Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Book Review: The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox

Pages: 351
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: October 5, 2021
Publisher: G.P. Putnam
Source: Personal Copy
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "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?"
Charlie and Cass Goodwin are identical twins, but live very different lives.  Charlie brushes elbows with celebrities since she works on a reality baking show whereas Cass lives in their hometown, Starlight Peak, and helps to run their family's bakery.  Disaster strikes when Charlie gets hit in the head on the baking show and not only does she suffer a concussion, she also loses her ability to taste and smell, which is clearly a problem as a cooking show judge.  To top it off, she is fighting for a promotion and this blow to the head won't help matters.  Charlie convinces Cass to switch places with her for just a little while to help her keep her job and put her in line for the promotion above her awful co-host.  Cass agrees, because quite honestly, she could use an escape from Starlight Peak as well as her ex-boyfriend who just doesn't get that they are over.  While assuming the identify of each other, antics ensue including possible romances, work drama, and a slew of misunderstandings.  Maggie Knox's The Holiday Swap is a feel-good Christmas romance that fans of the Hallmark Channel will especially enjoy as well as fans of romantic comedies.

Charlie's life is the polar opposite of Cass's in
The Holiday Swap.  Charlie is on a famous TV show, wears fancy clothing, has a make-up artist, and lives in bustling Los Angeles.  Cass lives a more quiet life in Starlight Peak where she runs her family's bakery and is always covered in flour.  Cass can't seem to get rid of her ex-boyfriend and she needs a break from small-town life.  So, she jumps at the chance to switch places with Charlie. At first, Cass doesn't know how to behave on a reality TV show. I mean who would?  The fact that Charlie just had a concussion sort of helps her when it comes to any missteps she makes, but her co-host is desperate for her to mess up.  It's a lot of pressure for Cass to assume her sister's role as it's not an ordinary job.  When Charlie heads back home as Cass, she realizes how much Cass was really in charge of at her parent's bakery and what a big job it is. While almost setting the kitchen on fire, Charlie meets local fireman, Jake, who catches her eye.  Each sister starts to form possible relationships and as time progresses, they realize that they either need to end it or come clean.  

The town of Starlight Peak is the perfect setting for a Christmas novelIt reminded me a bit of Stars Hollow. I really loved the small town feel, the details of working at a local bakery, and the various quirky townspeople.  I definitely preferred this setting to the LA reality show.

While I didn't always find the events in The Holiday Swap to be entirely believable, it was still a heartwarming novel that's perfect to read over Christmas vacation. It was very reminiscent of a Hallmark Channel movie and I wouldn't be surprised if it gets picked up. Also, it should be noted that The Holiday Swap wasn't overly Christmas-y, so I think it could be enjoyed into the month of January as well, especially if you are a foodie.

So, did you read The Holiday Swap? Is it on your TBR list? Let me know in the comments below.


  1. Haha, I also felt it wasn't the most believable plot, but I can kind of overlook that in cute holiday romances! Cass' ex-boyfriend was the worst!

    1. Agreed! I'm glad you liked this one as well. Thanks for visiting, Angela!


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