Sowing Secrets by Trisha Ashley book review

sowing secrets

Sowing Secrets by Trisha Ashley, publisher Avon, is available NOW in ebook, hardcover and paperback format.

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Product Details (as per amazon page)

Fran March’s life in the idyllic village of St Ceridwen’s Well is coming up roses. Almost.

If only daughter Rosie – the result of an uncharacteristic one-night stand years ago – wasn’t so curious about her real father, and if only husband Mal spent less time on his hobbies, everything would be bliss.

But then a face from the past turns Fran’s world upside down. The handsome face of TV gardener Gabriel Weston, currently restoring the village’s decrepit stately home. And when Fran’s ex-boyfriend Tom appears on her doorstep, it seems that all the ghosts of Fran’s romantic past are back to haunt her.

Can Fran keep Rosie’s paternity under wraps? Why is Mal acting so oddly? And will Fran ever learn that every rose has its thorns…?

roses border

I’ve been a fan of Trisha Ashley’s work for a long time.  I’m taking part in a Reading Challenge for 2016 and when I noticed one of the challenges was to read a book set in Wales it coincided with the re-print of Sowing Secrets (originally published as The Generous Gardener) so I had to buy myself a copy.

The story is set in a the fictional village of St Ceridwen’s Well, North Wales.  The village sounds very idyllic and ‘olde worlde’ and treasures the myths and legends associated with the area.

Fran has been living happily with her daughter, Rosie, and husband, Mal, in the village for a good while.  She has her own art studio designing her own stationery and prints and also has a garden full of her beloved roses.  Her past is suddenly catching up with her.  The one night stand she had over 18 years ago, that could possibly have resulted in the paternity of her daughter turns out to be the TV gardener Gabe Weston, who so happens to be visiting the village soon with a view to restoring the garden at Plas Gwyn. Also Tom Collinge her ex-boyfriend from uni out of the blue contacts her.  Now Rosie is 18 she is asking questions about the origins of her father.  As Fran isn’t 100% sure there isn’t a lot she can say to her daughter.  After 18 years of not seeing her one night stand and her ex-boyfriend can Fran keep her daughter’s identity secret from the men in her life?

Fran’s husband Mal is acting very strange and is also starting to get a little jealous of her past.  Mal decides to accept a contract of work which will take him overseas for 6 months.  Hopefully this time apart will save their marriage.

The villagers are getting excited for the new Restoration Gardener programme with Plas Gwyn in the running for the next project.  A lot of action is happening at Plas Gwyn which is bringing the villagers together.

This was such a lovely, fun read.  I loved Fran’s character and how every now and then she would burst into song that reflected of her current mood.  Her job as an artist drawing pictures of roses, hens and now strong female comic characters sounded brilliant.  She was also a keen rose grower.  Fran’s mother was another great character, very eccentric and colourful.  I hope to hear more from some of the main and sub characters we’ve discovered in North Wales.

A delightful story full of warm, fun characters and of blossoming romance.  4.5/5*

To find out more about Trisha Ashley and her books please visit the following links:

Creature Comforts by Trisha Ashley

Creature Comforts

Creature Comforts by Trisha Ashley is due out in hardback and ebook this Thursday 26th February 2015.

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Product Details (as per amazon page)

Fall in back in love with life in this gripping read about fate and second chances.
The eagerly awaited new novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author.

Izzy has broken off her engagement to her feckless fiancée Kieran and returned to her childhood home – the sleepy village of Halfhidden.

She soon realizes that life in the village is anything but peaceful – for one thing she’s living with her mad aunt Debo and her pack of dogs, and for another, Izzy has a lot of unanswered questions.

When she was a teenager, Izzy was involved in a terrible accident, involving various inhabitants of Halfhidden. As she sets out to discover what actually happened on the night of the accident, she realizes that her painful past is actually standing in the way of her future happiness. So when a handsome stranger comes to Halfhidden will she let love back into her life?

I’d like to thank netgalley for an ecopy of the novel for an honest review.

Izzy is 16 and loves living in the small rural village of Halfhidden.  On a fateful night the last thing she remembers after waking up from a coma is setting off home from her part-time job in the local pub.  She doesn’t remember the accident that killed one of her friends; and she doesn’t remember how she became the one to blame for the accident.  Fast forward 19 years and Izzy returns home to Halfhidden following a fallout from her fiancée and from working abroad researching for her new online clothes business.  She feels that the time is right to return home where she feels the most happiest with her Aunt Debo and Judy who run the local Desperate Dogs Rescue Centre.  Her two best friends, Lulu and Cam, have also returned to the village to start afresh.  Izzy is excited to launch her own unique clothing business but prior to the launch she wishes to find the truth of the fateful accident years ago.

A newcomer to the village ruffles a few feathers but his brooding good looks and persona soon spark a mutual connection between himself and Izzy.

In between all this the residents of Halfhidden are trying to regenerate the village and increase visitors to boost the local economy.

The village has a wonderful magical, mysterious quality about it.  I love Trisha’s description of the heritage of the village and its earlier occupants.  Trisha’s writing is charming; the landscapes in her stories are detailed and sound idyllic and the characters involved are very likeable and you feel like you want to join in with the village life.  I also like the little references to locations in Trisha’s previous books.  Throw in some loveable animal characters and you’ve got the making of a wonderful, warm, uplifting, fun, beautiful, romantic story.  A gorgeous 4.5/5* read.

To find out more about Trisha Ashley and her books please visit the following links: