The lifeblood of the village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. When the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant land-lady. Jane has no idea how to manage a business, but with the town's livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must quickly find a way to save the inn.
Despite their strained relationship, Jane turns to her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, for help. Formerly mistress of The Bell, Thora is struggling to overcome her losses and find purpose for the future. As she works with Jane, two men from her past vie for her attention, but Thora has promised herself never to marry again. Will one of them convince her to embrace a second chance at love?
As pressure mounts from the bank, Jane employs new methods, and puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place, including a mysterious newcomer with secret plans of his own. With the help of friends old and new, can Jane restore life to the inn, and to her empty heart as well?
This book was actually a lot more interesting than I thought it would be, as many of the woman in it are very strong and able to do things without being married. However, I find that any of the romance in this book is greatly unnecessary, as the overall plot has no need. I would have enjoyed the "romance" parts, but they weren't very greatly developed and seemed a bit forced into the story.
But even with those things, I still enjoyed the story a lot, Jane and Thora are very strongly developed characters, which is most of the reason why I finished this book.
My Rating: 3.5 stars
**I received this book from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review. Thank you!**