Length: 25,600 words approx.
Publisher: JMS Books
Pippin Olander is a ray of sunshine despite his emotionally lacking upbringing and works hard to make a better life for himself. Even though he’s fiercely self-sufficient, he learns to accept help from Buck, his rock and the only steady presence in his life.
Their friendship deepens and grows into something more as they spend time together. But when other people try to throw a wrench in the works, when Pippin’s independence is triggered, can Buck and Pippin trust in the love they’ve found?
Pippin has been taking care of himself since he was very young with a little help from his neighbor, Ashley. Now in his early twenties, all Pippin wants is to save enough money to pursue an associates’ degree and become a paralegal and get a better life for himself. But his mother has always thought of herself and her latest sugar daddy first and Pippin is, as usual, neglected and forgotten—making his life even more difficult and his dreams a distant reality.
Ashley is a big bear of a man, and despite his outward appearance, he hides a gentle heart and a less than “Daddy’ demeanor when it comes to relationships and sex. He has been taking care of Pippin for so long that he cannot imagine a day when the younger man is not in his life. In fact, as Pippin crashes more and more frequently at Ash’s house, the lines between being just friends and becoming potential lovers begins to blur and Ashley’s one fear is that he will scare Pippin off if he exposes his real feelings too soon.
Nell Iris’ story, His Steady Heart, may be short on page count but it’s certainly long on emotional impact. The pairing of the big burly Ashley who is the least aggressive partner in the bedroom and the physically waifish but iron-willed Pippin is just magical. The chemistry and longing between these two men is literally palpable. It oozes off the page and you feel as though you are a secret voyeur privy to their intense romantic feelings for each other. Ashley is an incredibly sensitive soul and the longing he has to keep Pippin safe and take care of him is just so poignant to read about. While we get less description of Pippin’s internal conflict within the storyline, the author makes it clear in every glance and hesitant touch Pippin sends Ashley’s way that he too struggles to understand how his feelings for Ashley are changing and the worry he feels that they will not be returned in kind.
I honestly could have read chapters and chapters more about these two men. Even though Nell Iris did a great job covering their backstory, Ashley and Pippin were such alluring characters that I could not help wishing for a full length novel about them. For a short novella the author managed to really pack a punch in terms of how captivating Pippin and Ashley were, both as individuals and as a couple. The growing relationship between them never felt rushed or disingenuous. This was a well written story that had the same rich emotional impact a full length book would have delivered. His Steady Heart was just lovely and I highly recommend it to you.
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.
Facebook page www.facebook.com/nellirisauthor
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QueeRomance Ink https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/nell-iris/
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