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Counterblow

Shatterproof Bond, Book 4
Narrated by: Gary Furlong
Series: Shatterproof Bond, Book 4
Length: 4 hrs and 54 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (41 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2017 Isobel Starling (P)2017 Isobel Starling

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Wow, love the series

I enjoyed this latest installment! Sam and Declan's relationship has grown, but here, the dynamic has changed - Sam is the one who needs help after he gets injured. The love and care that the men have for each other helps to balance out the darker themes from the villains, especially Sam's father.
As always, Gary Furlong is the voice for this series and I love his character portrayals (Declan sounds dreamy!) and the hot times between Declan and Sam are steamy! The narrative portions are good too.
This is a well written romantic thriller. I am so looking forward to the next one!
Definitely a series worth investing in!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

very good

i enjoyed this one.. good narration.. good characters.. good storyline. very interesting and action packed.. it was good writing and good narrating team. i enjoyed this whole series.

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" We face each other as God intended. Sportsmanlike. No tricks, no weapons, skill against skill alone...

"...-You mean, you'll put down your rock and I'll put down my sword, and we'll try and kill each other like civilized people? "

Counterblow book 4 in the extraordinary , highly original and memorable Shatterproof Bond series by Isobel Starling is set 5 months or so after the ending of book 3 .

"-Buttercup: you can't hurt me. Westley and I are joined by the bonds of love. And you cannot track that, not with a thousand bloodhounds, and you cannot break it, not with a thousand swords. And when I say you are a coward it is only because you are one of the slimiest weaklings ever to walk the Earth! "

Declan and Sam are now married - marriage happened off page. However, Ms. Starling gives us plenty of anecdotes and vignettes of how all went.

"-Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam... And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva... So tweasure your wuv.
- Skip to the end! . "

And best of all, we even witness Wesley and Buttercup renewing their wedding wows, privately, to each other , in one of the sexiest, hottest and dirtiest ways, I had the pleasure of listening in an audiobook.

"It comes to this. I love Westley. I always have. I know now, I always will. "

The main plotline arc of the series continues strong , unexpected and intriguing . Secondary plotlines and new characters are fascinating , thrilling, plot-driven and character driven.

Gary Furlong keeps dazzling me with his brilliant and mesmerizing narration and masterful performance.

This talented author continues to spellbind and entertain me with her offbeat ,adventurous and
concise writing style; perfect comedic timing and bold imagination and creativity

Shatterproof Bond has become one of my top favorite book series. A series to be re-listen again and again.

"-Inconceivable!
-You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. "

I can't recommend enough this book series. If you are ready for some rollercoaster, action adventure, humorous , sexy and romantic tale ; these books are for you.

Can't wait for the release of book 5 .

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Are you ready for shock and awe

This book had so many turns and twist that the person is not ready for what is happening or what may happen. This brings the characters to do many brinks of both life and death, anger and happiness , rage and hatred and finally near death and capture of an enemy who wants to destroy all. But at the same time Sam is able to get some revenge on this person who wants to kill him and Delcan is able to strike a blow and defeat his lover and husband father to show he would stand up again anyone to protect Sam.

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"True Love Is The Best Thing in the World"

I just finished book 4 this morning and I am about to restart it. In book 4 you find a different Sam and Declan. Sam is not as confident as he has been in other books because of his current physical issues and Declan is more confident than he ever has been. It was nice to see Sam lean on Declan and that Declan thrived in caring for Sam. Also their relationship does seem to have reached that Shatterproof Bond status. What was great about this story was seeing Declan step up to get Sam what he needs but not necessarily what he wants. It enabled the author to show us the brilliance of Sam when he is not hindered by the insecurities instilled by his father. This book has remained hot through out the series and this is now one of my all time favorite couples. I love my Wesley and Buttercup and cannot wait for the next installment. The writing and narration of this series has been fabulous. Highly recommend.

