Book Review: The House of Hopes and Dreams by Trisha Ashley

The House of Hopes and Dreams by Trisha Ashley
Release Date: 8th March 2018
Publisher: Bantam Press
Buy: Hardback  Kindle

When Carey Revell unexpectedly becomes the heir to Mossby, his family’s ancestral home, it’s rather a mixed blessing. The house is large but rundown and comes with a pair of resentful relatives who can’t be asked to leave. 
Still, newly dumped by his girlfriend and also from his job as a TV interior designer, Carey needs somewhere to lick his wounds. And Mossby would be perfect for a renovation show. He already knows someone who could restore the stained glass windows in the older part of the house…

Angel Arrowsmith has spent the last ten years happily working and living with her artist mentor and partner. But suddenly bereaved, she finds herself heartbroken, without a home or a livelihood. Life will never be the same again – until old friend Carey Revell comes to the rescue.

They move in to Mossby with high hopes. But the house has a secret at its heart: an old legend concerning one of the famous windows. Will all their dreams for happiness be shattered? Or can Carey and Angel find a way to make this house a home?

Carey Revell is having a bit of a tough time of things. After being knocked off his bicycle and obtaining serious injuries, he is then dumped by his girlfriend, Daisy, because she has 'a phobia of hospitals' and then he loses his job on the TV series he was working on which saw him restoring dilapidated houses. But it looks as though his luck is about to change when he learns that he has inherited his family's ancestral home, Mossby. On the face of things this couldn't have come at a better time for Carey; at least it feels this way until he sees the poor condition that the house has been left in. Then there's the grumpy housekeeper and gardener who all come as part of the package...

Meanwhile Carey's friend Angel also finds her life has been sent into disarray when her partner, Julian, dies. The pair had been living and working together running a stained glass business for the last ten years, but as they were never married and Julian hadn't got round to making a will, the entire estate and business gets left to Julian's estranged son Nat, who fell out with his father over his relationship with Angel.

However, Carey comes to Angel's rescue when he seeks her skills and experience with helping to restore Mossby; particularly the stained glass windows that adorn the house as he plans to make a new TV show following the restoration of Mossby. Angel suddenly finds herself back with a roof over her head and a workshop to provide her with somewhere to get stuck into her latest project...But can Carey and Angel make this renovation work?

One thing in life that is guaranteed to bring joy and happiness is the promise of a new Trisha Ashley novel. I think I must have read almost her entire back-catalogue and I can still never get enough of her books. For me, they just seem to get better and better as Trisha continues to grow and flourish as a writer, even after the fifteen plus novels that she has written (her 'Chocolate' series is my favourite!) She never disappoints and she has succeeded once again with The House of Hopes and Dreams, which is a gorgeous, warm, funny and beautiful story.
As is often the case with Trisha's books, I left an immediate affinity with the characters, particularly Angel. A kind, caring and extremely talented lady, the way in which she was treated by Nat and Willow made steam come out of my ears (well, almost...) I was really excited when the opportunity to work with Carey came up for her and I couldn't wait to see how they would tackle the project. Character-wise I also loved Fang, you'll see why when you discover him in the story for yourself.

One of my favourite things was the historical thread running through this novel, which is something I wasn't necessarily expecting, but it proved to add a fascinating and really enjoyable element to the story. The way that the stories from the past were intertwined to prove relevant to the present day was done superbly. 
It's also clear that Trisha has done a lot of research on the process and history of stained glass work. Admittedly, I knew nothing about this topic until I picked up this novel, but surprisingly I feel as though I now know quite a bit! Because Trisha's writing is so imaginative, I feel as though I could visualise the creations she was writing about with no trouble at all.

The House of Hopes and Dreams was a wonderfully feel-good, captivating read. I was desperate to find out what would happen throughout the course of the book and Trisha is such a talented writer that my attention was firmly planted between the pages of this novel for a good two days solid. 
She covers all the major themes that any good romance novel should - friendship, love, drama, mystery, history and a good old scoop of humour.

This is definitely up there with some of my favourite Trisha Ashley novels (and the best thing is, if you're also a fan of her previous books then you might recognise some links in this story...) This is the perfect read for spring and must be consumed with a cocktail in the sunshine...and that's an order...


A huge thank you to Poppy at Transworld for the opportunity to review.

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