A Stella Review :Yuletide Treasure (Goddess-Blessed #3) by Eliot Grayson

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RATING 4,5 out of 5 stars

There’s not enough Yuletide spirit in the world to fix this holiday disaster…

Eben Sypeman’s world is falling apart. It’s two days before Yule and his business partner is dead, leaving behind empty accounts and looming bankruptcy. And if that isn’t bad enough, his patron goddess is irritated with him. It seems she’s tired of his tendency to mince words and avoid conflict. She’s insisting—quite forcefully—that he start being totally honest with everyone, including himself. Divinely enforced honesty couldn’t have come at a less opportune time, especially when his clerk’s tall, dark and distractingly handsome son enters the picture.

The last thing on Tim Pratchett’s mind is romance. All the former soldier wants is to fill in for his sick father at work and recover from his war wounds in peace. But there’s something about the grumpy Eben that confounds and entices him in equal measure. Their timing couldn’t be worse. They’re complete opposites. And yet…none of that matters when he’s with Eben.

But if Eben and Tim have any hope of finding their very own happily ever after, they’ll have to survive a dickens of a truth curse and the machinations of a trickster goddess—all while searching for enough yuletide treasure to save them all.

A joyous, relaxing Yule indeed. Bah, humbug.

This is an M/M romance with explicit scenes, a voyeuristic pagan goddess, and an odious nephew. Despite any other possible similarities to A Christmas Carol, there are neither ghosts nor geese, but readers can expect a happy ending and at least one use of the word “dickens.”

In the last year I became a fan of Eliot Grayson and each time I get a new release I am over the moon. Yuletide Treasure is the third installment in the Goddess-Blessed series and it’s probably my favorite story simple cause I fell deeply for the characters from the beginning. And my love for them didn’t lessen through the reading, on the contrary. Eben and Tim were adorable together and so brave, they were both going through some unpleasant times and their meeting, so unexpected and unwelcome and maybe a little forced too, happened at the right moment, when Eben needed to be honest and open to himself and not only. Sure, his goddess had to intrude just a tiny bit, but the results were amazing. His inability to lie will lead Eben to be so different and true with his clerk Bob and his sexy son, Tim. And together they had to understand what happened to his money and avoid bankruptcy. When his goddess showed his and Bob’s family future, Eben absolutely needs to solve the mystery. And maybe find love too.

I feel to recommend Yuletide Treasure, it works great as a standalone too, so if you need just a holiday story, treat yourself with this delight. I can’t wait for more by this author.

The cover art by Fiona Jayde is simple and lovely, it also fits the plot.

 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 130 pages
Published November 8th 2019 by Smoking Teacup Books
ASIN B07ZBNG4FH
Edition Language English

A Lucy Review: Yuletide Treasure (Goddess-Blessed #3) by Eliot Grayson

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5:

There’s not enough Yuletide spirit in the world to fix this holiday disaster…

Eben Sypeman’s world is falling apart. It’s two days before Yule and his business partner is dead, leaving behind empty accounts and looming bankruptcy. And if that isn’t bad enough, his patron goddess is irritated with him. It seems she’s tired of his tendency to mince words and avoid conflict. She’s insisting—quite forcefully—that he start being totally honest with everyone, including himself. Divinely enforced honesty couldn’t have come at a less opportune time, especially when his clerk’s tall, dark and distractingly handsome son enters the picture.

The last thing on Tim Pratchett’s mind is romance. All the former soldier wants is to fill in for his sick father at work and recover from his war wounds in peace. But there’s something about the grumpy Eben that confounds and entices him in equal measure. Their timing couldn’t be worse. They’re complete opposites. And yet…none of that matters when he’s with Eben.

But if Eben and Tim have any hope of finding their very own happily ever after, they’ll have to survive a dickens of a truth curse and the machinations of a trickster goddess—all while searching for enough yuletide treasure to save them all.

