Saturday, March 11, 2017

Holiday House Swap by Sarah Madison


Reclusive writer Noah Kinley is facing a dilemma: how to confess to the world he’s really the author of a best-selling romance series. For years, his friend Julie has been the face of his brand, but she wants her life back now. Fast running out of ideas for his popular series, Noah wants to break out into other genres. Not that he’s writing much of anything at the moment anyway, thanks to paralyzing writer’s block. With his publisher breathing down his neck for the next installment, he hopes a change of scene will get his writer’s juices flowing again. Desperate enough to try anything, during the holidays Noah swaps his isolated cabin in the woods for a gentrified horse farm.

USAF Major Connor Harrison has chosen forced retirement over facing charges for an unauthorized mission to rescue a buddy from behind enemy lines. No one expects him home for the holidays, and he certainly didn’t anticipate finding a stranger in his house, much less Noah Kinley with his acid tongue and a wry sense of humor that pierces all of Connor’s defenses.

Both men need to figure out what the next chapter in their lives will be—and whether it will include each other.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Sarah☆☆☆
3.5 stars

This is a fun holiday romance. With nods to the film The Holiday, a novelist trades his rural cottage for a glamorous horse farm for the holidays. In a wonderful first scene, he is quickly surprised by the homeowner’s unscheduled return from Afghanistan.

The problems surrounding both of these men are enough for a full series of books and there is probably a little bit too much going on in a relatively short novel. Noah is a bestselling novelist who publishes his books in his female best friend’s name. He is recovering from a difficult break up and struggling with writer’s block. Similarly, Connor has been discharged from the Air Force in difficult circumstances. He is struggling to manage his inheritance and in need of a clear direction for his future. With so many issues to work through, this story was a bit too convoluted for me.

The romantic connection between Connor and Noah develops in bursts and jolts. From an initial uneasy truce between housemates to a sudden sex scene to almost instant couple status, I didn’t feel that Connor and Noah’s romance progressed naturally. The result is a lack of the sexual tension that usually pulls a romance together and gets me invested as a reader.

This is told from Noah’s perspective. I enjoyed Noah’s voice, but I wanted to know more about Connor, who is probably the more interesting of the two characters. As it is, Connor remains elusive for much of the story. Overall, I enjoyed this story but I never completely connected with the characters or their romance.



SARAH MADISON is a writer with a little dog, a large dog, an even bigger horse, too many cats, and a very patient boyfriend. An amateur photographer and a former competitor in the horse sport known as eventing, when she’s not out hiking with the dogs or down at the stables, she’s at the laptop working on her next story. When she’s in the middle of a chapter, she relies on the smoke detector to tell her dinner is ready. She writes because it’s cheaper than therapy.

Sarah enjoys placing hot men in hot water to see how strong they are—like teabags, only sexier. This motto allows her to play in a wide variety of genres, from FBI guys to shifters, with some WW2 fighter pilots and space adventurers tossed in for good measure.

Sarah Madison was a finalist in the 2013 and 2015 Rainbow Awards. The Boys of Summer won Best M/M Romance in the 2013 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Awards. The Sixth Sense series was voted 2nd place in the 2014 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Awards for Best M/M Mystery series, and 3rd place in the 2105 PGR Reviewer’s Choice Awards for Best M/M Paranormal/Urban Fantasy series.

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https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Holiday House Swap by Sarah Madison to read and review.

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