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Apple Boy

(The Quiet Work #1)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  159 ratings  ·  70 reviews
A new Fantasy series by award-winning author Isobel Starling

A lost lordling, a farm boy, and a tale of mystery, magic, and murder!

After a traumatic event, Winter Aeling finds himself destitute and penniless in the backwater town of Mallowick. He needs to travel to the city of Serein and impart grave news that will bring war to the Empire, but without a horse, money, and
Kindle Edition, 556 pages
Published February 15th 2019 by Decent Fellows Press
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Felicity Her website states: "Dark Harvest (The Quiet Work #2) is ready for editing and has been scheduled for an end of year release"…moreHer website states: "Dark Harvest (The Quiet Work #2) is ready for editing and has been scheduled for an end of year release"(less)

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Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  159 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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Shin Mon Thway
I love reading and living in a book world where everything is full of magic, mystery and wonders where the good prevails and the evil fails. 😌 In a fantasy, everything is possible and your imagination is your only limit. G.R.R.M said “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies”. And that’s why I’m drawn to reading and especially fantasy. Because I’m a dreamer and this dreamer had a beautiful dream because of this wonderful epic fantasy story. 💜 When I heard Isobel Starling is publishing a f ...more
Epic fantasy, gripping mystery, erotic romance… YES! Apple Boy, the first book in Isobel Starling’s latest series The Quiet Work, is a non-stop adventure and thoroughly entrancing. I’ve never read anything that wasn’t excellent by this talented author, but Ms. Starling has definitely raised the bar with this one! I’m recommending it to everybody, because it’s just that good.

As fans of Isobel Starling’s audiobooks can attest, no one can do her stories justice like Gary Furlong. His performances e
Fabulous!! 4.5.....RTC after I get over the shock that Isobel Starling and Gary Furlong left me hanging off the side of a cliff! At least I can enjoy the spectacular view of this unique world they brought life!!
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Complex and intriguing introduction to this new fantasy series

There's a lot going on here! And it's not concluded at the end of this first book in Isobel Starling's new fantasy series either, but there is the start of a complex narrative which I'm eager to learn more of.

I believe the three books together will bring different characters' backgrounds and stories so far into one over-reaching plot that will conclude once all is done.

First up was Adam and Winter and they're very cute together and de
This book will be available to read and review via the MMRG Don't Buy My Love program from 5/2/2019, request it here:

As if I was dropped in the 18th-century, the environment, the local slang, the aristocrats with their frilly clothes and arcane traditions, the whole setting reminded me of the Poldark era in England.

Winter was unfortunate enough to end up betrayed, penniless, homeless, only with his clothes on his back in a small town
Joyfully Jay
Apr 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: elizabeth
A Joyfully Jay review.

3 stars

This book has an interesting, fluid style, going from an almost 18th century feel for the first third of the book, with the light, affected manners and morals of a young noble slumming with the common folk, before it becomes more modern as Adam and Win begin their adventure, until it is almost completely modern as the boys find themselves in the city and magic begins to make an appearance. Some of the stylistic choices made by the author — such as italicizing place
Andrea AKA Catsos Person
NTS: I borrowed this book from KU and bought the audio.

Well, Gary Furlong as narrator was excellent. This is my first listen of the highly regarded voice actor, because his performance was not mere reading. He became each character in the book.

The story was very interesting as well. There is fantasy (the genre), magic, mages, and politics, but there is more to come. There isn’t a cliff-hanger per say, but one definitely needs to read the next book when it is published.
Rachel Emily
Wow! Just wow! If you’re on the mood for a beautifully written fantasy novel with fantastic world building (seriously, she’s got maps and the whole world and landscape completely figured out), great characters, some intrigue and escalating plot, you’ve got to try this book out!

I listened to the audiobook of this and was just blown away by Gary Furlong, his accents and narrative style was just excellent. There was a scene with 10 people in it, and I knew who was talking when. Great job!

And I love
A complimentary audio was provided in exchange for an honest review.

