An Ivy Hill Christmas
by Julie Klassen
I’m on a Christmas story binge, and this one happens to be our Online Historical Romance Book Club selection for December. Fans of Pride and Prejudice and Emma will find parallels to those beloved stories. Some scenes and lines felt like they were taken straight from those Jane Austen novels and placed into this story at just the right moments. It was a story of transformation but light on the romance. There were several scenes that were definitely on the *sigh, that was so sweet* moments, but I was left wishing more time had been spent on the romance.
This was not my favorite of Julie Klassen’s books, but I think I might have enjoyed it a bit more if I had read the other book(s) connected to Ivy Hill. There were lots of connections I felt sure had more meaning and left me wondering who they were. So if you dive into this book, I highly recommend reading the others first. If you do, let me know what I missed out on.
I would recommend this story to fans of Jane Austen, reformed rakes, and messy families.
Genre: Historical Romance, England, 1822
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 unforeseen 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, joyous songs, and divine hope, work its magic in his heart . . . and hers as well?
What I loved: I loved all the nods to Pride and Prejudice, and watching Richard’s relationship with others change.
Favorite Character and Why: It’s a tie between Wally and Jamie Fletcher. I love how Richard dressed the dog to look like him, and Jamie was just a sweet kid.
Rating and Why: Three Stars. I struggled with the writing style this time, and I just couldn’t sink into the characters. I enjoyed the story, but there were chunks of details I skimmed over.