The lifeblood of the Wiltshire village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. But when the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant owner. Jane has no notion of how to run a business. However, with the town's livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must find a way to bring new life to 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 find her place in the world. As she and Jane work together, they form a measure of trust, and Thora's wounded heart begins to heal. When she encounters two men from her past, she sees them--and her future--in a different light. With pressure mounting from the bank, Jane employs innovative methods to turn the inn around, and puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place. Will her efforts be enough to save The Bell? And will Thora embrace the possibility of a second chance at love?
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by Julie Klassen
by Sandra Byrd
"Set in Regency England, Klassen's audiobook features a richly detailed country village that is dependent on its coaching inn for its continued existence. Young widow Jane Bell is now the owner of The Bell--but a reluctant one as the inn is heavily in debt to the bank. Joined by her grim mother-in-law, a questionable brother-in-law, and others, can she make The Bell thrive? Klassen's writing captures the essence of the period; however, narrator Elizabeth Jasicki has trouble distinguishing between the younger Jane and the older Thora. And sometimes it's difficult to know if it's a male or a female speaking. At times, the story bogs down, and the ending leaves one wanting a happier happy resolution, which is what one expect in a historical romance. K.M. © AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine"
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