Publishers Weekly Review
The financial future of the English village of Ivy Hill rests largely upon the success of The Bell, the coaching inn formerly run by innkeeper John Bell, but now by his widow, the reluctant and inexperienced Jane. When she discovers a large loan is imminently due, Jane turns to her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, the former mistress of The Bell who knows the business. Together they must face and overcome old hurts while assessing new methods to turn the business around. The appearance of several men, old friends and new, showing interest in both the inn and the women add mystery and emotional depth to the Jane and Thora's struggle to save their heritage. Readers are left to wonder which of Thora's suitors can convince her to chance love again, and if Jane can embrace or deny her new role as innkeeper. With her signature insight into the human heart, Klassen (The Painter's Daughter) draws readers into the deceptively quiet English countryside of Austen's day, a world of complicated yet joyful, messy yet faithful, lives of regular people who choose to truly live despite their difficult circumstances. Readers will rejoice that this is only the beginning of her new Tales from Ivy Hill series. Agent: Wendy Lawton, Books & Such (Dec.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Booklist Review
Ever since her husband, John, was killed nearly a year ago, Jane Bell has felt like she's been sleepwalking through life. Business at the Bell Inn, the coaching house her husband left Jane in his will, has been slowly dwindling, and until now Jane has really had no interest in taking an active role in the inn's management. However, when the village's banker shows up to meet with Jane and inform her that her late husband took out a sizable loan before his death and that the loan is now coming due, Jane realizes that it is time for her to wake up. Three-time Christy Award winner Klassen launches a heartwarming new series set in the Regency era that delivers everything fans of gentle historical-romance novels could ever want, including a beautifully realized English village setting, a memorable cast of characters, and charming hints of love for more than one of the residents of Ivy Hill.--Charles, John Copyright 2016 Booklist