The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill” is a magnificent beginning to author Julie Klassen’s first series.

An award-winning author, Klassen is known widely for her Christian Regency romance novels that generally feature a dash or two of suspense.

She is at the top of her game with “Ivy Hill,” although the novel moves slowly, allowing character development to unfold in a believable manner.

This particular novel focuses mainly on the recently widowed Jane Bell, her mother-in-law Thora and the fate of the Bell Inn.

However, Klassen interweaves many other interesting characters into the tale, all of whom I look forward to learning more about in future novels.

(I really enjoyed the characters of Jane and Thora!)

Unlike in many series, the first novel in the Tales from Ivy Hill is complete, but it leaves plenty of threads to explore in the rest of the series.

The setting is extremely compelling and detailed — you can tell Klassen’s research has been through.

Fans of her other works are sure to enjoy this novel. As for me, I don’t know how I am going to make it until December for the next installment.

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill,” which I gave five out of five stars. was published by Bethany House in December 2016.

Disclaimer: I was provided a free copy of this book. However, all opinions are my own.

About Klassen

Julie Klassen loves all things Jane — Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Klassen worked in publishing for 16 years and now writes full-time.

Three of her books — “The Silent Governess,” “The Girl in the Gatehouse” and “The Maid of Fairbourne Hall” — have won the Christy Award for historical romance. “The Secret of Pembrooke Park” was honored with the Minnesota Book Award for genre fiction.

Klassen also has won the Midwest Book Award and Christian Retailing’s BEST Award, and has been a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Awards and American Christian Fiction Writers’ Carol Awards.

Klassen and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. For more information, visit www.julieklassen.com.