Child protégé Sam Aiken is the youngest student studying Linguistics at Oxford University. Frustratingly, being so young means Sam doesn’t get to enjoy student life in the same way the older students do.
He is obsessed with his studies and close to graduation, but when Sam’s elderly Master, Professor Alfred Moxley dies suddenly, Sam finds the replacement professor brought in to get him and his classmates through their last few months of study, to be more than a little distracting. Dr. Alexander Deveraux becomes Sam’s new obsession, and he wants to learn more from the young, brilliant, queer professor than just Linguistics!
Point of view:
3rd person. Entirely from Sam’s POV.
In all honestly, if I had read the content warning about this – I probably wouldn’t have read it. For whatever reason, when you open a book via Kindle, it automatically plops you at the beginning of the story (skipping the cover, title page, any author notes, TOC, etc.). So, until I finished and went back to look at something, I didn’t see the author’s note that the story is about an affair between a Professor & a 16yo student. (16 is legal age of consent in the UK.) Generally, that type of power imbalance with a young person doesn’t usually work for me.
That said, I’m glad I missed the warning. Because between Starling’s writing, Sam’s obvious maturity, Alex’s own younger age and initial misgivings, and the fact that the sex wasn’t overly explicit – this was a delightful novella. Sam is wonderfully cheery, adorkable, and I’m looking forward to following him in the Shatterproof Bond series. Starting with As You Wish.
Update: I’ve now had the benefit of listening to books 1-5 of the series. I would highly recommend reading this before experiencing certain other books in the series. It could be done without, but it’s so much better with.
Also, I didn’t have this in audio and I wish I had – because Gary Furlong’s narration of the rest of the series is amazing.
About the author:
Isobel loves writing M/M thrillers, mysteries, and historical books.
You can connect with Isobel Starling here:
My Favorite Quotes
When Associate Professor, Dr. Alexander Deveraux strode into the Ramsay Lecture Theatre at the University of Oxford, the air was sucked out of Samuel Aiken’s lungs, and he struggled to catch a breath. – Top Hat by @isobel_starling #ShatterproofBond #Novella #MM #Romance #StudentTeacherTweet