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Slippery Creatures

Will Darling Adventures Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Cornell Collins
Series: The Will Darling Adventures, Book 1
Length: 7 hrs and 6 mins
Categories: Romance, Historical
4.6 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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Summary

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 secondhand 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, and nobody to turn to, until Kim Secretan - charming, cultured, oddly attractive - steps in to offer help. As Kim and Will try to find answers and outrun trouble, mutual desire grows along with the danger.  

And then Will discovers the truth about Kim. His identity, his past, his real intentions. Enraged and betrayed, Will never wants to see him again.  

But Will possesses knowledge that could cost thousands of lives. Enemies are closing in on him from all sides - and Kim is the only man who can help.  

Contains mature themes.

©2020 KJ Charles (P)2020 Tantor

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Sadly, rather tedious

I was disappointed with this audiobook on two levels. Firstly, the story plot was tedious and messy. Secondly, Cornell Collins narration was not up to par. His upper-crust accents were delightful as always, but Mr. Collins seems to be a one-trick pony when it comes to accents. The character of William Darling was from Northampton. For those who don't know, this is in the West Midlands, UK... close to Birmingham. The accent is a very particular kind of drawl, which as Mr. Collins didn't attempt. He should have stopped there and given a basic RP accent. However, the accent he did give Will was DREADFUL. Not only was it unattractive and incorrect - a cross between Yorkshire and West Country, but he also spoke VERY fast when narrating Will's lines, which made them sound garbled. I couldn't even change the narration speed on my device to make him audible, as it would slow the whole production. All in all, I just could not take to Will as a character. He made little sense to me and his actions and reactions bugged me. The plot was so drawn out, centering around a book shop and the consistent visits from ruffians and the War office looking for 'THE INFORMATION'. I got bored very quickly but persevered for the love interest, but sadly, even that couldn't detract from the rest of the book. Shame. I really hoped this would be as good as Simon Feximal or the Green Men books.

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  • Cranky Reader
  • 24-07-20

good yarn

The timing of a book that doesn’t glorify war is spot on. I was expecting a romance with some action. This is mostly a mystery. A broke world war 1 veteran, Will, inherits a bookstore and a pile of trouble via a wayward package. Hijinks ensue. The least bad person coming after the package is Kim, who comes from money. Normally I don’t root much for characters who are stubborn just to be stubborn, but I was fully rooting for Will & his stubbornness the whole time because he wasn’t wrong to be so stubborn. I only wish he was more stubborn about carrying his knife. Kim was a chaos generator and kind of irritating. This might be because the story has a single POV from Will, or it might be because Kim’s a secretive guy with trust issues who never really worked with Will, only adjacent to him. I was unable to tell if they were working together by the end. I would have enjoyed it more if I could have. I think the mystery was pretty good. Clues and action came along often enough to keep the plot moving, the stakes make sense, and the conclusion was satisfying. But the romance barely reaches infancy by the end of the book because Kim is a secretive loner whose motives are murky to both Will and the reader. Having just re-read the Magpie series, again, where the romance is solid by the end of book 1, I was a little thrown here. I’m not sure if it’s entirely fair to be disappointed in the romance because I can’t tell if it’s a matter of false expectation on my part. Kim & Will spend this whole book working independently, hoarding secrets from each other, then playing catch up. Sometimes this makes sense. Sometimes it’s annoying. We mostly know they’re “good people at heart” because their friends think so, but their friends are few and rarely in scenes. While I don’t think the guys will sell each other out, they are a long way from being a couple that collaborates. I need see Kim & Will deliberately work together more before I will believe that they’ll have a reliable future. I like the author so if this is a series, I’ll keep reading despite finding the romance more frustrating than not. Steam: Med Low. There’s some M/M shenanigans on page but less than average. There isn’t a great deal of emotional intimacy either, which makes what is there a little flat. Narration: I remain a fan of this narrator’s work. It’s easy to follow. I think there’s a slight hiss to the background.

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  • Michael Howatt
  • 26-09-20

Good fun

I enjoyed this story and the characters. That much I expect from KJ Charles. This is the first book I've heard read by Mr. Collins, and I won't hesitate on the next book I come across read by him. As to the story, no it wasn't original--never mind following remarks about originality and Homer, or his sources, or the people those sources plagiarized. But just because it wasn't really original it was put together quite well and it pulled me along very nicely. I certainly didn't know what was going to happen next at every turn. The story had a Holmesian flavor, or even an old British movie, the kind I remember growing comfortable with in my younger years. I wonder what I'd have thought of the more colorful scenes back then. So thanks very much KJ Charles. I've read your books before and will certainly will continue to do so.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-08-20

kj charles delivers yet again

I bought this in text when it came out and I'm so pleased to have it in audio now as well. KJ Charles is an author I trust implicitly, and you can always count on Cornell Collins to knock it out of the park. 10/10, looking forward to the next one and further exploring (and hopefully mending) the relationship between the main characters. (mostly looking forward to those nice background sapphics 👌)

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  • Boo
  • 22-07-20

Another winner for KJ Charles

Super story with superb narration! You can’t lose when you choose this author/narration combo.