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The Reluctant Husband

(Goddess-Blessed #2)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  372 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Is their marriage a blessing…or a curse?

Tom Drake wants nothing to do with his patron goddess. Her blessing has always been little more than a cruel curse. But when he finds himself disowned, disgraced, and on the verge of homelessness, he knows he can no longer afford to ignore her demands. He must marry. Sadly, his one marriage prospect is a pragmatic, stubborn man who o
Kindle Edition, 168 pages
Published June 7th 2019 by Smoking Teacup Books
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Lost in a Book
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.25 Stars

How the hell was my heart breaking for Tom??? Tom?? The poor, kicked out on his conniving ass VILLAN in the last of this series, The Replacement Husband


Somehow Tom ends up Goddess-blessed AND redeemed and now I’m converted to his side while waving my Team Tom t-shirt. Color me impressed, Eliot Grayson. Random note but as any voracious reader, I used to stay up all hours of the night to read *before* having a kid. Work the next day was tiring but I could hack it. Now, I try not to lose
*Mouth wide open* Tom Drake was horrid in book #1. How in hell does he get goddess-blessed and redeemed? Colour me cautious....
4.5 Stars

Well. Took me a little while to get to The Reluctant Husband - I went via The Replacement Husband, natural choice reading book one first, then I went and skipped this one (book #2) and went straight to book #3, Yuletide Treasure. Eliot Grayson made me fall for someone who I wasn't sure I could. Poor Owen was left heartbroken initially, until Tom's brother steppe
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, age-gap, ku, lgbtq
*3,75 stars*

The second instalment of this series definitely had what book 1 was lacking – crackling chemistry and in-depth characters.

We met Tom as the unreliable and pretty horrible brother of Arthur in book 1, you know the one who let Owen down in the worst possible way. As always it is very gratifying to see a villain redeem himself.

Tom does that and more. And he gets quite a bit of nasty stuff thrown at him – quite a lot coming in the form of verbal abuse by Mal. I cringed on many occasions
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it

That was a much better laid out jaunt in this alternative Regency universe and a pretty decent redemption story for Tom.

He'd been absolutely dreadful in book one but this book goes into the whys and wherefores of his behaviour on a way which made sense.

I actually ended up feeling a fair bit sorry for him once his secret was revealed. I didn't warm to Mal as quickly as I'd loved Arthur in book one, he was an arse to Tom for a great deal longer than I thought was justified.

As with book one,
Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure why this author wasn't on my radar before but I've added ALL their books to my TBR now, and I'm following them to make sure I catch new releases...

Because, seriously? I love a good redemption story but I was skeptical that Tom could be redeemed after his actions in the last book; he was a selfish, self-centered philanderer with no qualms about cheating on his fiance Owen, or his wife.

Only, wow. Once his motivations came to light, his internal struggle against his birthright and the
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 famil
Funzee Shu
The story started with Tom who must lived penny by penny after being disgraced by his brother, Arthur and then ‘kicked out' by his wife after being ‘used’ for the needs. One night ‘mistake’ he did with Mal for money had brought him to another problem that soon will affect his destiny, because Mal accidentally know his secret. Mal then offer him a deal, marry him and help him save his dying cousin then he will never get starved again. Tom agreed marrying Mal and once again being ‘used’. But deep ...more
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Eliot Grayson can write an engaging, emotional roller coaster of a story like no one else. I loved The Replacement Husband and I so love this book as well.

Tom was considered 'the bad guy' in the last book, but is our man after redemption in this story. Writing an unlikeable character into a likeable one is extremely difficult to pull off, yet I fell for Tom without question. He wasn't perfect and he knew it. He wore the persecution of his past like a cloak, finally shedding it in the end.

Mal wan
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
I didn't read the blurb for this book before starting to read it, and I don't know if I would have opted to read it if I knew it was Tom's story.

Tom is definitely not painted in a good light in the first book, between his attitude towards Arthur and his actions against Caroline and Owen. There wasn't really anything that hinted at a softer side. And I think maybe that was a bit of an error kn the author's side. In this book, you do get to see that softer side, and in my opinion, Tom's biggest re
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I started this book with a low expectation because I haven't read book 1 in this series (the summary didn't sound that interesting), and was a bit worried that things would be too confusing. But it turned out I understood everything just fine. I love Tom so much. He tugged all my heart strings with his backstory, and later with how cruel Mal was to him. But I get Mal, too. I understand why he is the way he is. And he makes it up to Tom in the end.

