Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Release Day Review ~ Holiday House Swap by Sarah Madison

Release Day Review ~ Holiday House Swap by Sarah Madison
Title: Holiday House Swap

Author: Sarah Madison
Release Date: December 21, 2016
Category: Contemporary, Holiday
Pages: 200

Reclusive writer Noah Kinley is facing a dilemma: how to confess to the world he’s really the author of a best-selling romance series. For years, his friend Julie has been the face of his brand, but she wants her life back now. Fast running out of ideas for his popular series, Noah wants to break out into other genres. Not that he’s writing much of anything at the moment anyway, thanks to paralyzing writer’s block. With his publisher breathing down his neck for the next installment, he hopes a change of scene will get his writer’s juices flowing again. Desperate enough to try anything, during the holidays Noah swaps his isolated cabin in the woods for a gentrified horse farm.
USAF Major Connor Harrison has chosen forced retirement over facing charges for an unauthorized mission to rescue a buddy from behind enemy lines. No one expects him home for the holidays, and he certainly didn’t anticipate finding a stranger in his house, much less Noah Kinley with his acid tongue and a wry sense of humor that pierces all of Connor’s defenses.
Both men need to figure out what the next chapter in their lives will be—and whether it will include each other.

5 Stars!!!

Noah and Connor made my heart beat a bit faster and my belly warm as I began writing this review.

Noah writes bestselling romance novels under the pseudonym of Julie Vasquez. With pressure mounting from his agent for his next book, he has found himself cursed with a wicked case of writer's block. Hoping a change of scenery will help get his creative juices flowing again he signs up for a house swap vacation. The idea of a Sport Horse ranch for the holidays sounds perfect. Noah never expected to actually end up in a house technically owned by Connor who had no idea his brother had signed them up for a house swap.

Connor has just come home from Afghanistan after being forced into retirement to find a cute and geeky man taking a bubble bath in his guest room. Unaware that his brother had registered his ranch on one of those house swap vacation sites, he had expected to surprise his family for Christmas. Now, however, he has to deal with a complete stranger in his home, prying into his life and his failing business.

As Noah and Connor get to know one another, they realize they are attracted to each other. Starting something seems inevitable but they also have to think about the fact that Noah will soon be leaving. Before he goes, though, Noah is determined to convince Connor not to sell the ranch but to instead carry on his mother's legacy of running an elite horse training facility. All while he tries to figure out how to tell the world he is really the author of Julie Vasquez's Laura Caraway novels.

Holiday House Swap was the perfect book to read as I sat curled up on my couch avoiding the freezing cold temperatures today. It is a combination of sweet and funny without an overabundant amount of drama and angst. While this was definitely a story about two men falling in love I really liked the fact that it was kind of a slower burn (even if it mostly takes place over a few weeks). Noah and Connor took time getting to know one another before they got together and when they did take that leap it progressed more naturally.

I am a huge fan of stories that shy away from making drama arise between two characters just to have conflict in the plot. It seems so many stories are filled with "misunderstandings" that invariably create strife between the MC's. Holiday House Swap didn't have that and it made the story all the better for it.

Both Noah and Connor were lovable characters. Noah, a romance author had a dry, quirky and sometimes snarky personality that made me laugh. Connor while a tad broody and a bit of a defeatist had a softness to him and vulnerability that made him real. He also had loyalty and could hold his own with Noah. The two were great together and had wonderful chemistry.

Overall, I truly enjoyed this story and would definitely recommend it. Great for a quiet day snuggled up on the couch.

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

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