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Review of books 2-4

I'm reviewing books 2-4, Illuminate the Shadows, Return to Zero, and Counterblow, altogether because I listened to the audio books back to back and it's a continuing story. I read the ebook for book 1 a while back and was looking forward to continuing this story when I was presented with the opportunity to listen to the audio books. The approximately 12 hours of revisiting with Declan and Sam was so worth it. I already loved Sam and Declan's love story, but Gary Furlong really brought the characters to life for me. The voices he used for each character was perfect and he captured the emotions of every scene perfectly. Isobel Starling created this terrific world of secrets, espionage and mystery and plopped a beautiful romance down in the middle of it. Declan gives up an takes on a new life in order to build a life with Sam. I can't say much about the story without adding spoilers so I'll just say these are a must read and I can't wait to see where the story heads to next.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic Episode! Furlong is Amazing!

Picking up where Return to Zero left off, Sam is recovering from injuries sustained by his nemesis, and Declan, wonderful, supportive partner that he is, is also working to expand his skill set. Bonus: the interesting collection of side characters continues to grow as the plot thickens.

I’m a sucker for established couple romances, and the further we get into this series the sweeter and more compelling Sam and Declan’s relationship becomes. (That scene where they're repeating their vows is stunning). I’m also loving the way Isobel Starling is building the tension in the plot, the scene with Sam interviewing Madsson is spectacular.

While the Shatterproof Bond series itself is fantastic, I must give credit to narrator Gary Furlong. Every aspect of this story, between the increasing intimacy between Sam and Declan as well as the mounting intensity of the mystery, is enhanced by Mr. Furlong’s stunning performance. His talent for accents and voices continues to amaze me.

It’s been a little more than a year since the release of the audiobook edition Counterblow. Fingers crossed Ms. Starling plans to issue the rest of the series in audio as well… I’m just not sure I can wait to find out what happens in Powder Burns!


an audiobook copy of Counterblow was provided by the author for the purpose of my review

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Five Stars

I was provided a copy of this recording for review.

*Slight spoiler alert*

This is the fourth installment of the Shatterproof bonds series. At this stage our two heros are back home and working to move forward from the events of their highland adventure. As per usual nothing can be done the easy way and it takes all Sam and Declan's skill to find a way to get the answers they seek.

What I really liked was how the author kept the listener on their toes by dangling ideas that could go in multiple directions before ultimately resolving the scene in a way that enriched the story. Whereas in the previous books there was some dialogue that made me snicker and say 'that sounds resiculous', it felt like there was more attention paid to the word choices in this story. The quality of showing emotion continued to be high quality.

The narration was well done with tone and tempo that kept me wanting to tune in. This was my favorite of the series to date.

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Excellent continuation for Sam and Declan!!

I have just completely loved this series of four books in audio format! Gary Furlong is an excellent narrator, his accents and different voices and flow of his voice is just perfect for this series.

Declan and Sam are completely committed to each other, and I have really loved their journey together. This book picks up after their horrible experience while undercover. There is a small jump in time and I kinda wish we had gotten to read about some things that happened rather than be told about it.

This one doesn’t exactly end on a cliffhanger, but there are plenty of unanswered questions. Who really is after Sam’s father and using Madsen, how will Sam and Declan get out of ALL with their lives and relationship in tact? The author is still planning on a 5th book in this series and I can’t wait for it!

Read this series in order and I would recommend audiobooks, Gary really is a superb narrator for this series

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Go Declan!! (Read The Book You Will Understand)

This is the fourth book in The Shatterproof Bond Series. What an captivating book the writing was great. The characters were well developed and thought out. The plot was riveting and it was steady throughout the book. I found the story and characters intriguing. Sam and Declan are the MC’s of this book and at this point a commit relationship. There was humor, intrigue, agents, secrets, husbands, mystery, lies and so much more in this book. I can highly recommend this book and the series. I voluntarily read an advance copy of this book for an honest review.

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  • Lo
  • 10-27-17

Another Great Book to this addictive Series

Counterblow is the fourth book in the ever brilliant Shatterproof Bond series, in this book we see how Sam is dealing with things after the events that took place in Return to Zero.

