Cinnamon Eyes (NeRdyWYRM’s Review)

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Title: Cinnamon Eyes
Author: Nell Iris
Publisher: JMS Books LLC
Release Date: August 12, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 124 pages
Reviewed by: NeRdyWYRM
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 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?

Slaying My Nemesis: The Short Story

I think Nell Iris may have succeeded in accomplishing something I once thought was impossible. This read has reversed my usual (and usually complete) loathing for short stories. There was just enough of everything in all the right places. Of course, I was still sad to see Asher and Cory go, and as with any good thing, I think I’ll always want more … BUT, I finished this read without feeling like I missed out on anything. I absolutely loved it.


The connection between these two sweethearts was epic. The song in the beginning was the vehicle that made it all believable. Instead of a sixteen-year absence and a severely depressed guy showing up on someone’s doorstep out of the blue coming across as creepy, it was clear that at least some of the loss and longing was reciprocal. It made Asher’s reception of Cory an “Awwwww!” moment instead of an “Ewwww!” moment. As fragile as Cory was, I can even forgive the too-soon and too liberal use of ‘honey’ as an endearment. I got it.

The relationship wonderment doesn’t stop there. With Asher back in his landscape, Cory started to get his groove back. While I don’t think he would ever be an extremely assertive person, Cory managed to start stiffening his spine and standing up for himself when it really mattered. It was clear in the epilogue that neither man had completely left their anxious habits behind, but they were healthier and more whole together than they had been apart. Cory’s relationship with Asher’s father was the real clincher for me, though. Aside from what I already mentioned, the dynamic between Cory and Mr. Cross was just icing on the love cake.

pride lovewins cake~~~~~Beautiful Every Time

This was a fantastic second chance, friends-to-lovers romance with just enough angst and believable conflicts and resolutions. I won’t belabor the point, but I adored this story and will perhaps have less of a gimlet eye when screening out short stories from potential reads thanks to this author. I will be perusing her other works for ‘want-to-read’ shelf fodder just as soon as I have two minutes to rub together. Read this. Yesterday.

This review is cross-posted at Goodreads. Other reviews by NeRdyWYRM can be read here.

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Galley copy of Cinnamon Eyes provided by JMS Books LLC in exchange of an honest review.


I am a life-long reader and an avid learner. I remember reading books without pictures when I was about four, and raided every title on my parents’ full and intimidating book shelves—well, the ones they would let me read, anyway—from then on. Characters written by authors like Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, Robert Jordan, David Eddings, Terry Brooks, Anne Rice, Stephen King, Raymond E. Feist, Mercedes Lackey, Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman, and Anne McCaffrey were my childhood playmates.

Back then, I went nowhere unless I had a book in my hand. While the rest of my generation was shifting from cassettes to CDs and from Atari to Nintendo, Sega, and Playstation, I spent my allowance on Myth & Magic pewter figurines and on books at the Stars and Stripes bookstore. These days I don’t have a book in my hand anymore, at least not the printed variety. Instead, it’s any device with a Kindle app.

I stubbornly held on to the printed page until a military move weighed my book collection in at over a ton. Oops. Sorry-not-sorry, but I did have to exercise some pragmatism in that area, unfortunately. Now I only buy hardbacks from my favorite authors, the classics, or long-running series. Otherwise, I’ve surrendered to the times and our weight allowance and have gone all digital.

I stay strictly on the fiction side of the fence because non-fiction is generally too dry to hold my interest. I was always a scholar, and so have read enough textbook-like titles and required reading for school and college to last me a lifetime, thank you very much. So, non-fiction? No, thanks. However, barring non-fiction and biographies (ewww people), there’s not much out there I won’t read.

I have loved romance novels since I was prepubescent. Something about historicals and anything with horses, i.e., Native American inspired romances just did it for me. My grandmother was appalled that my parents let me read that ‘smut’ as she called it. I’d already justified my position on being allowed to read those controversial titles with a logical argument that there were a lot of historical facts in those books that couldn’t be learned in the classroom alone. And to this day, I maintain that stance. I have learned more from books, specifically romance and fantasy novels, than I ever did in a classroom.


My dad always said I was too smart for my own good. Looking back, he was probably right! I could logically talk my way into and out of just about anything. It’s served me well, but caused me no end of problems, too. That said, despite my love for the romance genre in general and the m/m romance genre in particular, there is little chance that a decent book of any kind will fail to catch my interest, and there’s nothing at all I’m unwilling to learn. So bring it on. I hope you enjoy my reviews.


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