21/05/2012

Chocolate Shoes and Wedding Blues (by Trisha Ashley)

I've read a few books by Trisha Ashley in the past few years, all courtesy of The Bookbag. On the whole I've enjoyed them - after initial doubts - so when I heard that another of her books was available for review, I was happy to take it.

'Chocolate Shoes and Wedding Blues' is narrated by thirty-something Tansy, who lives with her fiancĂ© Justin. However, time is racing by and she is beginning to despair of ever getting married or having babies. Despite earning plenty of money, Justin insists that they cannot afford children.

Then Tansy learns a shocking secret which pretty much destroys any feelings she has for him.. so she goes to live with her elderly and much-loved great aunt Nancy who is becoming quite frail. She makes exciting plans to turn her aunt's small shoe shop into a specialist wedding shoe shop.

Although the rather awful Justin can't quite believe that Tansy won't return to him, she finds  new man in her life - sort of. Unfortunately she starts off on a bad footing with her new neighbour Ivo, who - by a rather odd coincidence - is an old flame of hers. He has recently lost his wife and seems to be plunged into the depths of despair.

It took me a few days to get into this book - it moved slowly at first, and the style seemed a bit offputting. I ought to be used to that by now - I've said the same about all the others by this author.  And, again, by the time I was half-way through, I was hooked - despite mild irritation at an over-abundance of exclamation marks.

An added bonus is that this story references some characters from a previous book - Chocolate Wishes, although it's not necessary to have read that first. There are several story-lines - a Cinderella theme along with two step-sisters, a slightly literary theme involving Shakespeare, and some anecdotes from the past, courtesy of Great Aunt Nancy.

Overall, this was pleasant light reading, somewhere between a village saga and chick-lit, with (happily) no bad language and no explicit scenes.

You can also read my longer review of 'Chocolate Shoes and Wedding Blues' at the Bookbag site.

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