Blog Tour Stop including Excerpt, Reviews & Giveaway – Shatterproof Bond Series by Isobel Starling

Sam and Declan’s journeys are filled with thrilling emotion, laughter, intrigue, and angst.  Together they will fight and overcome anything that is thrown at them.

 

The Shatterproof Bond Series:

Book 1: As You Wish

Book 2: Illuminate the Shadows

Book 3: Return to Zero

Book 4: Counterblow

Book 5: Powder Burns

Publisher: Decent Fellows Press

Release date: Already released in print, ebook, and audiobook

Length (Print & Ebook/Audio):

Book 1: As You Wish, 45k words | 4 hours audio

Book 2: Illuminate the Shadows 55k words | 5 hours audio

Book 3: Return to Zero 70k words | 7 hours audio

Book 4: Counterblow 48k words | 4.5 hours audio

Book 5: Powder Burns 103k words | 10 hours audio

Subgenre: M/M Romance Thriller

Warnings: Mild BDSM

 

As You Wish (Book 1)

WINNER OF THE 2018 AUDIOBOOK REVIEWER AWARD FOR ROMANCE

1 wedding, 2 best men, one hell of a love story!

Declan Ramsay was set to be the best man at his brother’s wedding in Scotland, sharing best man duties with the bride’s gay kid brother Sam.  Sam was abroad finishing his studies so the best men communicated by email for more than a year and wouldn’t meet for the first time until a few days before the wedding.

But on meeting Sam Aiken, Declan is surprised to see he isn’t a kid at all, but a striking, athletic blond man with gorgeous green eyes and a wicked sense of humor.  Declan is alarmed by the ferocious attraction he feels for Sam. And as the attraction is reciprocated, the events at Dunloch Castle change everything Declan has ever believed about himself.

But is Sam Aiken all he appears to be?

Also available in paperback and as an award-winning audiobook, narrated by Gary Furlong.

 

Overall – 4 of 5 Stars
Performance – 5 of 5 Stars
Story – 3 of 5 Stars

This is a decent start to the series.  I thought Declan was demisexual (I’m not a fan of the term GFY) as he built a relationship with Sam via email for almost a year before meeting him which may have led to his physical attraction.  It would also explain why his quick hookups have failed.

This did not translate well to audio as there was NO transition in the dialog between characters and was hard to follow without seeing the text.  BUT the vocal performer is BRILLIANT, and I downloaded a couple of other books he performs just to listen to him some more!

As a huge fan of The Princess Bride, I loved all the quotes from that movie.  Declan and Sam have entertaining banter and the potential for a great romance but with the way the story takes a turn at the end, things are left undone.  I’m interested in how things go even though I’m not a fan of Sam’s dad so I’m in for the next book.

 

 

 

Illuminate the Shadows (Book 2)

A Scotsman and an Englishman fall in love…

After the most amazing week of his life, at Dunloch Castle on the banks of Loch Ness, in Scotland. The charming, mysterious Samuel Aiken has turned Declan Ramsay’s life upside down. Declan has experienced a remarkable change. He has come to terms with the fact he is bisexual, and he has fallen head-over-heels in love with his boss’s son Sam.

However, falling for his boss’s son was never going to be an easy path to happiness, mainly because the boss in question is multi-millionaire property tycoon and former MI5 operative, Sir James Aiken.

Sir James is repulsed by his son’s homosexuality, and so discovering that his employee Declan Ramsay- the man he installed to run his luxury property rental empire- is in a relationship with Sam, does not go down well.

The lovers cannot hide from the looming presence of Sir James Aiken for long! Soon enough James makes his move, and Declan finds out what he will have to endure to stay with Sam, and what he will have to give to feel worthy of Sam’s love.”

 

Overall – 4 of 5 Stars
Performance – 5 of 5 Stars
Story – 4 of 5 Stars

This book picks up right where book 1 left off therefore it is not a standalone.  Again, the POV changes mid-scene exist making the audiobook hard to follow at times.

So far both books have been quick reads/listens with not much happening and quite a bit of mystery – I guess to keep you coming back.  Declan is ‘initiated’ into the family business.  We learn a little more about both men in this one as their relationship develops.  I do love them together so much.

The ending was a bit abrupt so I’m assuming the next book will pick up right where this one left off.

I again love the narration – THE SCOTTISH BAROQUE (sigh) – I might download every book he performs just so I can to his voice!

 

 

 

Return to Zero (Book 3)

Life takes a darker turn for Sam and Declan…

Pulled into a world of secrets and lies for the man he loves, Declan Ramsay’s life has changed immeasurably in the eight months since meeting and falling for his boss’s son, Sam Aiken. Declan’s journey of personal discovery is about to take a darker turn, and for Sam, the world becomes more treacherous than he could ever have imagined.

