The Only Exception – Claire Huston

This book contains:

  • Serious cardiac event of a minor character
  • Invasion of privacy (online/background search).

Lucinda is a chef with her own catering business with serious doubts about the concept of love even though she’s previously been engaged (to the man she’s still sharing a house with). And yet, for all her convictions, romance seems to find its way into her life at every turn.

Alex is an actor living with his girlfriend who annoys him to no ends. And yet, he can never bring himself to do anything about it.

Lucinda and Alex meet in an elevator where a freak cardiac event draws them together in ways they couldn’t expect. While Lucinda is trying to keep her business running smoothly after losing a key client, Alex is trying to get over some unwanted notoriety and extricate himself from his tiring relationship.

I had such a strong feeling for a significant portion of this book that cheating was going to happen and I was really nervous about that. I really didn’t want it to happen, but at the same time it felt like Lucinda and Alex needed to be together.

Luckily that never happened, so no need to fear there!

Instead, I was treated to a “will they – won’t they” feeling romance as they navigated their complicated situations while trying to save both their careers and domestic lives. The nervous adrenaline I was feeling as I read this meant I skipped uni work just to find out what would happen because I knew I wouldn’t be able to focus if I didn’t find out.

Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Claire Huston lives in Warwickshire with her husband and two children. She writes uplifting modern love stories about characters who are meant for each other but sometimes need a little help to realise it.

A keen amateur baker, she enjoys making cakes, biscuits and brownies almost as much as eating them. You can find recipes for over a hundred sweet treats at clairehuston.co.uk. This is also where she talks about and reviews books.

Elle’s A to Z of Love – Claire Huston

This book contains:

  • Serious illness and death of loved ones.

Elle is a young woman from a dying village in the Cotswalds. While she desperately wants to leave the village, every time she tries to leave, she’s drawn back by family ties, emergencies, and romance.

Elle is at university and meets a boy that’s intriguing for the first time since her first crush left for uni. Unfortunately, before she can explore that she’s drawn back home and when we come back a few years later she’s still there.

While the title suggested one kind of list of love to me, I was pleasantly surprised at what it actually represented and how. Even the little steps along the way were special and seemed to illuminate a little bit more about Elle and get her back on track.

For a nice, quick, sweet romance that spans years and includes amazing self-growth and following your dreams, this is an amazing read. Definitely an enjoyable book that I would happily re-read when I need some emotional pick-me-ups.

Art & Soul – Claire Huston

Welcome back everyone, I have a slight change of plans today. I’d planned on reviewing Venators: Legends Rise but I mixed up my days, so I decided to bring you Claire Huston’s debut novel!

I’ve always enjoyed romance stories where there is a boss-employee romance, and they don’t get along in the beginning. With Charlie being emotionally distraught, without inspiration and at the final end of career failure. Becky is a master of solving other people’s problems, coming out of maternity leave and trying to revive her business.

Given our current year I’m really glad that this book doesn’t specify what year it’s set in like some do. It meant I could pretend like it was set in 2018 or 2019 with no COVID to ruin our lives.

With Charlie’s distinct lack of ability to articulate his feelings, it’s amazing that he was able to communicate in other ways. The best example of this is the final piece that Charlie makes for his exhibition. Becky’s reaction to seeing that piece for the first time is the most beautiful part of the whole story.

The frustrating moments Charlie, Becky, Rachel and Virgil went through led to this amazing moment and made it even better. Each little interaction felt real and similar to so many real interactions I’ve seen play out in real life.

That realism is so important with romance stories set in modern times that we can relate to. The fact that they’ve both been hurt by previous relationships and were willing to step up for their loved ones were what really made every part come together. It made the awkwardness real, relevant and so much more meaningful.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; I’m still locking down my plan for the next couple of weeks. Stay peeled for my next review! Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

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

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