Book Review & Release Blitz – Resolutions for an Arbitrary Holiday by Nell Iris

A big welcome to Nell Iris as part of her release blitz with Gay Book Promotions for Resolutions for an Arbitrary Holiday from JMS Books.

Review

I loved this sweet story about two men being true to themselves and breaking away from societal and family expectations. I read it in one sitting.

The story feels very real, and is also romantic and heartfelt. I loved the description of Isak’s home, and the scenery surrounding it. I always enjoy reading stories set in different places, so that was an extra bonus too. I thought the setting was very atmospheric, especially with the backdrop of the ancient stone ship, which almost felt magical given how these two souls connect and share their hopes, dreams, and history.

Although the story is short, it packs a lot into its few pages, and builds a wonderful picture of Petter and Isak. I loved reading about the beginning of their friendship and relationship, and enjoyed the epilogue catching with them a year later.

5 out of 5 stars.

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Resolutions for an Arbitrary Holiday

Author: Nell Iris

Publisher: JMS Books

Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs

Release Date: December 30, 2020

Genre/s: Contemporary, holiday M/M Romance

Trope/s: Meet cute

Themes: Being true to yourself, New Year’s Eve, holiday

Heat Rating: 1 flame

Length: 20 849 words

It is a standalone story.

 

Buy Links

JMS Books | Amazon US | Amazon UK

B&N | Kobo | Apple Books | Goodreads

 

Two strangers, a twisted ankle, an ancient stone ship, and a New Year’s Eve they’ll never forget

 

Blurb

Petter sneaks out of the New Year’s party he didn’t want to go to and treks to an old burial site he’s dying to see. Alone. Without telling anyone on a freezing December night. Without cell service…a huge problem when he twists his ankle.

Someone passes by Isak’s house on the path leasing to the stone ship. When the person never returns, Isak worries and sets off to investigate. What he finds is Petter, a pack of sparklers, and an instant connection.

Under a starry sky, they learn they have a lot in common. Will the attraction burn hot and fizzle out like the fireworks going off over their heads when they return to the real world? Or will it deepen, grow, and turn into something real? Something everlasting like the stone ship?

 

Excerpt

“Did you come here to ring in the new year?” He nods toward the bottle still positioned between my legs.

“Yeah. I’ve always wanted to visit this place and since I was dragged to the village, it seemed like a good idea at the time. I even brought sparklers.” I pull them out of my pocket, holding them up for him to see.

“Bubbly and sparklers by the stone ship. Sounds like the perfect New Year’s celebration to me.”

I stare at him. He sounds serious enough, not like he’s mocking me. And he doesn’t know me, so he won’t know what buttons to push to get me to agree to do shit I don’t want to, like my friend Jonas, who’s the sole reason for me being here. “You can’t be alone on New Year’s Eve, Petter. Only losers and people with no friends stay home alone on holidays. Besides, you don’t want Maja to think you’re not her friend, do you?” Bastard played me and used his girlfriend to get me to agree, knowing how much I like her. More than him, most days.

But this guy, this stranger, seems honest. “You really mean that?”

“I do.” He grabs the bottle and takes a swig, his face scrunching up in a grimace.

“Yeah, I know,” I snicker. “It’s vile. Serves me right for grabbing someone’s bubbly from the fridge before heading up here.”

“I’m not a wine expert, but that was…”

“…too sweet,” we say simultaneously.

He nods. “Exactly.”

I smile.

“Listen. What do you say we ring in the new year a bit early? New Year’s is just an arbitrary mark of the passage of time invented by humans anyway, so who says we can’t do it now? Light some sparklers, tell each other our resolutions. Try not to barf as we drink more of this.” He holds up the bottle. “Then I can help you down. Call a doctor if you need one. Or take you back to your friends if you prefer. I assume you’re at the Andersson house for the party?”

I raise an eyebrow. “How did you know?”

“It’s a teeny tiny village. Everyone knows what’s going on in their neighbors’ houses.”

“Really? That can’t be good?”

“It has its downsides, that’s for sure. But I’m mostly fine with it.”

“Okaaaay.” Because surely, he doesn’t mean the neighbors know everything? Not what other people have in their nightstands and stuff? Ew.

“So what do you say?” He nudges his knee against my leg.

“Sure. I approve of the plan.”

Isak removes his gloves and holds out his hand. “Let me light the sparklers. Did you bring a lighter?”

“Yeah, hang on.” I dig into my pocket without taking off my mittens—my fingers are pretty cold—until I find it. “Here you go.”

“Awesome. Are you the kind of person who makes resolutions?”

“Usually not.” I accept the lit sparkler he holds out to me. I’ve loved these things since I was a little kid, even more than fireworks, and up here, in the howling wind with a sky full of stars above my head, in the company of a kind stranger and huge ancient stones, they’re more beautiful than ever.

“But this year is different?”

“Yeah. I’m doing some…significant changes in my life this coming year, so I thought ‘why not?’ It can’t hurt, right? Even if I agree with you about the arbitrariness of this so-called holiday.”

“You do?”

“Sure. It’s not a thing we celebrate because of some natural phenomenon, like the solstice. It’s just to mark that the Earth has done another lap around the sun. I mean, that’s great and all, but why do we need to celebrate it?”

Isak’s face lights up in a wide grin. “Yes! This is what I always say when people complain because I refuse to embrace the spirit of the holiday.”

I return his smile. “Exactly!”

“I’ll drink to that.”

 

About the Author

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 at the top of her voice but she’s no Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (Make it so). She loves words, bullet journals, poetry, wine, coffee-flavored kisses, and fika (a Swedish cultural thing involving coffee and pastry!)

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 bisexual Swedish woman married to the love of her life, a proud mama of a grown daughter, and is approaching 50 faster than she’d like. She lives in the south of Sweden where she spends her days thinking up stories about people falling in love. After dreaming about being a writer for most of her life, she finally was in a place where she could pursue her dream and released her first book in 2017.

Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angsty, short over long, and quirky characters over alpha males.

 

Author Links

Blog/Website | Facebook Author Page | Facebook Profile

Twitter: @nellirisauthor | Instagram: @nell_iris | Goodreads

QueeRomance Ink | BookBub

 

 

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

a choice of one of five ebook copies from Nell’s backlist

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

 

Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at https://annebarwell.wordpress.com
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2 Responses to Book Review & Release Blitz – Resolutions for an Arbitrary Holiday by Nell Iris

  1. Nell Iris says:

    Thank you so much for sharing and for your wonderful review. I’m so happy you liked it!! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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