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The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill (Tales From Ivy Hill Series #1)

Baker Publishing Group, Julie Klassen, Julie Klassen
The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill (Tales From Ivy Hill Series #1)

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill is the 1st book in the Tales From Ivy Hill Series by Julie Klassen.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, bringi... Read More

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Item # 1619283

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Item # 1619283



The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill is the 1st book in the Tales From Ivy Hill Series by Julie Klassen.

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? Or the handsome newcomer with secret plans of his own?
  • Store Only: Yes
  • Product type: Book
  • Format: Softcover
  • Release Date: Dec 6, 2016
  • UPC: 9780764218132
  • Volumes/Discs: 1
  • Pages: 448
  • Publish Date: Dec 6, 2016
  • Language: English
  • Audience Age Maximum: 0
  • Audience Age Minimum: 0
  • BISAC: "FIC042030"
  • ISBN: 0764218131

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The Innkeeper at Ivy Hill by Robin on 2/5/2017
Rating

The Inn Keeper of Ivy Hill
Julie Klassen

Book Summary: 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?

Review: For me I had a hard time getting through this book. I really did not like Jane in the beginning and found Thora to be an imitation of Dame Maggie Smith’s character from Downton Abbey which fell flat for me. I really like Julie Klassen’s books, but for me this was difficult to get through. Jane started out weak. There were way to many secondary characters introduced in a short period of time to keep up with. It took too long The fighting was more than I would like. I finally gave up trying to enjoy the book.

I would like to thank Net Galley and Bethany House for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Review from Rambles of a SAHM by Fitzysmom on 1/19/2017
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There's really not much more delightful to me than reading a series set in a small village that revolves around ordinary people living their everyday lives. If you've read Jan Karon's Mitford series or Miss Read's Fairacre Chronicles you know exactly what I am talking about.

To say that I was excited to get my hands on Julie Klassen's first installment in the Tales From Ivy Hill series is an understatement. I have long enjoyed Julie's historical fiction books and I knew that she would be the perfect author to give us a new village and people to love. By the end of the book I felt as if I had made new acquaintances and looked forward to getting to know each of them better.

The book starts with one of my favorite things . . . a map of the village! I love being able to picture the layout as the story progresses. When we first dip into the story we meet Jane Bell who is a recent widow and has suddenly and unexpectedly become the new innkeeper for The Bell. Much to her dismay her late husband left the coaching inn for her to run. The problem lies in the fact that before this Jane's husband insisted that Jane lead a life of a genteel lady and as such she really had very little to do with the inn.

The next central figure that we are introduced to is Thora Bell. She's Jane's mother-in-law and the two of them have a very strained relationship. The Bell coaching inn has been in Thora's family for generations so Thora is a bit territorial when it comes to all things concerning the inn. The problem is that the decisions are no longer hers to make.

There are other friends and family that we meet but I would say that this installment centers around these two women. I found the storyline to be very easy to relate to. Even the best of daughter-in-law and mother-in-law relationships have a tension about them. Jane and Thora are leary of each other but they also need each other. Watching the barriers come down and the trust factor go up was a delight.

As I said earlier this is a gentle read but it does have a bit of mystery involved. I'm delighted to say that I was completely wrong about who was behind the deception. In this case it was so nice to be wrong! There's a bit of everything to entice the reader. There's relationship issues, both romantic and platonic, there's mystery, and there's also some very intriguing history. You just can't go wrong with this read.

Let me close with my favorite quote from the book. It comes from Mercy, a dear friend of Jane's, and it comes at the beginning of the book but it sets the tone for the rest of the story.

"Manage the inn, Jane; save it. Have a mission in life. Discover that work worth doing is about more than profit and toil. It's about using the gifts and ability you've been given to serve your fellow man and please your Maker." (pg. 130)

I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.

Stunning by Pastries and Novel Thoughts on 1/18/2017
Rating

The last time I read any historical fiction was in the third grade when my teacher made all us girls read the Dear America books. So to broaden my horizons, I've been trying to get back into historical fiction and in all honestly I'm really happy this was my first historical novel in a while.

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill is about a young widow who has been entrusted with her husbands inn-The Bell. With no business experience and a pressing bank loan due, Jane Bell has trouble coming to terms becoming the new land lady of The Bell. In hopes of saving her dear husband's inn, Jane enlists the help of her bitter mother-in-law, Thora. Jane trusting that as the former lady of The Bell, Thora will be able to help turn things around in their favor.


""She isn't the landlady you were, Mrs. Bell. She's of no earthly use that I can see.""

But as Thora works with Jane new love is discovered, friendships are formed, secrets are revealed and promises are broken. With the help of Jane's and Thora's friends, Jane is able to implement new methods of work and do repairs on the inn despite the banks pressure and a curious new man in town. The question is, can Jane restore The Bell in time to save it from the bank's impending doom?

Things I liked: Jane Bell's character grew so much throughout this book and I was actually impressed with the writing of Jane's character. I liked Thora's voice as well because as the chapters go by, Thora's many wall get taken down. I liked Rachel, the third voice and Jane's friend, but wasn't attached to her. I liked the men in this book save for Patrick, Jane's brother-in-law, they were all presented as different shades of charming men. Talbot is a good man and sweet but I honestly liked Charlie more, he was sweet and cornily charming. Of all the men though, Gabriel Locke was my favorite just as was his friendship with Jane was refreshing.


"He looked pained again, and embarrassed in the bargain. He said, "I am in general an honest, but I have learned the hard way that those who ask for the truth often wish back their ignorance . Truth, like medicine, is sometimes best in small doses."

"I disagree. And I do not require your protection Mr. Locke.""


I really liked the structure of this book and how well Klassen Incorporated the different topics and elements that the book just flows easily.

What I didn't like: My only problem with this book was that in some places it dragged a little long with no need and in some places where I felt should have been elaborated it wasn't. Oh, and I wasn't a fan of Patrick, no spoilers though, you have to read the book haha.

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill is told in three stunning and very different voices to tell the stories of new love, friendship, trust and the restoration of a towns soul. This is a book that I highly recommend and can't wait for the second novel in the series, Tales of Ivy Hill, to come out.

​I received a copy of this novel from the publishers, Bethany House Publishers, in exchange for a honest review.

A great start to the series - The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Kim Potter on 12/27/2016
Rating

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill is the first book in Julie Klassen’s Tales from Ivy Hill series. When the story first started, I thought, “Oh no, another helpless, clueless female that has no idea what is going on around her!” But Jane Bell didn’t stay downtrodden. She rallied and became aware that life wasn’t just about her losses. She had to save the inn, not just for herself, but for her husband’s legacy and the good of the town. Of course, there’s a villain who wants to see the inn close. So, Jane must race to save her inheritance with help from some old and new friends. Can she make it before she loses everything? That’s the final question. I can’t wait for the next installment! If you like Regency Romance with history throw into the mix, then this story is for you. Ms. Klassen did a great job.

getting to know the characters by Kathleen E. on 12/24/2016
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Saturday, December 24, 2016
The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen, © 2016
Tales From Ivy Hill, Book 1

My Review:
Welcome to the village of Ivy Hill! The English countryside opens before us as we hear the horn blown announcing the nearness of the coach as it approaches The Bell giving the occupants rest and refreshment before some will travel on to a further destination. But those who stop awhile at this fine inn will be delighted to know they have indeed reached a place of comfort.

As you are reading this series, you will enjoy the map in the front to acquaint you with the village of Ivy Hill, descriptive of the housing and places of business. I was drawn to the ladies meeting which was a surprise ~ in fact, they call it somewhat different than what actually happens in the discussions.

I found my alliance changing in the story as a character I was not really fond of, as I came to know her a little better, I discovered why she carried herself as she did. Have you portrayed a front, that when you become known is not deeply who you are? Exposed for the better!

I enjoyed getting to know the characters and have a few questions that I may discover in the next books in the series. Welcome them into your heart, as they become alive in Ivy Hill and surrounding villages.

***Thank you author Julie Klassen for Book 1! Thank you to Bethany House for sending a review copy for the book tour. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***

Return to Ivy Hill in The Ladies of Ivy Cottage coming December 2017

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by kp on 12/21/2016
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The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill is the latest novel from Julie Klassen. The tale opens in the village of Ivy Hill, England, in the year 1820. Jane Bell has been a widow for the past year. Upon her husband, John's death, Jane discovered that he had left his coaching inn for her to manage. She cannot believe her eyes, when one day she sees her former mother-in-law, Thora Bell, walking uninvited up to her front door!

After a employee contacts her by mail, Thora has decided that she cannot stand by and watch her former inn, The Bell, lose its high standing in her hometown of Ivy Hill. Upon learning that John had left a large loan unpaid, Jane and Thora discover that The Bell is at risk of being turned over to the bank. Now Jane and Thora know that they must forgive old grievances and work together to save the inn!

