A Lucy Review: 9 Willow Street by Nell Iris

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Heartbroken after the death of his beloved Nana, Hannes, the family outsider, finally allows himself to grieve. The legal battle over Nana’s quirky old house — the only place he’s ever felt accepted and loved — is over, and he moves in and finds a sense of peace.

… And a rabbit.

An adorable bunny with a huge personality moves in, too, and refuses to leave. Hannes instantly falls in love with the sweet animal who helps heal his heart. But one morning, Hannes’ view of the world changes when the rabbit transforms into a man. A man named Mattis.

After the initial shock, Hannes and Mattis discover a connection between them that runs deeper than it seems. Will their newfound feelings survive unraveling secrets and meddling families, and grow into something real? Something deep and everlasting?

Poor Hannes.  His very beloved great-grandmother died suddenly (at age 109) and not only did he lose the only family member who supported and really loved him, but he had to fight his relatives for the house she left him.  The will was contested and thirteen months spent bitterly fighting before Hannes was allowed to move into his inheritance.  Which he did with such grief it poured off the pages.  “I couldn’t even cry on the one-year anniversary of her death last month, but here, in her garden, I finally let go.”   Nana and Hannes forever, it was supposed to be.  The rest of the family are as intelligent as Hannes but chose different paths – doctors and surgeons and they look down on Hannes for his career as an herbalist.  A career Nana supported fully. 

He is heartbroken that because the court fight took so long, nothing remains of Nana’s scent in the house.  The sight of her favorite cardigan sends him into tears again.  Then he spies, in the middle of the kitchen, a white and black rabbit.  He, in his grief and loneliness, is so grateful for a warm, soft friend who he can cuddle and confide in.  “You see, little one, my parents are smart and successful, but not particularly warm.”  That is such an understatement, especially Mommy dearest.

Hannes names the rabbit Mio and it becomes his companion.  When people come looking for their brother, he obviously hasn’t seen anyone.  However, when they return to ask about a rabbit…well, Hannes doesn’t know why but he lies.  No rabbit here, nope.  And so the connection between Hannes and Mio (Mattis as a human) becomes even more.

The story is very sweet and pretty angst free.  It is told in first person present tense by Hannes, not my favorite. Also, the mothers of both of them are pretty wretched, though Hannes’ mother wins the worst mom award by far.  “You know how we feel about pets,” Mother says.  Well, this isn’t your house and he’s an adult, so who cares?  I did love Hannes standing up to her. Mattis’ mother is just rude, not a horrible person.

There is explaining to do and I have to say I was glad Hannes didn’t just, ok, a rabbit, cool.  Because that would freak anyone out!  I liked the explanation of the warren, as well, and the reason Mattis left. 

This is a sweet, pretty fluffy tale (see what I did there?) of a boy and his rabbit. 

Cover art, showing Hannes and his man bun, is spot on.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS Books | Universal Link

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 95 pages
Published July 6th 2019 by JMS Books LLC
ASINB07T6L4P9J

Release Blitz and Giveaway for 9 Willow Street by Nell Iris

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Length: 28,153 words
 
Publisher: JMS Books 
 

Heartbroken after the death of his beloved Nana, Hannes, the family outsider, finally allows himself to grieve. The legal battle over Nana’s quirky old house — the only place he’s ever felt accepted and loved — is over, and he moves in and finds a sense of peace.


… And a rabbit.


An adorable bunny with a huge personality moves in, too, and refuses to leave. Hannes instantly falls in love with the sweet animal who helps heal his heart. But one morning, Hannes’ view of the world changes when the rabbit transforms into a man. A man named Mattis.


After the initial shock, Hannes and Mattis discover a connection between them that runs deeper than it seems. Will their newfound feelings survive unraveling secrets and meddling families, and grow into something real? Something deep and everlasting?

 

Nell Iris is a romantic at heart who believes everyone deserves a happy ending. She’s a bona fide bookworm (learned to read long before she started school), wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without something to read (not even the ladies’ room), loves music (and singing along but, let’s face it, she’s no Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (“Make it so”). She loves words, poetry, wine, and Sudoku, and absolutely adores elephants!


