Don’t MIss Out on the Release Blitz and Giveaway for Of Autumn Leaves and New Beginnings by Nell Iris

Standard

 

 
Length: 17,809 words
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Blurb
 

Sometimes love finds you even when you’re not looking for it.


At 47, Oren Walker isn’t looking for love. When he knocks on Pete Higgins’ door, all he wants is to thank him for helping his mom after she broke her femur. He never expected that one look at the man would make his knees weak and heart flutter.


Pete is happy—albeit a bit lonely—after divorcing his wife of 20 years and isn’t looking to replace her. But when Oren shows up, all grateful and handsome and in that fancy suit, the longing for the deep connection of a relationship flares up inside him.


As the leaves turn yellow, Oren and Pete spend a lot of time in honest conversations. Their attraction grows. Will the two men recognize the promise of new beginnings, and take the chance to find the happiness they both deserve?

 
Excerpt



It’s been nearly three weeks since Mom’s accident — and the leaves are more yellow than green but the heat still refuses to let go — when my phone rings just as I’m on my way back to my office after a long, infuriating meeting. I don’t recognize the number but accept the call. “Oren Walker.”


“Oren. Hi. It’s Pete. Pete Higgins. Your mom’s next-door neighbor.”


“Oh, hey!” I would be lying if I said I haven’t thought about him these last few weeks. In the shower, before bed, while having my morning coffee. He’s hot enough to set fire to my pants, but that’s only part of the appeal. Mom hasn’t stopped talking about him since her accident; about how gentle he was when he helped her. How considerate and thoughtful and nice he was when she was hurt and scared, and in the days that have followed.


Of course, I noticed all his good sides myself, those few minutes we spent together, and he hasn’t been far from my thoughts whenever I’ve had a free moment.


“I’m sorry to disturb you at work,” Pete says.


“No problem. I just got out of a meeting with some very upset people and could use a friendly voice right now.” I close my office door behind me and throw myself onto my chair. “What can I do for you, Pete?”


“Nothing urgent. I just needed to tell you something.”


“Shoot.” I lean back and close my eyes, rubbing my temples with my thumb and index finger, trying to fend off the threatening headache.


“I just wanted to let you know that I interfered with your mom earlier. She was on her way to the grocery store. On foot, with her crutches, and I managed to catch her when she hobbled past my house.”


I groan. “Oh my God, her stubbornness is unprecedented.”


“Yeah, I hear you, man. I had to sweet talk her forever before I managed to convince her to go back home. The thing that persuaded her was when I lied and told her I was on my way to the store myself so I could pick up whatever it was she needed.”


“I don’t understand. I bought everything on her list the day before yesterday.”


“Nuh-uh. You forgot the chocolate chips. She couldn’t bake cookies for the church bake sale on Sunday. It was a class one disaster and I’m surprised she didn’t call 911.”


I groan again. “I can’t believe her,” I grumble. “I’ve told her, again and again, to call me whenever she needs anything. I bring my phone everywhere. To bed. To meetings. To the fucking bathroom when I take a shit, so I won’t miss her call.”


My rant is interrupted by a boisterous laughter.


“Gaah, I’m sorry. That was way more information than you needed.” My face heats and I slap myself on the forehead. Good job, Oren. Way to seem like a crazed lunatic in front of the nice man!


“Nah, it’s fine.”


“No, I’m sorry. That was highly inappropriate. Mom would be so ashamed of me. It’s no excuse, but I’ve had a long day.”


“I figured.”


I rub my temples harder. “I just don’t understand why she won’t call me.”


“Listen. She’s fiercely proud of you and all the hard work you’ve done to get where you are. She told me she doesn’t want to be a bother.”


“She’s not.”


“I know that. I told her. But she insists that you are busy and stressed and don’t need more on your plate right now,” he says.


“But she’s my mom.”


“Yeah. But take it from me, as a parent. When you’ve spent the biggest part of your life loving and protecting your kids, you can’t just turn it off. It’s instinct. We want to be the strong, invincible protector we’ve always been and it’s hard to accept that the situation might be reversed.”


“Oh.” That makes a lot of sense; I’ve never thought about it like that. “Thanks. That was a lot more helpful than you probably realize.”


He laughs. “Yay! Who woulda thought? Me doling out parenting advice!”


“You’re better than you give yourself credit for.”

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/

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

A Lucy Review : Team Luker by Nell Iris

Standard

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

What if this is the last time we lie like this?

Uncertainty is keeping Ellery Luker awake at night and robbing him of his appetite. It’s been five days since the love of his life and partner of twenty-five years, Jools, went to the doctor. Five days since the biopsy. Five days of going crazy with worry and whatifs?

What if Jools suffer from the same disease that stole Ellery’s mother when he was just eleven?

What if all Ellery’s worst fears come true?

What if…?

This is a super short (14 pages of content) glimpse into a fearful time for Ellery and Jools Luker.  Team Luker “…since that day Jools told his mother about us, told her that he was gay and that we were serious about our relationship.” We get this in a flashback to how they met and how they really became a team.  Ellery is terrified that the biopsy Jools has had for colon cancer will be malignant.  Ellery is a worrywart but with good reason – when he was eleven his mother died of cancer.  Hard to think positive in that case.

It’s endearing that Jools, the one who is actually facing a possible diagnosis of a life-threatening disease, is the calmer one and the one to calm Ellery down. “And if it is what we fear, Ellery, I fight.  I fight like hell, because I’m not leaving you, you hear?”

While this really is just a scene from their lives, it is a powerful one.  More so for me because my husband and I have been through the cancer battle and I can totally relate to those fears and the feeling of uselessness you have when you can’t help or change things.  The love between these two men shines through.   

I thought the author did a superb job in giving us Ellery’s fears and feelings without making him seem over dramatic.  He seems real and that made this powerful.

Cover art is simple, Ellery and Jools in a quiet moment and I thought it fit perfectly.

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

Book Details:

ebook
Published August 3rd 2019 by JMS Books, LLC
ISBN 139781634863476
Edition Language English

Check Out the Release Blitz and Giveaway for Team Luker by Nell Iris

Standard

 

 
Length: 5,500 words approx.
 
Publisher: JMS Books 
 
Blurb
 

What if this is the last time we lie like this?


Uncertainty is keeping Ellery Luker awake at night and robbing him of his appetite. It’s been five days since the love of his life and partner of twenty-five years, Jools, went to the doctor. Five days since the biopsy. Five days of going crazy with worry and what ifs?


What if Jools suffer from the same disease that stole Ellery’s mother when he was just eleven? What if all Ellery’s worst fears come true?


What if …?

 

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/

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

A Lucy Review: 9 Willow Street by Nell Iris

Standard

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

Standard

 

 
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/

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

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

Standard
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)

Standard

 

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/

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

An Alisa Review : Awakenings and French Songs by Nell Iris

Standard

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)

Standard

 

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/

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

A Lucy Review : Under The Felt Mistletoe by Nell Iris

Standard

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