The Innkeeper’s Daughter by Michelle Griep is set primarily in Dover, England in 1808.
Johanna Langley is the daughter of a deceased innkeeper. She is trying to eke out an honest living for her Mam, her brother and herself. But the Blue Hedge Inn is in disrepair, the customers are scarce, and the mortgage and a loan for a new hearth is due shortly.
An undercover agent of the Crown, Alex Moore - AKA Morton- is told by his mentor to use the Blue Hedge Inn as a base of operations for the special task of tracking and unmasking a band of smugglers.
There is intrigue aplenty as Alex tries to discover who is working with him and who is the enemy. He is also torn when he finds himself attracted to Johanna. Does he tell her who he really is? How is he to accomplish his mission without telling her the truth? He longs to be able to help her out of her dire situation. But Johanna is skeptical when he offers to give her money to help pay her debt. She cannot understand his kindness to her mother and her injured brother. What is he expecting in return?
Many colorful characters are introduced to lend to the intrigue. Among them are Mr. Nutbrown and his puppet Nixie; Mr. Quail and his questionable band of musicians ; and the shady Mr. Blackie and Axe.
There is a strong spiritual thread throughout the novel. Johanna and her family make a valiant effort to rely on God in their troubles. Alex is trying to balance his Christian faith with what he has to compromise in order to be a loyal subject. When Johanna is struggling with her perceived guilt, Alex says : “ Are you under the impression that what you have or have not done is what gives you your worth? Because that is nothing but a vile lie. God stamps His value on everyone- on you- by virtue of His grace.”
This book will keep you on your toes guessing what the characters are up to and how it’s all going to work out. Michelle Griep spins a worthy tale using quirky charcters and seemingly improbable situations all in a backdrop of the seedy part of Dover, England.
BACK COVER BLURB:
A London officer goes undercover to expose a plot against the Crown
Dover, England, 1808: Officer Alexander Moore goes undercover as a gambling gentleman to expose a high-stakes plot against the king—and he’s a master of disguise, for Johanna Langley believes him to be quite the rogue. . .until she can no longer fight against his unrelenting charm.
All Johanna wants is to keep the family inn afloat, but when the rent and the hearth payment are due at the same time, where will she find the extra funds? If she doesn’t come up with the money, there will be nowhere to go other than the workhouse—where she’ll be separated from her ailing mother and ten-year-old brother.
Alex desperately wants to help Johanna, especially when she confides in him, but his mission—finding and bringing to justice a traitor to the crown—must come first, or they could all end up dead.
Available in Ebook, Paperback and Hardcover
* I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.*