Nell believes passionately in equality for all regardless of race, gender, or sexuality, and wants to make the world a better, less hateful, place.


Nell is a forty-something bisexual Swedish woman, married to the love of her life, and a proud mama of a grown daughter. She left the Scandinavian cold and darkness for warmer and sunnier Malaysia a few years ago, and now spends her days writing, surfing the Internet, enjoying the heat, and eating good food. One day she decided to chase her lifelong dream of being a writer, sat down in front of her laptop, and wrote a story about two men falling in love.


Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angst, and wants to write diverse and different characters.


Email contact@nelliris.com
Web www.nelliris.com
Twitter @nellirisauthor
Facebook page www.facebook.com/nellirisauthor
Facebook profile www.facebook.com/nell.iris.12
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/nelliris
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/nell_iris/
QueeRomance Ink https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/nell-iris/

 

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A VVivacious Review: Snowed In: Nen and Anani by Nell Iris

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Rating: 2 Stars out of 5
“Anani and Nen are residents of Elemiis where love between two men is forbidden. The Vasilissa banishes her son, the Vasilieu, Anani from her kingdom which leads to a Terrible Snow Rotation as Anani’s powers spiral out of control.
When after fifteen rotations they are re-united it leads to a snow storm and Nen and Anani are stuck together in close quarters but where will they find themselves and their relationship when the storm breaks.”
The story had a very rich background and exquisite world building. The author creates quite a bit of a world which I would have loved to stay in more. The characters had quite a rich back story which didn’t come much in use in this short story. I expected to find more details focusing on the elements and their transfer especially considering how unique Anani’s birth is as the only male child born ever to be borne by a Vasilissa. At one point in the story I was sure we would get more about Anani’s powers when Nen comments about Anani’s power feeling like more than what anybody thought they would be. Also, this world would have contributed more to a longer story where there could be some focus on the powers the Vasilissa and her children have.
There are quite a few loose ends in this story because it really feels like the story wanted to tackle more than it could owing to the length of the story.
The whole story is a build-up to the coming together of Nen and Anani. The whole scene of them having sex should have been the highlight of the story instead it was a scene completely missing from the story with the story just picking up after the fact. So the build up ultimately amounts to nothing.
This book had good bones but it wasn’t very well fleshed out.
Cover Art by Written Ink Designs. The cover is the standard across all Snowed In titles but considering the setting of this story it doesn’t fit very well.
Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 1st edition, 73 pages
Published February 16th 2019 by JMS Books, LLC
ISBN 139781634867993

New Release Blitz for Snowed In: Nen and Anani by Nell Iris (excerpt and giveaway)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS 
 
Length: 22,312 words
 
Publisher: JMS Books 
 
Blurb
 

It is time to go to my son.


Nen waited to hear those words from the Vasilissa for fifteen rotations, since that time the snow wouldn’t stop falling. But now that he’s about to meet Anani, the love of his life, again, he’s afraid. What if Anani doesn’t feel the same anymore?


Anani, the guardian of the water element, was only seventeen when he was banished from his mother’s court. Heartbroken he couldn’t be with the one he loved, he lost control over his emotions and his power. No matter what he tried, the snow wouldn’t stop, and as a last resort, he was sent away.


When they finally meet again, Anani is hopeful but disillusioned. The law that kept them apart hasn’t changed. How will they be able to find their happily ever after?


And what happens when the snow starts falling again?

 
Excerpt
 

A third knock hushes the forest even more. Not a single insect can be heard. Is the wildlife waiting for me to leave? Is he? Would he answer if I call out to him? Or will the sound of my voice make him even more resolved to stay behind the closed door?


Before I have time to come to a decision, the door is yanked open and he appears in the opening.


The Vasilieu.


Oh, great Spirit, still my heart!


He is magnificent!


He is willowy tall and has grown so much these last fifteen rotations, reaching me to my nose, standing over a head taller than any other member of his family. He’s dressed like a commoner in a tunic and pants even plainer than my own — where’s his kaftan? The clothes hug his body and reveal every long sinewy muscle in his legs and arms.


Hair as white as newly fallen snow is parted in the middle and hangs straight to his waist. His nose, slightly upturned, gives him a mischievous look. His pale lips, imperceptibly darker than his skin color, are pillowy but set in a severe line.


