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The Fascination by Essie Fox #Review #Giveaway

   Today be prepared for a dark, Victorian gothic novel! The Fascination by Essie Fox is published on June 22nd by Orenda . For the chance to win a print copy of The Fascination see the foot of this post for details. Victorian England. A world of rural fairgrounds and glamorous London theatres. A world of dark secrets and deadly obsessions… Twin sisters Keziah and Tilly Lovell are identical in every way, except that Tilly hasn't grown a single inch since she was five. Coerced into promoting their father's quack elixir as they tour the country fairgrounds, at the age of fifteen the girls are sold to a mysterious Italian known as ‘Captain’. Theo is an orphan, raised by his grandfather, Lord Seabrook, a man who has a dark interest in anatomical freaks and other curiosities … particularly the human kind. Resenting his grandson for his mother’s death in childbirth, when Seabrook remarries and a new heir is produced, Theo is forced to leave home without a penny to his

Art and Soul by Claire Huston #Review

Art and Soul is Claire Huston's debut novel and was published on April 23rd by Goldcrest Books.

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. Perfect for fans of Jill Mansell, Katie Fforde and Cathy Kelly.

My Thoughts

This is a romance with a fairy tale feel which is bright and uplifting. There are some moments of humour and you cannot help but warm to Becky as she sets about fixing up the lives of the artist Charlie and his daughter. But she doesn't stop there. She has quite an effect on a whole range of people. The weddings which she attends to make sure everything goes to plan will make you smile, as will Charlie's over keen Art students. Charlie's struggle to express himself other than though his painting is a challenge but you soon see his basic goodness through his actions.

    If you enjoy cake, you will also appreciate the references to it throughout. In fact, Claire has all the recipes on her own website for you to try. (Link is in the bio). I also enjoyed the odd literary reference which is littered throughout, with Becky seeing herself as Mephistopheles on occasion. With money worries and a small child to bring up, Becky is relatable but is determined to succeed on her own. This slowly evolving romance is charming and a great debut novel. 

In short: Independent Life fixer meets a diffident artist.

About the Author

 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.

As well as her website, you can find her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Goodreads:

 Book link: Amazon UK

Thanks tp Claire Huston and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for a copy of the book and a place on the tour.

Follow the rest of the tour!



  1. Thank you for your lovely review! I'm so glad you enjoyed it and delighted someone else likes the literary references as well as me - haha!
    Thank you for being part of the blog tour. I really appreciate it x


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