Shatterproof Bond series by Isobel Starling
- As You Wish (#1)
- Illuminate the Shadows (# 2)
- Return to Zero (#3)
- Counterblow (#4)
- Powder Burns (#5) *COMING SOON!*
Series: Shatterproof Bond
Genre: M/M Romance Thriller
As You Wish:
Illuminate the Shadows:
Return to Zero:
Synopsis for Shatterproof Bond:
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 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.
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.
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 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 centre 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 centre, 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.
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.
Excerpt from “As You Wish” (#1):
Declan’s head shot around to see Sam standing by the Gothic windows at the far end of his room. He was wearing just a gray T-shirt and jockey shorts that looked like Denim hotpants. Damn! Declan’s heart stuttered at the sight.
“How the hell did you get in here?” Declan exclaimed in disbelief, his heart now thudding in his chest with shock. He hadn’t heard his bedroom door open, in fact, he was sure the door was locked.
“Magic. You must know all fairies have magic!” Sam replied playfully. Declan’s stress dissolved, and a glorious boyish smile brought his face to life, Sam was infectious,
“There’s a hidden panel, a doorway between the rooms… for the Laird and Lady’s conjugal visits, I expect. The button is here, in the dado rail,” Sam explained.
Declan stood and his gaze locked on the blond man… on the underwear, he wore that looked like Denim. Jesus! Declan was overcome by the roar of desire in his veins. The air in the room seemed to crackle with electricity. Declan’s body took no time in responding to the sight of those long, tanned legs. He hesitated for a beat of his heart and then prowled across the room to meet Sam head-on. Without a word, Declan’s hands were on Sam’s shoulder and Sam was pushed near violently to the wall. Declan moved closer in a stride and crushed his body to Sam’s. He rested his brow on the younger man’s brow and paused, his chest rising and falling with heaving shallow breaths. Their mouths were only an inch apart, their hot, mint-scented exhalations mingling.
“What are ye doin’ te me?” Declan demanded in a pained small voice, laced with confusion. His brain was telling him he wasn’t into men, but his body was screaming with desire… for a man, this man.
“What do you want me to do?” Sam countered, not allowing Declan’s gaze to move from his own.
The intensity of that stare, the intimacy… it was all making the shell that Declan believed to be his only refuge, crack.
Excerpt from “Illuminate the Shadows” (#2):
“This is important te me. Sam and I are a couple, and we wanted to share our happiness with you and Belle, just as you shared yours wi’ us.” Declan glared at Ollie who now wouldn’t even look him in the eye. The silence was palpable, and the more Declan looked at his brother, the more he began to pity him. After several minutes Oliver couldn’t hold his pinched, scowling expression any more.
“It wasnea supposed te be like this,” He burst out suddenly, sounding like a whiny brat. “You were supposed te meet a nice lassie, and we’d have son’s and take them te football, and hiking an’ fishing. Normal stuff, ye know.”
Declan winced at the outburst. Normal stuff… bollox te that!
“Oliver, that’s not me. That was never me. And as fer meetin’ a lassie, I’ve tried, a lot. I tried for so many years te be like the other lads, but I hated the man I became. I was goin’ through the motions, and it made me so fuckin’ unhappy.” Declan ran his hands over his bearded face and into his hair. Oliver was silent and taciturn. Declan decided to try another strategy.
“When you wake up in the morning wi’ Belle sleeping beside ye. How’d ye feel?”
Oliver’s glance darted to meet Declan’s. “Why?”
“Just say, fer fucks sake”
“I guess I feel… peaceful, contented, I suppose. She looks beautiful, like a fairy princess, or sum’ thin’,” He admitted candidly.
“And you know ye love her, fer certain?”
“Aye, from the moment I laid eyes on her at that Aikens corporate party.”
“Well, since when do straight people have first dibs on happiness? Eh?” Declan challenged. “I’m attracted te women, and I’m attracted te men, but I have never woken up beside anyone feelin’ anything, but discomfort, like I was in the… wrong place. I felt sick, I felt like a liar. Every. Time. And it ate away at me. It’s no’ fair te me, and it’s no’ fair te the women I was foolin,’” Declan took a breath to organize his thoughts.
“But Sam… Sam is different. Jesus, if I could only put into words how he makes me feel.” Declan felt the tears crowd his eyes. Talking about his feelings had always been difficult. He’d been the stereotypical emotional cripple before Sam, but this time words flowed unbidden.
“I know who I am when I’m wi’ him. When I wake up in his arms, I’m so at peace I don’t wantae get out of bed. He makes me laugh until I cry. He always cares for me, no matter that I’m a maudlin, moody control freak. I look at him, and fer the first time in my life, I’m home.” Declan paused to catch a breath “If you truly think our love is wrong… well… tough shite. This is my life, and he is who I choose to live it wi’. If ye cannae be happy fer us, I just feel sorry fer ye.” The words felt clumsy and poorly constructed, but he needed to say them, and he hoped his brother would hear and accept them.
