Hello readers! Today I’m sharing my review of The Christmas Swap by Sandy Barker, as a part of blog tour organized by Rachel’s Random Resources. Many thanks to Rachel for tour invite and author and publisher for providing NetGalley widget of review copy.
The Christmas Swap by Sandy Barker
Publication Date : 16th October 2020
Publisher : One More Chapter (HarperCollins UK)
Genre: Contemporary romantic comedy/travel romcom
Pages : 400
Christmas is coming and best friends Chloe, Jules, and Lucy are needing change… so swapping homes for the holidays could be the perfect present for all of them!
Australian Chloe spends her Christmas in a sleepy village in Oxfordshire, England. She is totally star-struck when she discovers who lives across the road.
Lucy, who has jetted off to snowy Colorado for her dream-come-true white Christmas, is taken into the fold of Jules’s loud and brash family, discovering more about herself in a few short days than she has in years.
And Jules leaves the cold climes of Colorado to spend her Christmas on a beach with Chloe’s friends in Melbourne, finding that time away is just what she needed.
The only thing better than one Christmas romance is three, and this wonderful festive novel is perfect for fans of Sarah Morgan, Holly Martin and Karen Swan.
The Christmas Swap was sweet and lovely romcom that revolved around three friends and their Christmas Swap. It was about friendship, family, love, and Christmas magic.
Writing was engaging and magical that transported me in lives of The May Ladies- Chloe, Jules, and Lucy. It was third person narrative from Chole, Jules and Lucy perspective, each telling their part of stories and their feeling for each other. There were chapters titled ‘The May Ladies’ that showed their conversations through video chats which I loved most.
Book started with three best friends- Cloe, Lucy, and Jules- at age 11 years were making their The May Ladies group in childhood. Now 22 years later, three BFFs were living in different counties. Chloe was living in Melbourne with her roommate, colleague and bestie, Ash; Lucy in London with her flatmate; and Jules in Colorado. Chloe has a thing for traditional family Christmas. When she found her parents were off to cruise holiday for Christmas, she didn’t want to spend her holiday all alone. On their group video chat Lucy offered her to come over Oxfordshire for Christmas, village with proper traditional Christmas with her parents but they don’t have snow during Christmas. Jules spend her Christmas in Breckenbridge with her big family but she doesn’t like big, crazy family Christmas that can be intense sometimes but they have snow so she asked her to come there too. Turned out Lucy loved snow Christmas and she jumped at chance while Chole liked the idea of traditional Christmas in English village, and Jules would love the quiet, summery beach Christmas for a change. And that’s how started a movie like Christmas Swap that changed their life.
All characters were lovely, likable and realistic. I loved Chloe most and so her story which was exactly like movie with drama and scandal as she met love of her life that happened to be famous film star, Archer Tate. I loved how she helped in village fair, won the formidable mother of her hero, and found what the true love is in the story of lovely village couple, Mr and Mrs Capel. Chloe was lively, caring, and super organised person. She knew how to handle people because of her experience in event management. She can be formidable and bitchy when she wants to be and that came handy when her first shitstorm arrived. This part was predictable but I liked the way she faced things. I loved Chole and Archer’s time together.
Lucy was sweetheart. She was timid, caring, and most beautiful but didn’t believe it. She was not good at confronting people but was most enthusiastic person and made everybody around her happy. When she arrived Colorado and met Will, Jules’ younger brother, attraction was instant. I enjoyed reading her time with Jules’ family. Jules’ family was adorable and so like Indian families- loud and without filters. Company of Will and his family brought Lucy came out of her timid shell. By the end of the book she was brave, confident and learned to confront problems head on.
Jules was straightforward, a person who always had solution for everything, didn’t believe in love and hated winter. Australia was best place for her. I liked how quickly she blended with Ash and Chloe’s orphan Christmas friends. Their preparations were amazing and I liked how slowly but strongly she started liking Matt, her Aussie winemaker. It was clear she had fallen for the guy and unlike her friends she was taking things slow and was defusing her feelings when Chloe and Lucy asked. Her reaction about Lucy and Will was surprising and I couldn’t understand her at this point. But as the story progressed and her and Will’s tough time was revealed, I could see why Jules was the way she was. I loved how she developed and started believing in love once again. I also admired her decision and not just for a guy but for herself.
Best part of the book was bond between friends, setting and Christmas vibe. I loved how strong their friendship was even though they lived in different continent and knew each other like family. All three places, Oxfordshire, Breckenbridge, and Melbourne with their different weather and different Christmas tradition were amazing and author described them so well that I wanted to pack my bags and visit these places. I loved reading characters enjoying skiing, snowmobiling, village fair, horse riding, and wine tasting. Christmas food was cherry on the top.
All turns were good. Some I could see coming (to be specific in Chole’s story) while other were unpredictable (specifically Matt’s story). It was interesting to see how Christmas Swap turned out and brought amazing life changes for all of them and brought three friends even nearer to each other. End was perfect.
Why 4 stars-
All three girls finding love instantly and falling in love in just few days was bit unbelievable. In combining three stories in one book, each three main characters got only few chapters to tell their story and that’s why I felt romance was wrapped too fast. It left me feeling I wanted a bit more in their stories.
Overall, The Christmas Swap was fun, entertaining and very Christmassy romcom with amazing setting, lovely characters, and 3 in 1 story- a holiday offer you wouldn’t want to miss. I’m definitely going to read more books by Sandy Barker.
Author Bio :
Sandy Barker is a writer, traveller and hopeful romantic with a lengthy bucket list. She loves exploring new places, outdoor adventures, and eating and drinking like a local when she travels, and many of her travel adventures have found homes in her novels. She’s also an avid reader, film buff, wine lover and coffee snob.
Purchase Links :
Thank you for reading my review and I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know in comments what you think about this book and my review, if you have read this already or any books by the same author. Do you love Christmas reads? If so, which is your favourite Chris tamas book?
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