I knew I would not be let down when reading The Minute I Saw You by Paige Toon. I first discovered her in about 2013/2014 when reading Pictures of Lily (which I want to re-read!) where her novels are mainly based in the UK and Australia, or both!
This novel did not fail to impress, where I was shocked throughout as I encountered an unexpected piece of information in the story which most authors wouldn’t think to include, which was inspired by a piece of information Toon heard on her travels, mixed with jetlag!
Hannah is an optometrist assistant who catches the eye of customer Sonny (not literally – do I get an applause for that one?). Any eye-to-eye contact with a beautiful stranger is intimate and strange, which makes it the perfect start for her novel. There is an instant connection, but, he lives in Amsterdam, only visiting the UK to see his family, whilst Hannah is planning to travel back to Australia.
Am I too much of a realist to admit I would have said ‘bye’ at that point?
But apparently not for them! To top it all off, he has twin girls and has a bit of a Lothario past – but there is a distressing reason for it, which I thought was rather dark for Toon to include.
Anyhow, it turns out both are hiding secrets. The story does however leave you feeling very positive as their romance blossoms, leaving you in wonder as to whether Hannah will reveal her past as Sonny slowly opens up about his. Based in Cambridge, it is the perfect setting, although not so much when they nip over to his pad in Amsterdam where it turns out he has some bad egg friends.
Hannah brings Sonny back to earth and makes him realise it’s cool to be calm, even if it does mean him having to keep asking when she’s ready to reveal all. The bond she develops with his daughters is charming, setting out on local day trips and adventures with her dog, Bertie, contrasting with the ever changing light and dark moments throughout.
I really enjoyed this book and the journey experienced between Hannah and Sonny and each of their families, especially with the issue of distance and whether he will return back to Amsterdam to work on a few more jobs, versus Hannah returning to her family in Australia.
A pleasant, quick read for bookworms seeking romance and a good, not so cliché twist!
rating – 4.5/5
genre – romance, fiction, domestic fiction