Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for the second book in ALex Kelly’s series From Connemara with Love.
The First Man
Do you want to know what it means to live like me? It means being forced not to look at him, not to touch him, not to be left alone in the same room as him.
Not to seek him out. Not to want him. Not to love him.
Do you know how it feels to spend your entire life pretending to be someone else? Do you know what it’s like to love someone who doesn’t want to be loved?
I’ll tell you how it feels.
It feels as if you’re living in constant torment: you know which path you should follow, but you also know that, if you follow that path, you can never turn back. And I can’t do that to him.
Every day I come back, because I know that he’s waiting for me.
Every day I promise him that he will never have to live without me.
Do you know what it means to live like me? It means being forced not to touch him, not to kiss him, not to be able to leave the room while he’s still in it.
Not to breathe him in, not to lust after him. Not to love him.
Do you know how it feels to spend your entire life pretending to be someone else? Do you know what it’s like to love the only person you’re not allowed to love?
I’ll tell you how it works.
You can’t seem to feel anything other than him; when you walk away, you know that you’re turning your back on the only thing that’s good in your life.
Yet you still walk away.
Every day I leave, knowing that he will be standing there, watching.
Every day I ask him to promise me that I will never have to live without him.
The First one is the second book in Alex Kelly’s series From Connemara with Love. I haven’t read the first one, The Best Man, which dealt with Ellie and Alex Brennan’s story. It is possible to read and enjoy The First Man as a standalone, but I would recommend starting from the beginning of the series. There’s a lot of backstory you wouldn’t want to miss out on.
If you’ve read the synopsis, you already know that this book is about Shane (Ellie’s brother) and Andy, the owner of the Veldons pub, and you know how passionate they are about each other. So what is holding them apart? In a small town identities and reputations are set early on and passed on in families. Shane comes from the family that owns the distillery, which is the biggest business in their small town, while Andy’s father was an alcoholic who saddled his family with an enormous debt and bad reputation.
When Andy inherited the pub, he knew he’d have to make a lot of sacrifices to keep it afloat and to take care of his younger brother Brian. Not many people went beyond appearances and befriended Andy or Brian, but Reid and Shane were an exception. When Reid asked Andy to keep an eye on Shane, Andy couldn’t imagine he’d fall in love, but that’s what happened. You’ll have to read the book to find out how difficult it was for them to deal with their feelings and the whole situation.
The book goes very deep into the main characters emotions and I have to say some of the things they said made me tear up. Since Andy and Shane’s relationship has stayed secret for long time, you can imagine that there are a lot of pent-up feelings and a lot of push-and-pull / leave me-don’t leave me-I can’t do it-but-neither-can-I-live-without-you stuff.
There were also some very steamy scenes, so, if you prefer clean romance, you need to take this into consideration. The secondary characters are also very important in this book, as they have a lot of influence on the protagonists’ lives. I don’t want to say on their choices, because, ultimately, the choice belongs to Shane and Andy, but, clearly, family relationships and friendships are at the heart of this whole series and this book in particular.
The book is a bit on a lengthy side, and you see not only how the MCs got into certain behaviour pattaerns, but also how they found it difficult to break from them. On the plus side, there is also friendly banter and some sweet and tender moments that any fan of the contemporary romance genre loves to see in a book.
This was an enjoyable read and I’ll be looking forward to the next book in the series!
Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources and the author for the gifted review copy. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.
Alex Kelly writes uplifting, emotional and heartwarming Romantic Fiction and Family Sagas.
She’s a bibliophile, a Yogi, a lover of English literature and a baking enthusiast.
She was born in Italy but lives in Ireland with her husband, two children and a cat named Oscar.
Thank you for reading the post! If you would like to find out what other bloggers thought of the book, here is the full blog tour schedule: