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  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Low drama, good characters, and great dialogue

    Holiday House Swap was an enjoyable read that had all the components of a heartwarming romance. The main characters were strong, successful, and likable, who also showed vulnerabilities. I liked how the author highlighted their hobbies and interests in the story, it developed the characters and made them personable. I really enjoyed how Connor and Noah interacted. There was a push and pull to their relationship, but the chemistry as friends and lovers came through. Considering the romance was pretty fast, this was important and made their partnership believable. There was definitely heat between the characters as well; and though the sexy moments weren't prolific, I also wasn't left wanting. The dialogue was fantastic and easily my favorite aspect of the book. There was some banter and funny moments, but overall it flowed naturally and made the book a fun, easy read. I had just finished a suspenseful read, so Holiday House Swap made the perfect palate cleanser. There wasn't a lot of angst, the conflicts were confronted and resolved fairly quickly. The ending was done well, all subplots were resolved and the couple had a satisfying HEA. While the timeline was set around Christmas, I'm not sure it should be considered exclusively a "holiday romance" as this wasn't the focus. All in all, I found this to be a sweet, down-to-earth romance. It wasn't toothache inducing sweetness with too perfect characters, but rather it left a warm feeling in my heart and a smile on my lips. I'll definitely read more from Sarah Madison. *eARC provided by Dreamspinner Press to Alpha Book Club. This review is not influenced by the author or publisher*
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    cute 4 star read

    Noah leaves his isolated cabin, and swaps a house for the Christmas period, in an effort to jump start his writer's block and give him the necessary push to decide what to do about using his friend as the face of his pen name. A mix up means the house is not empty, and Connor is home for good after facing an agonizing choice: retire on full pension, or face a court marshall, for an unauthorised mission to rescue a team member. Can Noah and Connor get on enough to share the massive house?? I'm not usually one for Christmas stories. When this was sent to me to ask did I want to read it, it came without a title, so I had no idea it would be a Christmas story but this one is just based around that time; there isn't much emphasis on the Christmas bit and I rather enjoyed it! Noah has a sharp tongue and a witty mind, that sometimes moves at rocket speed and I struggled to keep up. Not a bad thing, though. Just meant I had to slow down me skim reading! I loved how his mind worked, not just for himself, but for Connor too, and how Noah pulled everyone from around Connor together, to make Connor see just what he really needed to do to keep the house and the horses. I loved how Noah was fully aware of his friend, Julie and her predicament, being the name and face of Noah's series. Knowing he needs to release Julie is part of his reason for leaving the cabin in the first place. BUT!! I can't say what I thought of Connor, because its all Noah. Yes I KNOW I say it often enough to annoy even myself but I really did need Connor to have a say. I needed to know what was going through his mind when he mounted that rescue mission. When he came face to face with the rescuee (is that a word??) When he decided to make some sort of go of it with Noah. Had we had Connor too, I have no doubt that this would have been a five star read. But we didn't, so... 4 stars
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