#1: The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill  -     By: Julie Klassen
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#1: The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill

Bethany House / 2016 / Paperback

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Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 448
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2016
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0764218131
ISBN-13: 9780764218132
Series: Tales From Ivy Hill

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Publisher's Description

First Series from Bestselling Author Julie Klassen!

The lifeblood of the Wiltshire village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. But when the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant owner. Jane has no notion of how to run a business. However, with the town's livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must find a way to bring new life to the inn.

Despite their strained relationship, Jane turns to her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, for help. Formerly mistress of The Bell, Thora is struggling to find her place in the world. As she and Jane work together, they form a measure of trust, and Thora's wounded heart begins to heal. When she encounters two men from her past, she sees them--and her future--in a different light.

With pressure mounting from the bank, Jane employs innovative methods to turn the inn around, and puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place. Will her efforts be enough to save The Bell? And will Thora embrace the possibility of a second chance at love?

Author Bio

Julie Klassen is a graduate of the University of Illinois. She worked in publishing for 16 years and now writes fulltime. Three of her books have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. Julie has also won the Minnesota Book Award, Christian Retailing's BEST Award, the Midwest Book Award, and has been a finalist in the Romance Writers of America's RITA Awards, and ACFW's Carol Awards. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in St. Paul, Minnesota. For more information, visit www.julieklassen.com.

Product Reviews

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Displaying items 1-5 of 5
Page 1 of 1
  1. Syracuse NY
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Surviving
    December 6, 2016
    MaureenT
    Syracuse NY
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Jane Bell has been a widow for about a year when this book opens, she is starting to come back to life, and when she does her Inn is falling apart, and is now mortgaged to the hilt and beyond. She never wanted to own the inn, but her late husband John left all of this to her, and not to his brother or mother.

    Now with unanswered questions concerning Johns early death, she is shouldering a big conundrum as to how to save the inn, and keep the mail stages coming. Surprising help comes to her, and I kept hoping she would find a love match, but not in this book, and maybe never, but there is hope with another book to come!

    You are going to wonder if some of the people she trusts might have bee involved in borrowing that large amount of money, and the ultimately the death of her husband. Will Jane have to move, along with her mother-in-law and brother-in-law, or there are possible answers to keeping the Bell Inn.

    I loved the how Jane makes friends with one of the feral cats, and the consequences of doing so, a laugh out loud moment.

    I received this book through Library Thing, and was not required to give a positive review.
  2. Chattanooga, TN
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Rich in details... an all-nighter!
    November 23, 2016
    daischop
    Chattanooga, TN
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    Initially I selected this book because of the author, Julie Klassen. Having read some of her books in the past, there were many that I enjoyed and so in addition to the lovely cover art, I was looking forward to reading this book.

    Jane Bell is now the owner of The Bell coaching inn. Her husband died the year prior, and for the past year she has made do with her life. Not caring one way or the other about the inn. Her husband John, never wanted her to play a part in the inn. But now, with the call out on a substantial debt looming, she no longer knows what she wants to do, she just knows she has to give it a try at saving the inn.

    Thora Bell is Jane's mother-in-law. She had left after her son's death and lived for awhile with her sister in Bath. But she was soon left without accommodations when her sister married. Plus, she was ready to return home to the inn after hearing distressing news about the condition of the inn. Having run the inn prior to her son's death, knowing that her daughter-in-law had inherited the inn did not set well with her.

    Then there is Patrick Bell, the brother to John Bell. He has been at the inn for awhile helping Jane with the running of it, and trying to help in bring it back to life. But his mother, Thora, doesn't trust him, thinking that he's returning to his scalawag ways.

    Essentially the story is about these three main characters, along with the other characters that are involved in keeping the inn running and sustaining. We learn the stories of the other characters, such as the cook, the manager Talbot, and Locke who is the farrier. They all play an integral roll in the uplifting to the inn.

    The way Julie interwove the story and it's growth was fascinating. For me, a story that i thought wouldn't take very long to read, ended up with me being unable to put it down. Starting it in the evening, the kindle wasn't put down until 2:00 in the morning. Let's just say, the last few chapters were hurriedly rushed through a tad more than usual.

    The details are rich, and the characters are interesting. You see the growth of the characters as they go from chapter 1 to the last chapter. You are interested in Jane and wonder if she has what it takes to make it as an innkeeper. You wonder about Locke, Drake and others and wonder how they will play a part in her life. Then you have Patrick, her mother-in-law and the circumstances that surround the death of her husband. Then, you are left with the delinquent loan that her husband had taken out the year before his death, that has yet to be paid.