This is the third installment in the Goddess Blessed series and is an awesome holiday themed book with a voyeuristic Goddess thrown in for good measure!  While the book has some similiarities to A Christmas Carol, Eben is not a Scrooge – he’s at his wit’s end because his now-deceased business Marney had been embezzling from the office.  There’s no money to pay the bills, including the salary of his clerk, Bob Pratchet.   Eben has been going crazy trying to figure out what Marney did with the money.  When Bob becomes ill, Eben sends him home only to have Bob’s son, Timothy, show up to take his place.  Eben is attracted to Timothy, a former soldier injured in the war, but nothing can come of it – Eben has to find that money!

Eben’s patron Goddess, Althyone, is pretty ticked that she put her mark on Eben while he was still in the womb and yet he has never shown what he’s really made of. “You were so tiny, then, a delicate little spark, so rich with potential.”   Eben hasn’t done what is best for himself is in so long.  “You’ve bored me, Eben.  I’d hoped for those great things from you and you’ve disappointed me at every turn.  Subordinating yourself to that sour little thief Marney, allowing your wretched realtives to use us, shying away from anything that could bring you joy.  But no more.”  To “help” him along his way she puts a not-curse on him – he is unable to lie.   So rather than make excuses for himself, he is brutally honest and the best kind of snarky. .  The scene with the charity collectors is wonderful.  A nod to Christmas Carol, as well as Frank, Eben’s nephew, except here Frank is a waste of space who is always mooching off his uncle. “What a pampered, unbearable imbecile Frank was.” 

Timothy is there for Eben and wants to help him figure out what is happening with the money.  The two become close as they try to solve the mystery and the way too nosy Althyone just make me laugh.  I loved getting to see Eben make baby steps towards happiness.  “He was lonely, that was the plain truth of it, and Timothy had a warmth, a genuineness, that Eben so rarely found in others.  And he seemed to have seen something in Eben that he liked in his turn, an even greater rarity.”  He has to go through the aggravation of Althyone, of course, but it’s all worth it.

This is a wonderful series and definitely an awesome installment with a creative twist on Scrooge.

The cover, showing Eben against a background of the city, is simple but works.

Sal

 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 130 pages
Published November 8th 2019 by Smoking Teacup Books
ASIN B07ZBNG4FH
Edition Language English

In the Spotlight: Yuletide Treasure (Goddess-Blessed #3) by Eliot Grayson

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Yuletide Treasure

(Goddess-Blessed #3)

 

 

 

BLURB:

 

There’s not enough Yuletide spirit in the world to fix this holiday disaster…

Eben Sypeman’s world is falling apart. It’s two days before Yule and his business partner is dead, leaving behind empty accounts and looming bankruptcy. And if that isn’t bad enough, his patron goddess is irritated with him. It seems she’s tired of his tendency to mince words and avoid conflict. She’s insisting—quite forcefully—that he start being totally honest with everyone, including himself. Divinely enforced honesty couldn’t have come at a less opportune time, especially when his clerk’s tall, dark and distractingly handsome son enters the picture.

The last thing on Tim Pratchett’s mind is romance. All the former soldier wants is to fill in for his sick father at work and recover from his war wounds in peace. But there’s something about the grumpy Eben that confounds and entices him in equal measure. Their timing couldn’t be worse. They’re complete opposites. And yet…none of that matters when he’s with Eben.

But if Eben and Tim have any hope of finding their very own happily ever after, they’ll have to survive a dickens of a truth curse and the machinations of a trickster goddess—all while searching for enough yuletide treasure to save them all.

A joyous, relaxing Yule indeed. Bah, humbug.

This is an M/M romance with explicit scenes, a voyeuristic pagan goddess, and an odious nephew. Despite any other possible similarities to A Christmas Carol, there are neither ghosts nor geese, but readers can expect a happy ending and at least one use of the word “dickens.”

 

 

BIO:

Eliot Grayson is an editor by day and a romance writer by night, at least on a good day, and more of a procrastinator by day and despairing eater of chocolate by night when inspiration doesn’t flow and the day-job clients aren’t cooperating. Go ahead and guess which of these is more common.

A steady childhood diet of pulp science fiction, classic tales of adventure, and romance novels surreptitiously borrowed from Eliot’s grandmother eventually led to writing; Eliot picked up an M/M romance a few years ago and has been enjoying the genre as a reader and an author ever since.

