Audiobook Month: Illuminate the Shadows (Shatterproof Bonds Book 2) by Isobel Starling Narrated by Gary Furlong

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Blurb: The thrilling, funny sequel to ‘As You Wish’.

A Scotsman and an Englishman fall in love…

After the most amazing week of Declan Ramsay’s life, at Dunloch Castle on the banks of Loch Ness, in Scotland. The charming, mysterious Samuel Aiken has turned Declan’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.

**The story continues in “Return to Zero” (Shatterproof Bond #2)** This second book will be released on 6th June 2016


The story gets 2 stars, Gary Furlong, the narrator pulls it up to 2.5.
This was clearly an intermission story, whilst we wait for book 3 and what I am guessing will be Declan and Sam going out on missions for ALL? Because all this story was, was a very long and weird interrogation scene bookended by sex scenes.

*** Be warned: there may be spoilers ahead***

This is the kind of story where you desperately need to shut off brain, suspend all beliefs and just go with the flow. Because none of this really makes sense and if you think too hard on it, you will be rolling your eyes all the way through…
Illuminate the Shadows picks up precisely where As you Wish left off, with Sam and Declan in bed together in the town house. Sam and Declan have been together for a week in Scotland at the wedding, then apart for 3 months (pining for one another) and then spent 2 days having a boink-fest in London. This is the entire extent of their “relationship”! This is the kind of insta love I have a very hard time getting onboard with, which obviously taints my reading experience of book 2 a great deal!
I didn’t like the “surprise” revelation at the end of book 1 that Sam was a secret agent, so I was a bit hesitant going into book 2, as it was obvious we would continue down that rabbit hole and sure enough. Declan is now recruited into Sam’s fathers agency.
There was a lot of things wrong with that – mainly the “accidental spy” set up that the author tried to sell me on Declan. That he had inadvertently foiled several attacks and never wised up to it. Also the Declan we are introduced to here does not seem to be the same Declan we met in book 1, which I found very confusing. The funny thing is, I would have loved that story! I would have loved the fumbling, bumbling accidental spy that ends up being picked up by an agency, because he constantly gets in the way, but that was unfortunately not this story.
This story is a bit of a jumbled mess. We spent the main part of the book in an interrogation room, where James (Sam’s father) and his people “interview” Declan and reveal stuff about his past. Nothing of the revealed screamed “great candidate for undercover military work” to me, but as I said, you need to shut off your brain and just accept what’s is going on…
After Declan has been “employed” we then get no more info on any of his training with ALL, which seemed odd. Basically this middle aged high end realtor is sent to an MI6 training camp, where he “wipes the floor” with the recruits there? Which seemed completely implausible and kind of strange, especially because we didn’t get to experience any of it.
I still have no idea what James’ agency do, I have the very odd feeling that Sam must be an incredibly untalented spy and I have no idea who Declan is, as his character was completely different in this book than in the first.

If you enjoy stories with very little plot, but a lot of action and sex scenes you will probably enjoy this story, but it didn’t work for me. I spent the main part of the audio book, saying: “WHAT? That makes no sense!” Out loud…

Things may become clearer when I get to book 3? I am not sure. But right now, I not exactly champing at the bit to get there…
Overall Impression: 2.5 out of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review



This entry was posted in 2.5 stars, Action/Adventure, adult - 18+, Angst Level, Anna, Audiobook, Audiobook Month, Author Provided, Book, Christmas, Contemporary, Established Couple, Gay, GFY/OFY, Heat Index, Holiday, Homophobia, Insta Love, Little to no angst, m/m, Mid level steam/heat, Monthly Theme, Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words), Part of a Series, Secret Identity, Valentine's Day. Bookmark the permalink.

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