Blog Tour Review: The First Man

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The First Man (From Connemara with Love #2)
Alex Kelly

Published Feb 25, 2021

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About the Book

Shane

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.

Andy

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.

My Review
💚💚💚

I think this is the very first Male/Male Romance that I have read and I have to say…. I loved it! As I don’t read steamy romances often either, with this book, my eyes were GLUED to the pages. For me, the steam factor was off the charts.

This is book 2 in the series and I’m actually glad that I didn’t read book 1 as the MC’s of that story (Ellie and Alex) would probably be my least favorite out of all the story lines that this series covers. So, I’m pretty happy to have started on Book 2. The series takes place in Ireland (Hello March!) with the Johnston siblings (Reid, Shane and Ellie) and the Veldons siblings (Andy and Brian) as well as Alex Brennan all having grown up together in a small rural town. Book 2 is the story of Andy and Shane and the on-again-off-again romance that sparked when they were young and has continued, hidden, for the past 17 years.

This was a page-turner of a story! Told from the perspective of both Shane and Andy, the story evolves from appearing to be an unhealthy, manipulative relationship to in actuality, being a story of two people in love, who are just simply scared and don’t know how to move forward. They have become stuck.

The story of their relationship was at times, frustrating for me. I mean, 17 years?? You’d think they could have figured some stuff out in maybe a couple of years. So some of the plot lines seemed a little overboard to me.

All of the other characters were great additions to the story. Also, frustrating at times, but still, great characters that I’d like to get to know better. Except Alex and Ellie. I loved them individually but as a couple, I’m not a fan. They are horrible at communicating! The banter back and forth between the friends was really fun as well and I could easily see this being a Netflix show with a great cast.

Now for the challenges. This book was translated from Italian and therefore it has some editing issues. Words left out, some grammatical errors, etc., which made the overall writing feel a little sloppy. Knowing this was being translated, I feel it would have been a normal step in the process to have an editor review and make changes before releasing the English version. I guess this step was skipped. Also, some of the information throughout the story doesn’t match. In some places it says they’ve been in this relationship for 17 years yet in other places it mentions different timelines. The same with Alex and Ellie – in some cases it says he’s been in love with Ellie for 30 years and in others it says 15. For Shane and Andy, it says they’ve rarely had sex over the 17 years yet later, Ellie tells Shane she knows the guys get together every Sunday when the other friends are busy. And finally, there are sections of the story that are heavy on the banter between all the friends. Really fun but I found that most of the conversation lines weren’t tagged with who is saying what. I had to stop often and go back and try and determine who was speaking in group passages as well as which line went to whom in 2 person passages. As a reader, I shouldn’t have to work that hard to follow conversations. Again, a little editing could go a long way here.

From a story perspective, without all the editing issues, I would rate this story as a 4. It was very intense and the characters are all really likeable and I will be moving on to the next books in the series so I can see what happens with everyone else. But I had to put in some extra work to overcome these editing issues which were just simply unnecessary, so my final rating is a 3.

About the Author
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.
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