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I do love Trisha Ashley's work in general - but I believe she's outdone herself with Wedding Tiers. With WT, she paints a picture of rural life that (unfortunately) probably only exists in her head - but it's wonderful. You do see some characters from previous books, but the story is a fresh one, centered on Josie Gray. Josie has settled in the house that her grandmother left her, the house that she found refuge in when her parents were killed when she was young. She's stayed loyal to her first two friends in the village - Libby (born on the "wrong side" but not letting that hold her back) and Ben. In fact, she's stayed with Ben and helped build his career as an artist, despite the fact that he won't marry her or have a child with her. The village is full of characters and things come to a head when Libby moves back and Ben starts spending more time in London. I'm not going to spoil the whole plot for you, but Trisha once again builds excellent characters - funny and sympathetic (or evil and annoying if that's the intent.) Josie, Noah and Ben are three of her best "drawn" characters to date, you really feel as if you know them. Buy this book!!!
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on 29 January 2012
Again this book, by Trisha Ashley, was fantastic, I could not put it down, the characters came to life and relate to previous books and characters. I love the recipes, at the end of the book, that link to the story. A very good read.
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on 16 November 2009
Wedding Tiers is my first Trisha Ashley novel and tells the story of Josie, a cakemaker, who lives with her childhood sweetheart Ben. Back in the village is Libby, Josie's best friend and together they start a wedding business. But as the business takes off, Ben & Josie's relationship falls apart and Josie becomes loves number one cynic. Until Noah Sephton arrives on the scene...

I absolutely loved Wedding Tiers. Katie Fforde is quoted on the back cover saying "One of the best writers around!" and she isn't far wrong. Wedding Tiers is told in first person and is a very quick and enjoyable read. I loved reading about the weird and wonderful cakes Josie made, it was a very interesting insight into cake making. I also enjoyed reading snippets of her `Cakes & Ale' column at the beginning of each chapter, it was very well done.

I thought Josie was a brilliant character. I found her likeable and thought her narrative throughout the story was well written. I also loved the character of Libby - in the prologue she seemed as if she just wanted money and lots of it but that was completely wrong and she was a brilliant character. I enjoyed Noah and how he gradually came into the book more and more. He started out a slowburner and turned into a fully fledged character halfway through the novel and I liked that. I liked the sparring between him and Josie. I found Ben incredibly irritating and undeserving of Josie. I found him shallow and very annoying. Then there are all the other character - the three Graces, whom I loved; Uncle Harry who was really great and I was worried for him throughout the whole book! I liked he got his happy ending; Dorrie; Tim; Pia.

I really enjoyed how the novel was centered not only on Josie, Libby, Noah and co. but also on the other villagers in Neatslake. It definitely gives a wider view of village life. Not only do we get to read about those in Neatslake but we also read about characters from Trisha's previous novel, A Winters Tale.

The only downside is the fact I should have read A Winter's Tale first as Wedding Tiers does give the ending of A Winter's Tale away but that's not really a problem. Aside from that I loved the book. I loved how Josie was self-sufficient and willing to take on anyone. I wish Josie could have taken on Ben's mother - she irritated me and she was barely in the novel!

I also like that fact you can try Josie's recipes as they're located at the back of the book. A nice touch from the publishers/Trisha. Overall it was a very enjoyable read and one I would happily read again. I will definitely be looking out for more of Trisha's novels and can't wait to read A Winter's Tale!
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Josie lives an apparently idyllic existence in a small village in Lancashire with her artist boyfriend Ben. She makes wedding cakes to individual designs, grows her own fruit and veg and runs a barter system with her neighbours. A friend from her schooldays - Libby - returns to the village a rich widow wanting to buy the local manor house. Josie feels her life is going just how she wants it to but fate has some surprises in store not the least of which is society photographer Noah - a friend of Libby's.

