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Book Review: The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox


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When you grow up watching The Parent Trap and wishing you had a twin, this is the sort of Christmas romance that dreams are made of! You already know going in that it's going to be messy, things are going to go horribly wrong, but in the end, love win. Because that's what romance does - it makes even the craziest of scenarios end in happiness. I found myself eager to continue reading, even knowing how things would inevitably go, because I fell in love with the characters, the drama, and the small town feel of a local bakery. While I did feel more connected with one sister over the other, both were super relatable and easy to love. Their male counterparts were equally as loveable, and I really enjoyed that the reader gets to see both relationships develop in their own way. Two romances in one - what's better than that?


Charlie and Cass Goodwin may look the same, but both lead very different lives. Charlie is a Hollywood star, known for co-hosting a popular reality baking show called Sweet & Salty, while Cass is content running their family bakery and being known in their hometown for baking amazing lemon bars and sourdough bread. However, their two world collide one Christmas when Charlie gets a concussion and loses her sense of smell. Without it, she can't effectively be a baking show judge, and she proposes to her sister that they swap places, just until the show is over for the holidays. After all, they used to do it all the time as kids - what could go wrong? Cass reluctantly agrees. As time passes, they both begin to realize that pretending to be each other will be a lot harder than either expected, and navigating new love interests in their lives while pretending to be someone else is no one's idea of a good time. Keeping secrets from coworkers is hard. Keeping secrets from loved ones is even harder. With Christmas on its way, now would be a great time for one of those holiday miracles.


I felt so bad for both of these ladies the entire time I was reading! Poor Cass was completely out of her element being in the limelight, not to mention navigating her feelings for the physician's assistant who treated Charlie for her head injury. Falling for him is easy, performing for a national audience on television - not so much. Not to mention her co-star is a jerk, and everyone is obsessed with looking perfect all the time. It's exhausting! Meanwhile, Charlie is completely out of her comfort zone running the family bakery and running interference against Cass' persistent ex-boyfriend. It doesn't help that she's recovering from a concussion and a sexy fireman is there as a constant temptation. She tries to be helpful for the business, but as things get more complicated, she gets more frustrated. Both sisters want the swap to be over with. Of course, they also want the love they both have suddenly discovered in men who still believe they are the other person. Awkward. This story definitely read like all the best qualities of a Hallmark movie, and I could easily see it adapted as such in the future. While it was solidly without sexy times, the romance was sweet and sensual, and the way everything ended made my heart glow. This is exactly the time of Christmas romance I wanted and needed.


Now I just need to go find me a man like these ladies did...minus the twin thing. Since I am most definitely not a twin. If anyone has any ideas for how to find a Christmas boyfriend, give me a holler!


**I received a free copy via NetGalley and this is my honest review.**