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Art and Soul

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  115 ratings  ·  73 reviews
A heart-warming, uplifting romance served with a generous slice of cake

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 wed
Kindle Edition
Published April 23rd 2020
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Average rating 4.32  · 
Rating details
 ·  115 ratings  ·  73 reviews

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Whispering Stories
Oct 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Book Reviewed on

Claire Huston’s debut novel, Art and Soul is a heart-warming, pleasant read. It’s a perfect escape romance with a confident (and scheming… in a good way) female lead. Huston writes like a seasoned author. I was surprised that this was her first publishing effort.

Charlie is a renowned local artist who is unfortunately in a huge slump. He’s been in this runt since a scathing review of his work some years ago. Enter Becky the fixer. Yes, that’s her job, she
CYIReadBooks (Claire)
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: from-the-author
If there is such a thing as a cozy romance novel, Art & Soul is it. With a cute book cover, how can one not resist picking up a copy to read?

The primary players in Art & Soul are Rebecca Watson and John (Charlie) Handren. Rebecca is a lifestyle and crisis management counselor tasked with rehabilitating former prominent artist, Charlie. Once an artistic icon, Charlie is now considered a washed-out has-been on the verge of sinking into oblivion. It's up to Rebecca to come up with a plausible plan
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
ART & SOUL is a slow burn contemporary story that I was pulled in to from the very first page. To be honest, I fell in love with the cover the minute I saw it. I knew I would read it anyway, because the blurb captured me, but the cover really pulled me in. A cupcake and a heart…..I mean what’s not to love? I loved everything about this beautiful story and I’m excited to recommend it to my reading friends. Claire Huston has a way of grabbing her readers and she never lets us go.

ART & SOUL really
Yvonne (It's All About Books)

Finished reading: October 17th 2020

"If you willingly enter the dragon's lair, best to wait to see how it will react, rather than poke it."

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

(view spoiler)
Nov 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
A pragmatic single mother helping a troubled artist rediscover his talent

Art and Soul is a story of coping with divorce, accepting help, and rediscovering happiness in a least-expected manner.

Charles was a 50yo famous artist, not in a great moment in his career. After a harsh critique was published in the local papers, he had let his hair and beard grow and lost all inspiration to paint.

He was also still wearing his wedding ring, even though his wife had left him 6 years before. He lived with hi
Robbie Cheadle
Jun 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 wh
LianaReads blog
Nov 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Art&Soul is a wonderful debut novel with two flawed characters and a beautiful slow-burn romance.

I always love a creative mind and when I read the blurb for this story I knew I had to know more about Charlie and Becky.
Firstly, the setting of the story is here, in the UK, and that’s a fresh point of view because it’s a beautiful country that needs more contemporary stories out in the world.
It’s a very well written book, with an unexpected mix of characters and jobs description, full of witty b
Jessie Stevens
Sep 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
The main character of this book, Becky, is of those people that has their finger on the pulse of the world around them. One that can plan and deftly manipulate situations around them, pick up on subtle nuances that others miss and act before anyone else realizes there may even be a problem. A master mind.

In my past readings I have found master minds to be either criminal in nature or Holmesian. Never have I found a master mind to be a single parent, working as a life coach and when those jobs ru
Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great love story!!!
I really enjoyed this heartwarming romance! The characters seemed so real and were well written. It included the ups and downs, hopes and dreams, fears and even interjects some humor along the way. Can’t wait to read more from this author.
My honest review in exchange for the free ARC. Thank you Hidden Gems!!!
This is a great read that I thoroughly enjoyed. I hadn’t read anything by this author before, so wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve discovered she’s going straight onto my favourites list as someone who writes books that are a pleasure to escape into with great characters and plenty of twists and turns to keep you wondering how everything can be resolved.

Becky Watson is a fixer for other people – it is her job! Unfortunately she can’t fix her own life in the same way she does for everyone else. Sh
Julie - One Book More
Art & Soul is a wonderful contemporary romance with well-developed characters, an interesting story, and a lovely slow-building romance that includes themes of family, friendship, and starting over. The book follows Becky, a life coach tasked with aiding Charlie, a reclusive artist in a major slump. Can she pull Charlie out of his slump and help him straighten out his life while figuring out her own life as well? Becky and Charlie’s relationship starts tumultuously. However, as Charlie finds his ...more
Veronika Jordan
Nov 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
I am not generally a reader of romance but every now and again when I have had a surfeit of serial killers, twisty suspense and police procedurals, I need a break from all that heart-wrenching and gore.

Art and Soul really hits the spot. It’s not at all fluffy and silly – in fact it has an element of real literature – I feel the author has a ‘literary’ novel just waiting to get out. Lots of references to artists, Shakespeare and Marlowe lift it above the usual sugary tales of will they won’t they
Carla Johnson-Hicks
Art and Soul, by Claire Huston was a wonderful surprise. I never expected that I would enjoy this book as much as I did. After reading this book, I will definitely be looking for more books by Claire. Her characters are so realistic and lovable. I couldn't believe Becky's skills as a "fixer". I had not idea what a fixer did, but as I read this story, not only was I in awe of Becky, but I also laughed out loud several times. She was a wonderful mom, friend and employee. She threw herself wholehea ...more
Lynn Brown
Jan 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I'm not going to lie - the mention of a slice of cake was the hook to get me to read this book.
However, what I enjoyed so much more were the art references!

