Book Review: What Happens at Christmas… by T.A. Williams

Title: What Happens at Christmas…
Author:  T.A. Williams
Publisher: Carina UK
Publication Date: 22 October 2015

Twitter: @TAWilliamsBooks


Rating: 4 out of 5


For the perfect Christmas…
When career-girl Holly Brice learns that her estranged father has died, she decides to take a trip down memory lane and find out about the man she never knew.

Arriving in the sleepy little Dartmoor village, she’s shocked to discover that she’s inherited the cosy little cottage she remembers so fondly, a whole load of money – and her father’s adorable dog, too!
Head to snow-covered Devon!
And as the first snowflakes begin to fall and Holly bumps into her gorgeous neighbour, Jack Nelson, life gets even more complicated! Men have always been off the cards for high-flying Holly, but there’s something about mysterious writer Jack that has her re-thinking her three-date rule…
What Happens at Christmas is set in a cosy village in Dartmoor, Devon. As a reader, I could just imagine a picturesque village in the middle of the wild expanses of moorland, full of warm and welcoming villagers – the perfect location for a festive novel. The author brings the setting to life and creates a magical setting for the story.

The main protagonist, Holly Brice, has just discovered that her long-estranged father has died and she heads off to Devon to sort out his belongings. She soon finds herself the owner of a little village house and a mischievous dog, Stirling. Festive novels often carry a theme of self-discovery and this one is no exception. Having had a somewhat unsettled childhood, Holly finds herself slowly feeling as though she has found somewhere she belongs, particularly when she realises how well-respected her late father was in the village. It is not long before Holly starts to re-evaluate her plans and her future.

The mystery surrounding Holly’s estrangement from her father and his real reason for leaving is intriguing. As Holly slowly finds out more about him from the villagers, her interest is piqued and she realises that he may not be quite as bad as she has always been led to believe.

As Holly settles into the village and Christmas approaches, she meets three men, Jack, Justin and Howard, who end up being important to her in different ways. It was interesting to read about the friendships developing between Holly and these men. Each chapter gives a little bit more insight into those supporting characters – Justin (gentlemanly and newly separated), Jack (the hunky neighbour) and Howard (the suave older gentleman) – and I found this aspect of the story to be quite fascinating. All the characters felt well-developed and relatable.

The story captured my interest from the start and continues at a good pace, leaving no time for the reader to get bored.

This book draws the reader into a cosy, welcoming tale of families, friendships, romance and festive fun. What Happens at Christmas is a touching and entertaining read that will leave you looking forward to spending Christmas day with your own family and friends.

About the Author

Firstly, my name isn’t T A. It’s Trevor. I write under the androgynous name T A Williams because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, “Dirty Minds” one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn’t possibly comment. Ask my wife…
I’ve written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I’m enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. Romantic comedies are what we all need from time to time. Life isn’t always very fair. It isn’t always a lot of fun, but when it is, we need to embrace it. If my books can put a smile on your face and maybe give your heartstrings a tug, then I know I’ve done my job.
I’ve lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away in south west England. I love the place. That’s why you’ll find leafy lanes and thatched cottages in most of my books. Oh, yes, and a black Labrador.
I’ve been writing since I was 14 and that is half a century ago. However, underneath this bald, wrinkly exterior, there beats the heart of a youngster. My wife is convinced I will never grow up. I hope she’s right.

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