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Subtle Blood

(The Will Darling Adventures #3)

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4.76  ·  Rating details ·  45 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Will Darling is all right. His business is doing well, and so is his illicit relationship with Kim Secretan--disgraced aristocrat, ex-spy, amateur book-dealer. It’s starting to feel like he’s got his life under control.

And then a brutal murder in a gentleman’s club plunges them back into the shadow world of crime, deception, and the power of privilege. Worse, it brings the
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Expected publication: June 23rd 2021 by KJC Books
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Average rating 4.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  45 ratings  ·  40 reviews


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Eleanor
Feb 24, 2021 marked it as tbr-unreleased
If Phoebe and Maisie aren't endgame I'm going to be so bitter. ...more
Leslie
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 Not So Subtle Stars!

"So many things mattered about Kim. The way his deep brown eyes lit when he smiled, the intense concentration he brought to work or to bed. How he had made undrinkably weak tea for Will just once, watched him make his own with catlike attention, and got it spoon-dissolvingly perfect ever since. There were so many tiny wisping moments of trust and truth and vulnerability that had slowly become something real and solid between them, and Will didn't want it to slip
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Magpie Fearne
May 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Subtle Blood is the conclusion to the Will Darling series, a 1920s pulp adventure with spies, intrigue, secret societies, and one of the most electric pairings I've encountered in romance, and it's triumphant.

SB has everything that made this series a success and more: it starts with a murder (which is my fave way of starting books) and continues with a lot of action and twists and the general mayhem Will and Kim cause wherever they go. The plot is tight, the pacing ace, toffs get punched in the
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Melrose
May 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbt, historical, romance
Got the ARC this afternoon, downloaded the file, began reading and didn't stop till I got the last page. Unputdownable. A triumphant ending. Proper review to come. ...more
Bookshire Cat
May 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Will: "Do you know, I think I am a bit bored. Just a tiny adventure would be nice."
Kim: "Hold my wine..."

(Well, to be fair, this time it is not Kim's fault and I wanted to shout at him only once which, I think, is an all-time low in this trilogy.)

And dear lord, adventure it was! A thoroughly satisfying conclusion to the trilogy, masterfully plotted in the best KJ's style. I really enjoyed it and read the book in one day which is something I haven't managed to do during the past months.

Phoebe and
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Caz
Review to follow at AAR.
Tiziana Tabone
May 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Third&Last book in the Will Darling Adventure!

This was a... strange ride. Will&Kim deliver, in a different way. This is not about whatever they care for each other, after the previous 2 books, and the time between the last book and this one -some months pass-, it is clear they do.

It is about rebuilding, about how to look inside and outside, how to build oneself with and around other people. How to calibrate to get what you need and want within the conscript of the times.

It is about privilege, an
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Claudia
May 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What an outstanding ending for a marvellous trilogy!

I've loved these characters (all of them, not only Will and Kim) since the first book and, as I got to know them better, that love became deeper and deeper.

At the end of The Sugared Game Zodiac has been vanquished, Kim is unemployed and doing some amateur book-dealing, Phoebe and Maisie are on their way to Paris and success and Will is... happier, surely.

Yeah, right, because he truly wants his days filled with calm and calmly deal his bookstor
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Laura
Thank you to KJ Charles for providing a copy of her novel in exchange for an honest review.

The finale to The Will Darling Adventures is a book I have waited for with bated breath, and the moment it arrived in my inbox, I could have cried. I’ve been in a reading slump for a few months because I wanted to read this book — not a book similar to Subtle Blood, like a historical, or a romance, or even a crime novel, but actually Subtle Blood. And this book delivered in ways I couldn’t have even imagin
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Rachel
Jun 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
"You can't expect me to take your word for things when I could work myself into a frenzy about them instead. Where would that get us?"

I have been eagerly awaiting the third instalment of the Will Darling Adventures, and Subtle Blood absolutely exceeded anything I could have imagined. This was an action-packed book, with a tightly written plotline – as usual with KJC, no words are wasted and she weaves in hints and clues throughout. Her writing is clever, the dialogue fast-paced and witty, and my
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Ellie
May 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
OMG, I loved how the romance between Will and Kit developed here! It's just brilliant!

