Dec 192016
 

Strong Women with Mettle, Perseverance, and Resourcefulness

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Publisher

TYPE OF NOVEL: Regency Romance, Historical Fiction

SETTING: 1820 Wiltshire, England

MAIN CHARACTERS:

  • Jane Fairmont Bell: A refined gentleman’s daughter who surprisingly married an innkeeper.
  • Thora Bell: Jane’s no-nonsense mother-in-law who has lots of experience working as a landlady of an inn and doesn’t have the best of relationships with Jane.
  • Patrick Bell: Jane’s charming brother-in-law, who at times seems self-serving and sneaky.
  • Gabriel Locke: Quiet and helpful, Mr. Locke has been serving as the inn’s farrier for about a year, but his past is something of a mystery.

SYNOPSIS:

It’s been a year since she inherited her husband’s inn and Jane hasn’t done much to take assume the duties and responsibilities of landlady. But now she learns that payment on the large loan her husband took out is long overdue. And since the inn isn’t making much of a profit these days this financial situation is very dire. Jane must decide if she wants to try and save the inn from being foreclosed or free herself from a life of chaos and hard work and sell the inn for a loss…

NOTE: This is book one in Ms. Klassen’s Tales from Ivy Hill series. Book Two, The Ladies of Ivy Cottage, is scheduled to release December 2017.

WHAT I LOVED:

  • A Charming English Village: This book introduces Ivy Hill, a picturesque English village, and the coaching inn, The Bell, which is of great importance to the village as it provides work and livelihood for many of its inhabitants. With descriptions of each street, building, and business and a helpful detailed picture map at the beginning the reader is really able to visualize and feel the authenticity of this bustling and charming village. I’m so very glad that there will be more books that take place in this little town.
  • A Wonderful Host of Characters: Since this book is part of series, readers are introduced to an abundance of new characters with interesting personalities and pasts. Readers meet characters that work for the inn, are long-time residents of the area, and some that are newcomers to Ivy Hill. I loved learning about everyone’s past in this story, especially Jane and her friends – Rachel, Mercy, and Sir Timothy. And I loved all the distinct personalities we meet in this series – some of my favorites are the flirtatious and charming Charlie Frazer, the kind and compassionate Mercy Grove, and the crotchety Lord Winspear! And I loved the more complex characters like Gabriel Locke and Thora Bell.
  • Intriguing Secrets and Unanswered Questions: One of things I love and appreciate most about Julie Klassen’s writing is how she never reveals all the information readers need and want.  It is fun to be in the dark and dying to know all the answers! This story, more than any other I’ve read by Julie Klassen, has a lot of unanswered questions and secrets that are slowly revealed. I was dying to know: What happened to the loan money? What kind of mischief Patrick was scheming? What happened between Rachel and Sir Timothy? What was John Bell up to before his death? So much going on in this novel, so many questions swirling in my head!
  • Unique Relationship Focus: I really enjoyed the unique focus on the relationship between Jane and her mother-in-law, Thora. Especially since it was a tense relationship filled with misjudgments and insecurity between two independent and discordant women. Both characters have their flaws and jumped to the wrong conclusions often, but I love how real their relationship felt. I know many women who have similar relationships with their mother-in-laws!

WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:

  • It’s Hard Being Patient: Oh! This is the hard part of reading a multi-book series! Not all the questions were answered and not every conflict was resolved. I know there is the promise of these things happening in Book 2 of this series, but it will be hard to wait!! And with how one relationship looked like it was on the precipice become something more, it gutted me to see it end on a bit of a cliff! Must. Have. Patience.

CONCLUSION:

Filled with endearing characters, history, and intriguing developments, The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill is a delightful and heartwarming introduction to the Tales from Ivy Hill series. I cannot wait to visit Ivy Hill again and follow the stories of these charming and likable characters!

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GIVEAWAY TIME!!!

The lovely people at Bethany House are hosting a grand giveaway for this blog tour!  The winner will will receive a $20 Teavana gift card and a package of four inspirational British romances from four different eras (The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen, A Haven on Orchard Lane by Lawana Blackwell, The Lost Heiress by Roseanna M. White, Not by Sight by Kate Breslin). Doesn’t that sound wonderful?!?

To enter this giveaway  leave a comment and fill out the rafflecopter form below. Make haste!  This giveaway will be ending soon!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

IN ADDITION…

There are 10 copies of The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill up for grabs on Julie Klassen’s website for this series.  Be sure to check that out and enter to win a copy of her lovely new book there!

289895_innkeeperofivyhill_slider-blogtour

Thank you to Amy Green, Julie Klassen, and the people at Bethany House for putting this tour together!  I’m so happy to take part!

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill Blog Tour Schedule

December 5: Author Q&A on Pemberley to Milton

December 6: Excerpt on My Love for Jane Austen

December 8: Review on Laura’s Reviews

December 9: Book Spotlight on More Agreeably Engaged

December 10: Review on A Bookish Way of Life

December 11: Review and Excerpt on Delighted Reader Book Reviews

December 12: British Show Inspiration Guest Post on Living Read Girl

December 13: Historical Background Guest Post on English Historical Fiction Authors

December 14: Review on Calico Critic

December 15: Excerpt on So Little Time

December 16: Review and Author Q&A on My Jane Austen Book Club

December 17: Review on Just Jane 1813

December 18: Excerpt on Babblings of a Book Worm

December 19: Review on Austenesque Reviews

December 20: Guest Post on Jane Austen in Vermont

December 21: Review on Luxury Reading

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  33 Responses to “The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill – Julie Klassen + GIVEAWAY!!!”

