MtSnow and Dana review the audiobook Counterblow (Shatterproof Bond #4) by Isobel Starling (Published by Decent Fellows Press, May 26, 2017, 141 pages. Released on audio September 27, 2017. 4hrs 54min length. Narrated by Gary Furlong)
To read the audiobook review of As You Wish (Shatterproof Bond #1) click here.
To read the audiobook review of Illuminate the Shadows (Shatterproof Bond #2) click here.
To read the audiobook review of Return to Zero (Shatterproof Bond #3) click here.
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.
Buy links: Audible | Amazon || Add to GoodreadsMtSnow – After all the hype and energy from the previous story where Sam and Declan are basically both fighting for their lives, this book was much more low key, and almost a bit anticlimactic.
The biggest reason for this is that young Sam, who is basically a ‘super spy’ that deep down needs his father’s approval, has had the rug pulled out from underneath him and has to fight depression as well as his personal demons when he realizes, in a way, he has failed his father, Sir James. He also finds out that he isn’t a killer, which he thought he had been from an event with an enemy in his youth.
This book had a bit more psychological play going on and a switch in roles, and there were times I was holding my breath when I was afraid of the choices each of these guys were making by keeping secrets. Sir James DOES get a bit of what’s coming to him, but not quite enough in my mind.
I could definitely see a disaster waiting to happen, but as in previous books, the banter, sarcasm, and love these two share with each other had me smiling quite often. I will say though, I’m so ready for Sir James to get what is REALLY coming to him. Even though there was an attempt to make him seem a bit (very TINY bit) more human, I find it very hard not to completely loath the man and the hold he has over Sam.
This installment was not as heavy on the action, even though we got to see Sam pull some things from his bag of tricks, and we get to see Declan grow in confidence so that he is in a position to protect the man he loves. It still is worth a listen/read as it shows character growth and a bit more history.
Gary Furlong’s narration was once again tops. His brogue as well as his crisp British accent make me fall in love with listening to these stories. I am SO looking forward to more in this series and am so glad he is the narrator.
9/10 pots of gold equivalent to 90% recommended or 4.5 of 5 stars
The narration: I love Gary Furlong. Between this series and another he narrates he has risen to one of my favorite narrators. Very good at the accents I’ve heard him perform. He also puts the right emotion in each scene so I felt completely engaged in the story.
The story: At the end of book three Sam and Declan have moved further in their relationship. I have confidence at this point that their romance is strong and won’t be broken apart. There are some secrets the two are keeping from each other though, and it does worry me that they still have problems being open with each other.
This book is more of a transition book.Sam and Declan aren’t actively working after the events of the previous book. They don’t seem to be on quite the same page in regards to the future of their careers, but neither of them wants to work for Sam’s father anymore. James Aiken is not trustworthy. Sam has some healing to do, both physically and mentally, in this book.
Honestly, I love this couple and their support for each other. I love the narration. There is just not a lot happening in this book. I have a feeling that conflicts will come to a head in the next book. This book is something to pass the time by and see Sam and Declan get their ducks in a row. The low key plot has me rating this book lower than the previous books, but I am very excited and impatient for the next one.
8/10 Pots of Gold (80% Recommended) – Compares to 4/5 Stars
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.