Review: Nell Iris – Unconditionally

unconditionallyAuthor: Nell Iris
Reviewer: Lucy
Publisher: JMS Books
Genre: MM Contemporary

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Summary: Flamboyant book café owner Luca Moretti and geeky doctor Gus Hansen have been together for six years when the Supreme Court ruling makes same-sex marriage legal in all states. On June 26, 2015, Gus gets down on one knee and Luca screams yes.

On their wedding day, shortly before the ceremony, Luca’s mother explodes in anger, calling him a freak. The reason? He’s wearing a white veil, sprinkled with crystals.

Their relationship has been strained for a long time, and her words trigger traumatic memories. Instead of walking down the aisle, Luca runs.

Away from his mother. Away from Gus.

Gus counts down the minutes when Luca’s mother comes knocking. He realizes something’s wrong, but when he goes to talk to Luca, his husband-to-be is nowhere to be found.

Can Gus find Luca in time and manage to convince him to come back and get married?

Review: A weird thing to start with, but I do wish the blurb had been a little shorter, because it gives away quite a bit of this fairly short story (. That being said, I loved Luca in all his no-shirt under his tux and becrystalled glory. Even more than that, I loved his calm, staid Gus, who loves Luca, yep, unconditionally.

Gus is a doctor, quiet, loyal and unabashedly in love with his fiancé, Luca. I liked that the book begins with how Gus and Luca met, because just that little glimpse gives insight into the persona that is Gus. “The Big Gay Handbook probably dictated every gay man should love Britney, but Gus just couldn’t.” What Gus does have in spades is an amazingly supportive mother, hence his being at the bar trying to be social. Sometimes the quiet ones are the ones who are hard to connect with but Luca has no trouble with that, getting right up in his space.

We fast forward to 2015, the wedding ceremony of Gus and Luca, one at which Luca’s mother, the polar opposite of Gus’ mom, verbally attacks him and leaves him shaken. In an unfortunately realistic way, those words hurt more than almost anything would. I wanted to slap her, to be honest. Her son’s happiness didn’t seem to carry much weight with her and those words cut deep into what should be the happiest day ever and turn it into a nightmare.

Luca runs, in that moment forgetting that the person who loves him most loves him absolutely as he is, loves all that he is, unconditionally. It is Gus, quiet, thoughtful and adoring, who has to try to fix what Mother has broken when the upsetting words at a time “…when everything was supposed to be rainbows and unicorns…” have caused devastation. Gus’s speech at the wedding, I have no words. I loved it.

This is a new to me author and I will definitely be looking out for more of her work. I liked that while Luca’s mother acted horribly, she wasn’t portrayed as an over the top villain. I also appreciated that the angst of what was happening was balanced by the joy that is Gus and Luca. I would recommend this book, particularly for romantics and for those who understand what “unconditional” truly means.



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  1. Thank you so much for featuring me on your blog and for your wonderful review <3

  2. Pingback: Reviews: Unconditionally | Nell Iris

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