Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Review: The Holiday Swap by Zara Stoneley

The Holiday Swap
Two women, two very different lives – one perfect solution to a Christmas holiday fraught with potential pitfalls.
The Holiday Swap.
Florence Cortes has the perfect life – an apartment in the trendiest district of Barcelona, a job she loves and a boyfriend who’s whisking her away on a romantic break to Paris to no doubt propose.
Only, he’s planning something far different, and Flo soon realises her life isn’t so perfect after all.
Home loving Daisy Fischer is perfectly happy in her idyllic home in the Cheshire countryside, with an on-off boyfriend who might be slightly dull but is totally dependable. Until he issues an ultimatum, and Daisy suddenly realises that there might be a whole different world out there that she’s missing out on.
Have Flo and Daisy come up with the perfect solution to escape festive heartbreak?
Can a snowbound Christmas in Cheshire – with aristocratic, handsome Hugo as her neighbour, a house full of animals and a leaking roof – help Flo mend her broken heart, and remind her of what she really wants in life?
Can a sunny break in beautiful Barcelona – with the dishy but brooding Javier, a never ending supply of cava, and a sea view to die for – prove to Daisy that playing safe isn’t always the answer?
Love actually does seem to be all around this Christmas – and in the places Flo and Daisy least expect to find it, but where will they be for New Year?

Lisa's Review - 4 out of 5 stars

Daisy lives in a tiny, quiet village in Cheshire, spending her days with her giant dog Mabel, her horse, her chickens and her boring boyfriend Jimmy. It's not until Jimmy proposes that Daisy realises how boring her life has been and that she could very easily get stuck in a life with no excitement. Jimmy doesn't want to travel, doesn't want to be adventurous or experience new things, or it seems, even want to listen to Daisy. 

Flo is in beautiful Barcelona, living a perfect life. Successful, with designer shoes and bags to die for, the perfect life with her perfect boyfriend Oli. Who actually doesn't turn out to be as perfect as she thought when she catches him in bed with another woman while on their romantic anniversary holiday. 

To make Daisy realise there's more to the world than her dog, Anna decides it would be prefect for them to take a trip to Barcelona to cheer up Flo. While there Anna jokes about them swapping homes for a few weeks, not thinking that both Daisy and Flo would think it a good idea. So Flo heads to the English countryside in December, while Daisy stays at her apartment to take in as much local culture as she can find. 

While I enjoyed The Holiday Swap, I couldn't help but find that there was a lot that was predictable. Both women break up with men they shouldn't have been with, and in the space of 3 weeks have both fallen head over heels in love with new men. They then face the reality of what happens next considering they all live in different countries. 
That said, even thought it was predictable, the whole story was a lovely, sweet romance that proved sometimes if you step out of the box and don't just settle you can find genuine happiness. 
The characters were all lovely, even posh Hugo turned into someone you rooted to get his happy ending too. 
I would have quite liked a catch up maybe a year later with the characters proving that long distance can work and you can still find that happy balance (ok so it's fiction, but still, would be nice for people to believe it could happen 😉) 
A lovely read that would be great for curling up with on a winters evening. 

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