"Soulmates don’t just fall from the sky… do they?
Hannah Meadows doesn’t believe in fate or destiny, or any of the other things people reach for when they lose control of their lives. That is, until a man arrives on her doorstep on Christmas Day begging for help. Hannah’s not the sort of woman to turn her back on someone in need, but this isn’t what compels her to aid the handsome stranger, nor is it his intense dark eyes, or the inexplicable feelings she quickly develops for him. Something magical is coming her way, something that will turn her life completely upside down.
Hannah Meadows may not believe in fate or destiny, but they seem to have other ideas…"
The Accidental Guest is a perfect festive read, bursting with bold, funny characters, delicious Christmas food and a budding romance. What more could you need?
The story begins with Hannah, her sister Gina and Gina's teenage daughter Jess celebrating Christmas. They're opening gifts, arguing about which festive soap to watch first and preparing snowballs to be drunk while preparing the dinner. Tilly beautifully captures the essence and excitement of Christmas morning and made me SO EXCITED for the day to arrive!
Soon, their day takes an unexpected turn as a man knocks on the door, his head covered in blood and with no memory as to why he's there. He can't remember his name, where he's from, why he got there... nothing. Although hesitant at first, the girls know he needs help so let him in and wait for an ambulance, while trying to work out who he is (and, at Jess' insistence, keep going with Christmas dinner!). I really enjoyed seeing the different reactions to his arrival as it brilliantly showcased the various personalities between the women.
Speaking of which, I really warmed to all the characters in this story. From the offset you gain a real insight into Hannah, Gina and Jess' relationship and the family banter between them all is so real. Most of the story is told through conversation, which pulls you in and grips you - I read this is one sitting as I was hooked! Then there's the obvious chemistry between Hannah and the stranger (who they name Tom). Hannah has a crush on him almost instantly, but this builds up, and looks to be reciprocated, throughout the story. It's made complicated by the fact he has no memory what so ever, not exactly the perfect setting for a new romance, but I still wanted to shout at them to just get on with it and kiss already!
As The Accidental Guest is the first book in the Once Upon a Winter series, it's a fairly short story. This means that the ending isn't all wrapped up as it will continue into book 2. I must admit this was the only downside to the book as I'm very impatient and was eager to find out more instantly! I'd become so invested in the characters and their journeys that I wanted to know straight away how things turn out for them. Still, I have no doubt the wait for book 2 will be worth it.. I'm already looking forward to it!
Overall, I'd say The Accidental Guest is the perfect read for Christmas time. It's festive, funny and filled with fabulous characters - as well as an intriguing storyline. It's a vibrant and bubbly read that I thoroughly enjoyed. Bring on book 2!
ABOUT TILLY TENNANT
Tilly Tennant was born in Dorset, the oldest of four children, but now lives in Staffordshire with a family of her own. After years of dismal and disastrous jobs, including paper plate stacking, shop girl, newspaper promotions and waitressing (she never could carry a bowl of soup without spilling a bit), she decided to indulge her passion for the written word by embarking on a degree in English and creative writing, graduating in 2009 with first class honours. She wrote her first novel in 2007 during her first summer break at university and has not stopped writing since. She also works as a freelance fiction editor, and considers herself very lucky that this enables her to read many wonderful books before the rest of the world gets them. Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn was her debut novel; published in 2014 it was an Amazon bestseller in both the UK and Australia. It was followed by Mishaps and Mistletoe and The Man Who Can't Be Moved.