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April 13, 2022

Hope Springs Series by Ashley Farley ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts


From the Author:  Women need uplifting during the challenges we’re currently facing. While there is plenty of drama in the series, the main characters, the staff at Hope Springs Farm, encourage and support one another as they work together to accomplish their endeavors. The Inn at Hope Springs Farm is a fairytale resort where family is celebrated, friendships are made, romance is discovered, and dreams come true.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. Free books were provided for an honest review.

Dream Big, Stella!

book cover of free ebook Dream Big Stella by Ashley Farley
August 2020; Leisure Time Books; 978-1734629446
audio, ebook, print (270 pages); women's fiction

"I'm not worried about finding another job.  There are over 700 hotels in New York.  I'm right back where I started from, applying for entry-level positions.  I'm nearly thirty years old and I have nothing to show for my life."
(p11)

You can always depend on an Ashley Farley book. She's one of my go-to authors when I need a good story with a happily ever after ending.  Her characters are always well written and feel like people I know and her books are just plain fun.

Stella lives in New York City and is about the get fired from another job - in fact, she's lost three jobs in the last year.  When she gets to her apartment after being fired, there is a lawyer waiting at her door.  He has come from Virginia to tell her that her father has died and left her his land and a historic inn in Hope Springs, Va.  Her mother has never given her any information about her father so this comes as a complete shock to her.  She decides to go to Virginia and check things out and is shocked when she sees the dilapidated state of the inn.  She's met with mixed reactions - the lawyer is happy, and the hotel manager is very unhappy but since it's stipulated in the will that she has to keep the inn for three years until she can sell it, she decides to re-do the inn and make it popular again.  Along the way, she meets more of the people at Hope Springs.  She feels like many of them know more of her story than she does and as she gradually learns about her family's past, the more she learns about herself and her strength.  

This book is full of family drama and love and lots of terrific characters.  

Buy Dream Big, Stella! at Amazon
(The ebook is FREE)

Show Me the Way

book cover of women's fiction novel Show Me the Way by Ashley Farley
September 2020; Leisure Time Books; 978-1734629477
audio, ebook, print (278 pages); women's fiction

"She smiles at him in parting.  While he seems like a decent guy, Pressley's people reader is screaming at her that he's hiding something.  He's a bartender with what sounds like a troubled past with alcohol.  She just buried her mother.  She doesn't need that kind of heartache." 
(p10)

Book two in the Hope Spring series takes the reader back to Hope Springs Farm and back into the lives of the characters from Dream Big Stella along with several new characters to continue the saga.

Pressley knows that she's adopted and when she is cleaning out a desk after her adoptive mother dies, she finds an address that she thinks will lead her to her birth mother.  She heads from Nashville to Hope Springs to see if she can find any information about her birth family.  While she is staying at the Hope Spring Farms resort, she gives Stella, the owner,  some suggestions and the next thing she knows, she has a job as the head of publicity at the resort.  She didn't have much of a life in Nashville after her mother died, so she decides to take a chance and accepts the job.   One of the first people she meets is Everett, the bartender at the resort.  They hit it off and the sparks fly.  She is afraid to go too far with the relationship because she senses that he is hiding something in his life and after being raised by an alcoholic parent, she isn't willing to have a relationship with someone whose life is full of secrets.   Will their relationship bloom or will their pasts keep them apart?

Not only did I love the characters of Pressley and Everett but I was happy to find out what was going on with Stella and Jazz from book 1.  As always, Ashley Farley has created multi-dimensional characters that feel like people we know.   The plot has a little mystery, a little romance, and lots of friendship.  

Buy Show Me the Way at Amazon


Mistletoe and Wedding Bells

book cover of holiday romance Mistletoe and Wedding Bells by Ashley Farley
October 2020; Leisure Time Books; 978-1735521213
audio, ebook, print (188 pages); holiday

"I believe in the magic of Christmas, Jazzy.  I touch my finger to her chest.  That magic lives inside each of us. You get to decide whether you want to believe in Santa.  No one else can decide that for you."
(p 1)

Mistletoe and Wedding Bells takes the reader back to the Inn at Hope Springs in this third book of the series.  The three main characters all get their happily ever after endings but to get there is full of stress, secrets, and mayhem.  What a fantastic ending! 

