Review | The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon

An entertaining office romance. 3/5 stars.

The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon

Thank you to Headline for providing me with an e-copy of this book via NetGalley.

The blurb:

Samiah Brooks never thought she would be ‘that’ girl. But a live tweet of a horrific date reveals the painful truth: she’s been catfished by her three-timing jerk of a boyfriend.

Suddenly Samiah – along with the two other ‘girlfriends’, London and Taylor – have gone viral. Now the three new besties are making a six-month pact: no men, no dating, just time to focus on themselves.

This means Samiah can finally focus on her exciting career in app development – so having the deliciously sexy and distracting Daniel Collins walk into her office definitely isn’t part of her plan…

But is Daniel really boyfriend material – or is he simply too good to be true?

My take:

I must say first off that 3 stars is a good rating from me! I know some reviewers and authors see it as negative, but I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to fans of the genre.

Now that’s out of the way, The Boyfriend Project is a fun contemporary romance that has a lot going for it. I loved the opening which is described in the blurb above. I was particularly delighted that when the three women find they’ve been dating the same man they join forces and turn on him, rather than turning on each other. And then that they go on to become great friends and a mini support network for each other is wonderful.

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UK book bargain alert: Art and Soul just 99p! #indieauthor #ArtandSoul #RomanceBooks


UK readers! Are you looking for a light, cheerful read?

Then grab a 99p bargain at Amazon UK!

Art and Soul novel book cover contemporary romance uplit

My debut novel, Art and Soul is only 99p on Amazon UK until 24th June.

Why should I read it? If you want a happy, easy-to-read romance to escape into, please give Art and Soul a try. I promise the story will provide some light relief.

The blurb: An expert at solving other people’s problems, single mum Becky is hired to help artist Charlie get out of his creative slump. But when she starts falling for her client, will she be able to fix her own love life?

Reviews so far: I’m delighted to say that readers are enjoying it!

40 four and five star reviews from Amazon UK customers for Art and Soul by Claire Huston

My favourite so far:

Knickergripping review for Art and Soul by Claire Huston

Don’t miss out on the chance to bag a “knickergripping story” for just 99p! Pop over to Amazon UK and treat yourself to a bargain. And if you’re subscribed to Kindle Unlimited, you can download the book for free.

International readers: I’ll be running a wider sale in July. I haven’t forgotten you!

Thank you!


Claire Huston / Art and Soul

Review | A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes

We don’t need another hero.

A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes book cover

Thank you to Picador/Pan Macmillan for providing me with an e-copy of this book via NetGalley.

The blurb:

My take:

It’s interesting that the blurb mentions Madeline Miller and Pat Barker. I’ve read The Song of Achilles and Circe (both by Miller) and The Silence of the Girls by Barker. I enjoyed A Thousand Ships more than the Barker but didn’t love it as much as either of Miller’s books.

Barker’s The Silence of the Girls disappointed me because I’d hoped it would retell events from The Iliad from the perspective of the female characters. But halfway through the narrative we switch from the female characters’ viewpoints to Achilles’, and I didn’t think we needed yet another male view on events. Thankfully, Haynes doesn’t do this in A Thousand Ships. Instead, we get an entirely female perspective as we skip between the stories of various characters featured in The Iliad (and, to a lesser extent, The Odyssey), including goddesses.

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Review | The Summer of Madness by Alexander Raphael

A great romantic short story.

The Summer of Madness by Alexander Raphael

The blurb:

My take:

Having taken his long-suffering girlfriend for granted one too many times, Kurt finds himself dumped. When the usual heartfelt apologies and begging fail to win her back he decides to make a grand gesture. And that’s how he ends up reading from Wuthering Heights every day outside the local train station. But will it work?

This is a terrific, romantic short story. It’s something you could download and read on your lunchbreak or even in your tea break for you speed-readers out there. It’s well-written, flows beautifully and is peppered with some lovely comedic touches.

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Thank you and book update. A quiet lockdown launch for Art and Soul… with cake!

Art and Soul an uplifting contemporary romance novel by Claire Huston book cake 2
Yes, the enormous book in the middle is, in fact, a cake!

