The cogs in his brain were whirring back to life, and a rush of electricity had awoken his every cell.

Isobel Starling


Publisher’s Synopsis:
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.

Point of view:
3rd person. Multiple perspectives, mostly Sam & Declan.

Rellim’s Thoughts:
Counterblow is the 4th book in the Shatterproof Bonds series. All these books build off events from previous books, so you’ll want to listen to them all and in order.

Isobel Starling can build some serious tension. Not only an emotional wedge in Sam & Declan’s relationship – but there is some serious psychological thriller aspects going on. It was creepy, yet enthralling. Completely unpredictable. Plot twists. I loved it and listened to the whole thing in one day. (I mean, I basically binged the whole series in a little over a week, so…)

I continue to love Sam & Declan as a couple and as individuals. They are not perfect, but they are trying and definitely have each other’s best interests at heart even if they’re slightly misguided at times. Again Starling leaves me squirming to share things without the ability to because I hate giving away spoilers. Declan gets some serious revenge and it’s epic.

This is a complete story in some aspects, but does end on a bit of cliffhangery “there’s more to learn” element that I had to make myself stop and jot down my thoughts before jumping right in to Powder Burns.

Gary Furlong continues a fabulous narration of the series. He’s consistent with all the accents and personalities and switches between characters effortlessly. The interview that dominates about a 1/3 of the book is particularly creepy, in a good way. Furlong’s delivery works so well with Starling’s writing.

About the author:
Isobel loves writing M/M thrillers, mysteries, and historical books.

You can connect with Isobel Starling here:

About the narrator:
Throughout his life he has worn many a hat: He has worked as a teacher in Niigata, Japan; a puppeteer in Prague; an improv artist in Memphis, Tennessee, but made the leap to voiceover in 2015. Gary has narrated over 120 books spanning various genres.

You can connect with Gary Furlong here:

My Favorite Quotes

This was love, this wordless magnetic, healing connection.  – Counterblow by @isobel_starling #Audiobook narrated by @GaryFurlongVo #ShatterproofBond #MM #Romance #Spy #Espionage

He looked like shit and felt like shit, but his British sense of decorum made him automatically say “Fine,” to everyone.  – Counterblow by @isobel_starling #Audiobook narrated by @GaryFurlongVo #ShatterproofBond #MM #Romance #Spy #Espionage

Declan loved the electricity and tension that grew between him and Sam when dressing and undressing were involved.  – Counterblow by @isobel_starling #Audiobook narrated by @GaryFurlongVo #ShatterproofBond #MM #Romance #Spy #Espionage

the cogs in his brain were whirring back to life, and a rush of electricity had awoken his every cell.   – Counterblow by @isobel_starling #Audiobook narrated by @GaryFurlongVo #ShatterproofBond #MM #Romance #Spy #Espionage

“Ah Westley,” Declan said affectionately.  He leaned over and gave Sam a kiss on the brow “Ye know you do over think things sometimes.”   – Counterblow by @isobel_starling #Audiobook narrated by @GaryFurlongVo #ShatterproofBond #MM #Romance #Spy #Espionage

Published by rellimreads

Avid reader/listener who has finally decided to turn it all into a blog...

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