Lucinda Green knows something is missing from her life. But what? Her catering business is enjoying modest success and she loves her cosy house, even if she does have to share it with her irritating ex-fiancé.

Whatever’s making her unsettled and edgy, Lucinda’s certain that a lack of romance isn’t the problem. How could it be when she doesn’t believe in true love?

But Lucinda’s beliefs are shaken by a series of electric encounters with Alex Fraser, a newly notorious actor who gradually proves himself to be infuriatingly funny and smart, as well as handsome.

Not that any of that matters. Because Lucinda doesn’t believe in all that ‘The One’ nonsense. That’s the rule.

But doesn’t every rule have an exception?

My Review

I don’t read a lot of romantic fiction, but after three crime novels, one VERY dark Scandi Noir, an escape from a sinister cult and a book about coercive control I needed some light relief. And that’s exactly what I got with this light-hearted, uplifting novel from Claire Huston.

Probably my favourite of hers so far, I adored the two main characters – grumpy but witty Lucinda and handsome actor Alex. They meet in a lift when an elderly (probably near my age) woman has a heart attack. Alex freezes (we find out why later on) and Lucinda takes over, performing all the right moves to keep her alive until the paramedics arrive. This includes barking orders at Alex, who obligingly obeys her.

There’s all the usual will-they-won’t-they, a lot of ‘pride’ (Lucinda hates accepting help from a mere man) and a bit of ‘prejudice’ – ie good-looking actor equals airhead – and at first they misunderstand each other. It doesn’t matter though for Lucinda, because she doesn’t believe in love at first sight, or ‘the one’ or any of that rubbish.

‘It all starts with attraction,’ she tells Alex. ‘Hormones, pheromones, whatever. Your body makes dopamine, adrenaline and serotonin….they give you a natural addictive high…but you get used to it and the effect wears off in time.’ So her mother told her. It’s the rule.

But Alex is smart, funny and sexy and Lucinda just can’t resist. So is there an exception to the rule? We are going to find out.

On an aside, Lucinda asks Alex what he is working on next. ‘I may be in Stratford for a few weeks,’ he tells her. ‘There’s an outdoor production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. One of the actors has just pulled out and the director thought of me.’

Lucinda is not a Shakespeare fan. ‘Yeah. Sounds great,’ she says with all the enthusiasm of someone talking about invasive dentistry. Her introduction at school was a trial, the teacher making it seem like gobbledygook, flouncing about, misery and then everyone dies. My own introduction was an outdoor production of the same play in the grounds of the Alveston Manor Hotel. I was about eight or nine. I thought the actors were film stars. I got their autographs on my programme. I still have it. They were actually students at Oxford University. But it shows how bad experiences can spoil something for life, while good ones stay with you forever.

Many thanks to the author for an ARC. I really enjoyed it.

About the Author

Claire Huston lives in Warwickshire, UK. She writes uplifting modern love stories about characters who are meant for each other but sometimes need help figuring that out.

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 her first novel, Art and Soul, on her website along with over 150 other recipes. This is also where she talks about and reviews books.

Her second novel was Elle’s A to Z of Love, published in July 2021.

As well as her website, you can find her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram: linktr.ee/clairehuston_author.

2 Comments on “The Only Exception (Love in the Comptons #2) by Claire Huston

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