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?
- Original Title:The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill (Tales from Ivy Hill #1)
- Author:Julie Klassen
- Rating:7.78 / 10
- Publisher:Published December 6th 2016 by Bethany House Publishers (first published December 2016)
May 27, 1820
Ivy Hill, Wiltshire, England
Jane Fairmont Bell sat alone in the keeper’s lodge she had once shared with her husband. There she began her solitary breakfast, delivered by a maid from the coaching inn across the drive. Her inn. She still struggled to credit it.
Jane ate in dainty politeness, as though at a formal dinner—or as though her old, eagle-eyed governess sat beside her. In reality, she had eaten alone for a year now. The clink of china and cutlery seemed louder than usual, the courtyard outside strangely quiet for that time of day.
At the thought, she glanced at the nearest window, framed by ivy. The leafy vines had grown unchecked and narrowed the visible glass. She could cut it back, but she liked the privacy it afforded. And how it blocked her view of the often-chaotic coaching inn.
Jane rose and walked into the bedchamber. The vie...