10 May Only Love Can Hurt Like This by Paige Toon
Emotional conflict and heartbreak underpin this beautiful romance
Heartbroken to discover her fiancé has fallen in love with fellow landscaper Nadine, architect Wren flees from her hometown of Bury St Edmunds to Indiana, where her father has settled with his second family to run a fruit-picking farm.
But as soon as she gets there, she wonders if she has made a mistake. Her father, his wife Sheryl and Wren’s half-sister Bailey form a tightly-knit unit – will Wren feel more alone than ever?
But Bailey, newly-married, is willing to be friends, and the pair hit the town, to meet brothers Jonas and Anders, whose family work the neighouring farm.
While fun-loving Bailey forms an instant, platonic friendship with Jonas, sexual tension crackles between Wren and Anders.
But neither is willing to act on it – Wren needs to lick her wounds after Scott’s betrayal, while Anders is still mourning the loss of his wife Lauren in a tragic accident four years ago.
And with family issues complicating matters – Wren still wonders how much her dad really loves her, while Anders constantly worries about Jonas’s bouts of depression, neither has room in their lives for love.
As the summer goes on, their friendship deepens – but will it ever blossom into something deeper? They both need to find the strength to face up to their past …
Trademark tugging of the heartstrings
This is another warm and wonderful romance from experienced author Paige Toon. Her trademark tugging of the heartstrings is even stronger in this story than any other of hers I’ve read.
The dilemma facing Anders is so real. It is not that he won’t commit, but that he can’t commit to Wren or any other woman unless he recovers from losing Lauren, and all the guilt he feels about starting a new relationship with anyone else.
Wren’s hurt feelings pale into insignificance compared to his absolute devastation at the dilemma he finds himself in. At first it’s her relationship with her family that gives her most empathy for me. But as she gradually realises Anders may never overcome past tragedy, and it looks if she is about to get her heart broken all over again, my sympathy for her just grew.
Their sadness and longing drives the story on, but there are plenty of heart-warming moments here, too, as Wren finds her place amongst the local community and builds a warm relationship with Bailey.
The action immerses the reader in a totally different way of life, as she helps out on the family’s fruit-picking farm, restores an old Airstream caravan she finds hidden under some tarpaulin and discovers ways to help Jonas and his family modernise and monetise their farm, using her architectural skill.
This background chatter of everyday life keeps the story moving on nicely and prevents it from ever becoming depressing.
With lovely, empathetic characters, a strong plot and a deeply emotive issue at its heart, this is a super romance.
Only Love Can Hurt Like This by Paige Toon is published by Penguin in paperback and ebook
About the Author
In her own words, Paige Toon says, “I write emotional love stories featuring flawed characters who sometimes find themselves in impossible situations. If you pick up one of my novels, I hope that you will experience every emotion along with my characters, from love, passion and grief, to heartache, happiness and hope. I certainly feel it all when I’m writing.”
Thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me on this blogtour and to publishers Penguin for the copy of the book via NetGalley
Catch up with the rest of the blogtour at the links on the poster
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