We meet Becky just as she's been asked to intervene and fix the life of a semi-reclusive artist. You can imagine how that goes at first - basically he tells her to just get lost. However, Becky wins him round and gets the job as his life coach and a promise to hook him up with the woman of his dreams, Rachel Stone, the owner of a local galler
Karen Andrew
Dec 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was simply beautiful. It made me smile and my heart swell. I was hooked from page 1.

I really liked the characters, they were really well developed and my heart really went out to Becky, struggling to do her best and provide for her son. I loved the friendships that were built especially Becky and Ronnie.

This is a must read for anyone who loves a cute and warm story. An amazing debut novel from Claire and I really look forward to reading more from her.
K.J. Chapman
Feb 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Art and Soul is the perfect read for contemporary romance lovers who enjoy a cosy, heartwarming tale with realistic characters and expectations.

The story is perfectly paced and the character’s lives interweave effortlessly. Becky is a life coach and Charlie is a floundering actor who needs all the help he can get. The way the two back and forth, become entwined in each other’s lives, yet still can’t see what’s right in front of them, is what I read romance books for!
Aug 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
A brilliant light hearted debut by Claire Huston, she created bright and vibrant characters that were easy to visualise and with a great contrast of personalities. I loved Becky and the tactics she adopted to reach her goals, I love a savvy woman and she jumped right off the pages at me.

I have a daughter who loves to paint and I loved the artistic descriptions and how Charlie's muse was bought into the story. A book brimming with complicated relationships, problem solving, friendship and jealou
Julie Morris
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
A bit of love and warmth was just what I needed this week, as it has been a really tough one for a variety of reasons, so this lovely book which took me away from my everyday problems and gave me some positivity and hope was the perfect tonic. It was a really easy read, but made me feel a lot of different emotions too, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

This is the story of two people who are very different and meet in inauspicious circumstances, which is pretty much par for the course in romance novel
Elizabeth Lloyd
Jun 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
The best romance is one which grows out of friendship, but will Becky Watson ever find common ground with morose, grumpy artist, Charlie Handren? Becky is returning to her job as a life coach and fixer of crises, after her maternity leave, and as a single mother she needs this major contract to augment her other job as the invisible fairy godmother at weddings, calming family tensions. Living in the Comptons, a wealthy, upmarket area in the south of England with a strong artistic tradition, it w ...more
Ruth Matheson
Apr 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Overall 4.5*
This book is a great story especially as it is the first from Claire Hudson. It is funny and poignant at times and is about Becky, a single mum who is struggling to keep her head above water financially. She is stubborn enough not to ask for help from her son's father however that means she sometimes has to take on jobs that only highlight her predicament. She is a life fixer/ wannabe coach and mainly sorts out weddings for the rich and famous of the Comptons. When she is asked to he
Donna Maguire

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and I loved the characters!

The book was very well written and I loved the flow that the author had to the story.

The story was lovely, it was easy to follow and I thought that the characters were excellent, they were really well developed and they worked well together too – I loved their interaction and it made the book a special read too.

I will definitely be looking out for more books from this author in the future, this w
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a lovely, gentle, entertaining book - just right for this uncertain times. Becky proved to be a force to reckon with, and it would be a pity to not hear more about her ways, managing people and situations invisibly and manipulating things to her - or her client's - advantage.
Pushy Becky indeed! But lovable with it. And Charlie made a great hero, and a strong foil to Becky's managing ways.
The story is full of interesting characters, from Ronnie at the cake shop to Lloyd and Virgil.
If you
Jane Hunt
Apr 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
'Art and Soul' is an amusing, poignant romance with a refreshingly original plot. Professionally Becky is a successful fixer of people's lives. Unfortunately, her love life needs repair. Charlie is a particularly challenging client, who reluctantly engages her, to save his career as an artist.

Arty details, add authenticity to the story and Becky and Charlie's relationship is a lovely mix of conflict, humour and gentle romance.

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an hon
Suzanna Salter
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An easy, enjoyable read.
Becky is a fixer of problems, no matter how big or small, helping the rich on their wedding day worries and woes. Becky seems to be able to manipulate any problem, making it work for her and her clients alike.
I loved Charlie the artistic hero, who was in a slump for six years and asking Becky for her expertise.
The twists and turns in the book left me wanting more, each page turned gave me this and more. I loved it, highly recommend
Apr 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wow! Brilliantly written book, I just couldn’t put it down! Becky and Charlie are the main characters and the author has written this so well I can picture them in my minds eye - well done!
The story is fab and just what’s needed at this time in the world
Penny-sue Wolfe
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Aw! This is such a wonderful story! You fall in love with Becky and you fall in love with Charlie then spend the read cheering them on through the ups and downs of the story. Wonderfully crafted and truly romantic, this book is a perfect rainy day read!
Josie Bonham
Jun 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a great read. An original story line with strong characters. A slow burn romance that the unassuming but feisty heroine is the last to notice. A romcom with fascinating characterisation and lots of emotion.
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Single mother Becky Watson has a unusual job. She is a life-fixer, doing everything within her power to help solve her clients’ problems. Kind of like a life coach but a lot more involved with a hint of meddling. Her next big problem or should I say client comes in the form of Charlie Handren, a local artist who is stuck in a creative slump. He is extremely reluctant to hire her at first, insisting he doesn’t need her help. But eventually Becky manages to worm her way in and suggests a come-back ...more
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very sweet and wonderfully written read. I loved the flow of the book, the characters and the story. A perfect read during this time.
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
LOVED it! Full review to follow.....
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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 on her website along with over 100 other recipes. This is also where she talks about and reviews books.

As well as her website, you

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