But it’s his eyes that draw my attention. Pale blue eyes staring at me as if he can’t believe what he’s seeing. After a few heartbeats, they widen, and he lets out a gasp.


A wave of emotions hit me square in the chest. What was muted just moments before grows into an avalanche as though he let them loose, or lost control of them. They overwhelm me; I physically feel them, poking and prodding my breast, invading my heart. I stagger a few steps backward and sink to my knees without hesitation. I don’t avert my gaze. “Vasilieu.”


He narrows his eyes. “Do not call me that. You know my name. Use it.”


The barrage of his emotions intensifies, making it hard to breathe but easy for me to identify them. Disbelief. Uncertainty. Hope.


… Happiness?


Yes, definitely happiness.


“Anani,” I whisper. Never before have I uttered his name, not even alone in the night. Saying it now is terrifying and freeing all at once. And it feels right, as though my lips are meant to say it. Whisper it in his ear as our limbs are entwined and sweaty.


He surges forward and throws himself on his knees before me. Cups my cheeks and lets his thumbs caress my beard. His gaze flits over my face as if though he’s trying to take in all the changes that have happened since we saw each other last. The crow’s feet by my eyes. The corners of my mouth that are downturned from the lack of smiling. The first gray at my temples in a sea of black, bristly hair.


I’m an older, more tired-looking version of the man who watched him walk away all those rotations ago, while he’s more breathtaking than ever.


“Vasilieu. Don’t kneel before me. It’s not proper.”


“Nen. Oh Nen. Is it really you?” he asks as if he didn’t hear my plea. His hands explore my face; the fingertips linger in my wrinkles and lines, sending sparkles through my body. He tugs lightly on my beard and gazes into my eyes. I wonder what he sees.


“Vasilieu. Anani.” The second time I use his name is even more momentous. “Stand, I beg you.”


He sits back on his heels. “What are you doing here?” His disbelief melts away. Clearly, he trusts his own eyes and what he can see before him. Confusion takes its place. With grace, he rises to his feet, bends down to grab my hands, and pulls me to standing with little help from me. Spirit, he is strong!


He doesn’t let go.

Nell Iris is a romantic at heart who believes everyone deserves a happy ending. She’s a bona fide bookworm (learned to read long before she started school), wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without something to read (not even the ladies’ room), loves music (and singing along but, let’s face it, she’s no Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (“Make it so”). She loves words, poetry, wine, and Sudoku, and absolutely adores elephants!


Nell believes passionately in equality for all regardless of race, gender, or sexuality, and wants to make the world a better, less hateful, place.


Nell is a forty-something bisexual Swedish woman, married to the love of her life, and a proud mama of a grown daughter. She left the Scandinavian cold and darkness for warmer and sunnier Malaysia a few years ago, and now spends her days writing, surfing the Internet, enjoying the heat, and eating good food. One day she decided to chase her lifelong dream of being a writer, sat down in front of her laptop, and wrote a story about two men falling in love.


Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angst, and wants to write diverse and different characters.


Email contact@nelliris.com
Web www.nelliris.com
Twitter @nellirisauthor
Facebook page www.facebook.com/nellirisauthor
Facebook profile www.facebook.com/nell.iris.12
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/nelliris
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/nell_iris/
QueeRomance Ink https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/nell-iris/

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An Alisa Review : Awakenings and French Songs by Nell Iris

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

An existential awakening and lots of French chansons equal a favorite neighbor seen in a new light.

Iggy Wilker never expected his 36th birthday to turn into an existential crisis. When Iggy’s friends celebrate him with his usual favorite pastime — drinking, dancing, and willing guys — he suddenly wants nothing to do with any of it. He’s fed up and ready for something else. The question is what?

Ronan Clenney has had his eye on his neighbor forever, but as a single father of a precocious eleven-year-old, he’s never believed he stands a chance. But over a late night cup of tea, it seems circumstances have changed. Is this the right time, finally?

Iggy has never believed in romance, but can Ronan show him he’s wrong? That love is a real thing?

