Unwrapping the layers of the past


Holly, a London career woman, who is fond of designer clothes and shopping in Selfridges, finds herself transported to Dartmoor after her father dies.  She had last seen him when she was 7, when he left her and her mother. She had not heard from him since. So when he dies, his solicitor tracks Holly down and she discovers that he has left her a cottage in a small village, a companion called Stirling and much more besides…

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).

MetLineReader Rating: 4*. Piccadilly.

More About this Book

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…


My thanks to T A Williams and @CarinaUK for an advance copy in exchange for a fair and honest review. What Happens at Christmas is published by Carina UK on 22nd October and is available on Amazon.


Author: metlinereader

I am obsessed with books.  In fact, I'd rather be reading than doing anything else.   I enjoy trying out new books and new authors; I do like to "mix and match" genres.  I often have access to books before they are published and would welcome the opportunity to review most books... just not horror or sci-fi, please :)