Sit back and watch Jane and Thora work with everything they have to save The Bell and in the process, save their relationship, as well! This opening novel to Julie Klassen's new series, Tales from Ivy Hill, leaves you looking forward to learning more about these characters, in the books yet to come!


I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my unbiased review.

First book in Tales from Ivy Hill series! by Kristina Anderson, The Avid Reader on 12/10/2016
Rating

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen is the first book in Tales from Ivy Hill. Jane Bell has been widowed for one year. She has been in a type of slumber (or stupor) and has not done anything about the coaching inn, The Bell, she inherited from her husband (much to her mother-in-law’s dismay). Thora Bell, Jane’s mother-in-law, went to live with her sister, Diana after her son passed away. But the life of leisure is not suited to her. Thora misses running the inn and when she receives a letter from the housekeeper about the sad state of the place, she returns to Ivy Hill (Wiltshire, England) for a “visit”. Walter Talbot, who ran the inn during Thora’s reign, left when his brother passed away and he inherited the family farm. Patrick, Thora’s younger son, returned to the inn a month and a half prior after hearing about his brother’s death (he seems dubious). Mr. Bloomfield, the local banker, visits stating that John Bell took out a loan of 15,000 pounds and it is now due (he has waited a year to tell Jane about this loan). Jane was unaware of the debt and has no way to repay it. Business at The Bell has tapered off since John’s death (along with Talbot and Thora’s leaving) and the installation of the new turnpike. Jane only has three months to prove that she can make The Bell profitable, or the bank will sell it. Jane cannot let the inn be sold. It will mean a loss of income for so many people in their village. Jane sets out to turn The Bell around and prove that she has what it takes to run it.

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill is a good story, but it is a little slow in places. It is set in 1820 in a small village in England. I liked the characters and the lovely setting. I enjoyed watching Jane change (develop) as the novel progressed. We also get to see adjustments in Thora and her beliefs about marriage. Thora and her two suitors are prominent in The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill (I could not fit everything into the summary). I give The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill 4 out of 5 stars. The book is well-written and Ms. Klassen does a great job at capturing the time period. The novel has romance (of course) and a mystery. It was interesting to read about a coaching inn and the part they played in a village and with travelers. We are left with Jane’s story unfinished, and readers will have to wait for the next installment of Tales from Ivy Hill. If you enjoy historical romance novels, I recommend The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill. I will be reading the next book in Tales from Ivy Hill.

First book in Tales from Ivy Hill series! by Kristina Anderson, The Avid Reader on 12/10/2016
Rating

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen is the first book in Tales from Ivy Hill. Jane Bell has been widowed for one year. She has been in a type of slumber (or stupor) and has not done anything about the coaching inn, The Bell, she inherited from her husband (much to her mother-in-law’s dismay). Thora Bell, Jane’s mother-in-law, went to live with her sister, Diana after her son passed away. But the life of leisure is not suited to her. Thora misses running the inn and when she receives a letter from the housekeeper about the sad state of the place, she returns to Ivy Hill (Wiltshire, England) for a “visit”. Walter Talbot, who ran the inn during Thora’s reign, left when his brother passed away and he inherited the family farm. Patrick, Thora’s younger son, returned to the inn a month and a half prior after hearing about his brother’s death (he seems dubious). Mr. Bloomfield, the local banker, visits stating that John Bell took out a loan of 15,000 pounds and it is now due (he has waited a year to tell Jane about this loan). Jane was unaware of the debt and has no way to repay it. Business at The Bell has tapered off since John’s death (along with Talbot and Thora’s leaving) and the installation of the new turnpike. Jane only has three months to prove that she can make The Bell profitable, or the bank will sell it. Jane cannot let the inn be sold. It will mean a loss of income for so many people in their village. Jane sets out to turn The Bell around and prove that she has what it takes to run it.

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill is a good story, but it is a little slow in places. It is set in 1820 in a small village in England. I liked the characters and the lovely setting. I enjoyed watching Jane change (develop) as the novel progressed. We also get to see adjustments in Thora and her beliefs about marriage. Thora and her two suitors are prominent in The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill (I could not fit everything into the summary). I give The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill 4 out of 5 stars. The book is well-written and Ms. Klassen does a great job at capturing the time period. The novel has romance (of course) and a mystery. It was interesting to read about a coaching inn and the part they played in a village and with travelers. We are left with Jane’s story unfinished, and readers will have to wait for the next installment of Tales from Ivy Hill. If you enjoy historical romance novels, I recommend The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill. I will be reading the next book in Tales from Ivy Hill.

JESUS is with her at the inn by Carol on 11/11/2016
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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.


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