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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Winters Tale by Tricia Ashley
I tried to read Sowing Secrets one lunch time when I was sat waiting (as I always seem to be) for one of my sons who was travelling home by train. I hated it and I am ashamed to say, dropped it off at my village charity shop asap! So when a friend gave me this one, I tried to look pleased as I wondered how soon I could drop this one off too! How glad I am that I didnt...
Published on 7 Oct 2011 by Wendy McFarlane

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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Charming but annoying, too
I've loved Trisha Ashley's books for their originality and the strong, practical, earthy attitude of most of her leading ladies. Only in one of the more recent books (The Generous Gardener aka Sowing Secrets) was there an irritating element of spinelessness about the heroine when it came to men.

In the latest, Winter's Tale, it's back again and really set my...
Published on 8 Nov 2008 by Cozymysterycrazy


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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Charming but annoying, too, 8 Nov 2008
By 
Cozymysterycrazy (living in a dream world) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Winter's Tale (Paperback)
I've loved Trisha Ashley's books for their originality and the strong, practical, earthy attitude of most of her leading ladies. Only in one of the more recent books (The Generous Gardener aka Sowing Secrets) was there an irritating element of spinelessness about the heroine when it came to men.

In the latest, Winter's Tale, it's back again and really set my teeth on edge for most of the book. Whilst sensible and efficient in all other aspects of her character, when it came to men this woman appeared to keep her brains in her knickers. I began to feel cheated by the author because she let this unlikely situation drag on for so long that it became an annoyingly obvious (and lazy) plot device. In contrast, the rival romantic development was tepid at best.

If it wasn't that the other elements of the story were charming and engrossing, I would have binned the book long before the end.

However, while it is my least favourite book so far, I still quite enjoyed it; but the 'romance' part was just too weak this time and she let the really quite nasty 'baddie' off far too lightly (again - see The Generous Gardener). IMHO, Ms Ashley's come-uppance for the men who treat her heroines badly has so far fallen far short of being really satisfying, aside from the classic frying pan incident!

I'll still look forward to the next book, but I do hope she goes back to her strong-minded heroines.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Winters Tale by Tricia Ashley, 7 Oct 2011
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This review is from: A Winter's Tale (Paperback)
I tried to read Sowing Secrets one lunch time when I was sat waiting (as I always seem to be) for one of my sons who was travelling home by train. I hated it and I am ashamed to say, dropped it off at my village charity shop asap! So when a friend gave me this one, I tried to look pleased as I wondered how soon I could drop this one off too! How glad I am that I didnt. After reading a few pages after dinner I couldnt wait to see what happened. Theres a ghost, which is always a draw for me and a stately home,a few eccentric relatives and a determined young lady who newly inherits. Peppered with a new age character in the form of her dead mother and a rather gorgeous gardener in the shrubbery, I found this book totally absorbing. She has obviously done her research as her knowledge of knot gardens and architechture is impressive. I also enjoyed, very much the little extracts from Alys Blezzards journal from the 1500s recounting the sad tale of the young girl accused of being a witch (fictional, of course!) It was really entertaining and I most certainly would try her novels in the future.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Fun, 5 Jan 2009
By 
M. J. Saxton (Dewsbury, West Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Winter's Tale (Paperback)
I loved this book, the best piece of popular fiction I've read in 2008. It has all the ingredients I enjoy: solid yet quirky characters, good background details, steady development and a ghost. Brilliant!

This is a real smile-along book. The humour is gentle and grows as the reader becomes familiar with the characters. I think the New Age theme is applied with a very deft touch. Sophy and Lucy make real sense as the products of (and reaction to) a New Age upbringing, but not in any derogatory sense. Somehow, they pull aspects of different perceptions into what Trisha Ashley portrays as ordinary life.

The aunts Hebe and Ottie are lovely old landed gentry British eccentrics. The ghost, and her own sad story at the head of each chapter, is a nice touch, adding a bit of sentiment.

Seth, the moody, handsome gardener is exactly what is required to balance out the handsome, odious Jack. Lots of lively minor characters populate a finely imagined stately home, and to top it all it's one of those stories where someone achieves what they set out to do through hard work and their own special skill.

A great, all-round, feelgood book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, 17 Dec 2008
By 
Debs (Horningsea, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Winter's Tale (Paperback)
I liked reading the book, in fact I read it in 24 hours. For lovers of Katie Fforde and Freya North. I agree that the heroine is somewhat rubbish in deallings with men and in fact Jack wasn't that fleshed out as a character. The author missed the chances to flesh out the fledgling relationship with Seth too.

I enojyed the historical, ghostly thread and the mystery running through the novel with a satisfying ending.

