently on ‘doing the right and human thing’ but without
4.5 stars! I'd probably read KJ Charles' grocery list if she published it but I'm really loving this series. I love Will, Maisie and Phoebe unreservedly but in the first book, Kim was harder to sympathise with. Yes, all his deceit and trickery was in pursuit of bad guys but it didn't make the hurt and frustration he dealt to Will any better, despite the fact that he genuinely seemed to regret it.

However, in this book it becomes a bit more apparent that Kim is punishing himself more than trying t
I liked this, but not as much as the first one! After how Will and Kim ended things in the previous book, I appreciated how the romantic conflict focused on Will’s frustrations with Kim’s secret keeping and how Will wouldn’t tolerate it anymore (which is a good thing because I was sick of it, too! Kim is a bit annoying with the secrets in this book, but he has excellent reasons so I begrudgingly forgave him). I confess that I wasn’t super engaged with the adventure storyline for the first half, ...more
Sep 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Yes, Kim did redeem himself. I hope the next book will give us some insight into his psyche to understand his personality better.
9/6 - I’m starting this as my “birthday treat” to myself. I sure hope Kim redeems himself!
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5/5 Rounding up.

“Use your ingenuity. Go and find the life you were supposed to have.” “What if I don’t want it any more?” Will asked. “What if there’s something else I want instead?” “Is there?” Their eyes were locked. The silence rang like crystal. Oh, what the hell. “You sodding know there is.”

Will and Kim. 😍 These two nearly killed me. All that’s left of me is a puddle of feelings. It’s worth it. When book one ended, Will was very upset with Kim. I was very upset with him too.
Bookshire Cat
Aug 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

When Kim says: “It really ought to be an entirely uneventful evening,” RUN.

Well. How to give a comprehensive review of the second book in a series without spoiling anything, that is the question.

For the notes on genre and MCs, I’ll refer you to my review of the first part of the series, Slippery Creatures.

We meet the same cast of MCs but they have much more space to show their personalities. If you liked Phoebe and Maisie, you are in for a good

Note: The Will Darling Adventures is a trilogy with overarching storylines and in which character and relationship development takes place throughout, so it’s advisable to read the books in order. There are spoilers for book one, Slippery Creatures, in this review.

K.J. Charles’ trilogy of Will Darling Adventures continues with book two, The Sugared Game, a perfectly-paced and superbly plotted mystery that sees soldier-turned-bookseller Will Darling and disgraced aristocrat and (probable) spy Kim
katia ☾ ⭒꙳
Sep 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a gem! I still can't believe I've found this series, it has everything I like, historical books are a hit for me, historical romance with stubborn characters, a lot of chemistry, and great writing? I'm in!
I liked this one even better than the first, it was so so so good, my love for will went 📈📈📈, he's so precious I can't even... I also love how Kim (despite being himself lol) is starting to open up.

An awesome read that I would suggest to anyone - if you haven't, just do yourself a favor an
h o l l i s
I'm not sure my feelings about this book are entirely fair as I've come out of quite a bit of a lull/slump and I knew the first book I picked up might suffer for it. But I thought a KJC might help battle that prediction and also I mean she's kind of a guaranteed pick me up. And yet..

"I don't know about you, but the position of hand puppet to [spoiler] does not appeal to me."
"Nor me. If I want someone sticking their hand up my arse--"
"Oh, do go on."
"I'm not going to be [spoiler]'s hand puppet eit
Sep 17, 2020 rated it really liked it

“God, you love this. You should be ashamed of yourself, how much you love this.” “Oh, I am,” Kim assured him breathlessly.
“Utterly. Now embarrass me till I can’t walk.”

These two... I just love them. Another adventure, while not quite as stunning as the last, I still loved every minute. Fabulous writing. Witty and heart-felt dialogue. True to their nature characters, that I have completely fallen in love with. Cannot wait to see what will come next for these two. And what of Phoebe? A
~~ preeti~~
Jun 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021-read, hr-mm-read
I waited a long time to read this book so I could reduce my pining time until the release of 3rd book.

In short, this was a great addition to the series. The first book set the tone for the mystery and this one bought the plot to closure. The book has the right dose of thrill blended with action and romance.
A big chunk of the plot revolves around the nightlife, cinemas and fashion in the time just after WW1. So The atmosphere reflects the cultural scene of 1920s England perfectly.

Rhosyo BW
Nov 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolute bliss!💙
I read the first two books in one sitting, 5 stars for this ruthless, cut-the-crap, ex soldier and his DanielDaSilva-ish companion. A standing ovation for this couple.

I love those moments while reading a good book where the tension level is so high, and the anticipation that comes from knowing that what’s coming up next will be so exciting, that for some reason you can't keep reading! I don't know how many times I have to stopped reading to look into space and smile like a loony,
Maja  - BibliophiliaDK ✨

A was really pleased with the first book in this series, but this one was a step up for me. It felt more put together and I liked that Kim got the chance to redeem himself.
Nov 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, 2020, historical, kjc
KJC can really do no wrong
Kaje Harper
Sep 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This second book in the series gives us the continuing story of Will Darling, WWI veteran and bookstore owner, embroiled in the schemes of both a criminal society and his own government (or at least, the shadow agencies that work hand in glove with the government.) The end of book 1 gave us hope that Kim might care about Will enough to give him more than crumbs of time and attention, but as this story opens, Will hasn't seen Kim for two months.

Kim is, as always, reticent, twisty, deceptive even
Aug 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Be dramatic on your day off.

Spectacular advice. As for the book, all I'm gonna say is this: takes a bit to get going, but once it does, it's great fun. And even the getting to that fun was solid reading. Fingers crossed that the third one doesn't dip in quality.
Leaf of Absence
Aug 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Part 2 of the Will Darling Adventures is fun, improving on the first book not only with the adventure aspect but also the character/relationship building--it's still a romp, but it's slightly deeper (and a little more complex) than the previous installment.

When Kim shows back up in Will's life after disappearing for two months, Will is justifiably angry. And yet, he's still more than a little infatuated and just a little bit bored with the life of a petite bourgeousie bookshop keeper, so it doe
Tag team review with R!

Picking up a few months after the end of ‘Slipper Creatures’, the sequel starts with Will and Kim... at odds to put it lightly.

It isn’t Will’s fault of course. Kim, being up to his regular Kim-self, dropped all contact without even a simple goodbye.

When the two reconnect, Will’s suspicious there’s something afoot. And he’s absolutely right!

Kim drags Will right back into his cloak-and-dagger world, and Will finds himself unable to resist the pull - of neither the man, nor t
Nov 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed it very much. Kim and Will (#Kill ;) are the perfect non-perfect non-couple. Their lives are messy and their relationship is a mess, and I love it.
But I wish the ending played out differently. I feel like it was too easy, it wrapped up too neatly (not considering all the blood), every loose end tied up.
Hence only 4 star.
This book wasn’t as purely enjoyable for me as the first one, but it was really an excellent middle book that does what all middle books should do: It furthers the character arcs of the characters we care about so that they are not stagnant and wallowing, it pushes the main story arcs along further and things actually happen, and it provides its own enclosed story arc so that you are left satisfied by the presence of a beginning, middle, and ending within the book itself.

It’s been several months
D Fox
Jul 03, 2020 marked it as to-read
"things are underhand even by Kim standards"

Well. This is quite unsettling.


August is too far....

The cover is hereeeeee / I noticed the background, don't think I didn't, heheh /
Marieke du Pré
May 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Infinitely unreliable, oddly vulnerable, painfully desirable Kim.

What makes this series so amazing is the writing. Not because it’s so poetic or beautiful or technically good. It’s the banter, the sneer, the humor.

Will about Kim:
He was somehow managing to lie his arse off without technically telling a falsehood.

Kim about Will:
Every time I see you naked, I marvel at the gift. I discover a structural weakness in my knees that makes them want to bend.

The banter:
”You can’t stay clean if you’re kne
The reason it takes me a week to read a book that I literally can’t put down is because I read it twice.

When I read Slippery Creatures, I wanted to say, this is what it looks like when an author levels up. I refrained, but I’m not going to wait til book three to say it: this is what it looks like when an author levels up.

The Will/Kim dynamic isn’t one I’ve seen her write before. Especially with Phoebe and Maisie taking such an integral part; especially given that it gets three books to play ou
I've given this a B for narration and an A for content at AudioGals

Note: The Sugared Game is a direct sequel toSlippery Creatures, which should be listened to first; there are overarching plotlines running through this series, and there are spoilers for the previous book in this review.

Book two in  The Will Darling Adventures The Sugared Game picks up a few months after the events of Slippery Creatures, in which former soldier Will Darling and aristocratic spy Kim Secretan foiled a dastardly
Thank you very much to KJ Charles for providing a copy of her novel in exchange for an honest review.

I think at this point I’ve made it pretty obvious that I’d read anything KJ Charles puts down in front of me. Hell, I’d even read her grocery list. Luckily, her second novel in The Will Darling Adventures, The Sugared Game, is a lot more exciting and impressive than a grocery list — but I want you to know that I’d still read it if she told me to.

The Sugared Game picks up a couple of months after
*The Angry Reader*
Sep 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, historicals, lgbtq
We could have gone in several directions at the culmination of the first book. And I think this was a perfect natural progression of the story. The characters blossomed in all of the best ways. And it was a lovely diverting way to spend a very hot Saturday afternoon.

This was thrilling and delightful and so very good. I loved the cameo! I am totally enamored of this series. Can't wait for the third book! ...more
Another enjoyable, pulpy installment in this series, set in London in the early 1920s. It's a touch more sombre than I remember the previous book being, but I think that's largely the result of a welcome fleshing out of Will and Kim's characters and motivations (particularly Kim's), and I'm looking forward to seeing what K.J. Charles does with the final book in the trilogy. ...more
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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)
  • Slippery Creatures (The Will Darling Adventures #1)
  • Subtle Blood (The Will Darling Adventures, #3)

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