- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 2344 KB
- Print Length: 241 pages
- Publisher: Carina (22 Oct. 2015)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B015TV032Y
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 48 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #10,778 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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What Happens At Christmas... Kindle Edition
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Having a golden lab myself, strangely enough with the same name as the main character in this book, I totally saw Stirling in my mind doing exactly what my own dog does. She has the same sad eye look that Stirling has, and also has the ability to know when a cuddle is needed.
Holly is a brilliant character. Coming to her long lost dads home she doesn't know what she will find. She didn't know her dad and feels that she can't possibly gain anything from being around his memories. Boy is she wrong.
Hollys dad was very well known in the village of Brookford, a fact which Holly very quickly discovers. But this is something good, as she manages to gain a far better insight into her dad as a person from those who knew him.
I loved the fact that Holly, on clearing out her dads house, manages to find a bundle hidden away which lets her almost see inside her dads mind over the years. I'm deliberately not saying anything else as I don't want to spoil things. Suffice to say her discovery is a catalyst for Holly to once and for all make up her own mind about her dad.
Holly ends up with, apart from Stirling of course, another 3 men in her life. Each one of these men have endearing features, but only one of them is right for her. It is a little easier than her having to choose between the 3 of them, but she is still in two minds about a lot of things until quite a way through the story.
A brilliant read from the author, one which has gone straight onto my favourite reads list, and I highly recommend it to fans of chick lit and those who want an easy to read story with a bit more substance.
Many thanks to Netgalley and Carina for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I loved the setting of Dartmoor and Trevor really brought it to life with all his little descriptions of not just the area but the community – the food, the drink, the weather and the history. Everything was beautifully described and detailed and really brought the story to life. As snow begins to fall, there’s a magical feel to the setting and it was truly lovely to read about. The chapters, set out across ten days, brought us closer to the approaching Christmas and I loved how the story became increasingly more festive as it went along. Simple touches early on like mentioning that the odds had shortened on a white Christmas or how each car coped (or didn’t cope) with snow teased the wintery feel I adore in Christmas book releases and it had me looking forward to seeing where Christmas would take the village and its residents.
I was engrossed by the mystery of Holly’s father and wanted to learn more and more about him. The titbits she learnt about him initially from the residents of Dartmoor peaked Holly’s, and my, interest because she had grown up angry towards him for walking out on her and her mum when she was just a child, yet the man people talk about to her sounds like a true gent, and a much-loved one at that. I loved finding out a little bit more about George and with every new detail, I craved more until I could build up a picture so vivid of Holly’s dad that it felt like he was a true, alive character in the book too.
Trevor’s books always feature a dog and I love meeting the new friendly companion every time I pick one of them up. The dog Holly has inherited from her father, Stirling, was my favourite of the lot. Time Holly spent with Stirling made her feel closer and more connected to her father and she picked up that dog-owner bond which is so sweet and endearing to read and Stirling really was the most adorable part of the story. He was a comfort to Holly but also a real character, vibrant and full of life and mischief. Right from the beginning, it’s evident that Holly is going to grow attached to him but you couldn’t blame her for that.
What Happens at Christmas sees Holly meet different men who all affect her new life in some way. Justin and Howard were both interesting characters that I wanted to learn more about but the man I enjoyed reading about the most was Jack, Holly’s new neighbour, who was a bit dreamy. Each character in this book was fascinating and had depth to them – though there were quite a few, there weren’t any that felt flat or under-developed. Holly herself was a character I really liked and connected with early on. I loved seeing her discover all the things she had in common with her father and found myself wondering how her approach to romance may change and whether she’d decide to move her life from London to Dartmoor. The book kept me intrigued throughout. What Happens at Christmas is a quick read but one that’s thoroughly worthwhile. Though it does have that cosy, obvious romantic element to it, the story possessed a lot more than that and it’s a touching festive story that well deserves a read this Christmas time.
As Holly delves deeper into his story (everyone in the area loves him), she is aided by three charismatic men – the esteemed and wealthy village elder; the sophisticated man win a penchant for fast cars (Holly drives a Porsche and likes tinkering with engines!!); and the humble man-next-door with more to him tHan meets the eye. Put like that, it seems more of a caricature but it read well.
What I had originally expected to be a fluffy, Christmassy-fest, turned out to be much deeper than anticipated. Despite the Christmassy name (cue inwards-groan), the story unfolds slowly with Holly unwrapping her father’s story slowly – through anecdotes and stories from the local villagers.
T A Williams crafts the unfolding of the story, prevising insights into her father’s story and his love for her, despite leaving her at the age of 7. Unwrapping seems apt, bin as a Christmas metaphor but also as Holly unravels the story of how and why he left her — and how he felt about it too.
Fun, fast-paced and, I must admit, with a few tears in places, this is an easy read with a few touching moments. A lovely Christmassy, feel-good tale – enjoy with a large cup of hot chocolate, a roaring fire and faithful Labrador (optional).
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