Like many authors, I always hoped to have a small party to celebrate the publication of my debut novel, Art and Soul. Like everyone, I didn’t expect lockdown. But, even if she only has 4 people to feed, you can’t keep a baker down. And with a good excuse to make a giant cake, I made one!

Art and Soul an uplifting contemporary romance novel by Claire Huston book cake 3

Here’s another picture of it sliced, just to prove it really was a cake. Two large layers of simple sponge cake with vanilla buttercream and then an edible customised topper which I ordered online.

And if you’re wondering where I am… ta-dah!

Art and Soul an uplifting contemporary romance novel by Claire Huston book cake (2)

Sorry I look so squinty, but it was a beautiful bright day so at least we got to eat cake in the garden.

Blog Tour thanks

Thank you to all the bloggers who took part in the blog tour for Art and Soul and, of course, to Rachel Gilbey for doing such a wonderful job in organising it all. Their reviews are brilliant and I’m thrilled they enjoyed the book, with many of them finding it was exactly the sort of cheerful distraction they needed at the moment.

Thank you too!

And thank you everyone for your kind words, sharing the message the book was out and, indeed, to those of you who bought or downloaded a copy. I really appreciate it.

If you have read and enjoyed Art and Soul, if you can, please leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. It does make a huge difference to how visible the book is to other readers.

Still a book bargain!

If you like contemporary romance and are looking for an uplifting story, I’d be delighted it you would give Art and Soul a try. And/or tell your romance-reading friends about it!

The ebook is still only 99p / $0.99 on Amazon or free to read with Kindle Unlimited.

And/or if you could add the book to your to-read shelf on Goodreads, I’d be very grateful.

Art and Soul contemporary romance novel cover by Claire Huston a heartwarming uplifting romance

Thank you again! I hope you’re all keeping safe and well.

Next week, normal service will resume with a recipe post 🙂


Get your copy of Art and Soul now!

Claire Huston / Art and Soul

Happy Publication Day! New #ContemporaryRomance, Art and Soul by @ClaraVal, out today! Ebook just 99p/$0.99! #ArtandSoul #RomanceBooks

Happy publication day to me!

Art and Soul novel book cover contemporary romance uplit
My debut novel, Art and Soul, is out today!

If you are fond of contemporary romance and looking for an uplifting story, please give my book a try.

The ebook is only 99p (or $0.99) on Amazon. so go on, treat yourself, a family member or a friend today!

And/or if you could add the book to your to-read shelf on Goodreads, I’d be very grateful.

Here’s the cover, the blurb and a bit about the blog tour which starts today and runs until the end of April.

P.S. For those of you who are only here for the cake and biscuits, normal service will resume soon! I promise! 🙂


The blurb:
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.


The blog tour!

Thank you to all the amazing bloggers taking part in the tour for Art and Soul. Special thanks to the fantastic Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources who organized the tour.

I’ll be doing my best to share everyone’s posts on my other social media accounts. Thank you again to everyone for your support!

Get your copy of Art and Soul now!


Claire Huston / Art and Soul

Review | The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley

An entertaining tale about the kindess of strangers. 4/5 stars.

The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley book cover

Thank you to Random House UK for providing me with an e-copy of this book via NetGalley.

The blurb:

One green notebook. Six strangers. The chance to start being honest…

Six strangers with one universal thing in common: their lives aren’t always what they make them out to be.

But what would happen if they told the truth instead?

Desperate to confess the deep loneliness he feels, Julian begins The Authenticity Project – a small green notebook containing the truth about his life – to pass on and encourage others to share their own.

Leaving it on a table in Monica’s café, a warm, friendly place where Julian escapes at his most lonely moments, he never expects Monica to find it and track him down. Or that his small act of honesty will impact all those who come into contact with the book, and lead to a life-changing world of friendship and forgiveness…

My take:

In The Authenticity Project the intersecting tales of six people come together in an entertaining story about the impact getting to know those we see every day can have on our lives. In this sense, I thought it was a good idea to base the narrative in London, as in a large town or city it’s easier to be constantly surrounded by people but know none of them and be left feeling lonely and adrift even though you may interact with hundreds of others on a daily basis.

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Review | Rules for Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson

An entertaining puzzle mystery tailor-made for bookworms. 4/5 stars.

