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Monday, March 21, 2022

The Only Man by A.S. Kelly 💕 Book Blitz and $25 Gift Card Giveaway 💕(Contemporary Romance)



I want her to be happy more than I want her to be mine.

I was a different man, once.
I was a man with only one woman on my mind – the only woman I wanted to hold in my arms.
I was her man.
But things change. Life changes you. Choices, mistakes, resentment: they all change you.
So do unkept promises.
We hurt each other. We loved each other, then hated each other, then missed each other, then grew apart.
And then…
One day, we found each other again.
At the wrong time, in the wrong place.
Because the two of us are wrong together – we’re too far apart, too incompatible.
We’re the main characters of a story that doesn’t belong to us.
But I still keep loving her, even though she hates me.
And she keeps hating herself, because she can’t help but love me.
And we keep searching for each other, even though we’re destined to lose each other.

I wish I could be a different man, just once.
I wish I could be the kind of man who’s ready to give everything for the woman he loves.
Someone who was ready to let her go.
Because I want her to be happy more than I want her to be mine.


“I hope, Darcy,” I tell her, honestly, “that you do forget about me, one day. I don’t want you to, but I hope you do.”
“That’ll never happen.” Her fingers slide into my hair and her red lips move close to mine. “I couldn’t forget you when I hated you,” she says, her voice trembling. I can hear it, even beneath the music. “So there’s no way I’d be able to forget you now.”
“Why not?” I ask, pain hammering in my chest, climbing up my throat and seeping into my temples.
“I think you know why.”
I don’t want to hear her say it, but I need to hear it. I need to remind myself what happens when you stop believing in the only thing you should believe in.
“Say it.”
“It’s too painful.”
“For me? Or for you?”
She smiles sadly. “Both.”
“Then don’t say it.” I rest my thumb on her lips, and Darcy parts them, sending a shiver through every vein in my body. “This is enough. You’re enough. Tonight is enough.” I’m lying, but I try, anyway. “Just tonight.”
“And then?” Her lips move against my thumb.
And then I’ll keep loving you from here, from afar, at the safe distance we have to put between ourselves so that at least one of us can have a chance. And it has to be you.
I didn’t do all this so that, one day, you’ll come back to me.
I didn’t give up on us to watch you give up on yourself.
“There is no ‘then’. And there’s no ‘tomorrow’.”
I drop my hand, and she looks at me, pity in her eyes.
“There’s no future for us.”
She rests her forehead against mine and lets herself go; my arms are holding her tightly, rocking her gently. We’re not dancing. We’re not following the music, or paying any attention to the world around us.
All we have is tonight, a handful of hours to breathe in. Nothing else has ever mattered compared to this moment.

  

I always turn up at just the wrong moment. I never know how to make the most of a situation; I don’t know the right thing to say, or when I should come or go. 
Let’s just say I have really shit timing. 
I’m not a smart guy. I don’t have great ideas.
I’m practical, a hard worker; someone who lives for his family, and for the air that she breathes. 
It’s just a shame that the “she” in question never knew this. It’s a shame that I waited all these years to make my move. It’s useless to tell you, readers, that it was already too late; that I’d screwed everything up, once again. And, this time, my mistakes forced her to come home. 
Except she didn’t want to stay. 
And now she hates me – or maybe she doesn’t. I still haven’t worked out what’s going on between us, but like I said, I’m not the sharpest tool in the box. And even though this could be my last chance, I’m not going to be the one to ask her to stay. Not even if she turns out to be the one I’ve always waited for. 
Because she doesn’t belong in this place. 
And she doesn’t belong in my life. 
My name is Alex Brennan, and this is my story: of how I realised I’d lost the most important person in my life, before I even had her.

  
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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.


  

Once upon a time, there was a solitary, grumpy man who would spend his days watching the world around him without ever attracting any attention to himself.

Once upon a time, there was a man who stood aside, imagining he could live someone else’s life and dreaming of something which would never be his; yet he wasn’t ready to give it up.
Once upon a time, there was a man who loved a woman. His only wish was to watch her achieve her dreams – without knowing that the only dream she ever wanted to achieve was him.
Once upon a time, there was a woman afraid that no one would ever be able to love her – without knowing that there was a man who had loved nothing but her for his entire life.

That man is me: Reid Johnson. And that woman is her: my deepest secret. Fine, so I have a few secrets – but it would be best not to reveal them, as they could take everything I have away from me. And without those secrets, I’d have nothing to dream of.

There are two things you should know about me before deciding whether or not to read this story:
I’ve never been the person everyone thinks I am.
I’ve never been the man she believes me to be.


  

A. S. Kelly writes Rom-Com, Romantic Fiction and Family Saga. Avid reader, hopeless romantic, lover of yoga, knitting and home baking. She was born in Italy but lives in Ireland with her husband, two children and a cat named Oscar.


    

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