This is my very first recommendation post. As a writer, I’m still not comfortable doing reviews in general, but if I can rave about it and heartily recommend the story/series, then I’ve decided I’ll post about it. I’m still not entirely comfortable calling them “reviews” even though they are…it’s just that I’ll only post glowing ones, so I’m going to call them “recommendations” … because I can. 😁
Gotta fill the void that’s going to be left as I phase out the promo blitzes, right? 😉 Expect a mix of recommendations for older faves along with fresher releases, probably on average about one per week.
Angel and Firebird by Nell Iris
GENRE: M/M Contemporary Gay Romance
LENGTH: Short Story / 5,285 words / 21 pages
HEAT RATING: 1 flame
RELEASE DATE: May 12, 2018
Available in ebook formats at distributors everywhere, and in Kindle Unlimited!
Five years ago, Phoenix lost his lover Gabriel, his angel, in a horrific hate crime. All Phoenix wanted was to follow Gabriel into death, and he struggled a long time trying to get his life back together. All this time later he still hasn’t been able to put the past behind him and forget about the love of his life.
On the anniversary of Gabriel’s death, Phoenix’s apartment building catches fire. Will Phoenix do the reasonable thing and save himself, or can he rise from the ashes to reunite with his beloved angel?
Disclaimer: Nell is a friend, and I beta read this story before it was published, but that’s not a factor. I won’t post a recommendation unless I truly love a story. Okay…maybe it’s a factor in why it’s the first post, but not why it’s included in the mix of recommendation posts! 😁
I should probably change my blog name to Stories That Make You Cry for this one. Angel and Firebird is a short story (5,285 words) that has stuck with me since I read the original flashfic version that Nell later expanded into this story. Fair warning, it’s a bittersweet romance, so be ready with the tissues because the tears will be wrenched out of you.
As it says right in the blurb, Phoenix lost his lover, Gabriel, five years before this story takes place. But never fear, we get a beautiful sense of their relationship as Nell skillfully takes us through Phoenix’s sweet memories of his life with Gabriel and his present day dreams of Gabriel:
“Like what you see, Phoeeeenix?” he asks, voice full of glee as he draws out my name in the way he knows drives me crazy.
In a few short words, we perfectly understand Phoenix’s journey since losing the man he loves, and his inner turmoil. Nell does a brilliant job maintaining a suspenseful feel throughout the story, leaving us wondering what decision Phoenix will make in answer to that ominous question in the blurb:
Will Phoenix do the reasonable thing and save himself, or can he rise from the ashes to reunite with his beloved angel?
Everything about this short story is wonderful, from the lovely emotional prose to the pacing giving us the perfect balance between Phoenix’s memories of his life with Gabriel and the drama unfolding in his present day. There isn’t a single moment where your eyes will glaze over and skim to get back to something pertinent to the story, because it’s tightly written. I can’t, however, promise that your eyes won’t tear up. That’s a given.
I heartily recommend this short read to anyone who enjoys a beautiful story of enduring love.
Meet 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 but, let’s face it, she’s no Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (“Make it so”). She loves words, poetry, wine, and Sudoku, and absolutely adores elephants!
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 forty-something bisexual Swedish woman, married to the love of her life, and a proud mama of a grown daughter. She left the Scandinavian cold and darkness for warmer and sunnier Malaysia a few years ago, and now spends her days writing, surfing the Internet, enjoying the heat, and eating good food. One day she decided to chase her lifelong dream of being a writer, sat down in front of her laptop, and wrote a story about two men falling in love.
Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angst, and wants to write diverse and different characters.