LINKS:

Amazon Author Central page: https://www.amazon.com/Eliot-Grayson/e/B07NL54KNF

Website: eliotgrayson.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/eliotgrayson

Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/story/191900890-the-alpha%27s-warlock

A Stella Review:The Reluctant Husband (Goddess-Blessed #2) by Eliot Grayson

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RATING 4,5 out of 5 stars

Disowned, disgraced, and with nowhere to turn, Tom Drake is willing to barter anything — even himself — for a reprieve from starvation and despair. Years spent lying to protect his secrets have left him longing for someone to value him, even if it’s only for his body and the blessing of his patron goddess.
Mal Leighton’s cousin and heir is dying. Only a miracle can save him — and if a miracle doesn’t appear, Mal’s damn well going to create one. Marrying Tom for his blessing is his last desperate hope to preserve his family. And if Tom happens to be as irresistibly seductive as he is untrustworthy? Well, Mal can focus on more than one goal at a time.
Tom doesn’t fall in love, and Mal knows better than to believe he’s the exception. But when Tom’s blessing doesn’t provide the quick cure they’d hoped, it’s clear that the goddess expects them to have a marriage in more than name. To save Mal’s family and find their own happiness, they will both need to sacrifice their pride and risk their hearts.

I was a little dubious when I read the blurb of the second installment in the Goddess Blessed series, it’s not easy to fall in love with a main character you already met in the first book and deeply despised. To find Tom here in The Reluctant Husband was a shock. Then I started the reading and saw how a great job the autor did at redime this young man. I soon realized Tom was not at all the one I thought I knew, sure, he did a lot of mistakes and he’s now in need of some help, even if he’s not ready to accept it.  When Mal discovered who Tom really was, he knew the other man was his only chance at saving the life of his dear cousin.

What both of them ignored was the power of the fake wedding they were taking so ligh, was so strong they will unavoidable fall in love.

The Reluctant Husband was a lovely novel, I quickly finished it and it was too soon, I found the MCs interesting and well mixed together, the double POV help me understand better their stubborn minds and hearts.

A short note on the writing style, I said in the review of The Replacement Husband I usually had a hard time with this author, not this time,  the reading flew to me very easily. Not once I was lost, on the contrary I devoured it every word.

I really hope the author will give me more in this series.

The cover art by Fiona Jayde is lovely, I like it a lot.

SALE LINKS  Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition

Expected publication: June 7th 2019 by Smoking Teacup Books

ASIN B07RWJVB3N

Edition Language English

A Lucy Pre release Review :The Reluctant Husband (Goddess-Blessed #2) by Eliot Grayson

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

Disowned, disgraced, and with nowhere to turn, Tom Drake is willing to barter anything — even himself — for a reprieve from starvation and despair. Years spent lying to protect his secrets have left him longing for someone to value him, even if it’s only for his body and the blessing of his patron goddess.

Mal Leighton’s cousin and heir is dying. Only a miracle can save him — and if a miracle doesn’t appear, Mal’s damn well going to create one. Marrying Tom for his blessing is his last desperate hope to preserve his family. And if Tom happens to be as irresistibly seductive as he is untrustworthy? Well, Mal can focus on more than one goal at a time.

Tom doesn’t fall in love, and Mal knows better than to believe he’s the exception. But when Tom’s blessing doesn’t provide the quick cure they’d hoped, it’s clear that the goddess expects them to have a marriage in more than name. To save Mal’s family and find their own happiness, they will both need to sacrifice their pride and risk their hearts.

This is the second book of the Goddess Blessed series, which is Regency with Goddess flair in a time where all marriage is the same – whether same or opposite sex – except for the goddess blessed, who bring all good luck to those they love.  In the first book, The Replacement Husband, Tom is a loathsome, awful person and I came into this book fully prepared to keep hating him because how could you not?

The book begins by showing where his behavior has taken Tom – he’s been thrown out of the family, disowned, broke and friendless. His secret, that he has been Goddess marked, is one even his brother doesn’t know because their father abused Tom for it.  So much was explained about his atrocious behavior in the first book here and it definitely made Tom more understandable.

