THE HOLIDAY SWAP by Maggie Knox

From the publisher:

The International Bestseller—A feel-good, holiday rom com about identical twins who swap lives twelve days before Christmas—perfect for fans of Christina Lauren’s In a Holidaze and Josie Silver’s One Day in December
 
All they want for Christmas is a different life.

When chef Charlie Goodwin gets hit on the head on the L.A. set of her reality baking show, she loses a lot more than consciousness; she also loses her ability to taste and smell—both critical to her success as show judge. Meanwhile, Charlie’s identical twin, Cass, is frantically trying to hold her own life together back in their quaint mountain hometown while running the family’s bustling bakery and dealing with her ex, who won’t get the memo that they’re over.

With only days until Christmas, a desperate Charlie asks Cass to do something they haven’t done since they were kids: switch places. Looking for her own escape from reality, Cass agrees. But temporarily trading lives proves more complicated than they imagined, especially when rugged firefighter Jake Greenman and gorgeous physician assistant Miguel Rodriguez are thrown into the mix. Will the twins’ identity swap be a recipe for disaster, or does it have all the right ingredients for getting their lives back on track?


I love this time of year with all the Christmas romances, and I was super excited about this one because of this blurb:

The Great British Bake Off AKA The Great British Baking Show here in America was my happy place during the pandemic, and I’m loving the new season as well. I am a long time Gilmore Girls fan – my daughter and I started watching when she was in middle school, and it is one of my comfort TV watches (is that a thing? It is for me!). In fact, I recently started re-watching the series a few weeks ago, for about the tenth time? So Jennifer Robson, shame on you for this blurb. There’s no tent, no contestants helping each other out, no Lorelai & Rory, no Kirk, no Taylor, no Luke! The closest I could get to Stars Hollow was the small town where the twins family bakery is, called Starlight Peak. Not even close. I have serious doubts that Robson even read it.

Enough ranting about a blurb – the book was good despite my dashed expectations.

Charlie and Cass are identical twins and both love to bake, but they took it in different directions. Charlie couldn’t wait to leave the family bakery and the small California town and went to culinary school to perfect her pastry skills. Cass stayed home and is now running the family business while their parents are traveling. Cass has a long time boyfriend who is pushing her to get married, but she realizes that over the years they have grown apart, so she tells him she needs time to think. He takes that as a yes and buys them a house. She is furious, and breaks up with him – or at least tries to, he’s not taking no for an answer.

Charlie has found success on reality TV cooking shows, and is co-hosting a holiday baking show with a super ambitious and totally obnoxious co-host. They are both up to host a new baking show solo, and Charlie is determined to win that job. An accident on set takes her out, but despite her concussion and the cute ER doctor telling her to take time off, she is determined to finish out the show. But then she realizes she has lost her sense of smell and taste, so how will she be able to judge anything?

Enter the oldest trick in the book, the Parent Trap if you will: identical twins changing places. Cass is happy to get out of town and away from her ex and is hoping that Charlie will be able to convince him they are done. Charlie needs this job and hopes Cass can fool everyone enough to ensure she gets the solo hosting gig.

Then Charlie has a small kitchen fire and one of the firemen really catches her eye. It seems the attraction is mutual, except he thinks she is Cass and that is not a great way to start a relationship. Meanwhile, Cass runs into the cute ER doctor and things heat up there, with him thinking she is Charlie. Let’s just say hijinks ensue until the happy ending is reached for both twins.

No real surprises here, just a sweet Christmas romance which worked for me. Enjoy!

NOTE: The author, Maggie Knox, is actually Karma Brown’s and Marissa Stapley’s first joint project writing under that pseudonym.

10/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THE HOLIDAY SWAP by Maggie Knox. G.P. Putnam’s Sons (October 5, 2021). ISBN: 978-0593330739. 352 pages.

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