This story was sweet.  Iggy has hit that point in his life that the partying and quick encounters don’t feel right.  Ronan’s life is focused around his daughter and though Iggy has become a part of their life he hasn’t let anyone in close.

I liked this story but didn’t feel a strong connection to the characters.  Being a short story a surface view is expect but I just felt as though I would have liked to know them better.  Though Iggy seems to be having a existential crisis he quickly decides what is it he wants and Ronan quickly accepts his advances though he tries to make it sound as if they need to move slowly.

The cover art by Written Ink Designs is a sweet picture of the characters.

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 11,120 words

Published: January 12, 2019 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634868471

Edition Language: English

New Release Tour for Awakenings and French Songs by Nell Iris (excerpt and giveaway)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS 
 
Length: 11,000 words approx.
 
Publisher: JMS Books 
 
Blurb
 

Iggy Wilker never expected his 36th birthday to turn into an existential crisis. When Iggy’s friends celebrate him with his usual favorite pastime — drinking, dancing, and willing guys — he suddenly wants nothing to do with any of it. He’s fed up and ready for something else. The question is what?


Ronan Clenney has had his eye on his neighbor forever, but as a single father of a precocious eleven-year-old, he’s never believed he stands a chance. But over a late night cup of tea, it seems circumstances have changed. Is this the right time, finally?


Iggy has never believed in romance, but can Ronan show him he’s wrong? That love is a real thing?


Excerpt


“Iggy?” A slow smile blooms on his face and his eyes brighten. “What are you doing up this early? What happened to no knocking on my door before ten on weekends, young Miss Emery?” he asks, imitating my words perfectly.


“I grew old, that’s what happened.”


“Awww. Poor Iggy.”


“Hey! Be nice or I won’t share my breakfast.” I hold up the bags to show him what he’d be missing.


His eyebrows shoot to the heavens. “You brought breakfast?”


“Um, yeah. You gonna let me in, or …?”


“Of course. You just about shocked me to death, that’s all.” He pretends to clutch his pearls.


“That seems to be my theme this week,” I mutter and follow him to the kitchen.


“I was just about to start breakfast –” he points at a carton of eggs, “– but I guess I don’t have to?”


“Nope. Coffee would be good though. I didn’t buy any.”


“Sure.” He leans over to the machine and pushes the button. “All done.” He grins at me and takes a seat at the table. “Show me what you got.”


He watches as I unload my purchases. Baguettes. Croissants. Pain au chocolat. A box of pastel colored macarons I bought only because they’re so pretty and I thought Emery would appreciate the pinks and purples and yellows. Three tiny, fancy-looking jars of French jam; black cherry, fig and walnut, and raspberry. And finally, a box of huge, dark red strawberries the bakery sold for some unknown reason.


Ronan’s mouth falls open as he takes in everything. “What brought this on?”


I take my usual spot at the table. “I’ve had that song on my mind ever since the other night. I have no idea what it’s called or what the guy was singing about, but I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. So when I walked past Knead It and they had a French flag hanging in the window, I couldn’t help myself.”


“Which song?”


I hum a few bars, hoping I don’t butcher it too much so he won’t recognize it, but he nods.


“‘Ne me quitte pas’ by Jacques Brel.”


I repeat the title in a terrible French accent. “What does it mean?”


“It means ‘Don’t leave me.’”


His words make my heart stutter in my chest. “It’s great. So emotional,” I rasp out.


“I didn’t know you were a fan of old French songs.”


“I’m not. But it’s really beautiful.” The explanation feels inadequate, but I don’t know how to express myself better.


He doesn’t talk for several seconds, and then he says, “Huh.” His gaze is full of questions he’s not asking, and he doesn’t let up the intense scrutiny for even a moment. Inside, I’m squirming like a maggot on a fish hook, but I hope I manage to present a calm exterior.


For the first time ever, things are weird between us. The conversation is stilted, and the silences awkward. I know why, of course. By showing up like this, I changed the dynamics of our relationship. I’ve never been one for socializing in the mornings. And while I’ve brought the occasional pizza or six-pack, I’ve never brought anything like this before. Something meaningful. Something that shows I’ve been thinking about him and the time we spent together. Something serious.


