Having read all of the previous books in the Tales From Ivy Hill series, I was delighted to read An Ivy Hill Christmas. What better setting can one imagine for a Christmas novella than the small town of Ivy Hill in Regency era England? With gorgeous cover art, well developed characters, a nod to many of the Christmas traditions of that time, and a meaningful transformation through faith, this book is a perfect read for the season, especially for history buffs.
It was fun to encounter characters from the previous novels but of course Richard and Arabella stole the show. Confirmed bachelor Richard Brockwell has his reasons for avoiding marriage but his reputation is less than spotless. Arabella Awdry is the young woman Richard’s mother hopes he will marry by Richard is deliberately rude to her, hoping to foil his mother’s plans. Arabella is also uninterested in marriage and plans to spend her life helping others. At this point most romance readers have a pretty good idea what direction this story will take but believe men, the fun is just beginning.
I loved Richard’s character and seeing the changes in his attitude over the course of this short tale. His little dog was especially fun and it was entertaining to imagine what he looked like when Richard dressed him in clothing to match his own. I liked Arabella well enough but this is definitely Richard’s story. In addition, readers will witness more than one other romance take place before the end.
All in all, this is a satisfying read and I highly recommend it.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Celebrate Lit. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Book: An Ivy Hill Christmas
Author: Julie Klassen
Genre: Christmas Historical Romance
Release Date: September, 2020
Click here to get your copy!
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.”
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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 the 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.