Audiobook Review: The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox

Title: The Holiday Swap
Author: Maggie Knox
Genre: Adult Contemporary / Romance / Holiday
Publication Date: October 5th, 2021
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐✨

“When chef Charlie Goodwin gets hit on the head on the L.A. set of her reality baking show, she loses a lot more than consciousness; she also loses her ability to taste and smell–both critical to her success as show judge. Meanwhile, Charlie’s identical twin, Cass, is frantically trying to hold her own life together back in their quaint mountain hometown while running the family’s bustling bakery and dealing with her ex, who won’t get the memo that they’re over.
With only days until Christmas, a desperate Charlie asks Cass to do something they haven’t done since they were kids: switch places. Looking for her own escape from reality, Cass agrees. But temporarily trading lives proves more complicated than they imagined, especially when rugged firefighter Jake Greenman and gorgeous physician’s assistant Miguel Rodriguez are thrown into the mix. Will the twins’ identity swap be a recipe for disaster, or does it have all the right ingredients for getting their lives back on track?” (Goodreads)

The book is told from two point-of-views and they come from twin sisters Cass and Charlie. Like with many twin plots, they switch places. I actually liked how it was done in this one. They had similar interests, like baking, and both had a career that dealt with baking. The book also did a great job of showing that siblings don’t always get along. They had their issues and after letting things settle they begin to understand what the other was doing for them. It was nice and I could definitely relate since I have sisters.

There are two different romance plotlines. One for each sister. They meet their love interests in the least likely places and of course, it kind of backfires when everything hits the fan after swapping lives. I don’t think that it was overly dramatic and I liked how it played out. Both of the love interests were super sweet!

Each sister is going through something different in their careers. The swap did help them come to terms with what was happening and their sister was able to help in some way with it. Sometimes you don’t see what is going on and so in this way there was a different set of eyes and thoughts. It helped them get the the fire lit under their butts!

There is a bit of Christmas here and there but it isn’t a lot and that was kind of disappointing.

Overall, I liked this one. It took a bit to get into and the second half is definitely better than the first. The audiobook was great! I just wish there had been more when it came to Christmas.

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Arc Review: A Very Merry Bromance (Bromance Book Club #5) by Lyssa Kay Adams

Title: A Very Merry Bromance (Bromance Book Club #5)
Author: Lyssa Kay Adams
Genre: Adult Contemporary / Romance / Holiday
Publication Date: November 1st, 2022
Publisher: Berkley
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for a complimentary earc to review! All opinions are my own.

‘Tis the season for a Bromance Book Club matchmaking mission! This time, they’re pulling out the mistletoe for everyone’s favorite country music star, Colton, and his second chance at love.
Country music’s golden boy Colton Wheeler felt the most perfect harmony when he was with Gretchen Winthrop. But for her, it was a love him and leave him situation. A year later, Colton is struggling to push his music forward in a new direction. If it weren’t about to be the most magical time of year and the support of the Bromance Book Club, he’d be wallowing in self-pity.
It’s hard for immigration attorney Gretchen not to feel a little Scrooge-ish about the excess of Christmas when her clients are scrambling to afford their rent. So when her estranged, wealthy family reaches out with an offer that will allow her to better serve the community, she’s unable to say no. She just needs to convince Colton to be the new face of her family’s whiskey brand. No big deal…
Colton agrees to consider Gretchen’s offer in exchange for three dates before Christmas. With the help of the Bromance Book Club, Colton throws himself into the task of proving to her there’s a spark between them. But Gretchen and Colton will both need to overcome the ghosts of Christmas past to build a future together.” (Goodreads)

I LOVED this book! It was the perfect mix of romance and Christmas. And of course, our Bromance Book Club was back!

The book is told from two point-of-views and they come from Gretchen and Colton. They both come from different backgrounds and met by chance through a mutual friend. They both share one passionate night and she’s off without ever making contact again until a year later. I’m not usually one for second-chances, but wow! This was done so well and I couldn’t help but root for this sunshine and grump duo.

Colton and Gretchen are both dealing with their careers. One has a new job opportunity (well they both do in some way, ha) and the other is trying to find their muse. It’s not just about careers though. Gretchen has been the outcast of her family for as long as she can remember. She has lived life to the beat of her own drum. It was sad to read about her hardships and the way they treated her. It does cause a lot of drama and it definitely had my jaw dropping! Gretchen just wants a place to call home and “family” that cares. Colton wants to make all of that happen and more. A real swoony guy and I was here for it all.

The book club aspect wasn’t as big in this one and I was okay with that. The featured romance book pick was a thing between Gretchen and Colton and I think it was very sweet that he was showing her that love can happen in unexpected ways. The book club men, and their partners/families, are still around and give the best found family vibes. I wish it was a real group because I’d love to be a part of it.

