innkeeper of ivy hill book coverReviewed by Vera Pereskokova

When Jane Bell’s husband, John, died in a mysterious hit and run accident, Jane inherited the family business–a coaching inn aptly named The Bell. As a married woman, Jane could not own any property but her position as a widow exempted her from the restriction.

Brought up at a pampered estate and having married down with John, Jane knows nothing about running a business. Fortunately, finding out that the inn is leveraged to the hilt due to John’s unscrupulous borrowing and realizing that the livelihood of many families is in her hands spurs Jane to action. With the help of her recently returned mother-in-law Thora, her horse handler Gabriel Locke, former manager Talbot, and to varying degrees her brother-in-law Patrick, Jane works to formulate a plan that will convince her lenders that The Bell is worth another chance.

As Thora and Jane work to save the inn, they must also contend with suitors vying for their attention. Thora knows what marriage can mean for women and is not sure she ever wants to take a chance on another man again. A young widow, Jane is almost expected to remarry and has no shortage of suitors, but is companionship worth giving up everything she’s worked so hard for?

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill is the start of the first series from Julie Klassen–sadly, I’m not sure that I’ll keep reading. I could easily tell that The Innkeeper was not up to par with Klassen’s usually engaging stories. There was nothing about The Innkeeper that was intriguing or exciting and I only kept reading in order to write this review. I could tell from the get go that all the problems would be resolved and everything would be wrapped up in a nice little bow at the end. Even the few unresolved story lines were not interesting enough to make me pick up the next installment. I’m sorry to say that the whole thing was a big bore.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Bethany House Publishers. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.