The Christmas Swap by Melody Carlson has Emma Daley spending Christmas with the Landers’ family. Mr. Landers has swapped his Scottsdale, Arizona home for one in snowy in Breckinridge, Colorado. Emma is a substitute English teacher and spends the remainder of her time performing at local venues. She has never seen snow before and is looking forward to a white Christmas. West Prescott, a musician and in-demand songwriter, got roped into swapping his home for the holidays by his mother. He was at the airport when he remembered that he left his leather case with the music he is working on back at home. He pretends to be the caretaker when he is caught by Gillian Landers, Emma’s friend. West finds himself attracted to the kindly Emma which has him changing his holiday plans. West and Emma are enjoying each other’s company until Gillian figures out that West is famous and rich. Gillian decides she wants West for herself which results in misconceptions and mayhem.
The Christmas Swap by Melody Carlson is a lighthearted Christmas romance novella. I look forward to reading Melody Carlson’s Christmas novella each year. There have been some that are just magical (The Christmas Bus, Christmas at Harrington’s, The Christmas Shoppe--links for these books below). The Christmas Swap is easy to read with steady pacing. I liked the premise of swapping houses for Christmas. Unfortunately, there are some terrible characters in the story. The griping, backbiting, and the manipulating did not make this an entertaining Christmas story. I liked Emma Daley and West Prescott. West’s mother was a sweet woman who loves her family and is supportive of West. Mr. Landers was a nice man who has a terrible family. Gillian is pushy, annoying, and scheming. Mrs. Landers was irritating with her constant litany of complaints. I wanted Emma to stand up for herself. I can understand being grateful for being included in the families Christmas plans and wanting to be helpful. However, there comes a time when you need to quit being a doormat. If I were Emma, I would need a vacation to unwind from the trip with the Landers family. I enjoyed the descriptions of Breckenridge, West’s home, the mountains, and the beauty of snow. I could imagine Emma staring in wonder when she sees the clean, fresh snow for the very first time. I missed the feeling of Christmas and humor that is normally present in Ms. Carlson’s Christmas novellas. The romance was minimal. Just when I was starting to smile and enjoy what was occurring, the story was over. The Christmas Swap needed an epilogue. I hope that Melody Carlson gets her mojo back in time for next years Christmas tale.
The Christmas Swap is available from Amazon* as well as other major booksellers (Barnes & Noble, BAM, Kobo, Chapter's, Waterstone's). You can find Melody Carlson's other novels here. My favorite Christmas books of Ms. Carlson's are The Christmas Bus (available through Kindle Unlimited), Christmas at Harrington's, and The Christmas Shoppe. Thank you for joining me today and reading my review. Murder in the Bayou Boneyard by Ellen Byron is scheduled for tomorrow as part of the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. It is the 6th A Cajun Country Mystery. I do hope that you have a tranquil day. Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader
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