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.
ebook, 160 pages
Published December 28th 2018 by Smoking Teacup Books
Edition Language English