The Christmas Wedding Swap by Allyson Charles Release Date: October 10, 2017 Publisher: Lyrical Shine Contemporary Romance/Holiday M/F Book #4 in the Pineville series Number of Pages: 202 Kindle Edition Source: ARC from Net Galley Rating: NC-17 Read 9/29/17 to 10/2/17
How this keeps on happening to me, I don’t know. I’m very careful when choosing books to make sure they are either the first in a series or standalone unless I’ve read the other books in the series. Yet once again I chose a book that is 4th in a series! Fourth!!! Luckily, this really could stand on its own without the reader feeling lost or out of the loop. It was very apparent to me that the main character Allison’s best friend had her own story, but I didn’t feel like there were any holes in this story by missing Sadie’s story.
One of the things that drew me to this book is its location. I’m a Michigan girl and like when stories are set in my great state. I’m also a sucker for a holiday romance. It’s like my kryptonite. The concept of this story is great and many things about it worked for me.
Allison always feels like the black sheep of her family. Not that she’s the “bad” one, but she’s different and therefore the odd man out. She doesn’t feel her parents, or even her sisters, respect the career decisions she’s made in her life. They tend to treat her like “poor Allison” because she isn’t in a committed relationship. To be frank, they ticked me off. I’m happy to say Allison does speak up for herself at some point and that made me feel better.
Luke is a bit arrogant, but that’s okay. He’s not a jerk so somehow he makes that arrogance work for him. And although he found Allison to be a challenge when he first met her, once he got to know her his actions were thoughtful and sweet when it came to a physical relationship with her.
There’s a point where everything around Allison is going to you-know-what and I really assumed she’d be one of those characters that blows it all out of proportion without talking it out. I was pleasantly surprised that I was wrong. I love that the author didn’t feel it necessary to use that as a crutch and instead had all of the characters have some meaningful conversations and thoughts.
So there’s a lot of praise in the previous paragraphs. Why would I only give this story 2 stars? I never, ever, ever felt the chemistry between Luke and Allison. Usually I get a feeling for when a physical scene is coming because of the warm-fuzzies the dialogue is giving me. That didn’t happen here. It was like they’d be talking and – BAM – they’re making out. It’s not that the affection was out of character or inappropriate, it was that I just wasn’t feeling it at all. I was being told how they felt about each other a lot, but what I was being told wasn’t matching what was coming across the pages to me.
I really loved Luke and could feel his connection to others in the town, I understood his allure. Somehow I know he really did love Allison, but I got nothing…zip, zilch, nada. I’m tempted to try another book by this author to see if it was just this pairing (although it really should have worked) or if I just don’t mesh with her writing style. And I may some day. Not not when I have so many other books to read though. I’m not going to discount her over one book, but I’m also not going to run out for another immediately.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review**