Overall, this was another amazing edition to the series. I feel like I said this for the last one but, this was by far the best! I laughed and I cried all the way through. It had the perfect Christmas atmosphere and I just can’t help but fall more in love with these characters. This author seriously outdoes herself! Can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

First Lines Friday | 10-21-22

Hello Lovely Readers!

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!
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“Charlie Goodwin drew a shaky breath and tapped furiously on her phone, the screen illuminating her face in the otherwise dark storeroom. She opened an app and searched for the emergency two-minute stress-release meditation.”

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The book is….

“A feel-good, holiday-themed romantic comedy about identical twins who switch lives in the days leading up to Christmas–perfect for fans of Christina Lauren’s In a Holidaze and Josie Silver’s One Day in December.

All they want for Christmas is a different life.

When chef Charlie Goodwin gets hit on the head on the L.A. set of her reality baking show, she loses a lot more than consciousness; she also loses her ability to taste and smell–both critical to her success as show judge. Meanwhile, Charlie’s identical twin, Cass, is frantically trying to hold her own life together back in their quaint mountain hometown while running the family’s bustling bakery and dealing with her ex, who won’t get the memo that they’re over.

With only days until Christmas, a desperate Charlie asks Cass to do something they haven’t done since they were kids: switch places. Looking for her own escape from reality, Cass agrees. But temporarily trading lives proves more complicated than they imagined, especially when rugged firefighter Jake Greenman and gorgeous physician’s assistant Miguel Rodriguez are thrown into the mix. Will the twins’ identity swap be a recipe for disaster, or does it have all the right ingredients for getting their lives back on track?” (Goodreads)

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HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? DO YOU WANT TO READ IT?

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Arc Review: Talk Santa to Me by Linda Urban

Title: Talk Santa to Me
Author: Linda Urban
Genre: YA Contemporary / Romance / Holiday
Publication Date: September 27th, 2022
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for a complimentary earc to review! All opinions are my own.

“Francie was born in a stable. Really. Granted, it was the deluxe model with the light-up star on the roof, one of the many Christmas items for sale at her family’s Hollydale Holiday Shop. Their holiday gift empire also includes the Santa School, which was founded by Francie’s beloved grandpa, who recently passed away.
Francie’s always loved working in the shop, but lately Aunt Carole has been changing everything with her ideas for too-slick, Hollywood-inspired Santas and horrible holiday-themed employee uniforms. Aunt Carole’s vision will ruin all the charm and nostalgia Francie loves about her family’s business…unless she does something about it.
But this winter is about more than preserving the magic of Christmas. Francie is saving up for a car and angling to kiss the cute boy who works at the tree lot next door—hopefully it will be good enough to wipe her fiasco of a first kiss from her memory.
As the weather outside gets more and more frightful, can Francie pull off the holiday of her dreams?” (Goodreads)

I love a good Christmas themed book! It really gets me in the mood for the season, even if I’m not exactly reading it in the right season. 😂

The book is told from one point-of-view and it comes from Francie. She has been in the business of Christmas since her birth. I liked the story of that which was included as a prologue. It was a nice touch! Her family runs the business and since the loss of her Grandpa who played Santa it just hasn’t been the same. Her aunt doesn’t help either because she is more of a Scrooge than anything! This was also another good inclusion because there is always that one family member who isn’t like the others and it adds to the dismay that Francie deals with when it comes to working at the family business.

Francie wasn’t a bad character but I wasn’t a fan of her journey to love. I thought that the book would have more romance with the guy at the tree lot but it didn’t start until halfway through the book. She also seems to spend more time worrying about her first kiss and wanting to know if she is a good kisser so she kisses other people so that they can rate her. It just wasn’t a plotline that I very much liked.

The other characters in the book are fine. I don’t think any really stood out besides her friend. They had a good friendship and I liked seeing them interact. The others were a tad bit flat and were there to help add to the plot but not in a big way.

The best part of the book was the Christmassy vibes! It made me ready for the season.

Overall, this was a good book. I liked a majority of it and only had a couple issues with the rest.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Hope to Find Under My Tree

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Hello, Lovely Bookworms!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.

The prompt for today is books I hope to find under my tree. Although I love books and love to buy them, there isn’t many I actually want at the moment besides three. It’s crazy, right?? So, let’s move on to my short little list!

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1.) Alice in Wonderland (Harper Collins Interactive Edition)

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2.) Novice Dragoneer

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3.) Blue Spring Ride

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The middle on I read as an arc and would love to add to my collection. I have all of the other interactive editions and that is the last one I need. The manga I have heard good things about and my library doesn’t have it.

What is on your Christmas list for books?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Holiday Reads I Want to Read

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Hello, Lovely Bookworms!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.

There hasn’t been a lot of books I have read that fit the holiday season. There are definitely books that I would like to read this December so that is what I am basing this list on.

Let’s get into it!

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1.) Seven Days of Us

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2.) One Day in December

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3.) One Week ‘Til Christmas

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4.) Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares

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What is a book you would like to read this holiday season?

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