The Ladies of Ivy Cottage #2
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The Ladies of Ivy Cottage #2

Bethany House / 2017 / Paperback

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Product Description

Unable to support herself, Rachel Ashford lives with her friend Mercy Grove. Jane Bell and some others urge her to open a circulating library with the books she has inherited. Rachel discovers mysteries hidden among the books the villagers donate. A man she once cared about helps her look for clues, but they both find more than they bargained for. Mercy Grove finds managing her girls school fulfilling. When several men take an interest in Ivy Cottage, she assumes it is because of the beautiful Miss Ashford. She finds the truth surprising.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 448
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2017
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0764218158
ISBN-13: 9780764218156
Series: Tales From Ivy Hill

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Publisher's Description

New from the Top Author of Inspirational Regency Romance

Return to Ivy Hill in The Ladies of Ivy Cottage as friendships deepen, romances blossom, and mysteries unfold.

Living with the two Miss Groves in Ivy Cottage, impoverished gentlewoman Rachel Ashford is determined to earn her own livelihood . . . somehow. When the village women encourage her to open a subscription library with the many books she has inherited or acquired through donations, Rachel discovers two mysteries hidden among them. A man who once broke her heart helps her search for clues, but will both find more than they bargained for?

Rachel's friend and hostess, Mercy Grove, has given up thoughts of suitors and fills her days managing her girls' school. So when several men take an interest in Ivy Cottage, she assumes pretty Miss Ashford is the cause. Exactly what--or who--has captured each man's attention? The truth may surprise them all.

Meanwhile, life has improved at the coaching inn and Jane Bell is ready to put grief behind her. Now if only the man she misses would return--but where is he?

As the women of Ivy Hill search for answers about the past and hope for the future, might they find love along the way?

Author Bio

Julie Klassen is a graduate of the University of Illinois. She worked in publishing for 16 years and now writes full time. 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.

Endorsements

"Readers will rejoice that this is only the beginning of her new Tales From Ivy Hill series."--Publishers Weekly

"Klassen launches a heartwarming new series set in the Regency era that delivers everything fans of gentle historical-romance novels could ever want . . ."--Booklist

"The second book in the Tales from Ivy Hill series begins the moment the first book ends. Fans are reunited with beloved characters who are sweet, kind and caring. . . . Klassen does a great amount of research for her books and gives a realistic glimpse of life in the early 1800s in England." --RT Book Reviews

Product Reviews

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  1. Lucy
    WV
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Compelling
    April 18, 2018
    Lucy
    WV
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    I found this slow moving in the beginning and it took me awhile to get into it but part way in I was compelled along. I would describe it as a meandering stream that you sit and enjoy on a warm spring day. I recommend reading book one first, as this revisits numerous characters and you might feel lost if you read this as a stand-alone. Many stories left hanging in book one are resolved and others leave you hanging for book three. Now I will anxiously await to read it. I found it interesting how a circulating library worked in 1820. I loved the friendships of the ladies and how they support each other in their endeavors to support themselves financially in a time when it was difficult to be unmarried. I enjoyed the handwritten letters and secrets that were revealed through them. The character development especially of Thora was heartwarming and I loved the lesser character of Hetty. Very interesting read of friendship, faith, secrets revealed, and opening your heart..

    I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.
  2. Mrs. W.
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Well Written But some Negative qualities
    March 14, 2018
    Mrs. W.
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 3
    This book has a beautiful cover which makes one think of England. The story itself is reminiscent of a sort of Jane Austen - style of writing. I very much enjoyed reading about quiet, day-to-day living in "Ivy Hill" in England.

    The book includes a map in the beginning so you can look back to see where everyone lives, or where the businesses are located in town. This is so helpful, particularly when some of the characters are taking a walk and you want to see how far they have to travel.

    We are treated to a fascinating description of what it used to be like to form and operate a public library. Guests had to pay a subscription for the privilege of borrowing books. The main character, in this story, is the proprietress of a newly formed library which she started with the books from her father's personal library.

    I loved the courteous way about the characters. Their manners and social graces were refreshing.

