I love reading historical fiction books - so I was thrilled when I got this book to review. I had read other things by this author. My favorite book by Julie Klassen is: Lady of Milkweed Manor.
Description of the book:
First Series from Bestselling Author 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 . . . ?
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?
This book took me awhile to get into. While the book is very well written, this was not my favorite book from this author. The characters are very well developed and well written - but it was hard for me to see my self standing there watching everything unfold.
One of the things that I did enjoy was the well thought out research in regards to Inn Keeping during this time period and the Postal service. I really enjoy getting a history lesson while I am reading.
Overall, This is not one of my favorite books. I had a hard time getting into the book and the plot was slow moving. However, as stated above, the book is very well written with good character development. I do feel that she sets the stage for future books. I do like the work and description that has gone into the residents of Ivy Hill.
My overall review: 3.5 stars out of 5.
I received a complementary copy of this book through the Bethany House blogger review program, but opinions stated are my own.
About the Author: (courtesy of Amazon.com)
Julie Klassen loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. She worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. Three of her novels have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. Her book, The Silent Governess, was also a finalist in the Minnesota Book Awards, ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards, and Romance Writers of America's RITA Awards. Julie is a graduate of the University of Illinois. She and her husband have two sons and live near St. Paul, Minnesota. Visit www.julieklassen.com for more information.