I am a fan of Isobel Starling and Gary Furlong. I wish I could say I enjoyed this story as much as others. For me the story was slow and I struggled to continue listening. Based on all the other reviews I think this is the case of me and not the book. I wasn't able to connect.

When I did find a rhythm at times, I could see the how the overall plot is a good one. That's why I selected this story. You can't love them all though, si
Alfred Haplo
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Caveats: Apple Boy is my first M/M romantic fantasy so the subject matter is foreign. Yes, yes, since you asked, M/M as in anal penetration, tonguing and blushing and hot abs and all that jazz (or jizz? Both applies). You can turn away now or read on, do what you will.

My last review was two months ago but mentally, it seems longer with intervening personal matters so my mind is distrait, to say the least. In short, I can’t be relied upon to authenticate my novel experience but I did set one cri
Alycia Luster
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved it!!! I shall eagerly await more for this series. I’m hoping for at least one more Adam and Winter book. So cute together!
Absolutely amazing!! First thing, I swear every book I listen to narrated by Gary Furlong sounds like it’s narrated by a different person just perfect for that story. I don’t know how he does it, but he’s so talented that he can always make his voice just fit a character absolutely perfectly. Now, as for the actual story, I am completely blown away. This was a wild ride from beginning to end, and I for one was so glad to be on it. Our two hapless MCs know absolutely nothing about magic so we get ...more
Book: 4.5 stars
Audio: 5 stars

I really, really enjoyed this story and the narration was amazing! Can't wait for the next book!
Apr 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've given this an A- for narration and a C for content at AudioGals.

Isobel Starling’s Apple Boy is book one in a series of fantasy romantic adventures entitled The Quiet Work, set in the fictitious land of The Empire of Osia. In this story, a lordling and a farm boy set out on a journey, and end up uncovering a political conspiracy and discovering something about themselves that will change them forever. The story is quite interesting, but the pacing is slow until near the end, and I felt the w
Nov 27, 2019 rated it liked it
I won a copy of this audiobook in a giveaway held by the narrator, Gary Furlong, but his generosity did not influence my review.

This book is difficult to review, because I really liked some elements and really disliked others. Three stars feels right. This was my first time reading this author, but I've listened to many of Gary Furlong's narrations before. His performance here is excellent!

This is a coming-of-age fantasy romance set in a secondary world that feels like pre-industrial Europe. Win
Stephanie   GooglyEyes
Our MC, Win or Winter, goes on some travels to learn of all the realms. On the way to his last stop, he discovers some illegal things on the ship and is tossed over. Upon reaching land, he ends up alone and relieved of all his belongings, When he's lined up to find work so he can make some money to get home, he happens upon Adam and his father to work in an apple orchard. Then Win finds a lost family heirloom on Adam's fathers finger. Turns out Adam's father has been wielding the magic from the ...more
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review via the MMRG Don’t Buy My Love Program.

If you're a fan of fantasy, I highly recommend Apple Boy!

This is quite an adventure, full of magic, political intrigue, and personal growth. I found the start a little slow: the boys meet out on the apple farm during picking week, with the farmer father ominously hovering. Both boys are in a rather desperate situation and need to travel to other family members, but soon become p
I liked this adventure book. Twists and turns and magic!
K.R. Phoenix
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 5 stars
🔥🔥🔥 Heat Level: 3.5
🎧🎧🎧🎧🎧 Narration: 5

So good!

This story is a mysterious adventure into a new world of magic, mages, mysteries, and murder. It has a unique historical undertone that makes it that much more enjoyable as you follow Winter and Adam, as they discover the truth of the world they live in and the special connection they share.

The book does end on a cliffhanger that’ll leave you dying for more but the story itself is a thrilling adventure I couldn’t put down!! I loved the at
Jeydon Marshall

I’m in love with the fantasy world that Isobel Starling created with Apple Boy and the only reason this is a 4 Star for me instead of 5 is because the book had a teeny bit of a pacing problem. The main issue I had was that the book seemed to come to a very sudden end just as things started to pick up and get interesting in a supernatural witchy way.

