by Jo Lovett
Published by Bookouture
Release Date: April 19th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Romance
Format Read: ARC, eBook
Buy on Amazon
He needs an escape. She needs an adventure.
So why not swap lives?
When Cassie and James find each other on a home swap website, it feels meant to be. City hotshot James needs a bolthole after a relationship goes sour and Cassie needs to leave the comfort of her little island to research her new book.
Soon, James is living in Cassie’s cute but ramshackle house off the coast of Maine, and Cassie’s living in James’s super smart London penthouse. It’s the perfect solution.
Except it turns out it’s difficult to switch homes without getting involved in each other’s lives. Cassie’s unimpressed when James’s ex turns up, and James is furious when he discovers that he’s going to have to help organise Cassie’s neighbour’s eightieth birthday party.
But as the insults fly, so do the sparks, and when the time finally comes to swap back, Cassie and James find they aren’t ready to give each other up – until a shocking discovery brings the pair crashing back to reality and forces them to decide what life they really want.
An utterly heart-warming love story that will make you laugh and cry, fans of One Day in December, The Hating Game and The Flatshare will fall head over heels for The House Swap.
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Ok, the premise of “The House Swap” by Jo Lovett is darling!! Think, my favorite movie, “The Holiday”, but the love interests don’t meet in their vacation locales. They are the ones doing the swapping! It would make a great movie, so someone should really get on that, just sayin’.
I will start by saying: if steam is your thing, this isn’t your book. Don’t get me wrong, there is tension and love galore, but there is a lack of actual description. wink*wink* However, this a perfect PG level romance book and I am here for it! Need a recommendation for your mother-in-law who asked out of the blue or your boss who is all-of-a-sudden super interested in your love of reading and wants a rec? This is it!
Now, if you are a steamy romance kind of reader, don’t count “The House Swap” out just yet! The storyline and writing style are great and, bonus, you get to learn some fun British lingo along the way! I might’ve spent a few years of my childhood in England, but it was fun learning some new terms/slang that I was unfamiliar with since it has been over 20 years since I was there.
…and, yes, the characters did speak with accents in my mind the Entire. Time. Hahahaha
Cassie is an author who moved across the ocean to get away from a horrible, cheating ex and some sad life events to live on an adorable little island in Maine. It is the picturesque small town with nosy neighbors, community events, and farm animals that set up a perfect scene for a house swap. Going to London is a necessity for her job, but she is definitely not excited to get close to an area that caused her such pain. We see her branch out, face her demons, and hang with neighbors her “swap mate” has never even met! *SMH*
I resonated with Cassie and her desire to have a sweet, little baby to love and not knowing if that was even a possibility, and I think many readers will as well. Infertility is something that is often considered a taboo topic, but I really liked that Lovett addressed it in “The House Swap” and in such a way that those who haven’t experienced it might truly get a glimpse into the feelings of the highs, lows, and doubt that come along with it. Relatable characters is probably one of my number one “musts” in contemporary writing and Lovett definitely gives us areas in both Cassie and our male lead, James, that fit that bill.
James does not settle into small town life very well. Really, the guy gives a pretty bad first impression: grumpy, short, tries to basically run from the neighbors, etc. This Londoner did not mesh with small town life at first, but actually ends up loving it in the end. James has issues all his own, of the family variety. He is trying to make up for/avoid the problems from his childhood, and who wouldn’t relate to that? As he grows closer to his new neighbors on this small island in Maine, he begins to learn a lot about himself and decides to face a few demons of his own. Plus he learns to care for chickens and alpacas!!
(Dude, also wins the award for “Worst Time to Say I Love You”! Get reading to find out what I mean. HaHa)
Cassie and James’ relationship starts with simple phone calls or texts about home swap information. The development unfolds beautifully from barely acquaintances to “I kind of don’t want to swap back and miss out on talking to this person every day”. So cute! I fully commend Lovett on the way she wrote the progression of their relationship. Too many romance books these days are all insta-love. Come on! Where is the time just meeting and getting to know the small things about someone? The fact that Cassie and James spent so much time apart and in each other’s homes separately set the stage for them to learn so much about each other and it built a believable foundation for a relationship from a reader’s perspective. Plus, cute farm animals!!
My only major complaint is that I wish it was longer…or the beginning “swap” portion was shorter. Eh, scratch that! The build up and relationship development in the beginning of this book is totally worth it and just golden. So, yeah, we want a longer book, please!! The build was so good that I’d love to see just as much time and detail spent on the actual “being together” part.
Do yourself a favor and add “The House Swap” by Jo Lovett to your reading list and add it to your short list of recommendations for all readers!
Shana is a book-obsessed professional dancer, so she can be found either prancing around the center of a stage or hiding in a corner with a book: there is no in between.
Her #1 book love is adult fantasy. Give her all the magic, creatures, and curses and she is one happy girl! A good rom-com style romance book is another way to her book-loving heart.
Shana also claims the title of “mom” to the coolest 5 year old little dude out there and there is really no greater joy for her than watching his love for reading slowly growing to be as big has his momma’s!