I can’t blame him for wondering what’s going on. He listens to that French stuff all the time and I’m sure he’s played that song a million times before, but it’s like I heard it for the very first time on Wednesday.


I can’t stand his close examination any longer, so I get up and start setting the table with plates and cups and cutlery. “What’s the deal with you and all the French stuff anyway?” I ask with my head buried in the refrigerator, looking for butter and something for Emery to drink since she’s not allowed coffee.


“My grandmother was from France. She always used to sing the old songs to me and teach me the lyrics.”


I place a cutting board and a bread knife on the table. “Oh. What was her name?”


“Celeste.”


“That’s a beautiful name.”


“Yes.”


I look around for something else to do. “Do you speak French?”


“Iggy?”


I gulp, knowing what’s coming. “Yes?” Reluctantly, I retake my seat at the table.


“Why are you really here?” His voice is soft and caring and I’ve heard him use the same tone when he speaks to Emery about important matters.


I line up the jam jars in a perfect row, needing something to do with my hands. “I … uh … want to spend more time with you and Emery.”

Nell Iris is a romantic at heart who believes everyone deserves a happy ending. She’s a bona fide bookworm (learned to read long before she started school), wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without something to read (not even the ladies’ room), loves music (and singing along but, let’s face it, she’s no Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (“Make it so”). She loves words, poetry, wine, and Sudoku, and absolutely adores elephants!

Nell believes passionately in equality for all regardless of race, gender, or sexuality, and wants to make the world a better, less hateful, place.

Nell is a forty-something bisexual Swedish woman, married to the love of her life, and a proud mama of a grown daughter. She left the Scandinavian cold and darkness for warmer and sunnier Malaysia a few years ago, and now spends her days writing, surfing the Internet, enjoying the heat, and eating good food. One day she decided to chase her lifelong dream of being a writer, sat down in front of her laptop, and wrote a story about two men falling in love.

Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angst, and wants to write diverse and different characters.

Email contact@nelliris.com
Web www.nelliris.com
Twitter @nellirisauthor
Facebook page www.facebook.com/nellirisauthor
Facebook profile www.facebook.com/nell.iris.12
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/nelliris
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/nell_iris/
QueeRomance Ink https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/nell-iris/

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A Lucy Review : Under The Felt Mistletoe by Nell Iris

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

The most wonderful time of the year is about to get even better.

On a cold, rainy December morning, Finn’s beloved Grampa, his best friend and rock, makes a friend outside their home who he invites for coffee. The last thing Finn expects is Nelson, a man with a painful past, who is beautiful and generous and turns Finn’s knees into jelly.

What starts out as a chance to get out of the rain, soon becomes more as Nelson helps Finn get ready for the Christmas market. They bond over coffee and fabric and Mariah Carey. Can handmade Christmas ornaments and an understanding heart give Nelson the love he’s been denied?

This seriously cute story focuses on Finn, a very happy man who lives with his beloved Grampa.  He works at a craft store and makes crafts to sell, such as fabric ornaments and the felt mistletoe.  When Grampa finds a cold young man looking for neighbors who moved, he of course invites Nelson in to warm up.  When they find out Nelson was looking for the family who moved, it was a little heart breaking. “They…they are my parents and siblings.” 

Finn and his grandparents have the best relationship.  Gramma has passed away and Finn tries to make sure he is there for Grampa’s grief while Grampa does the same.  They are the epitome of what family means.  And Grampa’s pushes with Finn and Nelson were cute.   Their coming out stories were so different – Finn just “…introduced my first boyfriend to him without earning him he was gonna mee a boy.  He…they…just loved me.”   Nelson’s was not happy.  “My parents threw me out on my eighteenth birthday.”   It’s so enraging to think how often this still happens. 

I did feel I was missing a little bit – I wanted to know more about Nelson’s family and I missed the “tentative” communication with his sister.  There is no sex on in the story, for those who look for that, but it was a cute holiday short with some very nice characters and a dollop of some Christmas spirit.