It was great seeing Sam and Declan's roles reversed, with Declan taking care of Sam the best that he can. It just showed how deep their feelings for each other are and how evolved their relationship has become.

As usual Gary Furlong did a great job narrating this book, he is fast becoming one of my favourite narrators.


“I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.”

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jackie Thorogood
  • 10-11-17

Wow Just Wow. Utterly drained. Very entertaining listening

Once again we meet Sam and Declan. Sam becomes broken due to his injuries, I loved how the dynamics change in this book. Can Sam change? Overcome his injuries.
Will the two become settle more in their relationship. I love this Series so very written and thoughtful work out Isobel Starling has given us a fantastic series.
Gary Furlong once again was absolutely brilliant with reading this book. I enjoy his take on the whole series. Will there be more?.
This book was to me so emotional. Very entertaining listening. Highly recommend

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Helen
  • Helen
  • 08-09-19

good book

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.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-31-19

as good as the ebook

The story is always 4 or 5 stars, because if I wouldn't like the story as ebook, I wouldn't listen to the audiobook.

The performance from the narrator is also very important for me. I can't listen to a lot, because my English as a non-native-speaker isn't so perfect to follow a whole story over hours, when the narrator speaks too fast or too sloppy. Normally I have to SEE the person, who is talking to me in English. It took me a little bit, to come into the narrator, but at the end, it worked. I only have to take a few breaks between. I'm just not yet finish with the book, but I listen enough to give a review.

PLEASE READ MY RATING SYSTEM!!!

To my ratings:

5* - very very good
it's like an A+

4* - very good and will be often re-listening
it's like an A

3* - it's more then a one-time-listening, but not more then twice a year.
it's like a B

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • S. Brown
  • 07-30-19

Great Story spoilt by no ending to date?

Up until the last few hours of Counterblow I thought it would end with all questions answered, but we are left hanging. As these books were released almost two years ago I am guessing that the author got bored and was distracted with writing other stories without finishing this series. It's a shame as Sam and Declan deserve an ending, not to be left without closure after all they'd been through.

Despite the above, I did enjoy the series, it was well written and the characters develop over time during the books, and compliment each other. Although I would have appreciated a boxset of these quite short audio books as per Kindle addition, but that didn't stop me once I was hooked on the story. Four credits for what amounts to about 20 hours listening is quite steep for someone who spends a lot on Audio, just saying! Definitely better value to get the Kindle Unlimited additions if that's an option for the reader.

I do recommend this series, and the narrator was well worth it for the Scottish accent, English not so much, inflection got a bit repetitive. Scots sounded authentic to me, but I'm not familiar with local accents, just felt it fit Declan perfectly. I hope that we get an ending eventually for Sam and Declan, very short prequals don't cut it for me, so I didn't spend the credit on Sam's university days!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Annie
  • 11-26-17

Intrigue, Secrets, Lies and Twists- Just Brilliant

Sam and Declan are recovering from the events in the Highlands. I'm glad the author didn't just sweep Sam's injuries away and have everything okay. It felt natural to hear this couple work through their difficult time and doing it brought them closer together.
Again, there are some very HOT sex scenes in this book, with the addition of a kick ass fight scene and an ingenious interogation. The plot is unfolding in an intriguing way and there are so many unanswered questions. I can't wait for book 5. Bravo!

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  • Mary
  • 09-30-17

This has everything an M/M Romance thriller needs

I loved this story and once again I was left wanting more.

I loved the fact that after what happened to Sam and Declan in book 3, the author didn't just gloss over what they experienced. You could say this is an inbetween book where scores must be settled before they can move on, and oh my, both Sam and Declan really come into their own and I love them more with each book.

Once again the narration was a delight, with Gary Furlong giving us every nuance of emotion Sam and Declan had during their love scenes. It was smokin' hot at times. Phew!

There is an interigation scene that played like a movie in my head. The narrator pitched it perfectly, and I was on the edge of my seat. This chapter in particular was just so well written and it had all of the elements a great spy thriller needs- and a heart clenching romance. Just brilliant!