Reviewed by Nikyta
Title: The Replacement Husband
Author: Eliot Grayson
Series: Goddess-Blessed #1
Heroes: Owen & Arthur
Genre: M/M Historical Fantasy
Length: 186 pages
Publisher: Smoking Teacup Books
Release Date: January 4, 2019
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Owen Honeyfield lives a goddess-blessed life. His picture-perfect courtship and engagement to the man of his dreams is proof of that. But when his betrothal takes a disastrous turn, Owen’s only hope to restore his tarnished reputation comes from a most shocking source—the cold, disturbingly sensual brother of the man who just shattered his heart and abandoned him. Perhaps he’s not as blessed as he’d always thought…
Arthur Drake is accustomed to cleaning up after his impulsive and selfish brother. After all, he’s done it his whole life. The latest debacle, though, is much worse than usual. This time, his brother’s actions have threatened not only their family name, but Arthur’s own happiness. The only honorable choice is to marry Owen. But while he knows he can repair the damage to his beautiful new husband’s reputation, mending his broken heart might prove infinitely more difficult.
It’s not long before the lines between duty and passion blur, and Arthur finds himself in the inconvenient position of falling for his new husband. Will his love be enough to convince Owen to let their marriage of convenience become the happily ever after they both deserve?
This is an M/M romance set in an alternate-universe Regency with waistcoats, awkward tea-drinking, and pagan goddesses on the loose. It is the first in a series, but it can be read as a standalone.
Arranged marriages are one of my weaknesses when it comes to tropes because I love that the couple (usually) starts off not tolerating each other or even indifferent and then get closer with time. In this one, Owen and Arthur don’t hate each other but Owen would rather be marrying Tom and not his brother Arthur. I really loved Arthur as a character, though, I loved that he was possessive of Owen but also patient with him. He did everything he could to save Owen from a scandal and give him a life he deserved and I loved that about him. As for Owen, I thought he was sweet but a little gullible. He believed whatever Tom would say even if Arthur would say something contrary to that and it took him way too long to see that Tom was more of a user than an honest man.
While I really enjoyed this one, I had a few little niggles. For one, I wished the book focused more of Owen and Arthur instead of constantly having Arthur compared to Tom or Tom overshadowing a majority of the story. Then there’s Owen, who I didn’t really connect with because I felt like he didn’t really try to be anything but a damsel and wouldn’t really listen when others said anything bad about Tom even when he was faced with the facts. It took him way too long for Owen to realize who Tom really was and what a bastard Tom was. Add to that, while I did enjoy the epilogue and seeing what happens with Caroline’s baby, I wished it would have been focused on Owen and Arthur instead of someone else.
All in all, this was a really enjoyable read. I really loved Arthur as a character and while I didn’t warm up to Owen that much, I did like seeing the relationship develop between Arthur and Owen. I also really liked this world revolving around the Goddess, although, I wished it had been just a little more fleshed out because I still have some questions on being Goddess Blessed. I was on the fence about reading Tom’s story but now I’m curious to see if he’s redeemed in his book so I’m looking forward to it now. Definitely give this a go if you’re looking for something a little different than the traditional historical romance.
Overall Impression: I really liked it!
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*