The plot is simpler than the last books I've read
Aug 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
The goddess made me read this. 🤭❤

So when I finished The Replacement Husband I wanted to continue with this series, color me surprised when I found out that the next one is about Tom, FUCKING TOM! In the first book he was the character to hate so my brain went WTF. Still I read some reviews and decided to give it a shot.

It was a good call, if the last book was like pride and prejudice, this was like Wuthering Heights. Everytime the main characters talked it was pure poison and passion, I was hurt
Jenn (not Lily)
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ku
I loved this story! What a redemption for the irredeemable Tom -- and I utterly adored how quickly Tom realized what Marcus was really up to and flung himself at the solution. I'm not sure who the MC is in book 3, but I certainly hope it's not Marcus!
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: series, favorites
This is an interesting story than the previous one (I’m very Honest ) When I’ve read next book is about TOM I get so excited because I’ve a feeling that he was hiding something behind his evilness, cockiness, wickedness and very charming face because when his wife fainted in the previous book, Owen defines the fear on his face as a kid fear who looked upon his elder brother for guidance to make it all right and then it struck me he’s not a badass that he was trying to show and I was so shoc ...more
Wow, just wow! I devoured both these books back to back in two days. I really enjoyed the first but god damn I fucking love Tom! O_o
Owen was such fluffy little sweetheart in the first book and I liked the character, but Tom... my god he's fascinating and his character determined to stick with me. A mark of a truly enjoyable book, the first was like popcorn it was tasty but when I was done I was ready to move on to the next thing. The Reluctant Husband is still tugging at my thoughts even hours a
Nov 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Tom Redeemed.

I didn't think the author could take the reprobate Tom from the first book and make me like him. I was wrong. Understanding what Tom his from everyone, what his Father rejected him for, made me feel for Tom. I wish we readers had been given more of Mal's background. That would added another star. When is the third in the series?
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the first book I read by Eliot Grayson and I was thoroughly captivated. I read this as a stand-alone, not realizing there was a book 1 before it. I would recommend reading book 1 first, as the main character of the second book apparently was a bit of a cad in the first and by the time I realized this my heart was invested in the 'cad's' happiness.

The writing is both period and easy to follow along with. The universe is well thought out and the mythology that Grayson comes up with is real
Lena Grey
Jun 26, 2019 rated it liked it

Marriage is trying at best, but if you get married for the wrong reasons, it can be one of the saddest things you can do. Malcolm and Tom, of ‘The Reluctant’ Husband’ by Eliot Grayson, marry because Tom is disgraced and penniless and Malcolm offers to give him what he needs if he will marry him. Malcolm needs the blessing Tom’s patron goddess will bring his family, hoping it will extend to his cousin, William, who is seriously ill.

Both are clear that their marriage is for show and nothing else.
💠Lovely! A True Romance!💠

Tom - The Desolate Rake
Mal - The Desperate Gentleman

Meeting Tom in, THE REPLACEMENT HUSBAND, I wasn't looking forward to his antics in this story. So, imagine my surprise when things were nothing like I imagined they would be.

So many lessons learned, for our dear Tom, who kept a secret hidden his entire life because his father made him feel ashamed because of it. What was meant to be a blessing from the Goddess, Tom only believed to be a curse, something to make him les
Natosha Wilson
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was just as good as the first book was. Just as with the first book in this series, I am not a person who enjoys a historically based book but this series I enjoyed. After book one I did not like Tom in the least because of the way he treated not only Owen but the woman he married, Caroline. But in this book I think a better portrayal of who Tom is was laid out. I am glad that this book was Tom’s book and that I got to know the real Tom. He is definitely a different type of person then ...more
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 🌟 rounded up

This is the second book in this series, and I am hoping that a bit more backstory is given in the first book. This book can be read as a standalone, but I felt that some of the supernatural aspects could have been explained further.

