#Bookreview – Art & Soul by Claire Huston

What Amazon says

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

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?

My review

I reviewed this book in my capacity as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team. If you would like your book reviewed, you can contact Rosie Amber here: http://rosieamber.wordpress.com/.

Art and Soul is a lovely romance by author, Claire Huston. Becky Watson has recently returned to work following a long maternity leave and is finding it isn’t that easy to re-establish her connections as a life coach. She has taken some jobs as an assistant at various upmarket weddings where she helps ensure that any potential people created problems are prevented or smoothed over. These jobs don’t pay particularly well and her finances are not in a good state.

Charlie is a well-known painter whose life unraveled badly after his wife left him and their young daughter several years before. His daughter and his sister are worried about his behaviour which has become more and more reclusive. He is also drinking more and is unable to paint at all. His recent painting have been harshly criticized by the art world who believe he has lost his inspiration.

Charlie’s sister contacts Claire and asks her to speak to her brother with a view to her helping him rekindle his enthusiasm for life and painting. Claire desperately needs the money so she agrees to try and help him, but knows it will be difficult due to Charlie’s uncooperative attitude. After a difficult start to their relationship, Charlie eventually agrees to try out Becky’s proposal and to re-launch himself and his work at an exhibition in only six months time. She also plans to help him rekindle a romance with a woman he fancied a while back.

I really liked Claire who was straightforward and forthright most of the time. Her only area of failure was in expressing her own emotions and feelings but that was understandable given that the father of her child had lied to her and devastated her trust. Claire has Charlie’s best interests at heart and will put her own welfare aside to help him move forward with his goals.

I like Charlie on the whole although he demonstrated a few spiteful and selfish characteristics that spoiled him a bit for me. I felt that he was a bit unpredictable and would have like Becky to have been interested in a more understanding man who didn’t lash out at her from time to time. Charlie also didn’t always come across as sufficiently supportive of his teenage daughter who really needed him.

The art aspects of this book were really interesting and I enjoyed reading about Charlie’s style of artwork compared to some of the very famous names. I also liked reading about Becky’s friend, a baker of the most delectable sounding cakes and who owned a cake shop. I am a big baker myself and I enjoyed the appearance of the odd amazing cake or two.

This was a sweet and uplifting romance baring a few occasions when Charlie fell from grace in my opinion. It will leave you routing for a good outcome for Claire and her cute son and even grumpy Charlie who has a lot of goodness about him.

Purchase Art & Soul by Claire Huston

46 thoughts on “#Bookreview – Art & Soul by Claire Huston

      1. Absolutely! I’ve just bought it as I finished a rather intense novel by Marylynne Robinson and need something lighter! Thank you, I’m very well and a joy my mother is now part of our bubble/pod! Hope you and your wonderful family are keeping okay. xx

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I am sure you have, Liz. Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre are both romances as are Jane Austen’s books. I don’t read many romances either, but have enjoyed the change of genre from time to time.

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  1. A fantastic review of this book, Robbie. I was a little unclear because the name of the character Charlie Handren was so close to the author’s name Claire Huston. It was okay to have that name in the story, but in the reviews, it may cause confusion.

    Thank you for the review, Robbie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Miriam, I didn’t even notice that similarity. Clever you for spotting it. I think authors do that kind of thing all the time. I read somewhere that people pick names for their characters in their books that start with the same letter of the alphabet or sound similar. I read this after I published Through the Nethergate and they I saw that three of my characters had names that started with an M.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s interesting of how we pick names for the characters, Robbie. For a while I wrote flash fiction every day and tried to pick names. Depending on the stories, I tried to pick names close to the background. Sometimes I searched for popular names in a certain period or years.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like a pleasant read though I do not like the sound of ‘selfish’ Charlie. I read a book by Nora Robert’s ( its filled with romance which you might not enjoy :)) but its filled with baking to – the second in the ‘Daring to dream’ trilogy. I can’t bake but I loved reading it for the description of the fondant, the cakes, the various deserts, the labor that goes into it, the intricacies. I recommend you read it if only for the baking🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am hopeful this one leaves out the over the top sex scenes I have come to dread. I am enjoying predictable romance books right now since there is so much uncertainty in the world. This one looks just the ticket.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This has no sex scenes in it. I don’t like sex scenes either. I did enjoy this book although I did think Charlie was a bit self centred. Lots of men are so this is probably quite realistic. My hubby isn’t remotely selfish and I am very prickly about equality between men and women so any mild inferences of patriarchal behaviour get my goat a bit.

      Liked by 1 person

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