Cover design by Written Ink Designs shows Finn, his crazy curls under a beanie and wearing a giant smile with the felt mistletoe in the background.  It really captured the way I envisioned Finn.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS Books

Book Details:

ebook
Published December 8th 2018 by JMS Books LLC
ISBN 139781634868204

More Holiday Fun with the New Book Release Blitz for Under The Felt Mistletoe by Nell Iris (excerpt and giveaway)

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Length: 13,000 words.
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Blurb
 

The most wonderful time of the year is about to get even better.


On a cold, rainy December morning, Finn’s beloved Grampa, his best friend and rock, makes a friend outside their home who he invites in for coffee. The last thing Finn expects is Nelson, a man with a painful past, who is beautiful and generous and turns Finn’s knees into jelly.


What starts out as a chance to get out of the rain, soon becomes more as Nelson helps Finn get ready for the Christmas market. They bond over coffee and fabric and Mariah Carey. Can handmade Christmas ornaments and an understanding heart give Nelson the love he’s been denied?

 
Excerpt



Sunday arrives with clear skies and no rain, but instead, the temperature has dropped overnight and hovers in the low thirties. I arm myself with a thermos of coffee and dress accordingly: long johns under my orange bellbottom corduroy pants, a long-sleeved t-shirt and a turtleneck layered under my windbreaker, a fluffy scarf wound around my neck and a beanie that makes my hair look ridiculous. It flattens everything under the hat, but at the ribbed cuff, my curls explode in every direction with a vengeance.


A lot of people attend the first market of the season and despite the cold pluming my breath in front of me, everyone is in high spirits and full of holiday cheer. My neighbor to the right, Mrs. Winterbottom — yes, that’s her real name — is dressed as Mrs. Santa and sells magnificent hand-crafted fir wreaths. On my left, Mr. and Mrs. Carruthers sell gold-brushed chocolate pralines that are too pretty to eat and taste even better.


Every vendor plays holiday music, greets the shoppers with a jolly ho-ho-ho, and a comment on the weather. The shoppers, in turn, have deep pockets and are eager to acquire the merchandise. People love my ornaments, and my stuff flies off the table. I will be cleaned out completely before the market closes if this continues. I need to spend more time sewing so I can bring lots more next week.


After a couple hours, huge powdery snowflakes start sailing leisurely from the sky, adding to the holiday feeling. The only downer on this fabulous day is that I ran out of coffee early. Mrs. Winterbottom forgot hers at home, and I shared mine with her. I wouldn’t let my worst enemy go without coffee if I could do something about it.


But in a lull between customers, a savior arrives.


Nelson. Carrying two paper cups in mittened hands.


Warmth flashes in my chest at the sight of him; his shy smile and brown eyes that are warm enough to thaw the thin layer of ice from the pond in the middle of the park where the market is held.


“Hi,” he says, sounding out of breath. “I know you like coffee, but I thought maybe hot chocolate would be nice in this cold?” He holds out of the cups and if we weren’t separated by the table I would show my gratitude by hugging the stuffing out of the man. New acquaintance or not.


“My hero!” I accept the offering, tear off the lid, and inhale. The sweet, slightly bitter aroma makes my mouth water. I take a small sip, but it isn’t too hot to drink so I have some more. I hum in happiness and smile at him. “This is awesome. Thank you so much.”


Nelson’s gaze is glued to my mouth with eyelids heavy and lips parted. “You’ve got …” He sets down his cup and pulls off his red and white mittens, then he leans forward and swipes the pad of his thumb along my upper lip.


I draw a stuttering breath.


“You had chocolate on your lip,” he rasps, his voice so deliciously rumbly I feel it all the way in my bones. “There. All gone.” He does a final sweep before withdrawing.


I can’t help it; my hand flies to my mouth and I finger my lip as though I’m trying to stop the lingering warmth from evaporating.


“Thank you.” My voice is hoarse. Our eyes lock as he picks up the mittens and put them back on. My breathing grows shallow and the Christmas music cacophony and loud buzz of the market-goers fade into the background. All I see is him. All I hear is his breathing.


“Finn. I …”

Nell Iris is a romantic at heart who believes everyone deserves a happy ending. She’s a bona fide bookworm (learned to read long before she started school), wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without something to read (not even the ladies’ room), loves music (and singing along but, let’s face it, she’s no Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (“Make it so”). She loves words, poetry, wine, and Sudoku, and absolutely adores elephants!


