Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Cory’s had a rough year struggling with severe depression. He’s desperate to rebuild his shattered life and break away from his demanding family. When his therapist encourages him to do something for himself, he knows exactly what he needs. I want to see Asher again. The best friend Corey ever had who, at fifteen, held Cory’s heart in his hands without knowing it.
Asher’s had a troubled relationship with his father since he came out. Now that Pops is sick, he’s fighting for his right to help or even find out about his father’s health. Then there’s the complication of an ex-boyfriend unwilling to let go.
When Cory and Asher meet again after sixteen years, Cory’s feelings are as strong as ever. But does Asher feel the same?
Cinnamon Eyes by Nell Iris is a sweet, heartwarming romance that I totally enjoyed. Nell Iris is an author I wasn’t really familiar with but I fell in love with her characters and the manner in which she pulled me into their lives and romance.
Both Cory and Asher are men damaged after parting after young kids, a separation neither has recovered from, even after all these years apart. For Cory, it’s been the crushing pressure and emotional abuse of his cold family that crushed him and sent him into therapy. It’s also found Cory running back to the small town where he left his heart and childhood friend years ago.
Told from alternating points of view, we get an intimate window into what it feel’s like to have an anxiety attack and have depression be a large factor in your life. The author does a believable, sympathetic handling of Cory’s issues and let’s us connect with him easily from the moment we meet him. We want Cory to have his HEA and get the shivers when he meets up with Asher once more.
Sixteen years later and I still would have recognized him anywhere. The hair was as unruly as ever, and just as rock ‘n’ roll as his voice. The jawline so sharp he could probably cut glass with it. And the nose was still a little too big for his face.
I couldn’t see his green eyes from here, but I remembered them vividly. The pale color of a leaf newly broken out of its bud in spring, was such a stark contrast to his black eyelashes and olive complexion and had always hypnotized me with their beauty.
When he started singing, his voice pulled me out of my initial shock.
Two best friends
Like no one had ever seen before
happy and troublesome and wild
Sharing scraped knees
and high flying dreams
Carefree as the clouds in the sky
The boy with laughing cinnamon eyes
The scene goes on and yes, the tears are rolling down my face and I’m so in love with these men and I don’t even know the whole story yet.
Of course life hasn’t been easy for Asher either. His character is just as layered, just as hurt, injured by people close to him and events he had no control over. Yet, he’s still in love with the one that left all those years ago.
But even with a reunion, nothing is easy. Watching Asher and Cory come back together, like melody and lyrics that flow effortlessly along, is a story that I just sunk into. I forgot about everything but their relationship, and hoping they could make it work. The author’s writing is smooth, her storytelling is wildly romantic while still being real, and the ending is everything you will want it to be.
Cover art is perfect for the story and characters. I just loved it.
Published August 12th 2017 by JMS Books