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Review: The House of Hopes and Dreams

The House of Hopes and Dreams by Trisha Ashley

I’ve chosen the latest Trisha Ashley novel as the subject of my first review here at Off On A Tangent. I’m a big Kindle fan and I love the ease of use and simplicity of a reading app. However, on this occasion I was drawn to the hardback version of The House Of Hopes And Dreams where the pretty front cover very much sums up the look and feel of the story. It’s a bright and fresh cover showing a slightly quirky young lady in dungarees and DMs holding a stained glass window pane as she stands in front of a unique looking country house alongside some packing boxes and a cute little dog.

I have read pretty much every novel from this author because they tend to be the light hearted, funny and engaging read I crave after a busy day or when I have too much other stuff galloping around my head. Trisha has a way of telling a story that is ‘curl-up-on-the-sofa’ comforting.

Childhood friends Angel and Carey find themselves at a time in their lives when their friendship matters more than ever. As is customary with a Trisha Ashley novel the main characters are warm and likeable and the plot is completely believable.

The story follows Carey and Angel as they rekindle their friendship and renovate Carey’s run down inherited country residence, Mossby. The story cleverly weaves back to days long past with excerpts from the diary of celebrated stained glass worker Jessie Kaye revealing the story behind the secrets of the big house.

As they uncover clues to the mysteries of the house, strengthen bonds and friendships and become part of the village community will the unwanted attentions and actions of less pleasant characters interfere with the potential of a happy ever after?

Written in an engaging, witty and fresh style this is Trisha at her best so I give it a resoundingly cheery five stars. A proper feel good story for spring. For more about Trisha and her books visit her author’s page at Penguin (



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Books, books and even more books!

Hello everyone. Sorry it’s been so long, life (and ice hockey) got in the way there for a little while. Now that Spring has sprung, the daffodils are swaying in the breeze and little lambs are gamboling on thawing hillsides it’s time for a fresh start and to resurrect my blog. This time I’m reviewing books.

Each individual book means something different to each person who reads it. The stories I love most provide an escape and a distraction. I especially enjoy women’s fiction, psychological thrillers, rom-coms, historical fiction and autobiographies. My faves are stories that take me to another place and that are so unputdownable I don’t want to leave. I love a story that captures my attention and imagination and if there’s a clever twist or an unexpected ending I’ll be clapping like an excited child. I like characters that are three-dimensional and real, that I can love or hate and I’m drawn to quirky and different.

So here we are in March 2018 and I have 557 ‘read’ books on my Kindle. So far this year I’ve read 23 and we’re only 12 weeks in. I may read a lot but I choose carefully and therefore savour each and every word. Occasionally I’ll listen to an audible book whilst chilling in the bath with a glass of wine but mostly I read in bed, in the wee small hours when my dear friend insomnia comes calling.

If I love it, I’ll review it. If I like it, I’ll review it.  If I hate it, I’ll say nothing because if there’s one thing I’ve learnt whilst dabbling with writing fiction myself it’s that you can’t please everyone.  I also realise that authors put a huge chunk of their heart and soul into each and every story so it’s not up to me to pull it apart, it’s up to me to say so when I love it.

So although I have a mahoosive list of books I can’t wait to get my hands on, I’m also going to review a handful of my favourites from the 557. Get yourself a cuppa, snuggle in, and join me on my journey into fiction …..