Title: Cinnamon Eyes
Author: Nell Iris
Publisher: JMS Books
Length: 124 Pages
At a Glance: This was an enjoyable, quick read that is definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for something sweet, but with some nice depth and emotion.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: 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?
Review: This is the second story I’ve read by Nell Iris in the past month or so, and I enjoyed it just as much as I did the last one. Like Unconditionally, Cinnamon Eyes is full of emotion, and features two main characters whose love absolutely jumps off the page. Friends-to-lovers stories are my jam, so I’m picky about them, but this one was well-done and heart-warming.
Depression is such a terrible illness. Many people in my life, including myself, have been affected by it in some capacity, and it can be a sensitive subject to tackle in a story. When we first meet Cory, he is dealing with his severe depression through self-care, by way of quitting the job that was contributing to making him miserable, medication, and with therapy. He has recently gotten to a little bit better place, mentally, and his therapist suggests taking that even further by asking him if he could do one thing that would make him truly happy, what would it be? And, by challenging him to do that thing. The thing he wants most is to see his childhood best friend, and first love, again. I loved this. And, I loved the fact that he didn’t even have to think about what would make him happy… Asher. He knew without question that he needed Asher back in his life.
Though it has been sixteen years since they’ve seen each other, or had any contact, it’s obvious that Asher has been pining for Cory as well. When Cory gets up the courage to go into the bar that Asher owns, he sees Ash up on stage singing a song that clearly seems to be about a lost love. About Cory. The boy with the cinnamon eyes. After being reunited—I loved the reunion scene—and talking for a bit, they discover that they were each in love with each other as teenagers, and that their connection is just as easy and deep as it was before.
These guys worked so well together. And, truly brought out the best in each other. I loved how Cory helped mend the relationship between Ash and his father. And I loved so much how Asher drew out strength and determination in Cory that he had forgotten he had. Cory’s family are all selfish assholes who don’t really care a thing about him, but his desire to be with Asher helps him find it within him to stand up for himself when he really has to.
This was an enjoyable, quick read that is definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for something sweet, but with some nice depth and emotion. I’ll be keeping on eye on this author for sure!
You can buy Cinnamon Eyes here: