~ This novel is a standalone, although it is the third in the Love at Last series. ~
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.
You Can Purchase the Book: Amazon
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.
One Last Kiss is a standalone novel, although it is the third in the Love at Last series where there are some shared characters. The adorable and bright cover is what first drew me to the novel. It is a very sweet romance story, although the style and substance might not be for every reader. Although the novel is long at around 500 pages, there is a lot of dialogue so the reading actually goes very fast. The synopsis gives a clue in the general style as the characters “break” that fourth wall where they “speak” to the reader directly. There is a large age difference between the two main characters, so if you are the type of reader that does not enjoy these stories, then it would not be worth your time. If you are okay with them, then this novel would be worth a try for a nice sweet romance.
Parker Hayes is a 40/41 years old firefighter who is the father of twin six-years-old girls. He is adjusting to life as a single parent and has lost trust in finding another person to love again. At times Parker is a very intense character, which was a bit much in some situations. While I love broody characters with a softer inside, in some places it went a little too far and would have had more an impact, for me, if it were reigned in a little. Additionally, Parker did not read as someone in his or her 40s for me. Instead, he read as someone in his early to mid-30s. For me, the story would have still worked in this aspect if he were a little younger.
Rian Kerry is a 19-years-old yoga instructor who becomes the nanny for Parker’s daughters. The times she spends with the twins are adorable and I loved reading about all the activities they did together with a nice bond forming. For her character, to me, she did not read like a typical 19 year old. To me, she easily read as a character in at least her mid-twenties. While I understand, there are tons of mature young adults, there are certain situations throughout the novel where I cannot picture anyone her age acting/thinking the same way.
I enjoyed that the story was duel perspective, as it was interesting to read both sides of the story. Essentially, it is the grumpy guy and sunshine girl type story where they each are more complex than they initially seem. The main story follows the two characters navigating their growing feelings for the other. When I look past the age gap for a moment, the romance itself is very sweet; however, I wish there were outsider points of view for the romance that at least voiced some concern with the age gap. It seemed that every single character surrounding Parker and Rian wanted them to go for pursuing a relationship together. While I am all for friends supporting their choices in their own lives, it seemed unrealistic to not have at least a conversation about the potential negatives. It was interesting to read about a large age gap as I have found them more common in historical novels and sometimes in fantasy, but they are rare in contemporary ones typically.
At its core, I love the story where a handsome single father, who has lost trust in love who meets a woman who just seamlessly fits into their life yet they have many obstacles to overcome. The writing is an easy read, so the pages seem to fly by and the pacing is great as the reader follows along with the characters fighting their feelings for the other. Although the age gap of the characters in this instance did not quite work for me, the story has many great elements that make it a fantastic read. Overall, it is a very sweet romance story!
**I give a special thank you to Rachel @rararesources,, the publisher, and the author for the opportunity to participate with this enjoyable novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**