The House Swap by Jo Lovett
Published April 19th 2021 by Bookouture
About the Book (From Goodreads): 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.
An utterly heart-warming love story that will make you laugh and cry, fans of The Flatshare, The Hating Game and movies like The Holiday will fall head over heels for The House Swap.
4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Cassie is a Glaswegian writer who relocated to a small island in Maine several years ago after a very sad life event. She is a successful children’s book author and has been asked to come to London to talk about setting some of her stories there. She doesn’t want to leave her island, but when her agent pushes, she decides to go. The problem is where will she stay. James is a very successful venture capitalist who is being stalked by his ex-girlfriend. He wants to leave for awhile and decides that there are some people he would like to meet up with in the Boston area, so decides he will go to the U.S. He just needs to find a place to stay. The both turn to Swapbnb. James will swap his swanky flat in Central London for Cassie’s rambling house in Maine and vice versa. This sounds like a great trade, but Cassie and James couldn’t be more different. Cassie is outgoing, friendly and helpful, while James is uptight and doesn’t even know his neighbours. How is this going to work and how will two people who swap homes with an ocean in between going to get to know each other.
This was a great story. There was so much to like. First, the characters were great. Cassie is the kind of person that everyone wants to be friends with. She is so upbeat and friendly, as well as generous and caring. James starts off as an unlikable, rich, businessman that was too busy for everyone, but as the story goes on, he changes. He gets to know Cassie’s neighbours and we see a different side of him. Daily phone calls and messages between the two of them allow them to really get to know each other on a different level. They are both in their thirties, so they are not looking for a fling, in fact, Cassie really wants a child. The secondary characters are wonderful. It is through them that James is able to grow and change. Both of them have some baggage, but James has kept his a secret and has been unable to heal. This was a story of friendship, personal growth, family and determining what you really want in your life. This is up-lit at its best. I really enjoyed this story and recommend it to anyone who wants love, friendship, new beginnings and happy endings. I want to thank Bookouture for generously providing a copy of this book upon my request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.
About the Author: Jo Lovett lives in London with her family. She worked in Corporate Tax before taking a longer-than-expected career break to have more-than-expected children (five). She started writing romantic comedy when she realised that she was regularly begging her oldest son to let her do his English homework but she wasn’t actually that interested in haunted houses or Macbeth.
Jo was runner-up in the Good Housekeeping/ Orion First Novel Competition 2018 and shortlisted for the Comedy Women in Print Award 2019. Her first novel, ‘The First Time We Met’, was published by Bookouture in November 2020 and her second, ‘The House Swap’, comes out in April 2021.
When she can escape from her laundry mountain, she enjoys reading, tennis and wine.