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253
4.5 out of 5 stars
Good Husband Material
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
I want to start by saying how gorgeous the cover is. It is truly beautiful and eye-catching, and I even heard two ladies discussing the `pretty cover' in ASDA last week!

Tish fell in love with Fergal when she was younger. He was her first love, however he broke her heart, as she wanted a husband, and he wanted a life of rock and roll, of fame and of fortune. Now married to James, she believes she has everything she wants in a husband - he is handsome, dependable and he is also great father material. Having recently purchased a cottage in the country where Tish can work as a romance writer, it seems to be the life she has dreamed of. But James seems to be changing, spending more time at the pub and losing interest in things. And then Fergal suddenly arrives in the village, stirring things up, and causing Tish to wonder if Fergal was actually the man for her?

The characters were great - I especially liked Tish. As most of the book is written from her point of view we gain an insight into Tish, her personality, her thoughts and her feelings. One thing I particularly liked about Tish was that she was honest, and so many times I found myself smiling and laughing at the things she said or did. I thought Fergal was BRILLIANTLY written too, he made the book for me.

The setting was lovely, I liked that the book was set in the countryside, and it made the novel more enjoyable as Trisha managed to capture the atmosphere of the village and the people who live there.

Trisha Ashley has written a wonderful book that kept me guessing, and I'm sure this will be the same with other readers. I had no idea how the story was going to pan out, what would happen between Tish and Fergal, if anything, and what would happen with James too! Good Husband Material is a delightful book with some humorous moments, romance and all set in a beautiful little village. It is a light, easy read so make sure you buy a copy!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 22 April 2013
I have enjoyed all Trisha Ashley's books and this one was no exception. I find her witty style of writing hard to put down and can't wait for the next one. I would recommend it to anybody who is not looking for anything heavy and enjoys a bit of a giggle.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 1 July 2014
So we have the strong, independent woman; we have the dark, sexy guy who seems dangerous and unreliable until ....., we have the handsome, popular guy who seems totally suitable and steadfast until ......, the embarrassing mother, the small gossipy community, hell, we even have the stately pile that our hero just happens to own. Sound familiar? We were only missing a gaggle of sisters and lecherous pastor to have the lot. But whereas 'Pride and Prejudice' is certainly one of the greatest romantic novels ever written, I'm afraid 'Good Husband Material' is not. Don't get me wrong, it's not bad, and Trisha is not the first and won't be the last to take inspiration from Austen's classic, but it just didn't grab me. In fact my main problem with 'Good Husband Material' is that while P&P starts with a bang, with possibly the best opening line of any chic-lit novel, I found the first half of this book just a little, well, dull. However it did pick up and by the end I was quite happy to romp along with them all to their, entirely predictable, conclusion.The best character, by far, was Granny who could have had a much bigger part for my mind - she was cool!

I wouldn't be entirely put off Trisha's books again based on this one, but I don't know I would rush to buy another either.

If you have enjoyed 'Good Husband Material' but have not read 'Pride & Prejudice' I urge you to do so - you won't be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 April 2013
First of all, a confession. This is the first Trisha Ashley novel I have ever read! Sorry, Trisha! I own several of her books and they are all sitting waiting patiently on my to-be-read pile, and have been for months or even years. It's nothing personal against Trisha or her writing...I just buy too many books and can't get round to reading them all fast enough! So, given that I already possessed at least four other novels by this author, what on earth made me start to read Good Husband Material the minute I saw it in the shop? Well, I loved the cover for a start, and the title intrigued me. Good husband material? Hmm, would love to know what that is! I read the blurb on the back cover and just knew I had to read this, and having finished it this evening I had to post a review because, yes, it really is a five star novel.
I just adored everything about this. The writing was fantastic. The narrative style was so appealing and so easy to read. I loved the fact that the story was mostly told from the first person viewpoint of Tish, our heroine, a redhead in denial. She is a marvellous creation and I was rooting for her all the way. Fergal is a gorgeous hero (of course!) and his viewpoint is cleverly woven in through a series of headlines in local and national magazines and newspapers as he muses on the difference between the way he is perceived in the media and the reality of his life and feelings.
The secondary characters were a wonderful assortment that held my interest. A batty grandmother, a pathetic mother, jealous women, a wily shopkeeper, weird neighbours...Even the animals were fascinating, featuring a Borzoi (or bourgeois bitch) called Bess, a rude parrot called Toby, a deformed cat and assorted offspring and hangers-on. Tish's husband, the man her mother had decided long ago was "good husband material", is a character who slowly shows himself to be the opposite of what Tish initially believes him to be. As the book develops we see layer upon layer of James unpeeling to reveal a distinctly unattractive and rather weak man.
The setting itself was lovely, with the village really coming to life under Trisha's skilful writing. It may come as no surprise to discover where Tish ends up and who with, but the thrill is the journey she takes to get to that point. The narration is witty and sharp and there is some sparkling dialogue, which all goes to ensure that the book never flags and keeps you reading right to the end to find out how Tish will get her happy ending in spite of all the obstacles thrown at her.
I am so glad I read this book and very pleased that I have several more of Trisha's novels ready and waiting to read. They have been bumped up on my waiting list and I'm very much looking forward to them. I understand that this is a reprint of a novel previously published some thirteen years ago, but I didn't consider it to be dated, although, as a previous reviewer mentioned, the lack of mobile phones, internet etc is quite startling, if only to remind us how much things have changed in such a short period of time. Some things, however, never change, and love, thank goodness, is one of those things. So, if you want a well-written, sparkling love story with extremely believable and likeable characters and a lovely setting, buy this book! Great reading material.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Tish fell for the rock star Fergal when they were both young, but their relationship ended badly and she wanted a man who would make a good husband - enter James. Now Tish and James are married and they are moving to the country to live that idyllic life that they dreamed of. But James seems to be changing; maybe he is not as interested in the country life as Tish thought ? Tish's career as a romance writer is just taking off but James seems to be ashamed of her and to want her to be more like a housekeeper. Tish feels that maybe she has never been herself in this marriage and that maybe she has never known who James is at all. And now Fergal is back ......