Stella, the general manager, is ready to marry Jack but first, she needs to get total custody of her half-sister Jazz.  Naomi, Jazz's mother, is causing havoc every chance she gets to keep Stella from gaining custody.  Jack continues to work on their dream house and they are both ready to settle down as a family of three.

Pressley, the event manager, loves her job but misses her new boyfriend Everett who has gone to Nashville to try his luck as a country singer.  The issues with her birth mother and the stress of the Christmas season at the Inn are keeping her busy and when she decides to plan a surprise wedding for Stella life becomes even more hectic for her.

Cecily, head chef, is planning to get married on Christmas Eve but she's having second thoughts.  Is it wedding jitters or real issues that may keep them from getting married?  On top of that, there is a new chef in her kitchen who is trying to take her job away.

All three of the main characters are facing tremendous stress as they head into the Christmas season.  Will their problems be solved and will all end up with their happily ever after?  


Matters of the Heart

book cover of women's fiction Matters of the Heart
January 2022; AHF Publishing; 978-1956684001
ebook, print (270 pages); women's fiction

It was wonderful to go back to Hope Springs and see what's going on with all of our old friends from the previous books in this series.  Ashley writes such great characters that I feel like I was spending time with old friends.

Business is fantastic at Hope Springs and the resort is rented out for several months in the future.  Stella and her staff have added many changes to Hope Springs.  One of the main new attractions is the natural hot springs that are available to the resort's guests.  It becomes apparent that the springs can cure physical ailments and the female staff begin to wonder if it can also cure matters of the heart...because right now almost all of them have issues with love - boyfriends, husbands, sisters.

The main women in the novel are

Presley is pregnant and planning to stay for the summer while her country music superstar husband is on tour. There is a lot of strain between them and she begins to wonder if he's having an affair and if they have a future with each other?

Cecily has left her boyfriend because they have totally different goals in life and their paths toward the future are in opposite directions.

Ollie manages the Wellness center and is mentally recovering from the loss of her parents in a fire and her divorce. She's moved from California to try to make a new start in her life but her past keeps her from enjoying the present.

As these friends try to help each other, they meet at the hot springs regularly.  Is it the mineral springs that are making their lives better and less complicated or the friendship that has developed between them the real reason for their matters of the heart?

This book (and the entire series) has it all -- friendship, love, problems with families, reconciliation, mystery.  As always, Ashley has brought wonderful characters into a book that you don't want to put down. She writes books about women for women. Her characters are mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives that deal with real-life issues. 

Buy Matters of the Heart at Amazon

Road to New Beginnings  

book cover of women's fiction novel Road to New Beginnings by Ashley Farley
March 2022; AHF Publishing; 978-1956684025
ebook, print (280 pages); women's fiction

It was wonderful to go back to Hope Springs and catch up on the lives of the women of this series.  As with the other books in the series, there are lots of problems but the friendship between these women helps them overcome their problems.  They always have each other's backs.

-Stella faces her first issue as a parent.  Jazz (her sister but soon to be her adopted daughter) no longer wants to go to school.  She is being bullied by other girls in the second grade and neither the teacher nor the school principal is any help.
  • Ollie is trying to cope with her parent's death and starts having panic attacks. She isn't sure what she wants to do with the rest of her life.
  • Cecily is falling in love with Parker but her ex-fiancĂ© is determined to win her back and becomes more aggressive towards her.  She puts her budding romance with Parker on the back burner until she can solve the problems with her ex.
  • Pressley's baby will arrive soon but where is her husband.  He is a famous country singer on tour and now he's disappeared.  Rumors fly that he is having an affair with a woman on the tour.  Can she find out where he is before the baby arrives?

As always, Ashley Farley has created multi-dimensional characters that feel like people we know in our lives.  Her plot has a bit of mystery, a little romance, and lots of female friendship.  She is one of my go-to authors that I can always depend on to provide a wonderful story.

This is the final book in the Hope Springs series so we'll have to say goodbye to Stella and Jazz and the rest of the fantastic women in the series.  The characters made a pact to stay friends forever so maybe...hopefully, there will be another Harbor Springs book in the future. 


NOTE:  This series should be read in order for maximum enjoyment.


Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. She enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and historical fiction. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on Facebook.



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