Sam and Annabelle stood in the open doorway, listening to their partners talk. Belle’s hand was absently rubbing her brother’s back for comfort as Declan explained how he felt for Sam.
“I’m so happy for you.” She said, “I can’t believe we’ve hooked brothers.” She drew Sam into a hug and when they parted Declan was standing at the door.
“Can I have a go?” he asked with a wry smirk on his face. Sam gripped the front of Declan’s shirt and pulled him into an embrace. The downstairs door slammed.”
Excerpt from “Return to Zero” (#3):
“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 brought 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.
Excerpt from “Counterblow” (#4):
In a deep, sexy Scottish drawl Declan said: “Open up fer me.” Sam’s lips parted in anticipation, and Declan leaned in and drew Sam’s plump lower lip between his own and sucked.
The rasp of beard against his soft skin made Sam’s whole body shudder with need. And as Declan’s tongue pushed into Sam’s mouth, his slick fingers teased, circled, and then after several minutes pushed into Sam’s asshole. Sam’s body erupted with desire, and for a moment he forgot all about his injuries, focusing instead on that hot, wet tongue probing his mouth and the thick, long, fingers in his ass, mirroring the darting, swirling movements of Declan’s tongue. Sam whimpered with the headiness of the throbbing sensation in his groin and was hard in an instant. His awkward left hand grabbed for his shaft and began slow languorous strokes to match the rhythm of finger and tongue. Sam could feel Declan’s cock swelling as he rocked it lazily against his hip. Declan moaned into Sam’s mouth, and it was one of those filthy wanton sounds that made Sam’s heart cartwheel in his chest. They kept the rocking, probing rhythm up for several minutes before Declan pulled his fingers out and reached for a love egg.
This particular make of love egg had been specially designed for men. It had an extra long cord attached that was to be wrapped around cock and balls acting like a cock binding, and then the egg could be slipped inside and not disappear further into the body.
“It feels like nothing's there,” Sam exclaimed, sounding a little disappointed when Declan pushed the love egg up his ass. In his clean hand Declan held the remote control. The settings were one to five for the intensity of vibration. He sat back on his heels; fixed Sam’s gaze, and then pressed the ‘on’ button.
Sam's hips shot up, and his cock stood to attention. “Fuuuhhhhhk,” the sound came out in a strangled exhalation of breath. His head dropped back onto the pillow as if his neck bones had turned to jelly and his expression was fixed in a near cross-eyed, slack-jawed embodiment of pleasure. Declan turned the device off, but Sam could still feel his prostate fizz and throb delightfully.
“Jeeeesus, that’s so—fucking—intense.” He could hardly form the words. ”What setting’s it on?”
“Umm… Five.” Declan chuckled guiltily.
“You bastard,” Sam hit out, striking Declan’s chest with a slap. “Are you trying to give me a fucking heart attack?” He scolded. The sensations in Sam’s groin and balls made his cock ooze a dribble of sweet, clear pre-cum and on seeing it Declan leaned down to lick it up. The action stopped Sam’s brain in its tracks, and he forgot why he was whingeing. He held Declan’s head on his dick “Yeah. That’s it, take it all the way down.” he moaned. Declan did as he was told and opened his throat to accommodate Sam’s slender shaft for long, deep sucks. Then Sam grabbed a handful of Declan’s unkempt hair and dragged Declan’s mouth off him. Declan’s eyes sparkled wickedly and he panted breathlessly. His parted lips were wet, pink, and engorged.
“Turn around. Yo quiero comer tu culo”, Sam commanded.
It was a tone that Declan hadn’t heard in quite a few months, and the sound of Sam speaking Spanish made a dart of lust flare. Bemused, he did as he was told and presented his ass. Sam’s one good hand roamed over the tautly muscled cheeks, and then he leaned in and sank his teeth into Declan’s flesh.
“Aggghfjkj” Declan roared. “Yer no’ supposed te take it that literally,” He complained.
“The interpretation is for me to decide, loverboy,” Sam said, and then kissed over the bite. He continued kissing until his face was buried between Declan’s musky cheeks.
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.
Isobel now writes full time, and loves writing Thrillers, Comedy, and Fantasy. In nearly six years she has written nineteen books, released twelve audiobooks and has translations of most titles in French, German and Italian."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.
Twitter: and @decentfellows
Win a Shatterproof Bond Art Zine. This limited edition glossy zine features artwork of the main characters, Sam and Declan, by a host of artists the author commissioned, and art by the author herself: