Book Review: Art & Soul by Claire Huston

I am excited to bring you my review of Art & Soul by Claire Huston!

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.

I was very excited to read this novel – the blurb sells it well, and I liked the idea of Becky being brought in to fix Charlie’s life when her own was less than perfect.

Becky Watson is a single mother to a beautiful son. Whilst she wouldn’t change having her son, she is now struggling financially and has been forced to take on work solving problems at weddings for rich clients. Not exactly her dream job! She is a life-fixer, and she is keen to get her career (and financial status!) back on track.

Charlie Handren is a local artist who has experienced great success…until he hit a creative slump. Six years later he is a semi-recluse with a teenage daughter and sister who are very worried about him. Becky is brought in to fix his career, his love life and everything in between by any means necessary! Becky knows this is big for her – her career could really be kickstarted if she is able to fix Charlie’s life. The problem is that she gets so involved in fixing Charlie’s life that she might just want to become a part of it…

I loved this novel. I must admit that when I started reading it I was a little unsure, but the more I read, the more I loved the characters. I loved the outrageousness of the wealthy residents of Compton, but most of all I loved Charlie and Becky. Both of them were believable and relateable as characters and the way that they interacted with their friends and family was authentic. Neither aimed to be perfect, they were instead perfectly imperfect. They understood each other and what they each needed even if it wasn’t easy to give or accept.

I am more than happy to recommend this novel. Its a wonderful story about friendship, family and love. Its about making changes, however large or small, to improve your life for the better. And it’s about working out what will make it you happy and doing whatever it takes to achieve that happiness.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Thank you to Claire Huston for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

Purchase Link

Amazon UK

Author Bio

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

Social Media Links

Twitter – @ClaraVal

Instagram – @clairehuston_author

Facebook – @clairehustonauthor

*BLOG TOUR* Starcross Manor by Christie Barlow

Today it is my stop on the blog tour for Christie Barlow’s Starcross Manor!

Dying to know more about the brooding and mysterious Flynn Carter and the secrets behind his plans for Starcross Manor?

You won’t want to miss the next spellbinding chapter in the Love Heart Lane series – where friends are there for you no matter what.

When Julia Coleman meets Flynn Carter again in the cosy village of Heartcross it can only mean trouble. Flynn might be rich, brooding and sexy, but Julia knows first-hand he’s ruthless and she plans to watch his every move.

When Julia discovers Flynn’s plans for beautiful Starcross Manor her greatest fears come true.  Because Flynn’s dreams of turning Starcross into a luxury hotel could ruin Julia’s dreams…and finish off the community of Heartcross for good.

Flynn makes it clear he doesn’t want trouble, and he’s not the man Julia thinks he is.  As he sets about convincing the community he’s changed, he hopes he can convince Julia to give him another chance too…

So I have been waiting with bated breath to get my hands on a copy of Starcross Manor – I have loved the Love Heart Lane series, so I was very pleased to discover she had written another one (with more on the way!).

Julia Coleman is the owner of the local B&B in Heartcross, and she is truly a part of the community. When she discovers that Flynn Carter has appeared in her village as the new owner of Starcross Manor she is worried. She has personally had dealings with him before and knows that he cannot be trusted. He might be rich and handsome but he is incredibly ruthless, thinking only of himself. When she discovers his plans for the manor she feels she has no option but to rally the villagers into action.

Flynn Carter is excited by his new venture at Starcross Manor; he’s hardworking, and he enjoys seeing that work come to fruition. What he doesn’t expect though is to come up against an entire village of angry business owners that will stop at both to put a halt to his plans. He doesn’t understand what they have against him, but he’s determined to prove to them all that he is not who they all think he is.

I think this may be my favourite of all the Love Heart Lane series so far. I loved both Julia and Flynn as characters and whilst there are clearly misunderstandings and wrongdoing on both sides, it all felt justified. I didn’t struggle to understand either of their points of view, they both acted based on the information available to them at the time. Obviously things would have been easier if they had communicated a little better, but that happens in real life on a daily basis! I loved their story, and I loved reading more about Starcross Manor. Heartcross is such a tight knit community, it was great to watch them come together and support one another, even if it was to the detriment of Flynn for a while! Its always lovely to read about loved characters from previous books – I particularly liked catching up with Allie from Clover Cottage, however brief!

All in all this is a fab, easy read novel. If you enjoy Christie Barlow’s novels, you will love this one. Starcross Manor can easily be read as a standalone, but I’m not sure why you would want to! I’m already excited to read The Lake House (due out in December 2020) followed by Primrose Park (due out in February 2021), but that leaves you plenty of time to catch up if you haven’t already started reading this series! Let me know what you think!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Thank you to Christie Barlow and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

Purchase Links 

UK –

US –

Author Bio

Christie Barlow is the number 1 International bestselling author of ten bestsellers including A Home at Honeysuckle Farm, Love Heart Lane and Clover Cottage. Her writing career came as somewhat a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA, Canada & Australia.

Social Media Links


Twitter @ChristieJBarlow 

Facebook page Christie Barlow author

*BLOG TOUR* As Luck Would Have It by Zoe May

Today it is my pleasure to bring you my review of As Luck Would Have It by Zoe May as part of her fabulous blog tour!

Natalie Jackson might keep up appearances on Instagram, but in reality her fiancé has just jilted her after the birth of their baby and she’s moved back in with her mum. Life isn’t exactly going to plan!

So when she enters the village raffle for the holiday of a lifetime, she thinks she has no chance of winning. But her name is pulled out – and, as luck would have it, so is a ticket bought by her childhood nemesis: Will Brimble.

Surely a romantic holiday for two is the worst idea ever…right?

I have been fortunate enough to read Flying Solo by Zoe May, so I jumped at the chance to read As Luck Would Have It and I wasn’t disappointed.

Natalie Jackson thought she had it all: a successful career, a new baby and a fiancé that she loved. What she hadn’t realised was that her fiancé did not feel the same way. At all. So when she finds herself back living with her Mum so that she has help with baby Hera, she can’t help but feel her life has moved backwards somewhat.

Will Brimble finds himself divorced, having lost his job and back in his home town of Chiddingfold. When he unexpectedly bumps into Natalie at a village charity night after more than a decade, he finds himself competing with her in the raffle for the star prize – a five star trip to Marrakech. He REALLY wants to win that holiday. What he doesn’t bank on, is Natalie wanting it as much as he does! When fate unexpectedly throws them together, they find themselves on their way to the luxurious destination – together!

Natalie and Will are both desperate for a holiday, and a five star luxury break is just what they both need. Whilst they hadn’t anticipated doing it together, they find themselves reconnecting after such a long time apart. Naturally, their five star luxury break is anything but plain sailing but where would the fun be in that?!

This was a great, light, easy-read novel. I really enjoyed the characters of both Will and Natalie. Both were believable – you could understand their hesitance in a number of situations due to their past experiences. I loved the Marrakech setting, you could really feel the vibrance of the streets and the opulence of the hotel they were staying at. It was actually really great to read a novel not set in a stereotypical romantic location.

I am more than happy to recommend this novel to you all – so grab a copy, a glass of wine and find yourself an outdoor spot to read it and relax in the glorious sunshine!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you to Zoe May and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

Purchase Links

Author Bio

Zoe May is an author of romantic comedies. Zoe has dreamt of being a novelist since she was a teenager. She worked in journalism and copywriting in London before writing her debut novel, Perfect Match. Having experienced the London dating scene first hand, Zoe could not resist writing a novel about dating, since it seems to supply endless amounts of weird and wonderful material!

Perfect Match was one of Apple’s top-selling books of 2018. It was also shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Joan Hessayon Award, with judges describing it as ‘a laugh out loud look at love and self-discovery – fresh and very funny’.

As well as writing, Zoe enjoys walking her dog, painting and, of course, reading! She adores animals and if she’s not taking a photo of a vegan meal, she’s probably tweeting about the dairy industry. She is half Greek and half Irish and can make a mean baklava. Zoe has a thing for horror films, India, swimming, hip hop and Radiohead. She has an encyclopaedic knowledge of handbags having spent several years working in fashion copywriting and could probably win Mastermind if this was her specialist subject!

Zoe loves to hear from readers, you can contact her on Twitter and Instagram at: @zoe_writes. Zoe’s Facebook page is:

She posts updates and blogs on her website,

Social Media Links