  1.  

    I have read reviews or excerpts of this story and as it is one I have not read nor own please count me in on this give away. I have only read one or two of her stories and it is just that there is so much to read that I have not undertaken the pleasure of reading all her books. Good review, again, Meredith.

  2.  

    I love Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson because it is charming, well-written, and clean!

    •  

      If you like that book then you will definitely love the types of books Julie Klassen writes! I read Edenbrooke earlier this year and I am with you – loooove that one!

  3.  

    What a stunning cover! This sounds so good.

  4.  

    I have enjoyed most of the Julie Klassen books I have read, so I look forward to reading this one as well. Thank you so much for the giveaway opportunity! And hope you have a very Merry Christmas!! 🙂

  5.  

    I love Julie Klassen! My favorite thing to watch lately is Poldark. Great writing and characters and love PBS!

  6.  

    I love Julie Klassen’s books! If you haven’t read The Girl in the Gatehouse, I highly recommend it. It’s very Austenesque! I can’t wait to read this new one.

    •  

      There are only 2 I haven’t read, Kim, and that is one of them!!! LOL! I was about to read it this month, but then I heard about this book coming out so I decided to read this one so I could participate in the blog tour! Can’t wait to read The Girl in the Gatehouse though! 🙂

  7.  

    Love Julie Klassen’s books. My favourite is The Maid of Fairbourne Hall. A great read Meredith if you haven’t read it yet. Glad you enjoyed this one. I gave it three stars. Maybe because it’s so different to her others. I may look at it differently when the next one comes out. I agree, hard to wait so long when you’re reading a series.

    •  

      Ooh! Good choice, Teresa! I really loved The Silent Governess and The Painter’s Daughter. But so many are 5 stars for me. 🙂 I just read your review for this one, I can see a little of what you mean about Jane. I really liked the development of her relationship with Thora though.

  8.  

    How am I just hearing about this Ivy Hill series? Can’t wait to read all of it!

  9.  

    I’m reading this now and am having trouble putting it down so I can do the laundry, clean the house, etc. Obviously, I need to rearrange my priorities. This book is great!

    Thanks for the giveaway – am happy to read as many “like” novels as I can.

    Happy Holidays!

    •  

      Yes, I got the way too! In fact I always feel that with every Julie Klassen novel pick up. I often come to a point where I completely disregard my priorities and read the rest of her book because I can’t take the suspense!

      Happy holidays to you!!

  10.  

    I love Julie klassen’s novels. My favorite is the silent governess. I would love to read this first in the ivy series. It is hard to wait when there’s a series tho.

    •  

      Excellent choice. Suzan! I love that one too! 🙂 It is hard to wait, but I like the idea of spending more time with the characters and revisiting the same charming village! 🙂

  11.  

    The cover is so lovely, and it sounds as if the contents may be just as remarkable! Please count me in for the give-away!

    Warm Christmas blessings,
    Susanne 🙂

  12.  

    I love Julie Klassen’s books.Thanks for this giveaway. Great review, Meredith.

    Merry Christmas 🙂

    Patricia

  13.  

    Thank you for the wonderful review, Meredith. An early Christmas present to me! 😉 Hope you have a lovely Christmas yourself in a few days.

    •  

      My pleasure, Julie! Thank you for writing more and more books!!! I’m always so happy to hear you have a new one coming out! 🙂 Hope you have a very happy Christmas!!!

  14.  

    I like Sherlock, because I enjoy mysteries

  15.  

    I love Sherlock. Fun and quirky and clever!

  16.  

    Hello, my name is Rita Elgersma. I like to drink tea and read lots of novels, a tradition passed down to me by my very much Dutch (as in from Holland) grandmother. In fact, when she passed away three years ago, I inherited her teacup collection and books. I hold dear the memories of her reading to me her treasured stories in her native tongue. Now I have the opportunity to share my love of tea and books with my nieces.

    Concerning books written by British authors, I would have to say my favorite so far is Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, but Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre is a close second (I also like Jane Austen’s Persuasion and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes). I like the adventure, intrigue, and sometimes eccentric characters found in both books; perhaps that is why I also like Julie Klassen’s books, especially The Tutor’s Daughter. She writes stories that are filled with adventures and twists.

  17.  

    Hi! My favorite Julie Klassen book is The Mystery Of Pembrooke Park. All of the plot twists leave me dizzy! I absolutely LOVE her books and I am Very Excited to read her latest story! Merry Christmas to y’all!!!

  18.  

    I’m so ready to read this novel! I’m looking forward to it sooooo much. All of Klassen’s novels have been incredible; the attention to detail and character development never ceases to amaze me. I love her writing style as much as I love Jane Austen’s, and that’s saying a lot. ❤

  19.  

    I’ve so enjoyed Julie Klassen. Angelina my favorite so far is The Mystery of Pembrooke Park as well. 🙂 I have wanted to read The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill. Thank you for the giveaway.

  20.  

    I loved The tutor’s daughter by Julie Klassen and I look forward to reading her new story!

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