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

Standard

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

Standard

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

Standard

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