Two agents are missing — presumed dead, while on a reconnaissance mission at an outdoor adventure center in the Scottish Highlands. Sir James Aiken sends his son and Declan to follow the trail, and discover the fate of the agents.

As the mission offers his first chance to use the skills he learned on the MI6 training course in Morocco, Declan is keen to get started. However, Sir James sees to it that the seeds of doubt and discord have been sewn between the couple, as they begin their mission.

The journey to their Highland location, and the discoveries they make when they reach the G’wan Adventures center, prove that Sir James Aiken has been less than honest with his son. Events in the Highlands force Sam and Declan to face their greatest fears and understand what they both really want from life — and from each other.

 

Overall – 4 of 5 Stars
Performance – 5 of 5 Stars
Story – 4 of 5 Stars

This book is a continuation of book 2 as I’m guessing the whole series will continue to be so none of them will be standalones.

This is my favorite so far and more of a mystery, albeit a little harder to follow with all the characters who are introduced throughout the story.  Some secrets revealed but as the story is woven and the couple digs deeper more secrets are discovered.

Sam and Declan finally get to work as a team, and they have a rough start as they find their rhythm.  When they do finally figure things out, they work well together.  And we finally find out what that blasted key unlocks…and I loved that so much.

I hate Sam’s dad and I know we need a recurring antagonist but he’s awful and I’d love to know what is going on with him.

My one complaint about the story is the same as previous books which is the mid-sentence, mid-paragraph POV switch without warning which is really hard to adjust to when listening to the book.

New in this audiobook is a perfectly delivered American accent among the others Mr. Furlong has brought us in his brilliant performance of this series.

 

 

 

Counterblow (Book 4)

True love comes at a cost…

After the devastating events in the Scottish Highlands, Sam and Declan have moved on to a new, deeper level in their romance.  Their commitment to each other is unquestionable; however, there are plenty of questions that need answering about other aspects of their lives, and those who sought to end them.

Sam is trying his best to deal with the day to day frustrations of his injuries.  He’s completely dependent on Declan for everything and hates the way the scales have tipped in their relationship.  Although he’s officially on leave, Sam’s mind cannot stop replaying all that happened to him and questioning why, and who is behind it all.

Declan’s relief at having Sam home throws him into house-husband mode. He’s happy to take the reins and care for his partner, however, beneath the surface Declan cannot help but be drawn back to how he felt in the Highlands, and how they were betrayed by a man who was supposed to have their back. Declan had promised Sir James Aiken that he would pay if he hurt Sam, and now Declan has to decide how he can deliver his payback and put his and Sam’s world back on an even keel.

 

Overall – 4 of 5 Stars
Performance – 5 of 5 Stars
Story – 4 of 5 Stars

And we’re off again. Sam’s recovering and Declan’s mothering. Surprisingly, James gave them time off to recover physically and emotionally.

The couple is awesome together privately and has a strong relationship, so they don’t dwell on miscommunication nor do their rows carry on for too long. Sam’s recovery is a bit trying but does make them closer. Declan’s idea to get Sam back in the fray unsettles Sam but it turns out to be exactly what he needed and was the perfect way for Sam to show his brilliance. (I do love hearing them refer to each other as husband.)

James needs to go…and I don’t care who gets rid of him.

Argh! This ends with another cliffhanger!

The vocal performance is perfection. His myriad of accents and voices are brilliant.

Powder Burns is not on audio yet which makes me a little sad because the vocal performance is spectacular. I can’t wait to see how it turns out though, so I’ll have to read it now and listen when it does get released on audio.

 

 

 

Powder Burns (Book 5)

One book, Two Missions, and a memory-key full of secrets!

After a series of terrorist attacks on fracking sites owned by a Gas multinational named Drilsink, Sir James Aiken’s agency is bought in to find the radical Eco-terrorist group responsible. He sends Sam and Declan to work undercover at Imperial College where Intel suggests the group is recruiting. While Sam works behind the scenes, Declan takes on the identity of Geologist Dr. Tobias Hunter and soon makes an enemy of a fellow science geek- a man who Declan comes to despise more than Sir James Aiken!

When the operation moves from London to Munich and then Vienna, Sam, and Declan are thrown headlong into a spy scenario straight out of the thriller novels they love to read—but with a distinct and disturbing sexual twist! Sam meets an old friend and uncovers shocking information about James’ past.

