Subtle Blood (The Will Darling Adventures #3) by K.J. Charles

“…What would I do with a better man? He wouldn’t like it, and I’d get bored.” “Christ, I adore you.” “Good,” Will said. “You’re not bad yourself.”

I can’t believe I’m already at the end of Will Darling and Kim Secretan’s adventures! This trilogy was such an unexpected delight for me. I stumbled upon it randomly and read all three books back-to-back. They totally swept me away, both with the romance and the mystery/danger. It was a wild ride with a lot of ups and downs but it was so much fun to read, I wish it didn’t have to end! 

When we pick up with Will Darling at the start of this book, things are looking up. He’s healed up nicely from the injuries sustained in The Sugared Game. His used bookshop is thriving and his relationship with ex-spy and disgraced aristocrat, Kim Secretan, seems to be on solid ground. Kim made an oath to stop with the lies and Will can tell he’s really trying to turn a new leaf. Life is good. That is until a man is murdered at a local gentleman’s club and they’re both dragged right back into the shady world of criminal organizations, lies, and the effects of unchecked power. Worse than that, though, they find themselves up against Kim’s awful family – who have all but disowned Kim and who treat people like Will as if they’re the dirt on the bottom of their shoes. Will and Kim have overcome a lot in their time together but this just may be the biggest fight of their lives.

“You send me out of my mind,” Will whispered. “You know that, right?” 

“I lost mine to you a long time ago.” He brushed a thumb over Will’s cheek, unbearably tender.

The exciting and dangerous storylines have been top-notch all throughout the series and the latest mystery to darken their door is no exception. I love how it’s been a new threat each time but they’re also all tied together by a common thread. I won’t say what it is, but if you’ve read the first two books then I think you’ll know what I mean. I thought that the threat in the last book made things personal for Kim but the threat in this book made things extremely personal for our dear Kim. We’d heard about his family in prior books and knew they were pretty awful but to see their cruelty and awfulness up close was next level. God, they were the worst. My heart went out to Kim but I admired his resilience in the face of their evilness. I think having Will at his side had a lot to do with it, both men really did well at bolstering the other. I loved that aspect of their relationship.

“People say I love you to madness, but I love you to sanity, because loving you is the sanest thing I have ever done.”

If you were here for the romance, I think this book will make your heart very happy. At the start of this one, Will and Kim are as solid together as they’ve been throughout the whole series which leads to discussions of what a future might look like. This resulted in some really heartfelt moments but also brought certain fears to light. Will had always been such a pillar of strength so to see him freaking out a bit over planning for a future was really endearing. I already loved the guy but this just added another dimension to an already well-rounded character. It also allowed us to get a bit of a role reversal having Kim be the supportive one and helping Will through his issues. I just adored them together and seeing their bond strengthen and grow so much had me swooning and made my heart so very happy. It also made my heart happy to see Phoebe and Maisie again and see what those ladies were up to with their new adventures in Paris! 

I feel like my reviews don’t really do these stories justice. The writing was just so good. K.J. Charles has the ability to get you on the edge of your seat with the suspense, have you laughing at the witty banter, and leave you in a puddle of swoon with the romance. It really was the full package. I’m going to miss Will and Kim but I’m excited to check out some of her other books because I fell in love with her writing style as much as I fell in love with these amazing characters! 

“And you are exactly the man I want you to be. You always have been. The last knight.” 

“In tarnished armour?” 

“I don’t think shining armour would suit either of us. I’m pretty tarnished myself.”

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