    All in all, I really did enjoy reading the book. I had no idea what was going to happen with Thora, being swung one direction to the other. Jane, I expected more of an ending, along with Rachel. I was left in a quandry wondering what I missed in my speedreading towards the end. Even with a quick purusal of pages, my answers were not answered.

    Despite all this, I would most definitely recommend this book!

    I received this book complimentary from Bethany House publishers in exchange for an honest review.
  3. Victorville, CA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A charming and heartwarming new series that will have you begging for more!!!
    November 18, 2016
    Heart2Heart
    Victorville, CA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Who would have ever thought I would be a fan of Traditional Regencies? But after watching Downton Abbey I was addicted! Both in the lives of the wealthy and also those of the common folks as well. Something I think I would fall into if I had been born a long time ago. One thing is certain, the rights of women have definitely come a long way. In those days if a woman was married but her husband died, all of her property, wealth and assets went to the next male in the family. Either a brother, cousin, son or even second or third cousins that may have no knowledge of that family whatsoever.

    Best-selling author Julie Klassen takes readers into a new series, the Tales of Ivy Hill in her first novel, The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill. It is here that we meet Jane Bell who is still mourning the unexpected death of her husband John and has been left to care for a dilapidated coaching inn, known as the Bell. She has no means to bring it back to its former glory and somehow she finds it odd that her husband would have left the Inn to her over his brother Patrick. When the bank informs Jane that her husband took out a loan of 15,000 pounds and hasn't paid a penny of it back, they give her 90 days to find a way to begin making the necessary repairs to the Inn, come up with a business proposal to show how she might turn a profit in the coming year, or pay off the loan.

    Jane's mother-in-law, Thora returns to the Inn without realizing the trouble Jane is now facing. She has no way of being able to help Jane and her reputation within the town is less than stellar knowing how difficult and stern she can be. John's brother, Patrick has offered to take over the Inn for Jane so she doesn't have to deal with trying to figure out the logistics of what she will face, but is encouraged by the staff of the Inn and those who work with them, to figure out a way to keep it going. It means the livelihood of town's residents by keeping the Inn operating and to sell it would mean that they would all lose their sources of income as well. All the businesses in town are interconnected in one way helping one another out. When an unexpected guest arrives at the Inn, Jane believes her future might just change, she just isn't sure if it's for the best or worse.

    I received The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen compliments of Bethany House Publishers and Net Galley. The one thing I enjoyed the most about this novel is that Julie Klassen wasn't in a rush to finish the first novel and took her time exploring the complex relationships that Jane and Thora have. From the common people Jane's Inn employs from the coachmen to the maids, and even those she does business with like the butcher and laundress. In a time when it wasn't easy for a woman to make it, I love how well both Thora and Jane dig in to find resources they can utilize when they lack the experience to pull off this endeavor. While I was hoping for more romance between Jane and Gabriel, I am optimistic it may happen in a future novel in this charming and heartwarming series set in England. I definitely learned quite a bit about the coaching inns and how they contributed to the financial well being of the town. I would rate this novel a 5 out of 5 stars and anxiously await the next one!
  4. FL
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    JESUS is with the Innkeeper
    November 11, 2016
    joyful334209
    FL
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This is an incredible story of strength, growth and trust. Jane is a new widow, and part of being that widow she had inherited her passed husbands Inn. She had mourned so long that the inn had started to fall apart and became mortgaged to the hilt. Her mother-in-law and brother-in-law are not to happy that she has the inn because they feel that her deceased husband John (suspicions around his death as well) should have left it to them. She is now coming out of her mourning and is trying to get it together and start working on the inn to save it - in that GOD sent Gabriel to keep reminding her that there are a lot of people relying on her for their livelihood, so she cannot shut this place down. There are a bunch of characters in the book and I do mean characters and that keeps you riveted. I just loved this heartwarming, tenderhearted and at times laugh out loud book. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
  5. Australia
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Absorbing
    October 25, 2016
    Buguru
    Australia
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This book definitely lives up to my expectations. Peopled by lots of interesting characters, unpredictable in plot, it is just the kind of book to curl up with and leave you wanting more. I am excited to read the next book in the series. I was thankful that it lacked the morally distasteful scenes that put me off Downton Abbey or the tragic darkness included in "North and South" by Elizabeth Gaskell.

    Thanks to NetGalley and Bethany House publishers for a free copy to review.
Displaying items 1-5 of 5
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