With Erik Madsson still imprisoned inside the A.L.L. HQ, James comes to realize that he should have listened to his son. Keeping the enemy inside his own home is about to be the biggest mistake he has ever made.

 

I’m still reading…check back soon!

 

 

Excerpt from Return to Zero (Shatterproof Bond #2)

“SAM!  Are ye home?”  Declan hollered as he opened the front door.  “Sam?”

“In here.”  Sam’s distant voice filtered from the spare bedroom.  Declan was in a buoyant mood, at last, after weeks of waiting, he’d received a call from his boss.  He sauntered confidently towards the bedroom and knocked once before walking in.

“Why d’ye no’ pick up?  I’ve called ye, like, six times already!  James wants us in fer a meet —” Declan stopped, and in the way, only Sam Aiken could do, the breath was stolen from his lungs.

Declan’s yoga mat was laid out in the center of the large bedroom floor, and upon it, a shamelessly nude Sam Aiken was facing the tall antique mirror that rested against the wall.  He was on his belly, his back bowed, and his palms pushing against the floor as his shoulders rose in the midst of the cobra pose.

Declan slumped to sit silently on the king-size bed and watch.  He stared, bug-eyed and slack-jawed at all of that flawless pale skin, wrapped around an athletic, slim frame.  Declan adored how pliant and supple Sam was.  He reveled in the sight of corded muscles moving beneath the taut surface of the younger man’s skin, like the workings of a well-honed machine.

Ignoring his voyeur, Sam pushed himself up from the cobra pose, so he sat back on his calves.  He closed his eyes and focused on his breath, and then, when he was ready, placed his palms flat on the mat, level with his knees.  Then, putting all of his weight on his hands, Sam drew his legs out to either side of his body, doing the splits, balancing solely on his hands.

Declan’s bearded jaw dropped open, and his heart skipped a beat at the impressive sight.  The mirror allowed Declan to observe Sam from many angles, and the view was exquisite.  He knew there was a reason he was home early, but, whatever the hell it was, it could wait.

Sam aligned his legs and bought them up above his head, so he was in a handstand position, and there he stayed for a minute, his breath shallow and barely audible.  There was not one tremble in any of Sam’s muscles.  It was awe-inspiring.  Sam was the very picture of oneness—strength, control, balance, and agility.  The lines of Sam’s form were sinuous and erotic, and there was no stopping the hot, hot hunger that made Declan’s whole being shudder with need.

Sam’s spine arched back and with incredible discipline, his body bowed slowly, until the soles of his feet were placed firmly on the yoga mat, and Sam was in the crab position.  He was trying so desperately to focus on his own breath and to remain centered, but Declan was breathing heavily through his nose, like a stag readying for the rut, and even though Sam could not actually see him, Declan’s presence always came with the prickle of otherworldly electricity.  It really was like they were magnetized.

The sound of heavy breathing was doing things to Sam’s body that he just could not control.  His heart beat faster, beads of sweat littered his brow and formed on his chest, and his pale cock reddened, filled and rose majestically, providing an extra spectacle for his handsome observer.  Sam arched his spine to its capacity and inched to his toes and fingertips.  He stayed like that, his muscles clenched tight and his cock standing straight as a flagpole awaiting its flag.  After a minute, he slowly unclenched his muscles and allowed his body to ease its way gently back to the mat.  Each movement still effortlessly controlled.

This naked yoga routine was on the list of the most erotic things that Declan had ever seen in his life.  And now that Sam was on his back, his eyes closed, with arms stretched above his head.  Declan decided that this was his opportunity to pounce.

 

About the Author

Isobel Starling spent most of her twenty-year professional career as a visual artist in Ireland.  She now writes full time and loves writing Thrillers, Comedy, Historical, and Fantasy.  In nearly six years she has written twenty books, released fourteen audiobooks, and has translations of most titles in French, German, and Italian.  The Shatterproof Bond series is a #1 bestseller in Germany.

“As You Wish” (Shatterproof Bond#1) narrated by Gary Furlong won the Audiobook Reviewer Award for Romance 2018.  It is the first M/M Romance audiobook to win a mainstream audiobook award.

Connect with Isobel:

Website: https://www.decentfellowspress.com

Newsletter: https://isobelstarling.wix.com/books

Instagram: @isobel_starling

Twitter: @isobel_starling and @decentfellows

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/isobel_starling

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Isobel-Starling/e/B00U1MKE5I

 

 

 

Giveaway

To celebrate the refresh of the Shatterproof Bond Series, Isobel Starling is giving away 2 complete e-sets of the series! Open internationally, must be 18 years old to win.

 

 

 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

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