Audiobook, Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Romance

Only Love Can Hurt Like This by Paige Toon @PaigeToonAuthor @WhelanGemma #JaredZeus @PRHAudio

the setup…
Wren Elmont is an architect and was born in Arizona but moved to England with her mother when her parents divorced. Her father’s affair resulted in a pregnancy and he chose the new family. She visits from time to time but her relationships with her father, stepmother Sheryl and half sister Bailey have never moved much beyond polite and cordial. When Wren’s fiancé unwittingly falls for someone else and their wedding is canceled, she decides to get away from all the surrounding memories and visit her American family for some much needed healing. Little did she know that more than her broken heart would be mended, especially after meeting the Fredericksen brothers whose parents are her father’s neighbors.

the heart of the story…
I was expecting some high-level drama surrounding Wren’s breakup with her fiancé so it was much appreciated when that didn’t materialize. What happened to them was tragic but not too damaging for Wren. Her return to Indiana (her father’s home) was quite revealing, too, as those relationships, or lack thereof, needed some nurturing. I loved how they reached out to her, bridging a chasm that was naturally created when her father left her mother for Sheryl. But it’s the developing relationship with Bailey that is most heartwarming as her little sister craved her affection. Enter Anders Fredericksen and Wren’s heart didn’t stand a chance as these two seemed to connect at first sight. He lost his wife four years ago and is still in recovery, somewhat. Unfortunately, he’s got a whopper of a secret that he’s holding back.

the narration…
About 75% of the story is told from Wren’s point of view and the narrator’s interpretation of the character was a seamless fit. Loved her voice tone. When we begin getting Anders’s point of view, it’s at a pivotal point in the story and the narrator brought the right level of angst, sadness and tone I was hoping to hear. Both delivered great performances.

the bottom line…
I’m happy that this was so much more than a recovery from a broken heart as it gave Wren texture and layers. Her rocky childhood contributed greatly to her self perceptions, not necessarily in a good way, but it strongly defines her. The trip to Indiana was life changing, not only for her and her family but for Anders and his own. Their personal relationship took a long time to develop, which felt quite natural and I enjoyed the time taken to get there. It’s a lovely story that I thoroughly enjoyed. There’s a stunning revelation I knew was coming but didn’t know the what. It was gratifying that it fit perfectly into the story and characterizations. I’ll be reading more by this author as her writing style is wonderful.

Book Info

  • Release Date: April 25, 2023
  • Narrators: Gemma Whelan & Jared Zeus
  • Audio Length: 9 hours, 49 minutes
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio



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16 thoughts on “Only Love Can Hurt Like This by Paige Toon @PaigeToonAuthor @WhelanGemma #JaredZeus @PRHAudio”

    1. Thanks, Nicki💜 Oh, the character was really formal until she went to Indiana for that visit. She had a lot of loosening up to do. She was sort of a snoot architect but not intentionally so. The narrator for Anders? OMG his voice was smooth.

      Liked by 1 person

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