Nell believes passionately in equality for all regardless of race, gender, or sexuality, and wants to make the world a better, less hateful, place.


Nell is a forty-something bisexual Swedish woman, married to the love of her life, and a proud mama of a grown daughter. She left the Scandinavian cold and darkness for warmer and sunnier Malaysia a few years ago, and now spends her days writing, surfing the Internet, enjoying the heat, and eating good food. One day she decided to chase her lifelong dream of being a writer, sat down in front of her laptop, and wrote a story about two men falling in love.


Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angst, and wants to write diverse and different characters.


Email contact@nelliris.com
Web www.nelliris.com
Twitter @nellirisauthor
Facebook page www.facebook.com/nellirisauthor
Facebook profile www.facebook.com/nell.iris.12
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/nelliris
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/nell_iris/
QueeRomance Ink https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/nell-iris/

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Release Blitz – Us Again by Nell Iris (excerpt and giveaway)

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Length: 9,200 words approx.
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Blurb
 

When Alex gets a call in the middle of the night telling him his ex-boyfriend is in the hospital, he only hesitates for a second before rushing to Sammy’s side. But the Sammy in the hospital bed is fragile and not the same man who told Alex to leave seven months ago.


Alex wants to help Sammy get better and is desperate to find out what went wrong between them. Maybe he’ll even get a second chance with the man he hasn’t been able to get over.


But will Sammy let Alex back into his life?


Excerpt


Except for the dim light of a wall-mounted lamp next to the only occupied bed, the room is dark. Sammy is a shapeless silhouette from here and I take a step closer. Another. And another until I’m right by his side.

My knees buckle when I finally see him. His golden hair is plastered to his face, his cheeks hollow, his full lips dry and cracked. Long lashes fan out over black shadows under the eyes. His hand rests on his pillow and is so thin and bony, tears well up in my eyes.

A steadily beeping monitor surveils his vital signs. An IV bag hangs on a metal pole, and the line snakes its way down into his hand.

My hand flies to my mouth and my shoulders shake. To avoid ending up in a sobbing pile on the floor, I sink down in the chair next to his bed.

Sammy was always slender. Like a willow with long limbs, narrow hips, and a concave stomach. But now … he looks emaciated. Hardly there. Easily breakable and so fucking small I wouldn’t be surprised if a stiff breeze could snap him in two.

I reach out but hesitate to touch him. Instead, I lay my hand next to his on the pillow. My olive complexion seems dirty next to his pallor.

“Oh, Sammy.” I don’t even try to wipe the moisture from my face; I just let the tears flow. I want to crawl into bed with him, scoop him up in my arms, and use my big body to shield him from the world. But all I do is move my hand closer, until my fingertips ghost against his pinkie. A jolt of electricity races through my body and a sigh slips out.

“Now will you tell me what happened?” I hiss to David who’s sat down on a chair on the other side of Sammy’s bed sometime during the last minute.

“His boss called me this evening. Apparently, he fainted.”

I gasp and can’t keep my hands off him any longer. Carefully, I lay my palm on top of his hand and something snaps into place in my chest when I finally touch him. He’s cold. I’d give him all my warmth if he would just open his eyes and smile at me and call me Care Bear again.

“Doesn’t he fucking eat?” I grind out between clenched teeth.

“He said he does. He said he was fine.”

“Clearly, he lied.”

“Clearly.”

“What’s all this?” I sweep my hand at the IV pole.

“He was severely dehydrated so they’re giving him fluids.” He rattles on about vital signs and nutrition and how Sammy will need to see a therapist and a dietitian to straighten out his eating and I only listen with one ear. Even though I asked, I can’t absorb all that information.

“Don’t you fucking check on your own brother?” I interrupt. I’ve always had a foul mouth, and frazzled nerves make it worse, but I don’t give a shit if David is offended.

“I should have. I knew he was … sad. I talked to him on the phone almost every day and he said he was fine.” David’s voice trembles, saturated with guilt and remorse, but it just makes me angrier.

“Are you telling me you haven’t taken the time to visit him for seven fucking months?”

“No! That’s not true!”

“It seems that way to me.”

“Who are you to talk? You left him!”