Mal runs into Tom accidentally at a gaming club and Tom is desperate enough to offer himself out for money.  Except Mal sees the Goddess mark and has this surge of hope that his beloved cousin, who is more a brother than anything, can be saved by Tom and his Goddess blessing.  He needs Tom.  Mal is the reason I didn’t rate this 5 stars because he repeatedly is so mean to Tom that he fell from my favor more than a few times.

Mirreith, the goddess who’s mark Tom bears, grants good fortune to her chosen but at a price.  They are required to yield “…to another in body and soul.”  Since his father had tortured him with this fact as being disgusting, (and my heart broke for an eight-year-old Tom crying over the dictionary as he looked up the word his father called him, catamite), he has tried everything to not do so, to disastrous results (book one).  “If men or women with her blessing tried to marry one another, or anyone of either sex couldn’t subjugate their strength properly, their luck turned to a curse.”   He tried with both Owen and Caroline, to the pain of all of them.

Mal starts off right away being insulting. “Leighton has just relegated him to a status lower than that of a servant by presenting him to Preston, rather than the other way around.  It was a calculated insult. It was designed to put Tom in his place.”  I was very gratified to see that however low Tom might have fallen, he does still have some sense of self.  “Tom held his ground.  He had nowhere to go, and nothing to lose, and if Leighton strangled him here in the street it would matter to no one, least of all to him.

William, the cousin Mal is so desperate to save, is so very ill and yet is still gracious and sweet. He is so happy for Mal and Tom when he finds out they are married, although Mal doesn’t tell him why they married.  And Mal continues to hurt Tom.  Calling him a whore, putting him down and generally acting just like Tom’s father did.  “I’ll need to be convincing indeed when not even your own wife could keep up the pretense of loving you long enough to bear your child.”  For the life of me I kept wondering why this lovely man, William, was so close with someone who could be so mean.

Tom has so much respect for Mal’s love for William.  “No one in his own family would sit this kind of vigil for him, were he in William’s place. His own father had told him early and often how he wished Tom had died at birth…”   Tom grows close to William as well, reading to him on the sick bed, talking and willing to do anything to make William well.

The good fortune that comes to those Tom loves doesn’t happen because they are faking the marriage. So they have to move forward and try to make a marriage out of it.   Mal has the most distance to cross, as he is the most hurtful.  “…(Mal) could wonder why Tom offered such a generous ration of kindness to Will when he could spare not a whit of it for Mal.  But he knew damn well why.  It was Mal’s own doing.  He’d never given Tom the chance to be anything but the callous rake the world believed him to be, sneering at and berating him, seducing and mocking him….He had no one to blame but himself.”   Because he is good at knowing himself, Mal redeemed himself somewhat for me. “The knowledge that he himself had destroyed his own changes of any kind of happiness through his own cruelty brought him anything but satisfaction now.”

That it takes an act of honor on Tom’s part to turn things around seemed very fitting to me. By the end, honestly, I was astonished that this author was able to take a character I so loathed in the first book and make me love him and care what happened to him in the second.  To me, that is the sign of talent.

Cover art, showing a shirtless Mal? Tom? is a little too generic for me and didn’t do justice to the story.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: June 7th 2019 by Smoking Teacup Books
ASINB07RWJVB3N
Series Goddess-Blessed #2

The Replacement Husband

 

A Lucy Review The Replacement Husband by Eliot Grayson

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Goddess-blessed Owen Honeyfield is destined to enjoy perfect good fortune, and the arrival of handsome and eligible Tom Drake in his country town appears to be just the latest manifestation. Tom’s proposal is the fulfillment of Owen’s desires, but Owen is left heartbroken and at the mercy of Arthur, Tom’s disapproving elder brother, when his betrothal takes a disastrous turn. His reputation ruined and his bright future shattered, Owen must choose between loneliness and practicality.