    As much as I enjoyed reading this story, I hesitated when readers were introduced to the suspicious character, Mrs. Haverhill. The reference by local residents that she was some sort of terrible person, complete with the author's description came off as something during the season of October, which I would never choose to read. I started to wonder if I could trust the author by continuing to read, hoping she wouldn't take me to a "place" in her story that I would not want to go. This seriously troubled me and made me not want to read any further. I started to skim over the next several pages and found Mrs. Haverhill to be nothing of what she insinuated and was relieved. However, because of this, I would not recommend this book to my family or friends. It is not the type of thing I have any interest in reading. I was really shocked by it and was not expecting this. For me, I would much rather have read a quiet, pleasant story of a town in England, and the distinguished people, without the bold - sort - of - cinema - attraction coming through some of the pages.

    Regardless of my thoughts on this story, Julie Klassen is very talented and an excellent writer.

    * Disclosure - This book was provided for review purposes. *

  3. Thereadmaster
    Davenport,Iowa
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    wonderful
    February 17, 2018
    Thereadmaster
    Davenport,Iowa
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    I cant wait to have more books in this series. I love all the characters. I loved learning about how subscription libraries worked. I love all the recurring characters and how we learn more about each one. I laughed and cried during this book. I received a copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
  4. Mrs ARS
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Impressive series continuation
    February 6, 2018
    Mrs ARS
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    What a lovely story and town Julie Klassen has created in The Ladies of Ivy Cottage. This is the second in the series, Tales from Ivy Hill, and it reads very much like a well done BBC drama. It has been a year since I read the first in the series so I just needed to get reacquainted with the characters again, but once I was reestablished, the story came alive.

    This series is about a town called Ivy Hill. We have three main characters that the story does revolve around: Jane, Mercy, and Rachel who are good friends and have been since childhood. All of them have had their ups and downs and this story continues their lives. Jane is now officially out of mourning, Mercy's girl school is up and running and Rachel has opened a subscription and circulating library which was interesting to read and learn about. All three still are still unattached and seem to think that is the way for them. Not by choice, but by life and each of their current circumstances. The author really kept me on tenterhooks as I was reading. There was not just one gentleman, but a few that vied for the attentions of each one.

    We are introduced to other townspeople's and there are a couple of hidden secrets that come to light that changes the course of life for the characters. This is not a short book and the author takes her time to flesh out all the details. I was at times quite impatient and hoped to get at least a few of the story threads tied up nice and neat. I will say that things took an interesting and unexpected turn for one of the young ladies, a happily ever after for another one, and a hopeful one for another. I look forward to the next in the series to see how all these storylines will resolve. I highly recommend this whole series.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
  5. Lindsey from BFCG
    Texas
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: Female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Overall clean, but had comments we didn't like or think were needed.
    January 31, 2018
    Lindsey from BFCG
    Texas
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    About this book:

    Living with the two Miss Groves in Ivy Cottage, impoverished gentlewoman Rachel Ashford is determined to earn her own livelihood . . . somehow. When the village women encourage her to open a subscription library with the many books she has inherited or acquired through donations, Rachel discovers two mysteries hidden among them. A man who once broke her heart helps her search for clues, but will both find more than they bargained for?

    Rachel's friend and hostess, Mercy Grove, has given up thoughts of suitors and fills her days managing her girls' school. So when several men take an interest in Ivy Cottage, she assumes pretty Miss Ashford is the cause. Exactly what--or who--has captured each man's attention? The truth may surprise them all.

    Meanwhile, life has improved at the coaching inn and Jane Bell is ready to put grief behind her. Now if only the man she misses would return--but where is he?

    As the women of Ivy Hill search for answers about the past and hope for the future, might they find love along the way?

    Series: Book #2 in the Tales from Ivy Hill series. Review of the first book Here!

    Spiritual Content- John 21:25 at the beginning; A few Scriptures are remembered; Prayers; Singing a hymn; Church going & a sermon; Talks about God; Hs are capital when referring to God; Rachel feels uncomfortable asking God or anyone for help *Spoiler* but near the end asks God to forgive her *End of Spoiler*; Mentions of God; Mentions of thanking & praising God; Mentions of prayers, praying, & blessings over food; Mentions of a cathedral, churches, church going, a reverend/vicar, services, & sermons; Mentions of Heaven; Mentions of blessings & being blessed; A few mentions of Bibles & Bible reading; A few mentions of Christians & faiths; A few mentions of a hymn; A mention of a godsend; A couple mentions of sins;

    *Note: Mentions of (what some people believe is) a witch; A couple mentions of a group of people raising altars to a type of food; A mention of something being devilishly hard to clean; A mention of a man being devilishly charming.

    Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a form of dumb, an idiot, a thunder and turf!, and three dasheds; A couple mentions of curses (said, not written); A bit of eye rolling; Mentions of deaths & unnatural deaths; Mentions of someone lost at sea; Mentions of injuries, pain, & blood/bleeding (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of thieves, thefts, & stolen items; Mentions of vandalism & vandals; Mentions of debts & gambling; Mentions of alcohol, drinking, & drunks; Mentions of lies & lying; Mentions of rumors & gossip; Mentions of poaching, hunting, & shooting; A few mentions of prisons/jails; A few mentions of smoking, cigars, & pipes; A few mentions of jealousy; A few mentions of hanging meat & dead animals for food (barely-above-not-detailed); A couple mentions of mounted animal heads as dcor; A mention of using pigskin bladders for an invention.

    Sexual Content- two hand/wrist kisses, a cheek kiss, an almost kiss, a barely-above-not-detailed kiss, a semi-detailed kiss, and two detailed kisses; Wanting to be kissed (twice, up to semi-detailed); Touches, Embraces, Warmth, & Hand Holding (up to semi-detailed); Smelling (barely-above-not-detailed); Blushes; Noticing (x3); Noticing mens muscles (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of a man and woman having a child together, but not being married (he says it was his fault); Mentions of a man being involved with a chambermaid & her being ill-used prior (she ends up pregnant; he says hes not solely to blame and that she came to him); Mentions of wondering if a woman is a mans paramour or if she was involved with another man; Mentions of a married man who kept a mistress & his adultery; Mentions of illegitimate children; Mentions of people thinking a woman is a prostitute (shes not); Mentions of a woman working as a maid at a brothel; Mentions of scandals, reputations, & opposite genders being left alone with chaperones; Mentions of staring & being smitten by a pretty face; Mentions of flirting; Mentions of blushes; Mentions of romance books; A few mentions of not being ready (or being ready) to share a bed with a man; A few mentions of kissing & gathering someone in your arms; A few mentions of wedding trips/honeymoons; A few mentions of touches & embraces; A few mentions of jealousy; A couple mentions of married couples kissing; A mention of a man having a hard time keeping his hands off of a woman; A mention of women ogling men; Love, falling in love, & the emotions (x2);

    *Note: Remembering a miscarriage & bleeding (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of miscarriages, stillbirths, the pain of losing children, & not being able to have children; A few mentions of a wife & baby dying in childbirth; A few mentions of a mother dying with childbed fever; A few mentions of wet nurses; A couple mentions of a girls dress flattering her figure; A mention of a dress revealing a girls thin bosom; A mention of lower necklines on popular dresses; A mention of a woman pulling coins out of her bodice; A mention of a woman keeping her valuables (coins, jewelry, etc.) in her bodice & being asked if her husband agrees; A mention of butting into a conversation.

    -Rachel Ashford

    -Jane Bell

    -Mercy Grove, age 30

    P.O.V. switches between them & Thora

    Set in 1820

    445 pages

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    Pre Teens- One Star

    New Teens- One Star

    Early High School Teens- Two Stars

    Older High School Teens- Three Stars

    My personal Rating- Two Stars (and a half)

    Like I said in the final thoughts of the first book in this series, Julie Klassen has always been a book-by-book author for me; meaning I have to know the book cover or read the actual book to find out about the content.

    This one?

    Hmm.

    While overall clean, there were such comments I didnt like and thought that they didnt need to be added.

    My main problem, however, was keeping up with all the characters. Its been nearly a year since I first read the first book, and oh boy, theres a ton of characters to keep up with.

    At first, I wasnt a fan of Rachel or Jane, but I really liked Mercys parts. It was fun to see non-reader Rachel turn into a reader. I wasnt necessarily a fan of how Rachel had three males interested in her at times, but then the men would divert their attention to one of our other main ladies. Made those boys look like they were trying to figure out who they each liked best or were too friendly for the historical time period. And in all honest, I didnt really like any of them. At one point or another, they each took turns feeling like a cad (okay, really only two of the four/five had their cad moments) to me. There were quite a few parts that seemed inaccurate for the time period this novel was set in. Ill admit I was disappointed with all the birth secrets/illegitimate children plot lines. I can see one, but it seemed very common in this book with these characters and their families. I think it could have been something else and not an easy out like that.

    Theres just so many plots going on in this large novel that made this book feel daunting to read. Maybe it would have helped reading these books back-to-back, but really wasnt an enjoyable as I remembering the first book being.

    *BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.

    *I received this book for free from the Publisher (Bethany House) for this honest review.
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