This novel follows the familiar pattern of many romance novels, including a few by this author, and the end is predictable from the beginning but it is exceedingly well done with lively and interesting characters and a busy plot. Tish is a sensible woman but prone to ignoring the obvious which is why James' behaviour comes as a surprise to her and why her narration is a pleasure to read. James is a completely rotten husband with a veneer of civility with Fergal being exactly the opposite as a stereotype womanising rock star with a loyal heart. There are a couple of eccentric country characters, a unique granny and a disappointing mother hiding a secret about Tish's past. Tish behaves badly but James behaves even more badly and everything is settled by the end. I did think that the end was too rushed and I would have liked a bit more time with the new family.

Overall this is a near perfect light romance, designed to be read with chocolate and wine. It is witty and amusing and the plot will keep you hooked to the end (even though you know what is going to happen). I understand that it is a rerelease of an out of print novel but it never seemed dated to me. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 29 March 2013
I received a copy of "Good Husband Material" in exchange for an honest review.
I have read just one book of Trisha Ashley and I didn't like it too much but I always like to try an author again. Well, it's good that I did it:)
At the beginning I have thought, well, Tish, who the hell are you? She was always dissatisfied, was obsessed with bacteria and looked like she doesn't like animals. But while reading I got used to her, to her funny ways and in the end she was not bad at all. Actually, she was a funny, warm person and I really liked the way she was, how cynical and witty she was. Actually I think that if you have such a family than you must have some phobia :) Tish is a little naive, she wants to see just the good in other people and life bites her in her back from time to time because of this. But she is developing, and she can finally fight for herself and she does it in funny ways.
The other characters are drawn in a hilarious way, I think some of them are a little exaggerated but it gives just more humour to the book. James was ridiculous, how did Tish manage with him so long??? So ancient in his views but such a hypocrite as well, I just wanted to shake him, slap him, and I just rolled my eyes when I read his opinions.
It's nice when the characters in the book are soooo moving, I like to like or hate them and I like to keep my fingers crossed for them, and I like to feel for them and I had this all in this book.
Fergal is an every girl dream I think:) So masculine and macho and bad on the surface, and so soft and lovely inside, wow, I just wanted to purr like a cat, lay on my back and let him stroke my tummy :) Tish's mother, sorry - mummy, was more ridiculous than James, although I don't know if it is possible.
The book was set in a village and I think that Ashley has wonderfully captured the real character of it: the nature of people living in the country, its atmosphere, fact that everybody knew everything about the others but also the fact that they are warm and nice people, always ready to help each other.
So, it was a really nice read, full of down - to - earth humour and laugh - out - loud moments, a real page turner, as I couldn't put it down. Some ideas were ridiculous but it made the book so unpredictable, I didn't know what is going to happen next. OK, the plot led to the one and only end but nevertheless it was a perfect read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 October 2014
I deliberated how many stars to give this for a while. Compared to the other Trisha Ashley books I've read (which is most of them), this was 2 stars, but, compared to other books out there, it's 3...

I usually fly through her books without realising how long they are, because her writing style is so easy to read and she is so good at characterisation that you really care about what happens to the people in the story. I suppose it shows how much she has improved over the years, as this is actually one of her earlier books reissued and both of these traits are sadly lacking - it was a real struggle to finish. In fact, if this was the first book of hers that I'd read, it might well have been the last.

