Wednesday, 29 April 2020

New Release Spotlight & Review: Art and Soul by Clare Huston



Art and Soul by Claire Huston
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publication Date: 23rd April 2020
Standalone Novel


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?
 
A heart-warming, uplifting romance served with a generous slice of cake. Perfect for fans of Jill Mansell, Katie Fforde and Cathy Kelly.




Art and Soul is a story which creeps under your skin and hooks you in.

Rebecca 'Becky' Watson is a professional fixer and Charlie Handren is a reluctant new client after his sister asks Becky to help out her sibling. It's a tough job, but with her trademark confidence, she's positive she can work her magic...she just has to convince the less than enthusiastic artist.

Charlie doesn't need anyone fixing his life and career, so when his sister contacts a professional fixer to get his life back on track, he's unenthusiastic and sceptical. On meeting the woman, he's pleasantly surprised by her positivity and energy and grudgingly agrees to employ her. He knows it's a risk but agrees anyway. Only her presence in his life creates far greater consequences even he could ever imagine.

When they meet, sparks fly but can Becky turn artist Charlie's career around so he can regain the success of his past? I sympathised with Charlie because Becky is a formidable whirlwind of productivity and ideas. She's a confident woman, but sometimes lacks insight as to how her skills will impact others. Her heart is one-hundred-per cent invested in the decisions she makes for Charlie but not all are clearly thought out.

You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours as one contract easily presents itself after another. Therefore it's admirable how Becky effortlessly floats between assignments yet, her work is unpredictable and equally challenging as she juggles her work and life as a single parent. It's also a common link she shares with Charlie and provides a foundation for their relationship.

Art and Soul is a stellar d├ębut novel by Ms Huston who has written a captivating novel with fascinating protagonists, intriguing secondary characters and a cleverly crafted narrative to keep readers engaged throughout. I liked how I was pulled into the story, feeling the emotions of the characters in the situations they get themselves into. All the while cheering them along to a happy ending.

To sum up, I can see Art and Soul ending up in my top five favourite books for 2020! 

***arc generously received courtesy of the publisher via Rachel's Random Resources***



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 www.clairehuston.co.uk along with over 100 other recipes. This is also where she talks about and reviews books.