MtSnow and Dana review the audiobook Illuminate the Shadows (Shatterproof Bond #2) by Isobel Starling (Self-published June 6, 2016, 238 pages. Released on audio June 13, 2017. 4hrs 56min length. Narrated by Gary Furlong) A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
To read the audiobook review of As You Wish (Shatterproof Bond #1) click here.
The thrilling, funny sequel to As You Wish.
“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.”
MtSnow – I loved As You Wish, and this series loosely based on The Princess Bride has only been getting better. Elements of James Bond and sexy times too! I had great fun listening to this one.
So, to start us off, the story basically begins 3 months after the wedding of Declan’s brother and Sam’s sister, and after Sam has disappeared to parts unknown, putting Declan into a deep depression. We get to see Declan dealing with many insecurities in having a younger lover who happens to be a super spy that is better able to take care of himself than Declan is, and that hurts.
Its hard to believe Sam’s father is such a piece of work. We barely got to see him other than as Declan’s boss and the father-in-law to his sister in the first book, but oh boy, are there deep layers here. Sam is still in a constant state of subconsciously trying to please his ‘dear dad’ and poor Declan gets caught in the crossfire. And people we thought of a certain way show different colors, whereas there is no way of knowing who to trust!! The Spy/MI-6 stuff going on in this book made it almost impossible for me to put down *darn day job!*
The narration in this story is perfection, as Gary Furlong does a VERY sexy British accent as well as a lovely, deep Scottish Brogue.. and the matter of fact way he speaks fits the pacing perfectly.. add those accents with the sexy times, and I almost fell in love with his voice!!
And sexy times are definitely prevalent in this series. We get to see each character learn more about their own preferences, role-playing, pleasing each other and just downright having fun in the bedroom. Their senses of humor make this story a fun romp that helps even out some of the seriously messed up stuff that happens, and what WILL happen. Great character development, and it only made me love Declan and Sam even more.
Do yourself a favor and go grab this series. Even better make sure you get the audios!! Now on to the next in the series. *smiles*
9.5/10 pots of gold equivalent to 95% recommended or 4.75 of 5 stars
The narration: Again, Gary Furlong did a wonderful job narrating. I love his multitude of accents. I definitely will listen to him again.
The story: After the ending of the first book, I immediately bought the audio for Illuminate the Shadows. I was intrigued by the twist regarding Sam’s career. This is book 2 and the series really should be read in order. There will be a spoiler or two if you haven’t read book one. So in order to make their relationship work, Declan needs to join the secret association that Sam and Sam’s father belong to. But first, they are trying to get in a few days of romance after Sam came back from a mission.
Their plans are ruined as Declan is kidnapped and “extreme vetted” by Sir James. The story changes perspectives often but I had no problem keeping up. At one point we get the point of view of Sam’s dad and I cannot express my dislike for him enough. He has an intense dislike for his son’s sexuality and he is ruthless and hard. Declan is just beginning his career with this secret group but I am crossing my fingers that he and Sam get out soon.
As Sir James lays out several dubious situations that Declan has been involved in without being aware that there were shady things going on, I began to feel very suspicious of this story. Like there are more secrets yet to be revealed that no one knows about. Unfortunately if there are secrets like that, they weren’t revealed in this book. Instead, I have a lot more questions. Was Declan ever part of something he can’t remember or is my imagination on high alert? Who is the mysterious “he” that Sam believes is dead? And is he really dead? Luckily, I know there are two more books in the series and I will be either reading them or listening to them when they make it to audio.
I am very intrigued by the story. I don’t feel like this book was as cutesy as the first one, though there is still some Wesley/Buttercup role playing. There is some progress in Sam and Declan’s relationship as they see how dating is while working together on covert operations. Declan also has to come out to his brother and explain his relationship with the brother of his brother’s wife. It’s not as confusing at it sounds. 😉 I did enjoy listening to this book, but part of me is impatient for some answers to my questions. I am looking forward to the next book. In the meantime, I definitely recommend this book and the series.
Born in Germany, Isobel Starling spent most of her twenty-year professional career making art in Ireland. She relocated to the UK and, faced with the dreaded artist’s creative block, Isobel started to write and found she loved writing more than making art.
The ‘Shatterproof Bond’ series is an Amazon Gay Romance bestseller. Isobel has just completed her eleventh book and signed French and German and Italian, translation and publishing rights deals for the whole Shatterproof Bond series. The ‘As You Wish’ translation “Comme Vous Voudrez” is a best seller on Amazon France. It was released in German in March 2017, and as an audiobook in May 2017.
Isobel’s greatest love is writing M/M relationships, and she hopes one day to actually finish the fantasy novel that she put ‘to rest’ three years ago.