Overall though, Apple Boy does a wonderful job at introducing a brand-new unique fantasy world to the reader and preparing us for future books
Dec 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
After a rather uninspiring start - I sped through the rest of this once my interest was caught and i became invested in what would happen to Win and Adam. The world-building and magic-dynamics are actually quite good with the plot pacing brisk and filled with dramatic action. The only issue I have is that the second book of the series seems quite delayed in production so the HFN ending does leave readers a little in the lurch. A solid 4 stars.
Mar 20, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Karolina Cebula
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Review in English and Polish || Recenzja po angielsku i polsku

*3.5-4 stars*

Winter Aeling is a young aristocrat who, as a result of a series of traumatic events taking place during his journey through the Empire of Osia, loses all his belongings and his faithful servant. Lonely, penniless and unadjusted to such a life, the young man finds an apple harvesting work on a large farm, belonging to a strength and power loving brute. Winter seems to be an easy target, so he almost immediately gets into
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m
Reviewed for Rainbow Gold Reviews. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

I feel like I have to explain something about myself before I start this review. First and foremost, I am a romance reader. I have always gravitated to books where there is at least romance going on. In this book, that isn’t a problem, because it is a romance, too. I also do better at contemporary even though I used to read a lot of historical romances. I actually learned a lot from them. There is a historic
Gabbi Grey
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fantastical adventure with a love story (an audio review)

I have always expressed great admiration for authors who write about worlds other than the one we currently inhabit. The level of creativity involves is, at times, staggering. World building, when done well, can be mind-blowing. What I love about Isobel Starling’s world in ‘Apple Boy’ is that there are so many elements of the known world and yet the fantasy aspects are so natural that they make the whole book feel like it is entirely plaus
Maureen Lubitz
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Apple Boy by Isobel Starling

I don’t remember where I heard about Apple Boy, but I immediately told my friend Andie about it, and a couple days later, she pointed out that the narrator of the audiobook was giving away codes for free audiobooks- including Apple Boy!

I don’t read very much fantasy at all, but the premise of this book sounded interesting: a secret prince and a farmer’s son? What’s not to like?

Win is a prince, but he’s so filthy that you wouldn’t believe him if he told you- which he
Colin Hardy
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This story is told in the first person and reflects the experiences of a young man. It is one of those tales that have to be read all the way through to appreciate it. Certainly, in its early stages, there is nothing particularly noteworthy to hold the reader. Characterisation is probably the weakest part of the book. The individuals are interesting and identifiable with a clear context and background, sadly their thought processes and actions lack credibility. Characters display emotions that d ...more
Notes From 'Round the Bend
I haven’t read many LGBTQ romances and I’ll admit that the cover art had me wondering if this was going to be a YA romance (it isn’), I’m glad I took the plunge. The characters were unique, the pacing was decent, and I adored the narrator! There were a couple of little things that annoyed me about this book, but overall, it was a great read.

I was a little shocked at just how well Winter handled the circumstances in which we find him: broke, in rags, and stranded in a less-than-friendly community
It’s a beautiful story. And it’s more than a romance. There’s adventure, danger, magic, and forbidden stuff all over the place. Winter & Adam make a great team and this story is just the beginning of it.

I loved Winter’s internal monologue, starting us off with him lost in the countryside, penniless, and desperate to make it to any large city where he would be able to contact his prominent family. Alas, he must first figure out how to get his next meal. And that’s how he meets Adam, the son of an
Lauren Jones
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you were destined to wonder alone in a world full of cruelty and condemnation for being who you are, what life would you lead? Would you look at the glass half empty or half full? Deciding to make every breath count, Starling’s main character has a determination and drive that will take him through many hardships on the road to finding his way back to his family. Readers will be immersed into an adventurous tale with this first installment.

Winter Aeling is just a young man who will one day ru
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Born in Germany, Isobel Starling spent most of her twenty-year professional career making art in Ireland. Now she writes full-time and runs her publishing company, Decent Fellows Press.

The Shatterproof Bond series is Gay Romance bestseller in the US, Germany and France. It is also a bestseller in audiobook format, narrated by Gary Furlong

Isobel is currently work

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