Tuesday, 10 November 2015

A Christmas Cracker - Trisha Ashley

About the book...
This Christmas is about to go off with a bang!

Things can’t possibly get worse for Tabby. Framed for her boss’s dodgy dealings, she’s landed up in prison. Then Tabby’s boyfriend dumps her and gives her cat away to a shelter.

But rescue comes in the form of Mercy. A master of saving waifs and strays, Mercy wants Tabby to breathe new flair into her ailing cracker business. Together, they’ll save Marwood’s Magical Christmas Crackers.

But someone’s not happy. Mercy’s nephew Randal thinks Tabby’s a fraudster. Stubborn, difficult and very attractive, her future depends upon winning him round. Standing under the mistletoe, Tabby’s Christmas is set to be one that she will never forget . . .

About the author...

Trisha Ashley is now a full-time novelist, but she has been known to work for stained glass makers and/or plumbers. She likes to paint, eat, drink, and read literary biographies. Her previous hobbies included getting divorced and packing to move. She claims to have once actually eaten Bronte burgers at the Branwell café, but her publisher declines to verify this. She lives in North Wales.

My thoughts...
I was given an ecopy of this book by Helena Sheffield at Avon Books, Trisha Ashley's publisher in exchange for an honest review which I am more than happy to do.

I have always loved Trisha Ashley's books, they provide exactly what you expect, happy ever after books, with edible delights and a real story within.  A Christmas Cracker I think has to be my most favourite of her christmas books so far.  I was literally creased up laughing, reading bits aloud to my husband who tried very hard not to laugh - he and I have different senses of humour mines stupid - his isn't apparently! 

The start of this book isn't what you'd usually expect from a Christmas novel, the lead character Tabby sent to prison for fraud - framed both by her friend and her boss and as a result dumped unceremoniously by her fiancé.  Life really couldn't get any worse until she is rescued by Mercy a prison visitor with a difference.  She sees good in people, is not quick to judge and feels they could form a good working relationship, helping each other out of a fix in the process.

She finds herself as the potential saviour of The Cracker Factory, a dying business literally.  All of the staff are well into pension age and it's fair to say the business is past it's best too. Tabby and Mercy need each other in equal measures.  Tabby needs a job, home and a fresh start and Mercy needs Tabby's youth and ideas to save the family business. But, everything doesn't run smoothly for Tabby, despite the full support, friendship and love, freely given to her by Mercy and her new friends from The Cracker factory she has to find the strength to cope with her past and the open animosity of Randall, Mercy's nephew.  He has a different view of Tabby and is highly suspicious of her motives.

I have always loved Christmas themed books and this one, in my opinion is one of Trisha Ashley's best.  With Trisha's writing I always know what I'm going to get.  Characters involved in real life situations that I can take to my heart and cheer on to the end, counterbalanced with a few to boo and hiss at just like a good pantomime.  A Christmas Cracker is full of goodies and baddies, sparring their way through the pages until eventually the good overcomes bad and Trisha delivers a happy ending.  A Christmas Cracker has a bit of everything love, laughter and romance, characters that made me smile and laugh out loud, both human and animal. Only a fellow pet owner will understand what important roles pets can play in a household and Tab's slightly snobby cat definitely comes to rule the roost when he comes to stay at Moat Farm.

Christmas cracker jokes head many of the chapters and they had me laughing and giggling, repeating them verbatim to my husband who rolled his eyes wider and wider the more I told him - what a fab idea of Trisha's and they added to the light hearted, happy feeling a christmas book should have. I loved watching Tabby change as she gained confidence and as her ideas became a reality.

This is a book that I make no hesitation in recommending, it really is fab.  Christmas is such a special time of year and Trisha has really got me in the spirit, I'm counting the days until I get to pull my first cracker - I only hope the jokes are as good as the ones in A Christmas Cracker.

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