Book Review: The Boyfriend Swap.

cover118284-mediumI haven’t read a slow burn for a while (they have either been all or, in thankfully rare cases, nothing) but it took some time for The Boyfriend Swap, by Meredith Schorr, to warm up for me – although when it did, it caught fire.

I’m not sure whether it was the characters I struggled with at first or the premise that you could swap boyfriends like they were Lego trading cards but, as I learned more about them and the reasons behind what they were up to, I got more into it.

In the end it turned out to be a fun and enjoyable read – and well worth settling into.

Here’s the blurb:

Is Christmas really the most wonderful time of the year? New Yorkers Robyn Lane and Sidney Bellows aren’t so sure.

Robyn has always dated struggling creative types. For once, her parents would love her to bring someone with health insurance and a 401(k) to their Chrismukkah celebration. Her actor boyfriend doesn’t qualify. While across town, Sidney’s professional life already belongs to her parents. She’s an attorney at her father’s law firm and she works tirelessly to keep her love life private. If she brings her lawyer boyfriend to their annual Christmas extravaganza, her parents will have the wedding planned by New Year’s Eve.

A mutual friend playfully suggests they trade boyfriends for the holidays. The women share a laugh, but after copious amounts of wine, decide The Boyfriend Swap could be the perfect solution. This way, Robyn can show off her stable attorney boyfriend and Sidney’s high-society family will take no interest in her flaky actor beau.

It’s a brilliant plan—in theory. In practice—not so much. When Will turns out to be the boy-next-door Robyn crushed on hard throughout her teenage years, and Sidney’s family fawns all over Perry like he’s an Oscar-winner rather than a D-list wannabe, one thing is certain: The Boyfriend Swap might just change their lives forever.

A plot like this is bound to need some explaining – and maybe that’s why it takes time to properly get going. I think that’s fair enough.

I especially enjoyed the way the relationship between Robyn and Will develops and learning more about their history. Her family is also a delight.

Their story is like a little boat sailing along on a gentle breeze whereas Sidney and Perry’s side of things is more like a speedboat on choppy water.

I really liked the way they balanced each other out.

There are some funny moments, on both sides, and the story keeps you guessing about how things will turn out until the very end.

All in all this was a great tale and I’m happy to give it four stars.

Format: Kindle.

Price: £2.29.

My rating: Four stars.


Thank you to Henery Press (via NetGalley) for the ARC in return for an honest opinion.


Book Review: The Break.

cover117346-medium.pngMarian Keyes is an author I adored in my 20s when she was among the pioneers of a new genre that was felt like it was written just for young women like me.

While I have aged a *tiny* bit since then – and chick lit has gone from strength to strength – her first work of fiction since 2014 still feels like it has been written with me in mind.

The Break has all the elements I’ve always enjoyed in her work, including a strong, yet vulnerable, heroine, moments of dark comedy, the wonderfully eccentric family who would probably drive you insane in real life and a romance that is far from smooth sailing.

Everything feels the same but also different because instead of being in their 20s, the main characters have aged along with me and are now in their 40s – and that actually made me really happy.

Here’s the blurb:

‘Myself and Hugh . . . We’re taking a break.’
‘A city-with-fancy-food sort of break?’

If only. Amy’s husband Hugh says he isn’t leaving her. He still loves her, he’s just taking a break – from their marriage, their children and, most of all, from their life together.

Six months to lose himself in south-east Asia.

And there is nothing Amy can say or do about it. Yes, it’s a mid-life crisis, but let’s be clear: a break isn’t a break up – yet . . .

However, for Amy it’s enough to send her – along with her extended family of gossips, misfits and troublemakers – teetering over the edge.

For a lot can happen in six-months.

When Hugh returns if he returns, will he be the same man she married? And will Amy be the same woman? Because if Hugh is on a break from their marriage, then isn’t she?

It felt more like I was watching this book unfold than reading it because I find Marian’s style of writing so visual. It’s sad, funny, heartwarming and relatable; like a really good, must-watch, soap opera. It’s hard to remember the characters are figments of her imagination and they stuck with me long after I had finished.

Speaking of which, at about 85%, I was in a weird place where I desperately wanted to know how it ended but at the same time didn’t want to stop reading. Part of that was because the book, or rather the author, made me nostalgic for my youth but mainly it was because it’s just really really good.

I hope she has another in the works already.

Format: Kindle.

Price: £9.99.

My rating: It’s got to be five stars.

Thank you to Michael Joseph (via NetGalley) for the ARC in return for an honest review.