Review, Excerpt & Giveaway | What Happens at Christmas…

Can you believe the Holidays are almost here?! Forgive me if I sound like I’m on repeat, I’ve been saying that to myself since Halloween! Today I’m excited to share my review on T.A. William’s latest novel called What Happens at Christmas, in addition to an excerpt of the novel, plus a giveaway at the end 🙂

What Happens at Christmas… by T.A. Williams

TAWilliams-ChristmasCoverRelease Date: October 22, 2015 by Carina UK


Book Summary:

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…

A fabulous, feel-good festive read, perfect for fans of Debbie Johnson and Carole Matthews.

My Review – What Happens at Christmas

This was a lovely Christmas themed novel about a young woman learning about the father she grew up without. Holly was single-handedly raised by her mother from the time she was 7 because her father left them. Holly grew up believing that her father was a terrible man that basically disappeared on them and never looked back, but when she learns that he recently passed, she goes to visit his hometown to say goodbye, get closure in her life and be read his will. Holly slowly comes to learn that the man she always thought poorly of for leaving them, turns out to have actually been a fabulous man, adored by the entire town he lived in. Holly finds out he left her everything in his will, including a large sum of money in addition to his home in Devon. Holly has to decide if she wants to sell the home and continue her life in London, or move into the only place she has left of the father, including a large dog that she has become fast friends with that she doesn’t want to give up. Although she never really had the chance to know her father, she has grown to love him through stories about him from his friends and neighbors and through letters that he wrote her that were never delivered.
What Happens at Christmas is a humorous, interesting story about coming into an inheritance, a home and a town filled with really lovely characters, great friends, a possible love interest, and a great big lovely dog named Stirling. The main theme of this novel is about overcoming previous emotional baggage, making important life decisions, and ultimately, about love. Holly pretty much chewed up and spat out the men she used to date and none of them lasted past date number three. This is the first time anyone has made it past that marker and it could have a lot to do with her recent discovery of her father and the situation surrounding his depature from her life. Her father was a good man that had to make a difficult decision that would come to haunt and torture him his entire life. Holly was one of his true loves, and by learning about him through the letters he left her, she’s finally able to open her heart to the possibility of love, even if that means the possibility of hurt and disappointment if that love were ever lost. This novel had a bit of suspense and intrigue, and was an overall charming story from start to finish.
5 stars for this charming Christmas tale. Another wonderfully written novel by T.A. Williams ❤

About the Author – T.A. Williams

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

Author Bio:

TAWilliamsFirstly, 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.

Excerpt – What Happens at Christmas…

We were given four excerpts of the novel to choose from to share. This one was my favorite as it mentions Holly’s love of expensive shoes by my favorite designer [Alexander McQueen] and it’s a funny scene with her lovable new dog Stirling. ❤ 

That evening, Holly decided once again to go for dinner at the Five Bells. She made a resolution not to let this become a nightly occurrence or she would need a whole new wardrobe in a larger size. In fact, most of that afternoon she had been considering what items she might want to buy to add to her existing wardrobe, now that she had suddenly become super rich. Shoes, definitely. She hummed to herself as she brushed her hair and put on her Alexander McQueen heels that made her about three inches taller.

She pointed them out to the dog when she came back downstairs again, just in case he hadn’t noticed. ‘You never know who we might meet in the pub after all, Stirling.’

He leapt out of his basket and headed for the door. Was the ‘P’ word part of his canine vocabulary, Holly wondered, as she put on her jacket and picked up his lead. He was looking very smart in his new red collar and she patted him on the head. She had become unexpectedly fond of him in a very short space of time. Somehow, the fact that he was her father’s last companion made him more than just any old dog. She got the feeling it would be hard to give him away when she returned to London, but she had no choice. Then she had a sudden thought; maybe Jack might like him. They both got on so very well together. She decided to float the idea across him next time they met.

Thought of Jack reminded her of the wine. She had bought a couple of bottles of a good Meursault for him, to say thank you for his help and hospitality. She glanced out of the back window, but his Land Rover wasn’t parked behind the house. Presumably he was still out at work. Picking up a pen, she scribbled a thank you note and tucked it into the bag with the bottles. As she and Stirling left the house, she popped next door and set the bag on Jack’s doorstep. She wasn’t worried about somebody coming along and stealing it. She had already worked out that the only visitors to this part of the village after dark were badgers or foxes, neither of which were likely to have developed a taste for white Burgundy.

There was one little contretemps on the way up the dark lane to the pub. As they passed under the trees by the village green, she distinctly felt her right foot land in something soft. She checked to see that nobody else was around and then bent down to smell it. She straightened up again in annoyance.

‘Horse shit!’

The dog came back to see what she was talking about, but he had the good sense and the night vision to avoid stepping in it as well. She went over to the long grass and did her best to wipe the shoe clean. Without being able to see what she was doing, it wasn’t easy. She muttered a few unprintable imprecations directed at horses, riders, stables and anything to do with equitation as she did so. Finally satisfied, she set off once more for the pub.


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