**We were gifted an e-copy of this book in return for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are our own**
One of my favourite things about blogging is discovering and supporting new authors. Last year an up and coming author Claire Huston contacted me and asked if I’d like a copy of her book. At the time my TBR was rather overwhelming, however despite me explaining about the potential wait until I could actually read it she still kindly sent me over a copy. Now some months later I have managed to whittle down the teetering pile and have eventually read Art and Soul and will be sharing my thoughts with you in today’s review post. Thank you so much to Claire for gifting me a copy of her book.
About The Book
There’s no problem Becky Watson can’t fix. Except her own love life…
Struggling single mother Becky Watson longs to revive her career as a life-fixer, working miracles to solve her clients’ problems, no matter how big or small. Since the birth of her two-year-old son she has been stuck preventing wedding fiascos for the richest and rudest residents of the Comptons, a charming, leafy area of southern England known for its artistic heritage.
So when semi-reclusive local artist Charlie Handren reluctantly hires Becky to fix his six-year creative slump, she’s delighted to set him up with a come-back exhibition and Rachel Stone, the woman of his dreams.
Though they get off to a rocky start, Becky and Charlie soon become close. But as the beautiful Rachel becomes Charlie’s muse, Becky is forced to wonder: will giving Charlie everything he wants mean giving up her own happily ever after?
Charlie was once a well-known, prolific artist; that was until an article tarnished his career sending him into hibernation. Having built his walls high and stuck his head firmly in the ground it’s not just his work that’s suffering but his relationship with his family. Worried about his descent into depression his sister along with his teenage daughter Phoebe decide they need some outside help to get him back on track, seeking the help of a professional fixer.
Becky may not have her own life sorted, but when it comes to her clients she can fix anything. Since having her son work opportunities have dried up leaving Becky working weekends ensuring local weddings run smoothly, but she needs a challenge and more than anything the money. Lady luck must be on her side though when she lands the assignment to ‘fix’ a local artists life and get him not only back to work, but back on the relationship market. This could be the break she needs to get out of the rut she’s found herself in and kick start her career, but only if her client plays ball…..
Art and Soul is a beautifully written, fast paced, adult contemporary romance and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Huston has a lovely easy to read writing style that doesn’t scrimp on detail and characterisation with well rounded and fully developed characters. I particularly enjoyed reading about older adults as most romance books I read tend to be about characters in their 20’s which whilst I enjoy are a little less relatable as I age (a bit!).
I loved how Huston ensured our main characters. Charlie and Becky. were portrayed ‘flaws and all’ making them vulnerable not just to each other but also me the reader. Becky in particular had that multi-faceted character that always adds to my enjoyment of a book. Strong and resilient in her working life, yet in need of help, support and a little love behind the her façade.
The romance in this book is a joy to watch growing as it’s a real slow burn scenario that blossoms from a budding friendship that’s mixed with the fear of rejection and unclear intentions from both sides. It was a complete delight to read and I was cheering them on from the side-lines the whole time!
Also as a side note if you are a cake fan be sure to have some with you whilst eating as Becky’s best friend owns a cake shop so there are mentions of the most delicious sounding cake liberally scattered throughout; enough to make your mouth water!
Art and Soul is a heart-warming story about change and taking that extra leap of faith outside of your comfort zone. A cute easy read that will bring a guaranteed smile to your face and I am super excited to see what this author has in store for us next.
About The Author
Claire Huston lives in Warwickshire with her husband and two children. Art and Soul is her first novel.
A keen amateur baker, she enjoys making cakes, biscuits and brownies almost as much as eating them. You can find recipes for all the cakes mentioned in Art and Soul at clairehuston.co.uk along with over 100 other recipes. This is also where she talks about and reviews books.
Art and Soul is available to purchase now from Amazon*