Every year it seems like more and more holiday themed romance novels are being written and why not? The holidays are seen as a wonderous time, a time where people can fall in love in a matter of days and when the unexplained happens, we can chalk it up to the magic of the season. I am willing to overlook implausible scenarios in holiday romances as long as I’m enjoying the story,the characters are believable,and there are other aspects of the book that are likable. The Holiday Swap is a book that shouldn’t and wouldn’t work in real life, but it’s so charming that I couldn’t help but like it.
Adorable, small town? Check. Super-hot AND nice love interests? Check. Christmas traditions? Check. Happy ending where everyone gets what they want and everything works out perfectly? Check and Check. The Holiday Swap checks all the boxes I look for in a holiday romance. I may look for other things the rest of the year but when the weather gets cold, give me super sweet, low-angst love stories that make me smile. Cass and Charlie are twin sisters and bakers but lead very different lives. Cass has stayed in their hometown to run the family bakery and is engaged to her high school sweetheart while Charlie lives in L.A. and is working on a reality baking show, hoping to be given the hosting job for a big-time baking show.
I haven’t known many twins in my life so I don’t know firsthand how many of them have ever pulled a Parent Trap style switch like so many twins in books and movies seem to do but I can’t imagine the numbers are very high. To use this trope successfully in a book, it requires a suspension of belief from the reader, something that is very hard to do. In this, The Holiday Swap succeeds. When Cass and Charlie, biological baking twins, decide to switch places for a week, they are similar enough to not arouse suspicion in the people that don’t know them but unique enough that their loved ones aren’t that easily fooled. They “get away” with the ruse but it’s made clear that any time longer spent inhabiting each other’s lives and the jig would be up. The romances in this book could have suffered from the short time frame in which the story takes place, but both were as believable as insta-love romances can be. Both Jake and Miguel were adorable and perfect for Charlie and Cass, even though they didn’t realize they were falling for the “wrong” twin. The inhabitants of the town and Charlie’s friends on set were well thought out and added humor and warmth to the story. I especially liked Faye and the love she had for both Jake and the twins. The epilogue wrapped the story up nicely, but I liked this world enough that I would welcome a sequel.
This book took some very familiar tropes and managed to tell a sweet, holiday story that I was glad I read. I liked the twin swapping storyline and the relationship between Charlie and Cass was touching. This was like reading a Hallmark movie and would be a perfect book to enjoy over a holiday break.
Author: Maggie Knox
Published: October 5, 2021
Rating: 3.5 Stars