After a series of terrorist attacks on fracking sites owned by a gas multinational named Drilsink, Sir James Aiken’s agency is bought in to find the radical eco-terrorist group responsible. He sends Sam and Declan to work undercover at Imperial College where Intel suggests the group are recruiting. While Sam works behind the scenes, Declan takes on the identity of geologist Dr. Tobias Hunter and soon makes an enemy of a fellow science geek – a man who Declan comes to despise more than Sir James Aiken!
When the operation moves from London to Munich and then Vienna, Sam, and Declan are thrown headlong into a spy scenario straight out of the thriller novels they love to read – but with a distinct and disturbing sexual twist! Sam meets an old friend and uncovers shocking information about James’ past.
With Erik Madsson still imprisoned inside the ALL HQ, James comes to realize that he should have listened to his son. Keeping the enemy inside his own home is about to be the biggest mistake he has ever made.
Point of view:
3rd person. Multiple perspectives, mostly Sam & Declan.
Powder Burns is the 5th 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, as such there may be spoilers to previous books in this review. Also of note, if you haven’t read/listened to the series prequel novella, Top Hat – I would highly recommend that before this book. It can be enjoyed without, but it brings further depth to parts of the story.
At over 10 hours this is the longest of the series – but the pacing is so well done that it didn’t drag out at all. I was enthralled and didn’t want to stop listening. I am so freaking excited about this book and this series – yet it’s so hard to share how absolutely brilliant it is without spoiling anything. So many things from previous books continue to thread throughout the series in ways that make me want to immediately listen again from the beginning. I also cannot express how wonderful the mystery/suspense/thriller aspect is. You could remove every single sex scene and still have a fantastic book.
Thankfully – no one did, because the now married Sam & Declan and their sexy shenanigans are HOT. Boy do they enjoy when their undercover selves meet each other. It’s a fun and interesting twist for the couple and for the listener.
Again, this is a complete story (actually, it’s almost two stories meshed into one longer one), yet Starling sets up the tease that Sam & Declan have more missions ahead of them. Now that I’m all caught up – I’ll eagerly be awaiting another addition to the series.
Gary Furlong continues a fabulous narration of the series. Not only does Starling add more characters in this book, but Sam & Declan have undercover personas as well. Furlong’s ability to seamlessly shift between real and pretend is amazing and brings a depth to the writing that I don’t think could be achieved through merely reading it myself. This writer/narrator team is perfection.
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
Declan sensed Sam’s presence a second before he felt the warm slender body slam against his chest in the dark. – Powder Burns by @isobel_starling #Audiobook narrated by @GaryFurlongVo #ShatterproofBond #MM #Romance #Spy #EspionageTweet
As midnight struck the scene erupted and swiftly became pure chaos. – Powder Burns by @isobel_starling #Audiobook narrated by @GaryFurlongVo #ShatterproofBond #MM #Romance #Spy #EspionageTweet
Life as an agent was not as glamorous as they made out in the movies! – Powder Burns by @isobel_starling #Audiobook narrated by @GaryFurlongVo #ShatterproofBond #MM #Romance #Spy #EspionageTweet
Does the amazing Samuel Aiken save the day because I need this mission to be over? I’m not sure how much more I can take. – Powder Burns by @isobel_starling #Audiobook narrated by @GaryFurlongVo #ShatterproofBond #MM #Romance #Spy #EspionageTweet
I licked him, so he’s mine! – Powder Burns by @isobel_starling #Audiobook narrated by @GaryFurlongVo #ShatterproofBond #MM #Romance #Spy #EspionageTweet
Being held captive was very, very boring – Powder Burns by @isobel_starling #Audiobook narrated by @GaryFurlongVo #ShatterproofBond #MM #Romance #Spy #EspionageTweet