On the whole a good page turner, imaginative, well written and not very annoying :)
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sparkling comedy & romance, 24 Jun 2009
By 
Lynette Baines (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Winter's Tale (Paperback)
Sophy Winter unexpectedly inherits her grandfather's crumbling stately home, Winter's End. Along with the house, she inherits an eccentric family & a lot of debt. Sophy's charming but shady cousin Jack thought he would inherit & sets about alternately trying to persuade Sophy to sell the estate to him at a knockdown price or marry him so they can live there happily ever after. Another distraction is gorgeous gardener, Seth, who plans to restore the Elizabethan gardens & doesn't seem to have eyes for anything else. Then there's the rumour that Shakespeare spent his lost years at Winter's End & the discovery of a manuscript in the Bard's hand. The grand opening of the house & garden to the public is the grand finale to this lovely romantic comedy
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical Tale, 26 Jun 2010
This review is from: A Winter's Tale (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this book and was hooked from the beginning. It has a good pace and plenty to keep focussed on. I liked the plot of the book which was quite different to a lot of chick lits out there. If you enjoyed Stately Pursuits by Katie Fforde then you are bound to love this!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, 6 April 2010
This review is from: A Winter's Tale (Paperback)
This book was a delight to read, could'nt put it down loved the way the story unfolded into a magical tale. Full marks for Trisha Ashley.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great winter warmer, 16 Nov 2008
This review is from: A Winter's Tale (Paperback)
I've read all Trisha's books, and this one is a real cracker. It's warm and witty, it features a lovely heroine with whom I identified, and the hero is just the sort of bloke I'd like to warm my feet on of a winter night. This is a delightful romantic story in which everyone gets their just deserts. I finished the book feeling happy and uplifted, so if you too want a recession-busting treat, try this for size.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really good read, 1 Dec 2008
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This review is from: A Winter's Tale (Paperback)
As a fan of Trisha Ashley's books I knew this would be good - but it wasn't just good it was excellent. Really enjoyable, funny, with lovable characters and beautiful setting. Thoroughly recommend it to anyone who enjoys subtle comedy and grat romance. Oh, and it doesn't do any harm that I was born in Lancashire and am an admirer of Shakespeare, but you don't have to be to enjoy this.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as festive as I anticipated, but still a lovely, cosy wintry romance- perfect to curl up with! (3.5 stars), 6 Dec 2011
By 
Nicola F (Nic) (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Winter's Tale (Kindle Edition)
After having recently read `The Twelve Days of Christmas' by the same author and enjoying it, I was also swayed to buy this book on the Kindle, seduced by the bargain price, pretty snow-covered cover and being in the mood for yet more festive-type chicklit (I'm not joking- after her other book I went on a mince pie making binge and wrapped all of my presents in one night)!

There's something infinitely reassuring about reading cosy twee romance novels at this time of year and this book was no exception though I hasten to add that Christmas doesn't really make much of an appearance until towards the end of the novel, unfortunately and even then it is only fleeting. It was still a sweet little read, despite not being as festive as I'd anticipated- though not as strong as her other novel.

The story revolves around Sophy Winter, a woman who doesn't have a whole lot of luck and who unexpectedly inherits a stately home off her late, estranged grandfather- the home she grew up in until her mother spirited her away from there when she was six years old. With her handsome distant (manipulative) cousin Jack, trying to claim the place as his own, not to mention all the staff of the house relying on her to restore it to its former glory, can Sophy make a go of Winter's End? And in the process, will her own luck start changing?

The story has a little bit of everything- ghosts, witches and family legends, as well as romance and some interesting characters. Though the writing of the story was not exceptional and did feel a little bit forced and relying too much on coincidence in places, it still flowed nicely and I became involved in the plot. It did have similarities to the other book too- there was another diary plot intertwined with this as well as a manor house. The character development was a little bit flawed though- I was hoping for a strong female protagonist but Sophy is a little bit weak and can be swayed by the wrong kind of men and isn't particularly good at standing up for herself. I *despised* Jack and even Sophy's other romantic interest, Seth, wasn't particularly well developed which was a shame. I would have liked to get to know Sophy's daughter Lucy, a little bit better- she seemed like she had a lot more going for her than her mum.

Overall, I would say that if you like light-hearted romance novels then you should give this book a go- though `Twelve Days of Christmas' is better and more festive. As an aside- any blokes also looking to buy their better halves some romance novels- you could do a lot worse than giving a Trisha Ashley book as a stocking filler.
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A Winter's Tale
A Winter's Tale by Trisha Ashley (Paperback - 17 Nov 2008)
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