There is a blurb and excerpt from the first book at the end of this story, which tells me that at least some of Tom's history is given in more detail more or less there. However, this book highlights enough of his exploits to get a pretty good picture.
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
I really like this author's story telling, I'm drawn in immediately. Considering what an absolute jerk Tom was in the first book I had doubts that he could be redeemed, but they managed to pull it off. Although I'm not sure I liked why he was such a jerk nor am I sure that it was a viable reason for the way he acted. Additionally I never felt like that was ever resolved entirely, hiding such a huge part of who you are requires more than love to fix things. Plus I'm honestly not enamored of the w ...more
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Poor Tom. He's been so busy hiding things that everyone thinks that he's a total waste of space. The thing is that no one has ever bothered to try to actually get to know Tom, not his family, not his wife, no one. But then Mal proposes that Tom marry him, for reasons.

I really like Tom and felt so strongly for him. He's not nearly as bad as everyone seems to assume he is, and he has reasons as to why he did everything that he did, even if they aren't the reasons that you and I would choose. When
Misty M
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, m-m, arc
The book I didn't know I wanted!

I loved the first book, and couldn’t wait for more. Then I read the blurb... TOM?!?!?! So I was hesitant to even start this one. I love, LOVE a really good redemption for an anti-hero, but they are so rarely well done that it’s made me gun-shy. No worries on that account, Grayson did it with flair. By the end I wanted everyone to just “FORGIVE TOM ALREADY”, and I’m not a forgiving person.

Now this one is probably not great as a standalone, as a lot of this world i
Jun 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Good followup.

I have to say, I liked this one alot more than the 1st book in the series.
The characters in this had more depth, were far more experienced, far more relatable.
Tom was such a jackass in the previous book, I worried how I could come to like him, but I did, and I have to say, I like him more than Owen. With Owen, everything was second guessing, which I assume was cz he was a virgin but, in hindsight, it was a turnoff.
But I liked Tom's shaded character. His reasons and his development
Patricia Hoffstaetter
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished-reading
It was a pleasure to read this outstanding, well-written MM romance with mythology undertones. It has an intriguing, well-paced story-line & a suspenseful plot. The characters are unique with complex personalities, one of the characters struggle with self-esteem issues and acceptance while other character has a devious yet desperate plan while they continue to develop throughout the story-line.
There is: a man blessed by a goddess but influenced by past memories has now resorts to selling himself
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very cool story about Tom, who's marked by a goddess to bring blessings on whomever he surrenders himself to, and curses on those he's not true to.

Mal is searching for a marked person to help save his cousin, who's like a brother. So, the two agree to marry, Tom for financial need, Mal for the blessings. They hurl insults and the cousin, Will, continues to worsen. When they finally join, and start to build their relationship, the healing begins to work.

A nasty confrontation with a relative fin
Mar 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is about Tom, the husband who rejected Owen in the first book of the series. We find out that Tom is not the villain he was portrayed to be in the first book. I really liked this one. It was very emotional, because the marriage starts out as a marriage of convenience for both Tom & Malcolm. And they fight their feelings the whole way. They say the things that will hurt the worst, to reestablish all the time that they ARE. NOT. IN. LOVE. But of course they are in love.

The only thing I
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm, historical, 2019
Nice series sequel

I've read and enjoyed the first two books by this author and when I realized there was a new title coming up, on my TBR it went and not to while away there for long. I like Grayson's writing style, it's such that it's easy and fast to read. I enjoyed reading Tom's story, too. It offered a somewhat different view to his persona than previously, and it came out, he's got more to him that meets the eye in the series first title. There was a long-carried secret, life and death situ
Suzanne Irving
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great m/m series

This is the second book of the Goddess Blessed series that rewrites history as if people are Blessed and if they do the right things then the people around them will be blessed as well. In this book we again see Tom Drake who mucked things up so badly in the previous book. He is forced by his own actions into marriage with Mal who only marries him to hopefully use the blessing to save the life of his cousin. It is a romance so you can guess what happens. It’s the skill of the wr
Apr 11, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf-lemmed
DNF at 10%. The author did too good a job of casting Tom as the villain the first time around and I belatedly realised that I couldn't give a flying f!#k about his redemption arc. I thought the first book was a delightful pastiche of... every mid-level Regency Romance ever. This though? Tom selling himself to Mal and it eventually promising to turn into a HEA? No. Can't go there.

Book 1: Gay Regency Romance with no traditional gender norms for relationships and with deities who seem to interact
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Other books in the series

Goddess-Blessed (4 books)
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