About the Book
Book: An Ivy Hill Christmas
Series: A Tales from Ivy Hill novel
Author: Julie Klassen
Genre: Christmas Historical Romance
Release Date: September 1, 2020
Richard Brockwell, the younger son of Ivy Hill’s most prominent family, hasn’t been home for Christmas in years. He prefers to live in the London townhouse, far away from Brockwell Court, the old family secret that haunts him, and the shadows of his past mistakes. But then his mother threatens to stop funding his carefree life–unless he comes home for Christmas. Out of options, he sets out for Ivy Hill, planning to be back on a coach bound for London and his unencumbered bachelor life as soon as the festivities are over.
But Christmas in the country presents many surprises, including encounters with an orphaned apprentice, the first love he disappointed years ago, and Arabella Awdry, a young lady who is far more appealing than he recalled–and determined to have nothing to do with him.
Will Christmastime in Ivy Hill, with its village charm, kissing boughs, and joyous songs, change his heart . . . and hers as well?
About the Author
Julie Klassen loves all things Jane–Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for 16 years and now writes full-time. Her novels have sold over 1 million copies, and 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. Julie has also won the Midwest Book Award and a Christian Retailing‘s Best Award, and has been a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Awards and ACFW’s Carol Awards. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.
More from Julie
My fascination with England began as a girl when I read The Secret Garden and Jane Eyre, and watched A Christmas Carol. I have now been to Great Britain several times, and my affection for the place has only grown. I love the country villages with their stone buildings and thatched roofs, the narrow, winding roads (though not driving on them), the ancient churches, friendly people, plummy accents, and history. Writing fifteen novels set there has been a real pleasure.
An Ivy Hill Christmas includes all the elements of an idyllic Olde English yuletide: A charming village setting, snowfall, mistletoe, caroling, gifts for less fortunate neighbors, and festive gatherings of friends and family. I thoroughly enjoyed researching 19th century Christmas traditions and weaving them into this novella.
In the story, a confirmed bachelor is determined to remain aloof from the celebrations going on around him—and from his mother’s matchmaking schemes. But divine hope, friendship, and unexpected romance change his heart…and his mind. I love a transformation story; don’t you?
If you’ve read the TALES FROM IVY HILL series, you will enjoy returning to the village and spending time with favorite characters. But rest assured, the novella is a standalone, meaning you can enjoy it whether or not you’ve read the other books, as these reviews attest:
“[A] standalone novella that not only beautifully captures the kindness, hope, love, and faith of Christmas but also skillfully evokes the period holiday atmosphere of Regency England.” —Booklist
“This feel-good tale of love and redemption will delight Klassen’s fans and new readers alike.” —Publishers Weekly
And if you like the novella, I think you will like the other books as well. An Ivy Hill Christmas would also make a lovely gift for a reading friend.
Finally, if you want to add a British flair to your own modern-day celebrations, buy (or make) mince tarts or Christmas pudding, place Christmas “crackers” (pull-apart gift tubes) on your table and wear the included paper crowns. Refer to Father Christmas instead of Santa; and instead of “Merry,” wish everyone a hearty, “Happy Christmas.”
An Ivy Hill Christmas by Julie Klassen is a delightful Christmas read. I loved every minute spent in this story. The pacing is perfect. The plot is highly engaging — so much so I could not put this book down. The characters are lovely. They are unique, endearing, and very, very memorable. I enjoyed following Richard as he navigates being with his family, dealing with his past, and reconciling his future. I also really enjoyed the sweet romances. They left me smiling from ear to ear. My most favorite aspect though is the witty dialogue. This story had me chuckling often because the subtle verbal jabs and the imagery conveyed through the diction is just excellent. An Ivy Hill Christmas is a joy to read and I’m so glad I took the time to escape into this story!
Richard’s character really pulled at my heart strings. He hasn’t been the rake he once was for a very long time, but his reputation won’t stop preceding him. Everyone keeps treating him as he once was, refusing to believe or acknowledge that he is a changed man. Several times in this story a character will say something like, “I know who you [Richard] are … you are X.” But they say this after he just showed them he is no longer X anymore. It was so frustrating to me. No wonder Richard believes he is never deserving of forgiveness — no one ever lets anything go! It doesn’t help that Richard hides behind sarcasm and dry wit, but still, give the guy a break already. I thoroughly enjoyed Richard and Arabella’s journey to romance, but often she is the worst offender. She constantly judges Richard by what she thinks she knows even though his actions prove otherwise. There is a really good reality check in all this for me. Am I judging a loved one in my life by his or her past? Am I so comfortable keeping that person trapped in the persona they used to have I refuse to see the progress they’ve made even when it’s right in front of my face? And, worse of all, am I the reason why someone believes he/she can’t ever be forgiven for a past deed? This is some serious food for thought!
An Ivy Hill Christmas is a wonderful read. I truly enjoyed this story and highly recommend it. If you are a fan of Christmas lit, Historical Romances, or just plain superior storytelling, then this is the book for you!
I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the author, Julie Klassen, via Celebrate Lit and NetGalley. I also purchased a copy of this story in eBook form from Amazon.com on September 8, 2020 in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
To celebrate her tour, Julie is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of An Ivy Hill Christmas and the other three books in her Ivy Hill series, plus the winner’s choice of Bingley’s Tea!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!
Click the link below to enter.
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