A warm welcome to Isobel Starling.
Thank you for visiting my blog and agreeing to tell us a little more about yourself.
The book that holds everlasting resonance…
“The Tawny Man” Trilogy by Robin Hobb, specifically book 3 “Fools Fate”. Hobb’s fantasy story covers 6 books about a bastard prince and his best friend who is the Kings Fool. Fool is an androgynous, mischievous, and completely compelling character and I fell madly in love with him.
The relationship that develops between Fitz and Fool tore my heart to shreds and in the final book the author just put the remnants of my shattered heart through the mincer! Why do we torture ourselves so with books? The story just blew me away and it was one of those books that affected me so deeply that I still tear up thinking about what happened. Suffice to say, my own writing journey began with that book as I was compelled to write Fitz and Fool Fanfic, and after that my own original stories flowed out.
The priority activity if you were invisible for a day…
OOOH this would be a bad, bad thing. It would probably involve male changing rooms at the swimming pool or gymnasium.
The film you can watch time and time again…
There are several and I can’t pick one, sorry! Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, Galaxy Quest, The Princess Bride, Austin Powers, Bram Stokers Dracula
The poem that touches your soul…
“As Sweet” by Wendy Cope
It’s all because were so alike
Twin souls we two
We smile at the expression, yes
And know it’s true
I told the shrink
He gave our love a different name
He can call it what he likes, it’s still the same
I long to see you, hear your voice
My narcissistic object choice.
The figure from history you would most like to buy a pie and a pint…
I don’t know if he qualifies as a figure from history but I would choose SirTerry Pratchett. He was a genius, and I’m sure he would have been the most delightful company for a pie and a pint – as long as the pie was not made by his character ‘Cut me own throat’ Dibbler, as they were made with mystery meat… probably rat!
The piece of wisdom you would pass onto a child…
Stop picking, you’ll make it worse.
The philosophy that underpins your life…
Please see above! :-p
As You Wish (Shatterproof Bond #1) is now available as an audiobook narrated by Gary Furlong
1 wedding, 2 best men, one hell of a love story!
Declan Ramsay was to be best man at his brother’s wedding in Scotland, sharing best man duties with the bride’s gay kid brother Sam. The best men wouldn’t meet for the first time until a few days before the wedding, so communicated by email for more than a year.
But on meeting Sam Aiken, Declan is surprised to see he isn’t a kid at all, but a striking, athletic blond man with a wicked sense of humor. Declan is alarmed by the ferocious attraction he feels for Sam. And as the attraction is reciprocated, the events at Dunloch Castle change everything Declan has ever believed about himself.
But is Sam Aiken all he appears to be?
I enjoyed reading this story and the subsequent two books last year. I was a little bemused with the direction this story went at the time, but I think knowing where the story, series, and characters were heading helped me appreciate the audiobook more. In fact, I listened and followed along with the ebook at the same time and was pleased that the story had received a subsequent edit at some point. Some of the vocabulary and other phrases had been modified, removed or improved. Not that there were many times overall, but enough to make an impression.
Sam and Declan are fun and steamy together, enjoying some light bondage once they start making out. The story is a sweet GFY, almost insta-love, but not quite because they’d already experienced a year long internet communication, so sort of knew each other. I was surprised they didn’t refer to these conversations more often. I liked Declan’s character. He’s bowled over by his attraction to Sam and the possibility of coming out as bi/GFY—he doesn’t even know himself—is all new to him and he copes with this new relationship admirably.
The route the story takes these characters was totally unexpected. Although there are a few clues along the way, the events and the revelations about Sam and his father in the last few chapters seemed rather obscure. For me, Sam’s character didn’t quite match up to his ‘career’.
I like Isobel’s writing and her engaging storytelling style. It’s easy to read and her descriptive phrases certainly paint a picture in my mind. I do have one major issue though and that’s with the frequent head-hopping that occurs because it pulls me out of the story. I had to go back and work out whose point of view the scene is being viewed from. It often occurs with Sam and Declan, but also with a few of the other characters. It’s especially confusing when it happens within the same paragraph.
Gary Furlong was a new narrator for me. It often takes me a time to adjust to a new voice, but his performance was commendable. I particularly enjoyed the intimate scenes. He made a clear distinction between Sam’s posh English accent and Declan’s Scottish brogue and he portrayed the other characters well, even the various female ones.
Born in Germany, 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.
The Shatterproof Bond series is an Amazon Gay Romance bestseller. Isobel has just completed her eleventh book and signed French and German and Italian, translation and publishing rights deals for the whole Shatterproof Bond series. The As You Wish translation “Comme Vous Voudrez” is a best seller on Amazon France. It was released in German in March 2017, and as an audiobook in May 2017.