Reviewed by Nikyta
Title: Red Popcorn Strings and Gumball Rings
Author: Nell Iris
Series: 2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers
Heroes: Casey & Ellis
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 46 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 1, 2017
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Christmas is coming, and young couple Casey and Ellis are very much in love. Unfortunately, they’re also the definition of dirt poor, and they don’t have the money for nonessentials like decorations. Or a turkey. Or gifts. Between the recent death of Casey’s beloved momma and Ellis’s estrangement from his family, all they have is each other.
When Ellis finds the saddest-looking Christmas tree south of the Mason-Dixon Line thrown away outside his workplace and brings it home to Casey, things look up. Life is still a struggle, but wealth isn’t always measured in money, and what seems worthless to others is often invaluable to the people who love it.
This little short was very surprising. At first, I wasn’t sure what to think of it because it starts off a little rough. However, as the story went on, Casey’s energy was so infectious I just ended up loving him in the end. As for Ellis, I absolutely adored him. It was so sweet how he tried so hard to give Casey a great Christmas. First with the scrawny tree and then with the present and everything. I could not get enough of them together.
My biggest issue was the length, though. I felt like this story could have been a bit longer. I wanted to get to know Casey and Ellis more. I wanted to explore Ellis’s relationship with his sister but ultimately, I felt like Ellis should have maybe consulted with Casey before getting him a job. I mean, it sounded like Casey had one he really enjoyed even though the library was closed for a few weeks. I was a little uncomfortable with that because I felt like Ellis should have asked Casey before suggesting him for something. Granted, they could have just talked about it before about a possibility like that but we never got to see any in-depth like that because of how short it is.
Overall, I really liked this one. I loved the characters and I loved how deep the relationship was even if the story wasn’t too in-depth. I loved that Ellis tried so hard to make the holidays good for Casey and I loved that Casey was so exuberant. If you’re looking for a little cheering up, definitely give this one a go because it lifted my mood for sure!
Overall Impression: I really liked it!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*