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.
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.
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