Book Review & Release Blitz – Flowers Under My Pillow by Nell Iris

A big welcome to Nell Iris as part of her release blitz with Gay Book Promotions for Flowers Under My Pillow from JMS Books.

Review

I love how this author writes such rich and emotional stories in not so many words. Despite it being shorter, I was drawn into the story immediately and was left with a wonderful fuzzy feeling by the time I’d finished. Perfect for a feel good one night read.

I loved the strong sense of family throughout the story. Frode’s family are close, and caring, and it shows. I liked how it started with him and his sister as children, and the first time he’d dreamed of Viljar. The weaving of folklore into the romance is nicely done, and I also liked how Frode is not only waiting for Viljar, although he doesn’t realise that yet, but also for a relationship like his parents have.

The story is very visual, and I loved the descriptions of the area. It feels wonderfully peaceful and in balance, and Frode’s chosen profession suits him perfectly, as does Viljar’s. I loved their first meeting, and how their relationship built on their instant connection. Extra bonus is the Swedish setting, and different culture and perspectives that come with that.

5 out of 5 stars.

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Flowers Under My Pillow

Author: Nell Iris

Publisher: JMS Books

Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs

Release Date: June 26, 2021

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope: Soul mates

Themes: Older characters (40+), instant connection, meet cute

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 17 477 words

It is a standalone story

Goodreads

 

Buy Links

JMS Books | Universal Link

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

Smiling brown eyes. A dark beard. Dandelions. Sunny, happy dandelions.

 

Blurb

Smiling brown eyes. A dark beard. Dandelions. Sunny, happy dandelions.

For thirty years, Frode’s had the same dream. Every Midsummer’s Eve since he was a kid accompanying his sister to pick flowers to put under his pillow, he’s dreamed of the same man. A dream he never shares with anyone, that makes him wish for impossible things…like true love.

“It’s you.”

Then one Midsummer’s Eve, the man of Frode’s dreams stands before him in the flesh. Both men recognize each other despite never having met in real life. Both men are instantly drawn to each other and want to know more.

“Who are you, Viljar? Are you even real?”

Their questions are many but do the whys and the hows matter? Or should they allow the Midsummer magic that brought them together to lead the way into each other’s arms? Into each other’s hearts?

Traditional Swedish folklore tells you that if you pick seven kinds of flowers in silence and put them under your pillow on Midsummer’s Eve, you’ll dream of the man you’ll marry.

 

Excerpt

When I look around to take in my surroundings, I realize my feet have carried me to the cottage without me noticing, and something catches my attention on the lawn on the other side of the fence.

A closer look reveals a tripod with a big, professional-looking camera attached on top. And underneath it, a man lies on his back, surrounded by a starry sky of tiny white flowers growing low in the grass. I don’t want to disturb him and I’m just about to sneak away when he turns his head toward me.

Warm brown eyes, with crow’s feet radiating out from the corners, meet mine. But it’s his full beard, scattered with dandelions, that makes my heart tumble over itself in my chest.

Smiling eyes. A full beard. Dandelions.

Dandelions.

My hand flies to my chest as I forget how to breathe.

It’s him.

****

The man’s eyes widen, then he springs to his feet, banging his knee into the tripod almost making it topple over, but his arm shoots out, his big hand landing on the camera, stopping it from crashing down onto the grass.

“It’s you,” he says, his voice a deep rumble emanating from the pit of his stomach, vibrating its way to me, settling in my core.

It’s you.

What does he mean? Does he recognize me, too?

“It’s you,” he says again as he takes a few hesitant steps in my direction. His eyes never leave my face.

“It’s you,” I echo, brows furrowed.

The improbability of it all, of my recurring dream materializing and standing in front of me, makes me take a step backward. He leaps forward, dislodging a couple of the dandelions from his beard by the sudden movement, and I watch them sail to the ground.

When I look up at him again, it’s as though I’m zooming out of my body and look at the two of us from a distance. Two men, separated by a white picket fence, staring at each other as though they’ve seen a ghost, as though they both think they must be hallucinating. His features are so familiar; I know every line radiating from the corner of his eyes, every strand of his beard. I know all the nuances of brown in his dark eyes; as though someone swirled chocolate into a deep well of coffee and then sprinkled some gold into the mix to make it irresistible. I know the sensitive setting of his mouth. I know the intense gaze.

It makes me dizzy, and I stumble but manage to keep myself upright. I take another wobbly step backward.

“Don’t go,” he says. “Please.” He stops but holds out his hand as though he wants to touch me to make sure I’m real.

The feeling is mutual. How is this even possible? How can the man I’ve dreamed about every Midsummer these last thirty years be right here a few steps from me? As though I’ve dreamed him into existence.

I drag my gaze away from his face and take in the rest of him. He’s tall and broad-shouldered, his biceps are straining the short sleeves of his button-down shirt. He’s got a rounded belly and meaty thighs filling out his faded jeans, and his big wide feet are bare in the grass.

Heat stirs between my hips. God, he’s not only the literal man of my dreams, but he’s hot as sin, too. When I force myself to look away from his body, our gazes meet.

“You recognize me, too,” he says, eyes pleading. “I can tell from your reaction.”

I dip my chin once. “I do.”

My heart flutters in my chest like the wings of a colibri. Another dandelion falls from his beard and my gaze follows it down as it lands softly on the ground.

My mind spins with questions and it’s making me dizzy again. How can the man from my dreams stand before me in the flesh? A living, breathing human being? A living breathing human being who recognizes me too?

When our eyes meet again, I read the same confusion in him.

 

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 | Instagram | Goodreads

Pinterest | BookBub | Newsletter

 

 

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win

one of three ebook copies from Nell’s backlist

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

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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