How Josie deals with her problems and continues with her eco-friendly lifestyle makes fascinating reading. There is much humour in the story and the descriptions of growing vegetables and recycling everything possible as well as the camaraderie in the village make you want to sell everything and move somewhere similar. The characters are very human with their own share of faults and virtues. I loved Josie - grumpy when she has to dress up and never happier than when she is tending her garden and the hens in her dungarees and rainbow knitted hoodie. This is a real feel good story with Trisha Ashley at her best.
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on 19 January 2010
I've nearly finished this book & am really enjoying it actually. It was a present & not sure if I would have picked it up otherwise. I like the fact that it's a warm cosy read & that Josie the lead character lives in the country & is into baking & looking after her garden. She's not the conventional 'sexy' character, living in a city & she's really likeable. I'll have to wait to see how it ends. But one thing that really annoyed me was (& this may be my own fault for looking) I started off reading & enjoying the book & just on a whim decided to read the back cover & it kind of gives away the first bit of the book which is a shame. I won't go over it now (it probably does the same in the synopsis at the top of the page but anyway)as I don't want to spoil it. My advice would be don't read the back of the book & just read the book. It's great.

2 days later - Now finished book & loved the ending! Will give it to charity I think, but am definitely going to copy a couple of the recipes in the back which is a really nice touch. I've never tried making my own battenberg cake before, but will give it a whirl!
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on 14 May 2009
Wedding Tiers is the story of Josie Gray who no longer believes in love - which is unfortunate when her job is to make weird and wonderful wedding cakes. This is a gentle romance, packed with eccentric lovable characters, gorgeous men and er, chickens.

My favourite bits include the various wacky weddings (shades of Richard Curtis), the Goth couple and Aggie the escapologist chicken.

Will Josie finally be "clucky in love"? You'll have to read it to find out!
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on 6 February 2011
Once started, i couldn't put this book down. Have read most of Trisha Ashely's books and this certainly didn't disappoint! Highly recommended.
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on 4 February 2010
This book is certainly different. If you are inspired by arts and crafts or want ideas for cake-making then it is a must. Thinking of starting your own wedding venue business? Then plenty of ideas there too. Goth weddings, dog breeder weddings, ski weddings... . I was drawn into the detailed descriptions of the cakes, the embroidered tablecloths, the room decorations. But as I was expecting romantic fiction I kept waiting for Josie to become well...passionate about her relationships! The plot is amazingly simple - long-relationship breaks up and she takes up with another. This happens slowly - like the ripening of her fruit and vegetables - over a period of months. There is much supping various homemade wines and the eating of lots of home-baked goodies.Instead of getting an insight into her feelings you get helpful hints on making mince pies or pickling onions -there's even recipes in the back of the book. I read it right through to the end because I kept telling myself something exciting or thought-provoking or inexplicable would happen soon. Then I got to the recipes. It's a novel combination - romantic ficition and " the good life " - and would work better if there were just less emphasis on the home-making skills and more on romance.
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on 15 December 2009
If it's to be satisfying, this kind of feel-good writing needs to have some basis in reality. Trisha Ashley is really good at taking highly romantic situations and then adding her own special brand of wit, charm and common sense.

So, while lots of novels of this kind are just escapist fluff about improbable heroines in ditto situations, Trisha's stories have substance. When I read her novels, I can identify with and become her heroines. While I was reading Wedding Tiers, I actually was Josie. I cried with Josie, I laughed with Josie, and - like Josie - I ended up with the man of my dreams. Well, I didn't, actually, but that's another story, and Josie's experiences made me believe that one day I might.

We all need to be reminded that love is for everyone - for ordinary people, as well as for celebrities and beauty queens, and that the best things in life can come to all of us. This is what good romantic fiction does - it tells a great story, but it also confirms what we all hope: that, with a bit of luck, we can all find love.
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on 6 June 2012
I love Trisha Ashley as you always know you are going to get a good read and you do with this book. Josie is the main character. When she was young her parents died and she was brought up by her grandmother. When her grandmother died she left Josie her house and that is where she lives with her boyfriend Ben (who she meet on her very first day at school). Josie makes wedding cakes and Ben is an artist. Josie's bestfriend Libby returns to the village is now a very rich widow and before long Josie's life starts taking a dramatic turn.

Loved following Josie's life as she is very eco-friendly and some of the things she does has you laughing. You get a really feeling of the village life and that has been written in a way that you feel like you are there.

If you like Katie Fforde, Carole Matthews I highly recommend you trying Trisha Ashley as you will really enjoy her books and especilly this book.
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