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October 16, 2020

The Christmas Swap by Sandy Barker ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

Do you like the movie The Holiday? If so, then you are going to love Sandy Barker's The Christmas Swap
Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

The Christmas Swap
October 2020; One More Chapter
ebook (306 pages); holiday
Best friends since they were 11 years old, Lucy, Jules, and Chloe are not really looking forward to their respective Christmas holidays. Chloe's parents have decided to take a cruise and while she is welcome to the orphan's Christmas party her roommate is hosting what she really wants is an old-fashioned, traditional Christmas. Lucy loves spending the holidays with her parents, but her hometown village only promises dreary gray slush (at best). What she really wants is the white Christmas Bing Crosby croons about. Jules is sick of winter and cold and while she loves her crazy family she isn't really feeling like dealing with the craziness this year. There's a light bulb moment where each realizes another has their version of a perfect Christmas. So Chloe heads to Lucy's parents for a traditional English Christmas, Jules head down under to enjoy sun and sand with Chloe's friends, and Lucy gets her white Christmas in Breckenridge, CO with Jules's family. They all get the Christmas they want and perhaps find a surprise they weren't expecting. 

The Christmas Swap was a cute story. In theory, it would be fun to go someplace different for Christmas but I think I prefer to live vicariously through fictional characters. And the girls, aka May Ladies (because they all have birthdays in May), definitely have fun on their holiday exchange.

In beginning, I had some trouble keeping the girls straight. Each chapter focuses on a different girl but it would take me a few pages to remember which girl was from where. Lucy was the first that I got straight in my head, but that is probably because I identified most with her. I was well over halfway through the story before I remembered Chloe was Australian and spending the holidays in England and that Jules was from Colorado and holidaying in Australia. But the end though I was attached to all three girls and I really hope there are more stories about them.

Of course, there is unexpected romance that is all sweet and fun. The Christmas Swap is a clean read where adult activities are only referenced but the reader doesn't get any details. There are some pretty big decisions made by the characters in the end and I would love to see how those decisions play out in 6 months. I really want this to be the first in a series though I can't find any indication that it isn't just a stand-alone, feel-good holiday story.

This is my first book by Sandy Barker, and while romance isn't my usual genre, I wouldn't hesitate to pick up another one of her books when I need a light, "pick me up" story. I would definitely read another book featuring the May Ladies (have I hinted enough about wanting more?).

Buy The Christmas Swap at Amazon

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Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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  1. Oh this looks fun. I love reading Christmas stories around this time of year, and I'm glad this was a nice read!

  2. Thank you so much for this lovely review!