Illuminate the Shadows

Shatterproof Bond #2

by Isobel Starling

The thrilling, funny sequel to 'As You Wish'.

“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.”

This book is on:
  • 1 To Be Read list
  • 2 Read lists
Reviews:Helena Stone on The Way She Reads wrote:

Not too long ago I read As You Wish the wonderful and charming prequel to Illuminate the Shadows and thoroughly enjoyed the story. It was very hard not to fall hard and fast for Sam and Declan. So when I heard their story would be continued in a novel length adventure, I was over the moon.

Illuminate the Shadows did not disappoint. Sam and Declan are still as charming and as in love as they were in the first book. These two men are clearly made for each other and it was wonderful to read how much they care. The fact that they’re also incredibly hot together only added to the fun.

But, just like As You Wish, this story was more than ‘just’ two men falling for each other—hard. There’s a constant danger lurking in the background, and even Sam, who’s been up to his neck in the covert operations business for years, doesn’t always know exactly what’s going on. Poor Declan on the other hand is facing a crash course in the business of spying and the dark side connected to Sir James’s practices. Just as well our Scotsman has one or two surprises of his own up his sleeve, even if they are almost as big a shock to him as they are to others.

If you enjoy a story that doesn’t contain a boring paragraph, with two hot protagonists and as many heart-stopping as laugh-out-loud-funny moments— if you like to be swept up in a story you’ll want to finish in one sitting, you should pick this book up. Personally I’m looking forward to the next title, Return to Zero, coming early June.

Carra Saigh on Making it Happen wrote:

It’s fantastic having Sam and Declan finally together here. They feel so comfortable with each other, only to be tested when Declan is taken away. But everything they go through-especially Declan with his “interview” for A.L.L.-just shows how loyal and committed they’ve become to each other even in just a short period of time. If I had to choose a word that explains the theme of this installment of the series, I’d choose “devotion”.

Thanks to the A.L.L. interview and some other incidents, Declan is made to feel unsure about himself and about Sam, and he thinks he’s unable to protect and take care of Sam like Sam can do for him. But thanks to Sam’s dad (James)-the same man who is so thoroughly disappointed in Sam’s sexual orientation and that he’s in a relationship with Declan- we find Declan’s character growing and evolving after he gets to learn more about his new role with A.L.L.

To be honest, other than Declan’s tortuous interview-where we get to find out some interesting tidbits about Declan’s past that even he wasn’t aware of-there’s really not a lot of drama in this story. This one is more about getting more background and further cementing the bond between Declan and Sam…which is pretty darn successful since I can’t ever imagine the two of them not being together. There’s some hints of irregular things happening that involve the bartender across the street from the home they share, but we don’t get much information on that so I’m hoping this is setting the stage for upcoming entries in the series.

The sex is still blazingly hot (just wait until you get to the last scene…), and everything between Declan and Sam continues to deepen and pull you further in to their story. I plan on following them through every book because the author has me fully entranced with their romance, I’m just hoping we get to see more excitement and suspense as the series progresses.

4 stars for Illuminate the Shadows, recommended for M/M romance/suspense fans 18+ only due to adult language and explicit M/M sexual content (which is positively delicious!). My interest is also piqued to see what sort of interesting undergarments Sam comes up with next…you’ll see what I mean 😉


About the Author

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 is currently working on her seventeenth book.  The Shatterproof Bond series is an Amazon Gay Romance bestseller and is being translated into French with Juno Publications, German with Deadsoft Verlag, and Italian with Quixote Edizioni.  The series is also available as audiobooks, narrated by Gary Furlong.

“Fall Together” and “Sweet Thing” will be translated into French by Reines- Beaux Publishing.

Already in audio, narrated by Gomez Pugh, “Silken” is available in German, and will also come out in Italian, and French during 2018.


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