Arthur Drake has taken responsibility for Tom’s scandalous behavior all their lives. He doesn’t think much of his brother’s engagement, knowing that even Owen’s sweetness won’t be enough to influence Tom for the better. When Tom’s impulsive selfishness threatens to ruin the lives of everyone involved, Arthur has only one honorable choice. He’ll need to repair the damage Tom has done and fight for his own happiness, knowing all the while he may never be able to take Tom’s place in Owen’s heart.

I am a huge fan of historicals and I was interested in this one because many of the social norms of, say the Regency era, were not present.  The Goddess worship, for one, as well as the acceptance of same-sex relationships and marriages and the acceptance of divorce .

Owen has been Goddess-blessed and this means he will enjoy good fortune and a good life.  This extends to those he cares about.  He meets the brothers after a fall on the moors and falls for Tom.  However, when his beloved turns out to be a cheating jerk, it is up to Tom’s brother, Arthur, to try to salvage the situation. In this way it was interesting – Owen’s reputation would be ruined for being jilted because he is Goddess-blessed, so how could this happen? Very reminiscent of true historicals where the female is ruined.

I adored Arthur.  So stoic and steadfast, wanting to make things right while battling feelings for a man (Owen) who was sort of forced into this marriage and who not only loves another, but loves Arthur’s own brother.  Arthur was the highlight for me. 

Owen I wasn’t so enamored with, if only because he comes across as a damsel.  His father wrote the marriage settlement, that Owen didn’t bother to read.  Then I questioned- why do two men need a marriage settlement?  Owen seems very young, very “let’s act stupid so as to not upset the men” which reminded me so much of females in Regency times. “Owen knew very well he was not wrong, but intelligent, confident men of the world were seldom pleased to be corrected by their pretty young husbands, as unfair as that was.”    Even some of the descriptions, “…his hands smoothest up, coming to rest around Owen’s waist, where they nearly spanned its circumference.”

There were times I wanted to shake Owen for not seeing what was in front of him and for pining for Tom.  Owen’s treatment of Tom’s wife was lovely, as was Arthur’s behavior after the “…not unprovoked pillow.” 

This was my first time reading Eliot Grayson and I look forward to more of his books. This twist on the historical worked very well for me.

Cover art by Fiona Jayde fits the style of the book, just a man dressed in era-appropriated garb.

Sales Links:  Goodreads  |   Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 160 pages

Published December 28th 2018 by Smoking Teacup Books

ASIN B07MD3K885

Edition Language English

A Stella Review: The Replacement Husband by Eliot Grayson

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RATING 4 out of 5 stars

Goddess-blessed Owen Honeyfield is destined to enjoy perfect good fortune, and the arrival of handsome and eligible Tom Drake in his country town appears to be just the latest manifestation. Tom’s proposal is the fulfillment of Owen’s desires, but Owen is left heartbroken and at the mercy of Arthur, Tom’s disapproving elder brother, when his betrothal takes a disastrous turn. His reputation ruined and his bright future shattered, Owen must choose between loneliness and practicality.

Arthur Drake has taken responsibility for Tom’s scandalous behavior all their lives. He doesn’t think much of his brother’s engagement, knowing that even Owen’s sweetness won’t be enough to influence Tom for the better. When Tom’s impulsive selfishness threatens to ruin the lives of everyone involved, Arthur has only one honorable choice. He’ll need to repair the damage Tom has done and fight for his own happiness, knowing all the while he may never be able to take Tom’s place in Owen’s heart.

This is not the first book I read by the author and I have to say I’m very happy I had the chance of having this new release on my hands. The Replacement Husband was a lovely surprise, definitely different from my usual readings, but interesting and so well delivered, I enjoyed till the end.

The plot is simple and quite common, although I don’t think I already read something like this in the mm genre. As soon as I start it, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to like the character of Owen, but he grew on me; moreover I have to give credit to Arthur, he conquered me from the beginning, it reminded me the mysterious and generous heroes of the English literature of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, which I am a huge fan of. So of course Arthur, who came and save Owen twice, was my favorite. I cheered on him and his unrequited love for the younger man.

