Book Review: The Winter We Met by Samantha Tonge

Today I am pleased to be taking part in the publication day tour for The Winter We Met, the new novel by Samantha Tonge.

When charming, mysterious Nik sits next to Jess on a plane home from a Christmas toy trade fair, she never could have imagined the impact he’d have on her life. As they touch down in London, Jess is hesitant to let Nik walk away, and before she knows it, she’s invited him to visit.

As the two take in the delights of the toy store where she works, Jess gets an upsetting phone call. Willow Court, her grandmother’s care home, is to close before Christmas. Jess is determined to find the perfect new home for her Gran – and throw the best Christmas party Willow Court has ever seen!

But time is running out with the closure looming and Jess becomes increasingly drawn to enigmatic Nik who joins forces with her and best friend Oliver to realise those plans.

Will a chance encounter on an aeroplane bring love to Jess’s life or is this Christmas miracle too good to be true?

Jess feels fairly happy in life. She is the manager of a lovely toy shop, she is close by to the grandmother that raised her and her flatmate, Oliver, is her best friend.

When she meets Nik on the way back from a toy fair, she quickly starts to believe he’s the last piece of the puzzle, especially when everyone around her seems to adore him. Could he be too good to be true? Oliver certainly thinks so.

This is one of the reasons why I love this time of year. Not only can the warm jumpers come out of storage, the festive themed novels start to be released. Speaking of which, The Winter We Met was released today and I am not ashamed to say that it’s put me in the festive mood early.

From the beginning, the characters in this novel felt like extended family I cared about very much.

Jess is a wonderfully strong female character but there is also a vulnerable side to her; one she doesn’t reveal too easily.

Oliver is also someone I wanted to jump into the book and hug. I also wanted to tell Jess and Oliver to communicate better. They are a frustrating pair. Hahaha.

The supporting characters are a brilliant addition and they were a terrific combination of personalities. Alice was my favourite. I felt real sympathy with them and the issues they were facing.

There is an added mystery surrounding Nik that had me desperately trying to work out where he had come from. This, along with the warmth, humour, writing style and Christmas element made this a very easy novel to fall into.

This book is about community, family and friendship and that it is OK to take things at face value sometimes.

It’s a book full of heart and would be a great addition to any book pile, especially as we approach the darker evenings and colder weather. I loved this book. I hope you do too.


About Samantha Tonge…

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK and studied German and French at university. She has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris, and has travelled widely.
When not writing she loves family time, reading and baking. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines.

In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins and in 2014 her bestselling debut, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction Best Ebook Award.

In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category.

In 2019 she was shortlisted for the RNA’s Romantic Comedy Award.

In 2020 she won the RNA’s Jackie Collins Romantic Thriller Award with her novel Knowing You, from publisher Canelo.

Say hello to Samantha on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

The Winter We Met was released today (8th October 2020,) by Aria. Click to view on Amazon UK

I’ll be hosting an extract from The Winter Me Met on 15th October so be sure to check back for it. 


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I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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