Rules for Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson book cover

Thank you to Faber & Faber for providing me with an e-copy of this book via NetGalley.

The blurb:

A series of unsolved murders with one thing in common: each of the deaths bears an eerie resemblance to the crimes depicted in classic mystery novels.

The deaths lead FBI Agent Gwen Mulvey to mystery bookshop Old Devils. Owner Malcolm Kershaw had once posted online an article titled ‘My Eight Favourite Murders,’ and there seems to be a deadly link between the deaths and his list – which includes Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train and Donna Tartt’s The Secret History.

Can the killer be stopped before all eight of these perfect murders have been re-enacted?

My take:

This is such a hard book to review without giving anything about the plot away… but I’ll do my best!

Firstly and most importantly, take a look at the list of books on the main character’s ‘Eight Favourite Murders’ list. If you haven’t read any of the titles and would like to read them at some point without having the endings spoiled, please read them before you read this book! The story here pulls no punches and reveals exactly who did it and how for each of the books on the list.

Rules for Perfect Murders is an entertaining puzzle mystery which plays with a lot of the most popular tropes of the murder mystery genre. It will instantly be of particular interest to bookworms: the main character is a book seller, a lot of the story takes place in a specialist bookshop and the plot revolves around the plots of other books. You’re sure to find this an interesting read if you are a fan of classic whodunnits in the vein of And Then There Were None.

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Review | Paris Adrift by E. J. Swift

More exciting in theory than practice. 3/5 stars.

Paris Adrift by E. J. Swift book cover

Thank you to Solaris for providing me with an e-copy of this book via NetGalley.

The blurb:

Determined to escape her old life, misfit and student geologist Hallie packs up her life in England and heads to Paris. As a bartender at the notorious Millie’s, located next to the Moulin Rouge, she meets Gabriela, who guides her through this strange nocturnal world, and begins to find a new family.

But Millie’s is not all that it seems: a bird warns Hallie to get her feathers in order, a mysterious woman shows up claiming to be a chronometrist, and Gabriela is inexplicably unable to leave Paris. Then Hallie discovers a time portal located in the keg room. Over the next nine months, irate customers will be the least of her concerns as she navigates time-faring through the city’s turbulent past and future, falling in love, and coming to terms with her own precarious sense of self.

My take:

Paris Adrift opens with a scenario familar to all sci-fi fans: a disastrous war in the future can only be prevented by travelling back in time to disrupt the events which will lead to humanity’s destruction. However, after an attention-grabbing opening chapter set a few hundred years hence, most of the story then takes place in the Clichy area of Paris in the early 21st century, with brief trips to other past time periods.

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Review | Mystery on Hidden Lane (Eve Mallow Mystery 1) by Clare Chase

An entertaining whodunnit

Mystery on Hidden Lane by Clare Chase

Thank you to Bookouture for providing me with an e-copy of this book via NetGalley.

The blurb:

Seasoned obituary writer Eve Mallow has a new assignment: to tell the life story of famed musician Bernard Fitzpatrick. A chance to spend a few days in the sweet little village of Saxford St Peter, walking the country lanes with her beloved dachshund Gus and meeting new people sounds like a dream. But it turns out that Bernard’s life was much less interesting than his death. On the day she arrives, news breaks that the charismatic cellist was the victim of a grisly murder. Could this quaint English village be hiding a dark secret?

As Eve starts to interview Bernard’s friends and colleagues, she finds that he’d ruffled a few feathers. In fact, from the keepers of the Cross Keys Inn to his own staff at High House, there’s barely a person in town who doesn’t have some reason to hate him… is one of the friendly villagers a cold-blooded killer?

Eve hoped Saxford St Peter would be the perfect escape from her busy city life. But there is darkness even in the most sunlit of settings. And when a second body is found, Eve becomes certain that one of the people she’s met must be the murderer. She has never done any detective work before… but is there something in her notes that can crack the case?

My take:

This is a very classic mystery in the style of Marple or Midsomer. A beautiful rural setting, small village gossip, a “genteel” murder (and by that I mean the death doesn’t involve gallons of blood and serial killers) … you know what to expect! So if you usually enjoy this sort of classic whodunnit, I highly recommend this book.

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