Two reasons why I didn’t give the book an higher rating: first one is linked to the writing style and it’s something I noticed when I read Like a Gentleman too; since my English is still a work in progress, I have issues when the sentences are a little on the long side and here, once in a while, I had to come back and reread the words cause I missed the train of thoughts. Second, I would have preferred Owen to act more like an adult, think twice and be more strong. Some of his behaviours were childish, but he’s still young and with a lovely husband beside him.

The Replacement Husband is a sweet, sexy and well done story, I feel to recommend it.

The cover art by Fiona Jayde is lovely and eyecatching, I love it.

Sales Links:  Goodreads  |   Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 160 pages

Published December 28th 2018 by Smoking Teacup Books

ASIN B07MD3K885

Edition Language Englis

Enjoy A Regency Romance? Check Out ‘The Replacement Husband’ by Eliot Grayson (giveaway)

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The Replacement Husband

by

Love M/M Regency Romances?  Then check out The Replacement Husband by Eliot Grayson.  And don’t forget to enter the Giveaway at the end of the post!

✒︎

 

 

Blurb:

Goddess-blessed Owen Honeyfield is destined to enjoy perfect good fortune, and the arrival of handsome and eligible Tom Drake in his country town appears to be just the latest manifestation. Tom’s proposal is the fulfillment of Owen’s desires, but Owen is left heartbroken and at the mercy of Arthur, Tom’s disapproving elder brother, when his betrothal takes a disastrous turn. His reputation ruined and his bright future shattered, Owen must choose between loneliness and practicality.

Arthur Drake has taken responsibility for Tom’s scandalous behavior all their lives. He doesn’t think much of his brother’s engagement, knowing that even Owen’s sweetness won’t be enough to influence Tom for the better.  When Tom’s impulsive selfishness threatens to ruin the lives of everyone involved, Arthur has only one honorable choice. He’ll need to repair the damage Tom has done and fight for his own happiness, knowing all the while he may never be able to take Tom’s place in Owen’s heart.

About the Author

Website:
Goodreads author page:

Giveaway

Prolific Works link for readers:

 

This book will be available as part of the New Year, New Author giveaway on Prolific Works from December 28-January 3. There are 28 MM authors participating, so check it out! It will be for sale and available in Kindle Unlimited starting on January 4.

A Stella Review: Like a Gentleman by Eliot Grayson

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RATING 4 out of 5 stars

James Rowley, penniless younger brother of an earl, discovers his rejected sensational story has been stolen and printed under another name — and he’s certain his editor is the guilty party. Determined to get his due, he sets out for London to take revenge on the perfidious L. Wells. He means to have satisfaction, even if he needs to pose as a simpering fop in a pink waistcoat to get it.

Two years before, intrigued by his favorite writer’s talent and wit, Leo Wells had visited the Rowley estate incognito, seen James’s portrait — and promptly lost what was left of his heart. Ever since, Leo has fought his obsession with his favorite writer. Unaware of the manuscript’s theft, he’s bewildered and heartbroken when James, acting the part of a sneering dandy, visits him in person only to use his obvious attraction against him.

From Gloucestershire to London to Portsmouth, can two men with society and secrets dividing them find happiness?

I’m not a huge fan of historical MM romance and I’m always picky about the books I decide to read cause I don’t want to end hating them just because they are not set in the contemporary time. Nonetheless I wanted to have Like A Gentleman on my Kindle as  soon as I read the blurb, it strongly interested me and at the end the author, a new to me author, didn’t disappoint me at all.

This was a quick read, just a little more than 60 pages but they were very well done. Eliot Greyson simply succeeded in the greatest way possible with Like a Gentleman. I was able to find here everything I always look into my readings, well written words, engaging world, the characters built and likeable. I found myself into a good defined plot made of passion and revenge. And the chemistry between James and Leo was explosive. And there was some sweetness too. I couldn’t ask for more.

I’m now writing this review and to be honest, I want to reread the story, so yes, I’m going to do it right this second. Highly recommended if you are a fan of Regency romance or not, like me.

The cover art is simple and fitting to the era. I don’t despite it but I don’t love it either.

SALE LINKS  Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 69 pages

Published November 4th 2017 by Smoking Teacup Books

ASIN B0776F4GX7

Edition Language English