Return to Zero (Shatterproof Bond #2) by Isobel Starling ~ Book Review by PizzyGirl

returntozeroTitle: Return to Zero (Shatterproof Bond #2)

Author: Isobel Starling

Publisher: Self Published

Cover Artist: Isobel Starling

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 06/06/2016

Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)

Genre: Bisexual, Contemporary, Gay Romance, Humor/Comedy, Mystery/Thriller


The thrilling sequel to “As You Wish” and “Illuminate the Shadows”.
Pulled into a world of secrets and lies for the man he loves, Declan Ramsay’s life has changed immeasurably in the eight months since meeting, and falling for his boss’s son, Sam Aiken. Declan journey of personal discovery is about to take a darker turn, and for Sam, the world becomes more treacherous than he could ever have imagined.
Two agents are missing — presumed dead, while on a reconnaissance mission at an outdoor adventure centre in the Scottish Highlands. Sir James Aiken sends his son and Declan to follow the trail, and discover the fate of the agents.
As the mission offers his first chance to use the skills he learned on the MI6 training course in Morocco, Declan is keen to get started. However, Sir James sees to it that the seeds of doubt and discord have been sewn between the couple, as they begin their mission.
The journey to their Highland location, and the discoveries they make when they reach the G’wan Adventures centre, prove that Sir James Aiken has been less than honest with his son. Events in the Highlands force Sam and Declan to face their greatest fears, and understand what they both really want from life — and from each other.

My View:

This series keeps getting more interesting. Book 2 picked up after the previous story and sees Sam and Declan fully involved in more of Sir James Aiken’s machinations. The series ARC was advanced nicely and there were times I was really worried about the outcome. The author did a great job stringing me along and building the A.L.L./Sir James/Declan mystery. I enjoyed the suspense and the action and loved seeing more of the inner workings of the spy agency and the effects it has had on those around the operatives. The author left me hanging again, but in a very good way.

I have to admit there were parts of this one that I had issues with. Declan’s PMS induced pity party/temper tantrum was very off putting and I lost a lot of respect for him in this story. I also lost respect for Sam because he never pushed for true resolution to the childlike behavior. It was just an awkward situation that felt fake and forced just to have some sort of relationship issue. To be honest, it was not needed at all.

I also felt like the story was rushed. Not as a whole, but there was so much happening that each element was not given enough page time to be fully realized and so I often felt like I missed details that were needed to understand the characters and their actions. However, some of that confusion was because, again, this is a to be continued and I am hopeful that more information will be forthcoming in the next installment.

While this particular story had its issues, it did contribute to the overall series in a way that has me still interested and eager to see what happens next. I have many more questions and I REALLY want to see Sam and Declan grow some balls and tell Sir James where to shove it.


Return to Zero (Shatterproof Bond #2) on Goodreads
Self Published
Amazon US
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I would like to thank the author for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

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