On a rise overlooking the Wiltshire countryside stands the village of Ivy Hill. Its coaching inn, The Bell, is its lifeblood—along with the coach lines that stop there daily, bringing news, mail, travelers, and much-needed trade.
Jane Bell lives on the edge of the inn property. She had been a genteel lady until she married the charming innkeeper who promised she would never have to work in his family’s inn. But when he dies under mysterious circumstances, Jane finds herself The Bell’s owner, and worse, she has three months to pay a large loan or lose the place.
Feeling reluctant and ill-equipped, Jane is tempted to abandon her husband’s legacy and return to her former life of ease. However, she soon realizes there is more at stake than her comfort. But who can she trust to help her? Her resentful mother-in-law? Her husband’s brother, who wanted the inn for himself? Of the handsome newcomer with secret plans of his own?
With pressure mounting from the bank, Jane struggles to win over naysayers and turn the place around. Can Jane bring new life to the inn, and to her heart as well?
The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill is the first book in Julie Klassen’s first ever series, Tales From Ivy Hill. I have read every single one of Julie’s novels, so it was a no-brainer for me to preorder this one! However, I was very disappointed…to find that the end of this story leaves me hanging and the next one doesn’t come out until next December! Julie wove her magic just like always, but this time, the story left me hanging in a way I did not appreciate! In all seriousness, The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill is completely fantastic, and I’m soooo glad I added it to my growing collection of Julie Klassen novels. The only reason I’m complaining like this is because Julie didn’t tie up all her ends for a one-novel “happily ever after,” meaning that must be coming in the next novel or two, which is normally fine, except for that fact that I have to wait a year for it!
Each and every of the characters in this novel are wonderful! I fell in love with them instantly, and I kept trying to figure out who would be paired of in the end. I still have my suspicions, especially since two of the characters we read a lot about have yet to find their heroes. That just makes me even more excited for the next book, because I can’t wait to see if they end up with the men I want them to end up with! Plus, I still want to see what happens with the inn.
All in all, I really loved this book, just like all of Julie’s other novels, and I can’t wait to read more in this series! I am so glad that Julie finally decided to start writing series, and I would definitely say that she has done a very good job of it! I can’t imagine not giving this fantastic story anything other than all five bookshelves, and it also has a permanent place on my all-time favorites list. I highly recommend this novel!
To see where I’m linking up, check out my Where I Party page.
All credit for the italicized synopsis goes to Julie Klassen and Bethany House Publishers.