The main female character is prissy, boring and hypocritical (acting like you didn't cheat on your husband doesn't mean it didn't happen) and the plot was thin. The twist frankly strained credulity to breaking point (spoiler alert, though it was obvious what was going to happen from about the third chapter) - there is no way her due date would have been wrong by a month. Even if she couldn't work it out, her first ultrasound scan would have easily put her right.

I hope there is a new full length TA book on its way soon...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
What a joy! An early Trisha Ashley first published in 2000 now reissued.

You could say that the plot was not new - young lovers break up, find new lives and meet again. You could probably predict the outcome with a fair degree of accuracy, but the journey there is such a delight that you enjoy every minute.

You could say that the characters came from the stock cupboard - titian haired heroine, boorish husband, romantic pop star, fussy mother, feisty granny. It's what Trisha Ashley does with them that makes the difference. Tish, the heroine/narrator is completely her own person, preoccupied with cleanliness and healthy living; Fergal, the pop star former lover, much more down to earth than the usual stereotype; James, the boorish husband, still able to attract youthful blondes on all sides; they all stray from the stereotype to become individuals.

I was disappointed by Trisha Ashley's last novel because I felt it was tired and running out of steam. This one has all the vigour, fun and liveliness of the best of her books. I hope her next novels return to this standard. I enjoyed it hugely.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 April 2014
Leticia, aka Tish, when she was 17 fell for aspiring artist/rock star Fergal Rocco. When Fergal goes to tour America Tish decides to stay home and concentrate on getting through college. After her Grandfather suffers a heart attack she rushes up to support her grandmother.

Fast forward 13 years and Tish is married to James, a man her mother believes is the epitome of good husband material - unlike Fergal. In Tish's mother's eye James can do no wrong and there has to be an innocent explanation for all his wrong doings. When Tish seems to be having some sort of mental problem or isn't bowing to his feet he runs to her mother to get her sorted out.

Fergal moves to the little village that Tish lives in after being shown a property by so called girlfriend, Nerissa. He can't believe it and tries to distant himself from Tish. Is all as perfect in the perfect marriage of Tish and James, or are there cracks in there that just keep getting filled?

The story was quick, easy and a light hearted read. The characters were great. The setting was wonderful and Trisha Ashley seemed to have really captured the small village folk perfectly.

I ADORED Tish's grandmother. She was very witty; I want her to be my grandmother! I have to say she had to be my favourite character within the book. I just wish she had a bigger role. Smart, witty, loving - but not overly so, and kind, what more does anybody want in a grandmother? Tish and her honesty and humour was amusing and especially the way she spoke or found things.. I think Fergal made the book with his charming ways!

On the opposite end of the scale I couldn't stand Tish's husband. He was whiny and needy. He tried so hard to come across as a macho I can do it tough man but he came across as weak, needy and spineless. He irritated me every time he spoke.. And when he went crying to his Mother-in-Law I just wanted to bitch slap him silly every time. Tish's mother wasn't much better. Her lack of loyalty towards her daughter was evident.

I didn't want to put this book down, I just wanted to read and read to see what was going to happen next. I'm so glad the ending was what it was because that is what I was rooting for. I'd have been annoyed if it had been the other way around.. This book, for me, was a definite page turner and kept me intrigued.

The description was good and the storyline was easy to follow. I loved Fergal's little POV at the end of some chapters and a short news headline. It made the book more interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 April 2013
I discovered Trisha Ashley's novels with Wedding Tiers, which does remain my favourite - but what competition it has had from her other stories! I was really pleased when I heard that Good Husband Material, her first novel, was going to be republished, and I have not been disappointed.

All the ingredients I have come to love in a Trisha Ashley novel are there - a beautiful country setting, a hero to swoon for, and best of all, a heroine who is likeable, and you root for her - but not perfect.

What I found really interesting, as well as having the enjoyment of the story itself (and it is enjoyable, the kind that makes you late to bed as you want one more chapter, and makes your smile grow wider until your cheeks ache at the end) but seeing how much life has changed since 1999, when it was set (and written in 2000, I believe.)

No internet, mobile phones beeping every two minutes - a reminder how much life has changed in the last 15 years. Sometimes it is hard to remember that facebook, twitter and the like are really only very recent happenings.

As an extra treat, there are some recipes at the back of the book, which are featured in the story. I will certainly be whipping up some of them, as well as looking forward to collecting fallen leaves this autumn! And perhaps I will finally get round to starting the patchwork throw I have been meaning to make for years.

Because that is just the thing with a Trisha Ashley novel - you don't just get a great story, you get inspired to try out new ideas too.
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