Exclusive Excerpt from Return to Zero
by Isobel Starling
“SAM! Are ye home?” Declan hollered as he opened the front door. “Sam?”
“In here.” Sam’s distant voice filtered from the spare bedroom. Declan was in a buoyant mood, at last, after weeks of waiting, he’d received a call from his boss. He sauntered confidently towards the bedroom and knocked once before walking in.
“Why d’ye no’ pick up? I’ve called ye, like, six times already! James wants us in fer a meet —” Declan stopped, and in the way, only Sam Aiken could do, the breath was stolen from his lungs.
Declan’s yoga mat was laid out in the center of the large bedroom floor, and upon it, a shamelessly nude Sam Aiken was facing the tall antique mirror that rested against the wall. He was on his belly, his back bowed, and his palms pushing against the floor as his shoulders rose in the midst of the cobra pose.
Declan slumped to sit silently on the king-size bed and watch. He stared, bug-eyed and slack-jawed at all of that flawless pale skin, wrapped around an athletic, slim frame. Declan adored how pliant and supple Sam was. He reveled in the sight of corded muscles moving beneath the taut surface of the younger man’s skin, like the workings of a well-honed machine.
Ignoring his voyeur, Sam pushed himself up from the cobra pose, so he sat back on his calves. He closed his eyes and focused on his breath, and then, when he was ready, placed his palms flat on the mat, level with his knees. Then, putting all of his weight on his hands, Sam drew his legs out to either side of his body, doing the splits, balancing solely on his hands.
Declan’s bearded jaw dropped open, and his heart skipped a beat at the impressive sight. The mirror allowed Declan to observe Sam from many angles, and the view was exquisite. He knew there was a reason he was home early, but, whatever the hell it was, it could wait.
Sam aligned his legs and bought them up above his head, so he was in a handstand position, and there he stayed for a minute, his breath shallow and barely audible. There was not one tremble in any of Sam’s muscles. It was awe inspiring. Sam was the very picture of oneness—strength, control, balance, and agility. The lines of Sam’s form were sinuous and erotic, and there was no stopping the hot, hot hunger that made Declan’s whole being shudder with need.
Sam’s spine arched back and with incredible discipline, his body bowed slowly, until the soles of his feet were placed firmly on the yoga mat, and Sam was in the crab position. He was trying so desperately to focus on his own breath and to remain centered, but Declan was breathing heavily through his nose, like a stag readying for the rut, and even though Sam could not actually see him, Declan’s presence always came with the prickle of otherworldly electricity. It really was like they were magnetized.
The sound of heavy breathing was doing things to Sam’s body that he just could not control. His heart beat faster, beads of sweat littered his brow and formed on his chest, and his pale cock reddened, filled and rose majestically, providing an extra spectacle for his handsome observer. Sam arched his spine to its capacity and inched to his toes and fingertips. He stayed like that, his muscles clenched tight and his cock standing straight as a flagpole awaiting its flag. After a minute, he slowly unclenched his muscles and allowed his body to ease its way gently back to the mat. Each movement still effortlessly controlled.
This naked yoga routine was on the list of the most erotic things that Declan had ever seen in his life. And now that Sam was on his back, his eyes closed, with arms stretched above his head. Declan decided that this was his opportunity to pounce.
About the Shatterproof Bond Series
As You Wish (Book #1)
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?
Available at: Amazon
Illuminate the Shadow (Book #2)
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.”
Available at: Amazon
Return to Zero (Book #3)
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.
Available at: Amazon
Counterblow (Book #4)
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.
Available at: Amazon
About Isobel Starling
Isobel’s novel “As You Wish” (Shatterproof Bond #1) is an Amazon Best Seller on Amazon.com and Amazon France. Nine novels into her writing career Isobel has just released The Shatterproof Bond box set which contains all three novels in the series, and the first book in the M/M Romantic Comedy mystery series “Dick and the Sidekick” -“Detective Fox and the Christmas Caper”
“As You Wish” has been translated into French under the title “Comme Vous Voudrez”
The rest of the Shatterproof Bond novels will soon be available in French and German.