Jo Lovett comes to the blog with a story of trading places and finding new opportunities in
The House Swap
Thirty-something Cassie is an author who relocated to a coastal Maine farm after her books took off. Now her publisher wants something more – and set in London. Not having done more than visit the city from her native Glasgow, she’s decided that trading places via a “house swap” for a few months is just the ticket. Thirty-something James is a venture capitalist with a ‘minimalist’ view to the niceties in life. His relationship has just gone south, and he’s in need of a change and a place to hide, so when he saw the option for a rural retreat in the US – he jumps at it. Never did he expect chickens, alpacas, spotty wi-fi or neighbors who just won’t go away.
These two are VERY different in personality and outlook, and while Cassie has her own set of issues and desires – she’s much more a people (and animal) person than James, and far more optimistic in her outlook. Aside from reveling in the hustle and bustle of London after her rural life, she’s also looking into IVF for she wants a child, and things just seem more ‘accessible’ in London. For his part, James is all about work, privacy, his alone time and isn’t particularly nice in his approach to getting what he wants. He’s difficult to muster a positive emotion for at the start, but we do see him grow and come to soften a bit – even if it seems to take a long time.
Dialogue and conversations are clever and smart – and as the two develop a rapport, you can see that there is a “more to come” with these two – even as they are spared the 20-something angsty issues, or the high-powered take chemistry forward and damn the torpedoes sort of connection that is prevalent in many romances. Having a couple that is in their 30’s with some life experience, some goals achieved, and both settled into careers helped to ground them, and the development of this VERY slow burn romance felt natural and plausible. It was one of those ‘predictable but satisfying’ stories that has moments to laugh, to be frustrated, and others to just enjoy as you escape from the everyday for a few hours.
Title: The House Swap
Author: Jo Lovett
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy, Dual Narration, Friendship, Humor elements, Romantic Elements, Second Chance, Setting: American, Setting: Britain
Published by: Bookouture
Published on: 19 April, 2021
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google
Island house off coast of Maine, with private beach, sea views and the occasional farmyard animal, seeks super swanky Central London penthouse overlooking Holland Park, complete with concierge service and spurned ex-lovers…
When thirty-somethings 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 beachside cottage, and Cassie’s living in James’s luxurious London apartment. It’s the perfect solution.
Except James didn’t imagine he’d be sharing his home with eleven chickens and three alpacas, not to mention the unusually friendly neighbours, who seem to find any excuse to drop by. And Cassie is less than impressed when James’s ex-girlfriend turns up at his door, demanding to know where he’s gone.
The more Cassie and James talk, the more the tension between them mounts. 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 quite ready to give each other up.
But there’s more than just distance between them – and when Cassie makes a surprising discovery, the pair are forced to confront their feelings and decide what kind of life they really want.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.