Sunday, January 13, 2013

Chocolate Shoes And Wedding Blues by Trisha Ashley

4 Star

When Tansy Poole inherits a run-down shoe shop tucked away in the village of Sticklepond, ‘Cinderella’s Slippers’ is born – providing the footwear to make any fairytale wedding come true…

Carrying everything a bride would want to walk down the aisle in, Tansy’s shop soon expands to carry shoe-themed wedding favours, bridesmaid gifts and even delicious chocolate shoes. It’s the dream destination for any shoe-lover!

If only everything in her personal life could be as heavenly – but with a fiancé trying to make her fit into a size 8 wedding dress, not to mention the recent discovery of disturbing family revelations, Tansy takes refuge in the shop’s success.

But one man isn’t thrilled by the stream of customers hot-footing it to Cinderella’s Slippers… Actor Ivo Hawksley, resident of the cottage next to the shop, is troubled by a dark secret in his past and has come to Sticklepond to nurse his own broken heart.

However, Ivo realises that he and Tansy have a link in their past and soon, they both find out how secrets shared can make a very strong bond indeed…

Kathryn - 4 Star

I found this novel enchanting though I may be a bit biased because of my love for sweet tales set in English villages. It’s no secret I feel at home in these novels and I truly loved the setting and the way it drew my heart back to my childhood visits to family and friends.

Now, in continuing in the vein of being truly honest, the romantic plot line of this novel is predictable (although the route to the end result does take some turns).  The “who ends up with whom” is pretty obvious from the start and this could turn out to be frustrating for some seasoned chick lit readers.  Tansy’s most recent ex-boyfriend is so obviously awful that I wished Ashley had given her the presence of mind to leave him sooner- I didn’t see a single redeeming quality in Justin to have been worthy of her time and it caused me to question her other decisions regarding subsequent men in her life.

Leaving aside the romantic “subplot” (as for me it was certainly secondary to rest of the action) Tansy is quirky and original and her close relationship with her great aunt Nan is also refreshingly sweet. I found the great mystery surrounding Nan’s past a bit irritating but I’ll let others decide if it was worth the mammoth build up- I think it could have been made into more. However, I loved the concept that Nan was still connecting with her great-niece via her audio history, it would be so comforting for loved ones left behind as it obviously was for Tansy.  Tansy is certainly no wall flower when it comes to business and her decisions regarding the shoe shop- I think this is the Tansy I’ve chosen to remember when thinking back on Ashley’s novel.  Let’s pretend the men weren’t even involved and leave Tansy, her aunt Nan and great friends to carry on the story.

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