Shatterproof Bond #1
Publisher: Self Published
Sub-Genre: Series, Contemporary
One wedding, two best men, one hell of a love story!
Declan Ramsay’s brother Oliver was marrying Annabelle Aiken at a fairy tale castle on the banks of Loch Ness in Scotland. The bride and groom decided, so that he didn’t feel left out, that Annabelle’s gay younger brother could share the best man duties with Declan.
Declan had never met the kid who was to be his joint best man. Sam Aiken was abroad, working as an interpreter and finishing his studies. He wouldn’t meet Declan until a few days before the wedding, so the best men communicated and planned their speech by email for more than a year. But on meeting Sam Aiken, Declan is surprised to realize the kid isn’t a kid at all, but a tall, blond and athletic young man. Declan is sure he’s straight, so he’s 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 Samuel Aiken all that he appears to be?
At first I found the POV head hopping a little distracting but as I read more, I got used to it. Ditto with some of the punctuation and capital letters where they didn’t need to be, although the former made me twitch a bit until I got caught up in the action toward the end of the story. There’s a comment mid way through the story about sex with women which was a bit WTF, too, plus one of the women is a little too stereotypical for my tastes.
However, despite that, I found the story an enjoyable one, and I liked both Sam and Declan and how their growing friendship leads to love despite a rocky start. The quotes from The Princess Bride were amusing, and I enjoyed watching them bond over their common geekiness of the movie. I liked that how it took a while for them to mesh the man they’d exchanged emails with to the one in front of them. One of their romantic gestures was very sweet, but I didn’t need to re-read the repeated details of what was all over it—eww. I also thought Declan’s response to Sam’s prolonged absence was realistic, and I’ll be interested to see how he adjusts to the new life he’s now a part of.
Although the story starts out as a light contemporary romance, shortly before the end it changes into something very different. That bit really got my attention and my interest in reading more, although I enjoyed the earlier part of the book too.
I’d recommend As You Wish to readers who enjoy a fun romance with a bit of geekiness, likeable MCs, and a twist in the story. 4 out of 5 stars.