The Sugared Game by K.J. Charles
The Will Darling Adventures #2
Historical LGBT Mystery Romance
August 26, 2020 Self Published
After getting to know Will Darling and Kim Secretan in the first book in this series, I was excited to get another chance to dive into another adventure with them.
The Sugared Game kicks off two months after the events of book one, Slippery Creatures. After finally seeing closure to the inheritance process Will is officially the new owner of a bookstore and has a little money in the bank. He’s even cleaned out a room for himself so he doesn’t have to sleep on a camp bed in the back of the store. He is getting his life in order and doing just fine, thank you very much. Who cares if his sometime lover Kim, also known as Lord Arthur Secretan, hasn’t contacted him since the beginning of the year?
When Kim does show back up, it’s to ask for help and get Will tangled up in another mystery. This time Will’s bestie Maisie might get caught up as well. Kim is still keeping secrets and Will knows he has ulterior motives, but the same sexual chemistry crackles between them and he can’t stop himself from getting involved.
This was another well-done mystery and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. There was some resolution to the main plot and I was glad that a few of the prominent players in Zodiac are finally getting their due. I also loved seeing Kim and Will argue and shoot barbs back and forth, then finally give in to the intense attraction between them. Their relationship moves forward in a positive way through honest communication. This bodes well for them in the next book. I like it when they work together and I’m hoping that since there aren’t any more secrets, we get to see a lot of that.
I’m very much looking forward to the third, and final, book in this series.
A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore
A League of Extraordinary Women #2
September 1, 2020 by Berkley
I really enjoyed the first book in this series and couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of the follow-up. This is Lucie’s story and she is paired with her childhood nemesis. A man who grew up spending quite a bit of time in her household due to the relationship between their mothers.
I liked both of these characters. Lucie is tough and single-minded and determined to see women not only get the right to vote but gain independence over their lives in all ways. She is cut off from her family due to her role in the suffrage movement but has a great group of friends to rely on. Lord Ballentine is a roguish, wicked player recently home from the war and trying to avoid his duties as the newly minted heir to his father’s estate after the untimely death of this brother. He and Lucie are polar opposites, but they work.
Their relationship takes what felt like forever to develop, but I didn’t mind because I would have never believed Lucie falling into bed and into love with Tristan too quickly. I enjoyed their romance.
A couple of things I didn’t like:
- The conflict that brings about a main confrontation and then ultimately brings this couple together is caused by a jealous cousin making an untrue statement about a tattoo ( we will get to that in a minute) and a villainous gay want-to-be love interest. And I can honestly tell you that I am sick of the evil gay villain stereotype in historical romance. It makes me angry every single time and I find it hard to enjoy reading after I get angry. So there’s that.
- The way the Hindu religion and Colonial India were talked about and discussed caused me to be taken aback, and I wonder how an own voices reviewer or reader will feel while reading. I was especially uneasy with how Tristan and his valet spoke to each other and with the explanations and descriptions of Tristan’s tattoo.
These two things dimmed my enjoyment toward the end, but I do like this author’s voice and look forward to the next book in the series.
Final grade- C-