His words sting. He might as well have thrown acid on my face. I tighten my muscles, so I won’t jerk under his accusations. “He told me to leave. He said he never wanted to see me again. I did not leave willingly.” I shoot him an angry glare but quickly look away. I want to take out my fear and worry on him. Plant my fist in his face and roar out the pain that took up residence in my chest when I laid eyes on Sammy a few minutes ago.

Dear, sweet Sammy.

“I don’t even know what happened. I thought he loved me,” I whisper. My head is heavy, and I let it sink down until it rests on his bed.

 

Nell Iris is a romantic at heart who believes everyone deserves a happy ending. She’s a bona fide bookworm (learned to read long before she started school), wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without something to read (not even the ladies’ room), loves music (and singing along but, let’s face it, she’s no Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (“Make it so”). She loves words, poetry, wine, and Sudoku, and absolutely adores elephants!


Nell believes passionately in equality for all regardless of race, gender, or sexuality, and wants to make the world a better, less hateful, place.


Nell is a forty-something bisexual Swedish woman, married to the love of her life, and a proud mama of a grown daughter. She left the Scandinavian cold and darkness for warmer and sunnier Malaysia a few years ago, and now spends her days writing, surfing the Internet, enjoying the heat, and eating good food. One day she decided to chase her lifelong dream of being a writer, sat down in front of her laptop, and wrote a story about two men falling in love.


Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angst, and wants to write diverse and different characters.

Email contact@nelliris.com
Web www.nelliris.com
Twitter @nellirisauthor
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A Lucy Review: Nobody Else’s by Nell Iris

Standard

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Beckett’s best friend, Matt, comes from a big family.  As in, a really big one with eleven children.  Matt is the oldest and his younger brother, Levi, is three years his junior.  Levi is also the focus of Beckett’s crush. “I’d had a crush on him for years, but he was Matt’s little brother, and besides…what would he see in someone like me?”  Beckett is a bit of a bear, hairy with a chubby belly.  When he sees Levi, he “…pulled in my stomach and sat a little straighter.  Not that it helped.  My belly couldn’t be hidden.” 

In a family of loud people, Levi is the exception.  While everyone else is yelling over each other to be heard, he is quiet.  He is a tech wizard, nearly dropping out of high school to open his business (though parents put the stop to that).  His business is very successful and he lives in an apartment over the garage at his parent’s, helping out financially and with the siblings, particularly the Hell Sisters, twins age 5. 

The story is told in back and forth first person point of view from both Levi and Beckett.  This is something I always appreciate as I like to know the why of what each person does, says and how they react.  It begins with Matt and Beckett meeting for a meal and Beckett is surprised by the arrival of Levi.  I was a little surprised at Matt’s behavior – when Beckett reads a horoscope (which is racy, gay and funny) from a website, Matt is shocked.  “It’s a site for gay people.”  Because Beckett is bisexual and his last partner was female, Matt thought, well now he’s straight.  Which is sad considering Levi is gay, but they call him out on it.

I loved reading the horoscopes, one for each chapter.  First it was surprising and then they were funny.  You can see where it’s going early but that didn’t detract from them at all. That’s the kind of horoscope I would read!

The story is sweet with very little angst, if any.  Beckett is a serious Harry Potter fan, which I enjoyed, being one myself.  Beckett is an accountant and offers to help Levi with his business accounting and that’s how the courtship begins.

“Levi: Why would you offer something that valuable to me?

Beckett: Because you always help everyone else. It’s time someone has your back.” 

Like I said, sweet.  There is quite often mentioning of how each thinks the other is so cute and so kind.   I liked that when Levi talks to Matt about asking Beckett out, Matt gives the “don’t hurt my friend” speech to Levi, rather than to Beckett about Levi.  Their first date is an amazing one and shows how much Levi understands Beckett.

The book is very relationship focused, with little outside plot. We get insights into both Levi’s and Beckett’s families.  I liked this book but be warned that at times it is very sugary.

Cover art, depicting both Levi and Beckett, was pretty close to what I imagined they would look like.

Book Details:

ebook
Published June 30th 2018 by JMS Books, LLC
ISBN139781634866712
Edition LanguageEnglish