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Art and Soul: A heart-warming, uplifting romance served with a generous slice of cake (Love in the Comptons Book 1) Kindle Edition
"A sweet, slow burn romance, I enjoyed this book from start to finish." ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
This uplifting romcom is a standalone story and part of The Love in the Comptons collection.
❤ 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 romance about second chances perfect for fans of Katie Fforde, Jill Mansell, Trisha Ashley and Kathryn Freeman.
Book One in the Love in the Comptons series. These are standalone romcoms with recurring characters and locations and can be read in any order.
1. Art and Soul (Becky and Charlie)
2. The Only Exception (Lucinda and Alex)
- ASIN : B084GTQD29
- Publisher : Goldcrest Books International Ltd (April 23, 2020)
- Publication date : April 23, 2020
- Language : English
- File size : 1508 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 400 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,396,526 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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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 cut son and even grumpy Charlie who has a lot of goodness about him.
Charlie, her reluctant client, has been in an artistic and life slump since his wife moved out and left him to raise their daughter alone. He has lost his muse and barely makes it through the days. His sister, Lauren, and his daughter Phoebe are behind the introduction of Becky into his life and a much needed "kick in the pants" to start living again.
Becky is a force of nature, and she is cast along with other great characters like Ronnie, her bestie, and Lloyd, a wealthy conspirator, plus Virgil and Rachel. The characters and the story were so well crafted that the reader feels like they are a part of the story watching it unfold and rooting for a happily ever after. I couldn't believe this was a debut novel from the author and I look forward to many others. I was provided a free copy of this book for an honest review.
One of my favorite aspects of the story is the fabulous cast of characters. Becky, for example, is so determined and driven, and she has an excellent take-charge personality. She’s not dissuaded by the obstacles that get in her way, which I admire. I also find it interesting that though Becky is great at reading other people and fixing their lives, she is not as attuned to her own feelings and desires. Her character is so well-layered and relatable and definitely one of my favorites in the story.
In contrast, where Becky is more outgoing and forthcoming, Charlie is introverted and finds it difficult to express himself. He is fully aware of his feelings but struggles to verbalize them. Though Becky and Charlie are quite different, they do have some things in common. They both love their children, they are both recovering from failed relationships, and they are both starting over. They also both have a deep respect for different kinds of art, another aspect of the story that I loved! Throughout the story, there are references to art and literature that are fantastic!
Becky and Charlie develop a good working relationship and a strong friendship before they realize that it might have grown into something more. The way that Charlie takes to Becky’s two-year-old son Dylan is endearing, as is the way he steps up when Becky finds herself incapacitated. Becky, not used to letting others take charge, sees Charlie in a whole new light. Their relationship grew naturally and charmingly and shows how two very different people can find love with each other.
Dylan isn’t the only fabulous secondary character. Becky’s meddlesome friend Ronnie, Charlie’s bright teenaged daughter Phoebe, and the mysterious and wealthy Lloyd all stole my heart and added the perfect mix of levity and realism to the story. I particularly appreciated Ronnie as she is honest, observant, helpful, and an all-around good friend. Plus, she bakes the most fantastic sounding desserts!
A heart-warming, feel-good contemporary romance, the novel also delves into some deeper issues. The author explores divorce, dealing with the difficulties of parenting, and opening yourself up to love again with honesty and realism. Who hasn’t dealt with a difficult client, an impatient toddler, or a meddling best friend? The messages and characters throughout the story are very relatable and relevant.
I loved Art and Soul! It’s the perfect light yet layered read that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. And this is her debut novel! Claire Huston is a dynamic storyteller, and I’m so thankful to have received a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
Top reviews from other countries
I felt an immediate connection with the main characters Becky and Charlie. The story is told skilfully from both their viewpoints and has lots of side characters that bring colour and warmth to the story.
Plot - Becky is a life-fixer and is brought in to help reclusive artist Charlie rediscover his muse for painting and set his life back on track whilst trying to deal with her own single parent struggles. She can work miracles with other people, and is almost like a guardian angel working in the background, but has her own difficulties and hang ups from past events that get in the way of her finding her own happiness.
What I like - It was great to read a story about a life fixer. It’s something different and I think we can agree that we all need a bit of Becky’s magical touch in our lives!
I also loved how Becky is a single parent struggling to work and raise her young son. It’s not the usual set up for a romance story and it was refreshing.
What I didn’t like - It’s one of those books where there really isn’t anything that I had an issue with. The ending could have been a tiny bit more dramatic maybe but it was still satisfying, enjoyable and choked me up so you really can’t ask for much more from a story.
Conclusion - I cannot go into details and risk spoilers but I will say I was left with happy feeling at the end of this novel. There were ups and downs throughout that kept you guessing but in the end it was a great conclusion to the story. It left me wanting to keep reading and being in their lives!
This is Claire Huston’s debut novel, though it reads like a book from a well-established author who has honed her craft. She’s an author I look forward to reading more from.
I recommend this to anyone who enjoys a feel good romance. Star rating 4.5
Becky has a busy life as a single mum to Dylan, along with her job of keeping client’s wedding plans on the straight and narrow. She is a bossy boots and usually gets things sorted, but Charlie is stubborn and he needs to find his painting mojo sharpish because Becky wants to relaunch him with an exhibition of his art at a local gallery.
It’s truly a lovely story which I enjoyed immensely. The characters were so likeable, apart from Rachel who was not so. Phoebe, Charlie’s daughter was so helpful. Ronnie was the cake queen. Virgil was a smooth operator, along with the adorable Lloyd who I thought was fabulous.
The descriptions made me feel like I was there, looking at the paintings, admiring the clothes and eating the cakes.
I loved the New Year Ball, it gave me goosebumps.
I thoroughly recommend this book, it really is fabulous.
Simply put - a thoroughly good and enjoyable read worthy of a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating.
This book is Huston’s debut novel - I shall be looking out for her next.
Other bonuses were the delicious mentions of cake, carefully chosen Shakespeare quotes and an overall uplifting tone. Fully recommended.