Thursday, December 10, 2020

Book Review with a Giveaway: An Ivy Hill Christmas by Julie Klassen


About the Book

Book: An Ivy Hill Christmas
Author: Julie Klassen
Genre: Christmas Historical Romance
Release Date: September, 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?

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

This has been a highly-anticipated book, and I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to read it.  An Ivy Hill Christmas is a novella that readers of Klassen's Tales from Ivy Hill series will love, as they visit this lovely English country village again.  This novella does stand alone, and is totally enjoyable for readers who want to immerse themselves in all the glory of a Regency Christmas.  

Most of the characters seem familiar and easy to get along with, and I loved all the charity and concern for others that the Ivy Hill residents exhibited.  But then there's Richard.  A rogue.  A playboy.  A Scrooge.  Klassen didn't waste any time in making me dislike him.  But as he got out of London and spent time in the country with his family and friends at Christmas, there was a transformation.  It was subtle and gradual, which made it meaningful.

I recommend this book for those who enjoy Regency romances, or someone who wants a good Christmas read.  Enjoy!

I received an e-ARC of this book from the author, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

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.”

Happy Christmas!

Blog Stops

Through the Lens of Scripture, November 30
Adventures of a Travelers Wife, November 30
Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 30
Christian Bookaholic, November 30
Andrea Christenson, November 30
Texas Book-aholic, December 1
KarenSueHadley, December 1
Robin’s Nest, December 1
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 1
Blessed & Bookish, December 2
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 2
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 2
Mia Reads, December 2
Wishful Endings, December 3
lakesidelivingsite, December 3
Through the Fire Blogs, December 3
For Him and My Family, December 3
Just Your Average reviews, December 3
She Lives To Read, December 4
Remembrancy, December 4
deb’s Book Review, December 4
Writing from the Heart Land, December 4
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 5
Locks, Hooks and Books, December 5
Quiet Workings, December 5
Blogging With Carol, December 5
Spoken from the Heart, December 5
The Christian Fiction Girl, December 6
Mypreciousbitsandmusings, December 6
Connect in Fiction, December 6
Artistic Nobody, December 6 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Worthy2Read, December 7
Genesis 5020, December 7
Sara Jane Jacobs, December 7
Inklings and notions, December 7
Life of Literature, December 7
For the Love of Literature, December 8
Connie’s History Classroom, December 8
Batya’s Bits, December 8
Labor Not in Vain, December 8
Hallie Reads, December 8
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 9
Older & Smarter?, December 9
The Meanderings of a Bookworm, December 9
Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 9
Betti Mace, December 9
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 10
Faery Tales Are Real, December 10
Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, December 10
Mary Hake, December 10
Daysong Reflections, December 11
Bigreadersite, December 11
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 11
Splashes of Joy, December 11
Vicky Sluiter, December 12
To Everything There Is A Season, December 12
Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, December 12
Blossoms and Blessings, December 12
The Write Escape, December 12
A Baker’s Perspective, December 13
Bizwings Blog, December 13
Simple Harvest Reads, December 13 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Pause for Tales, December 13


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.

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