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Top Hat

Shatterproof Bond, Book 0
Narrated by: Gary Furlong
Series: Shatterproof Bond, Book 0.5
Length: 1 hr and 18 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (31 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A Shatterproof Bond / Sam Aiken Prequel short

Child protégé Sam Aiken is the youngest student studying linguistics at Oxford University. Frustratingly, being so young means Sam doesn't get to enjoy student life in the same way the older students do.

He is obsessed with his studies and is close to graduation, but when Sam's elderly Master, Professor Alfred Moxley, dies suddenly, Sam finds the replacement professor brought in to get him and his classmates through their last few months of study to be more than a little distracting. Dr. Alexander Deveraux becomes Sam's new obsession, and he wants to learn more from the young, brilliant, queer professor than just linguistics!

©2017 Isobel Starling (P)2017 Isobel Starling

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Top Hat

I’m not quite sure how I feel about this book/Audio. It was really short and I think it ended a little too Abruptly and we didn’t get enough of the story for these MC’s. I would have liked it to be a little longer. I did however like their little discussion about sex before their first time together but it was right at the end of the book. The Narrator did alright. He Didn’t really stand out either way good/bad. But I will give him another go in the next book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Different Than Expected

The is a prequel and is Sam’s earlier years before events in As You Wish the first book in the Shatterproof Bond Series. A good book the writing was okay. Having liked books 1-4 of The Shatterproof Bond Series I don’t think that this book holds up to how good those books are. Having said that it does fill in some history for Sam. Although I would’ve liked more and a few details with the events that were there. Least I scare you off I don’t mean to I did enjoy listening to this book I just think that it could’ve been better. I didn’t think that there was a plot more of a I need to fill in this event to lead up to the next book. I found the story and characters likeable. Sam Aiken and Dr. Alexander Deveraux are the MC’s of this book. There is no HEA or HFN in this book and it does end a bit abruptly. The narration was okay it wasn’t monotone, but it needs more energy and the voice for different character needed to be more distinctly different. I voluntarily read an advance copy of this book for an honest r

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Short and precocious

Prequels often confound me. The assumption, of course, is that they’re necessary to set up the upcoming book or series. After listening to this audiobook, I searched out the synopses for the rest of the series. This exercise didn’t provide any clarification but another reviewer left a kind of explanation so I’ll leave it that apparently the encounter of these two men will play a role in a future book.

So back to this story. I liked it. Short and sweet, a palate cleanser from some of the longer angst-ridden books I’ve read recently. Samuel Aiken is a protégé and brilliant student at Oxford. He’s been blocked at every turn from sexual exploits because of his age. He just can’t get lucky. Then he meets his new tutor, Alexander Deveraux. The gorgeous man has an air of mystery and is a former protégé as well. Samuel is determined to get Alex in bed and Alex is determined to keep his hands off his favorite student. Throw in some late-night conversations, pole dancing lessons, and brutal honesty and this relationship has real potential – especially since Samuel is graduating in mere months.

I like Samuel’s precociousness and Alex’s determination. They are working at cross purposes but only for a moment. It’s pretty clear there will be a relationship in the future. Or so I’m hoping.

Gary Furlong is a brilliant narrator. I’ve enjoyed every performance and I was pleased to see he’s the narrator for the series. Guess I’ll have to cue up those books and find out just what kind of antics Sam gets up to.

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Lovely :D

Well, I'm SO happy I listen to this one after book 4! The final clue we got there makes a lot more of sense after listening to Top Hat.

And we get to know the famous Dr Alexander Deveraux, and the role he played in Sam's life. =D

A short, funny, sweet story of a young, smart boy falling for his smart, barely older professor during his time at Oxford. But, with added clue :P

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Absolutely loved it

I absolutely loved this short peek into Sam's past while he was at school. Isobel Starling's writing combined with Gary Furlong's wonderful delivery make for an oh so sexy vignette. I would love to read more about Sam's pre-Declan days. There is obviously a lot more history that could be shared, including about Sam and Alexander before Sir James found out about them. I am sure there was a lot more sexy fun. I highly recommend this sweet, sexy listen.

I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook from the author and have voluntarily left this honest review.

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clue

This is a look back at Sam at 14 going to university and his first big crush-his teacher!! In casual conversation a clue surfaces in this story. I NEED BOOK 5 NOW!! The narrator was awesome.

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  • Love222
  • NJ, United States
  • 05-22-19

Short and Sweet

I hadn't read this one prior, though I have read the series. It was a nice little look into Sam's life though I think it ended a little abruptly. Furlong does a great job with the narration.

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Amazing prequel.

This is such an amazing prequel to this series. It is short but sweet. Gary Furlong does an amazing job with this short story.

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Oh MY!!!

Isobel Starling, you are a delectable tease. The innuendo's, The visual eye f**ks. The sultry gazes. My, um, heart is all a flutter.

Gary Furlong managed to inflect innuendo so sexcessfully that, well a lady just can't say. But, well done Mr. Furlong.

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Excellent & Gary Furlong is Perfect!

Wow, excellent. Isobel Starling sure can set up a story!

Definitely don't do this one before you read at least the first book in the Shatterproof Bond series. While you could enjoy this as a standalone, you'll appreciate it much more after you get to know Sam *smirk*.

Also, audiobook fans - this series is a must because Gary Furlong brings it to life in the most gorgeous way possible. Hot damn, his voice is perfection !!!

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  • Lo
  • 10-27-17

A Great Prequel to a Great Series

This might a short listen, but it's definitely worth it.

This prequel is about how Sam's time in Oxford and how he deals with his first crush being on his professor. It was great seeing Sam being nervous, geeky and vulnerable because of his youth and Gary Furlong did a great job as usual bringing all these feelings to life, he really express how I imagine the characters to be which just furthers my enjoyment of this series.

“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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  • Mary
  • 10-19-17

An Adorable Sam Aiken Prequel

Hat's off to Isobel Starling for getting this adorable short story produced as an audiobook. Not many author's do this with their shorts, but with such amazing narration from Gary Furlong I'm glad she did cos just want more.

This story is an insight into Sam Aiken's time at Oxford and his daliance with his professor. Sam is young, geeky, and on the verge of a sexual awakening. It is super cute, and Gary capture Sam's nerdy vulnerablity so well.

There are apparently hidden hints and clues as to things that happen in the Shatterproof Bond series in this short. I'll have to give it another listen to hear if I can find any.

Another hit!