One Last Kiss by A.S. Kelly
ABOUT THE BOOK
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Rian Kerry, and I’m in huge trouble.
This is how it happened: I had a crush. You know those teenage crushes, which I’m sure you’ve all experienced, too. It was that kind of crush that makes your knees tremble, that makes you blush violently and stammer when you’re with that person. One of those crushes that you assume you’ll just grow out of, the way the seasons change.
The problem is that my crush didn’t go anywhere. Actually, it only got worse, transforming into something absurd and unbearable, which no one could seem to understand. Especially not him. Because he’s off-limits. He’s barricaded himself within his walls, from a sense of fear and guilt. He’s locked up his heart forever, and seems to have no intention of letting anyone in ever again.
My friends, Jordan, Anya, and Holly, say that he just needs a little push. They say that he needs to learn to believe again. But I don’t think he’ll ever be ready, because he simply doesn’t want to be. He doesn’t want to believe. Not in something like us.
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Parker Hayes, and I’m an idiot.
Yep, you heard me right. I’m a real idiot. And, I swear, that’s putting it lightly. But I’m a lot of other things, too. I’m a fireman, and a single father to two cheeky, hyperactive six-year-old twins. I’m a brother to Tyler, another fireman – and another idiot – who always seems to stick his nose into my business. I’m a kind-of friend to Niall, yet another idiot with nothing to do but barge into my life, uninvited.
Let’s get back to the point, here: the reason I’m an idiot. Well, it’s pretty simple. I’ve lost my mind. Literally. It happened again. I fell for it. With my head, with my body, and with the heart I was sure I’d never be able to piece back together after another inevitable disaster.
The problem is that she’s not like the others. She bakes cakes with my daughters, laughs with them, and shows them her magic bag. They’re crazy about her. And so am I. And now she knows it, and I know it, and everyone around us knows it. But I can’t take that step. I can’t let everything go to start over.
I can’t live through this again – because this time, I won’t be left standing. Not if she’s the one to break my heart.
I picked this book up after reading Tyler and Holly’s story in About Last Night. Ms. Kelly’s characters are genuine and relatable and Rian and Parker’s story is as real as it gets.
Rian has had a crush on Parker Hayes for years and the incident that had Parker coming to her rescue a few months ago made her aware of him as a man. The only man she ever wanted, but he sees her as a girl. His twin girls’ babysitter. She’s comfortable being alone and teaching yoga. Parker is not meant to be with her.
Parker is a dedicated fireman and father to his twin girls. He is tired all of the time and not interested in dating after his wife abandoned her family. But after the incident with Rian Kerry a few months ago, he can’t stop thinking about her naked body and the kiss he stole from her. She is too young, too innocent. She is forbidden. She doesn’t need a broken man like him. A man who is hardened by life’s circumstances. He has to focus on his girls.
I have to admit I wasn’t fond of the age gap in this story, but as I said earlier, Ms. Kelly’s characters are incredible. Parker is grumpy and swimming in a sea of despair. He’s been burned once and doesn’t want to be hurt like that again. His strong attraction to Rian is tearing him apart and it doesn’t help his friends and family are pushing him to break out of his slump and give Rian a chance. It’s a slow build (too slow in my opinion) as Parker tortures himself to stay away only to see her again and give in to the love he needs so badly. Rian is very young and immature at times, but she is kind and good with Parker’s girls. Could these two make it work? Possibly. They certainly have the support from their family and friends who give them good advice throughout their courtship.
The supporting characters are the strongest part of this story. The hilarious banter between Parker, his brother, and Rian’s brother Niall is priceless. Rian’s friends are also very funny and full of great advice as they guide her through a very delicate dance to get Parker to loosen up and be the man he is destined to be. The hurt feelings between Rian and her brother Niall is a great story in itself as Niall works hard to get back into her good graces after abandoning her when she was young. My favorite characters are Zoe and Eve, Parker’s precocious and adorable twin girls. The incident with the permanent markers is hysterical and noteworthy.
Overall, I am charmed once again by Ms. Kelly’s exceptional storytelling. This forbidden romantic comedy is filled with emotional turmoil, hilarious pranks, and genuine love between two lonely people destined to make their relationship work.
Thank you to Ms. Kelly for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A. S. Kelly was born in Italy but lives in Ireland with her husband, two children and a cat named Oscar.
She’s passionate about English literature, she’s a music lover and addicted to coffee.
She spends her days in a small village North of Dublin, looking for inspiration for her next stories.
Rainy Days is her debut novel.
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