This is a great ending to a great series!

I absolutely loved the romantic aspect - following the ups and downs and Will and Kim's relationship, over 3 book has given me deep insight into it and love it. They are arguably my favourite KJ Charles' couple - opposites who complement each other perfectly and who learn how to be together through trial and error.

We see then build something genuine and long-lasting desp
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Sharade
May 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Review to come! a fantastic ending to the trilogy, KJ Charles always delivers. The snark and the tenderness, the breakneck pace of a mystery plot, absolutely unputdownable.
Helen Kord
Jun 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
TWs/CWs: murder, violence, death, WW1, mention of attempted sexual assault, familial abuse, gried, trauma in general

So. To put it simply, Subtle Blood is one of the best books that KJ Charles has ever written. Every word, every twisting twist of the plot, every interaction between its characters, it has been magnificent. If you’re reading this, you’re either already a fan who wants to know if Book Good, or someone who hasn’t read the trilogy yet and wants to know if Book Good. So, for the first
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UltraMeital
Beautiful, heartfelt and action packed. Really what more can you ask. I can't believe this is our goodbye from Will and Kim. I'm going to miss them! In this one we get more - a lot more - of Kim, his family and upbringing which definitely sheds light on the person he grew up to be. This whole book was seeing a different side of Kim. I was kind of surprised to see that in this book Kim is the one who is sure of his feelings towards Will, while Will needed to think and re-think the whole thing. He ...more
Gabi
Thank you to the author for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Wow, where to begin? Subtle Blood was one of my most anticipated releases of 2021. I think I bored all my friends and family stupid talking about my predictions and how excited I was. I found out I got approved for an ARC during my birthday weekend and it was honestly the best gift I could have asked for!

So, did it live up to the hype? Short answer: YES!

The first half of the book was so wonderful. After basically every
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Holly
Jun 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pride-month-2021
“I was on my own in a dusty bookshop and you turned up, and now it feels like I’ve got the whole world at my feet.”

What a wonderful conclusion to a brilliant trilogy! Subtle Blood is a charming book filled with intrigue, intimacy and excitement. K.J Charles writing is as captivating as always, and the plot chugs along at a fast pace, whilst still making room for tender moments between the men of the hour.

And what men they are. Kim Secretan is a beautiful bin fox and Will Darling an adorable fool
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Savvy
May 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
(I received an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.)

First of all, let me start by recommending to read the first two books in this series before starting this one. It might seem obvious, but you will miss out on a lot of fun, plot and details if you don’t. Second, I would also recommend you read both Proper English and Think of England by K.J. Charles, as these books introduce characters which will return in Subtle Blood.

As for the story itself. It might have a bit of a slow start, if you
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Iz
I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I don't know where to start. This book was everything I was hoping it would be, and then some.
"Slippery Creatures" and "The Sugared Game" were some of my favourite reads last year: I read them, I freaked out, I re-read them time and time again because they were absolutely stunning, masterfully constructed with a cast of characters I would die for. I was pretty sure I was going to love "Subtle Blood" with my whole heart (I have
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Eva Müller
Jun 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I had been very excited for the conclusion of the Will Darling Books and was not disappointed. The mystery is again great fun and kept me guessing for a long time. Not to mention, it offers a fun twist on the “sleuth investigates because a family member is under suspicion” trope (which I am usually not overly fond of), in that Kim doesn’t particularly care for his brother – or is fully convinced of his innocence – but him getting convicted for murder and executed would mean Kim would end up with ...more
Amanda Kendall
May 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This series has had everything: bad guys, ornate guns, romances, throwbacks to other books that leave you wanting tie-in novels to bridge.

This last book was everything you want the final book in a series to be. Action packed, full of soul-rending confessions of love, and a huge conspiracy to unpick. Plus, grizzly murder, poetry by Aleister Crowley of all people, and more of Will's big damned knife of sentimental value. Also, I really appreciated that we got more of our side characters - Daisy a
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Lee Colgin
Jun 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Five stars all the way.

Will and Kim's relationship has progressed to a point where they're working well together. Though there’s plenty of juicy tension in the book, there’s less conflict between Kim and Will and more shenanigans for them to traverse as they mature. There’s a really satisfying deepening of their bond, and lots of sweet understanding between them. I love seeing Kim's supportive side shining through, and Will's struggle to overcome previous damage all
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Stéphanie Amesse
Jun 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbt, uk, romance
This is the conclusion of the Will Darling Adventures, and in my opinion the best book of the trilogy. Readers who have loved the first two book will adore this one, and those - like me - who had some reservations about first two books will end up reconciled with the series. This is an extremely satisfying conclusion, packed with action and at times laugh-out-loud funny, which makes me want to restart reading at the first book. Highly recommended to all KJ Charles readers!
Justreadingit
May 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC copy. I have been a fan of KJ Charles and the Will Darling series is my favourite.

This book was so good that I just couldn’t put it down (as is with every KJ Charles books).

Subtle blood is full of adventure (red herrings, nobility, deceit, family).

The book also delves deeper into the relationship between the two protagonists and an insight into how their respective pasts shape their current relationship.

Excellent book! Definitely re reading.
Iúdín
Jun 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance
I am writing an honest review in return for an advanced read copy of Subtle Blood.

When this ARC arrived and I realised that I wouldn’t be able to read it for a few days because of deadlines, I came close to flipping tables. Because I have been bouncing up and down in anticipation since reading the first two books of the series.

First I will say, you absolutely must read Slippery Creatures and The Sugared Game first, or you’re shooting yourself in the foot. A lot Has Happened in the first two, an
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Ru
Jun 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This was a fantastic story, and a superb ending to the trilogy.

I adored the first 2 books, so went into this one with both high hopes and high expectations. Thankfully it met and surpassed them both!

What I really loved was how well the book continued on with the previous two, by showing growth and development on an individual and relationship level, whilst continuing to maintain the mixture of plotty tension and romantic strife that was a feature of the first two. There was, for example, a lot
...more
Stacey
Jun 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Berseker
May 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
So, I got the arc. Finished the book in two days (would have been one, but I was forced to go to work) and then reread it all over again. It’s a fast-paced gloriously fun romantic adventure (adventurous romance? Anyway) and the only problem I see is that it ends.

Guys. GUYS. I can’t wait for everyone to read this book. It’s an epically amazing reading, with the twists and surprises we love and so, so much growth for our beloved boys. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll just say we see both o
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Claudia
May 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I was given an ARC in exchange of a honest review.

I've been obsessed with Will Darling since book 1 and I've been dreading what Kim Secretan might do because he hasn't been the most reliable. But he's cleaned up his act and Subtle Blood starts with them getting a hang on domesticity, no more Bureau just two men trying to sell some books and get some love on the side or in the upper chambers when the Bookstore is closed. What could possibly go wrong? As it turns out: MANY THINGS. Kim
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Leni
Jun 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-enjoyed
First let me admit up front that I love K.J. Charles work. I was thrilled to get the chance to read this early as I had not wanted to read 2 until I knew 3 was out. The pairing of Will and Kim is a combustible one and in this one they are so right for each other that I found myself feeling quite sentimental. In fact, in this one I admit that I liked Kim more than Will but they ended up in the same spot at the end of the line. Be aware that this book has a really dark side to it and I understood ...more
Emma Rigby
May 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Finally Will and Kim are getting their HEA. Of course there's murder, violence and mayhem for them to get through first, but, frankly, they'd be bored if there wasn't.  I loved it. I read it  way too fast and stayed up way too late to finish it. 

Don't read this book unless you've read the first two instalments in the Will Darling Adventures (and if you haven't, go and read them right now!) This is the third act in the love story and you need the background to help you appreciate how hard they've
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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 http://kjcharleswriter.com.

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)
  • The Sugared Game (The Will Darling Adventures #2)

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