Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Book Review: The Christmas Trip

By Sara Steven

**Contains spoilers for The Christmas Swap but can be read as a standalone.**

Another year has passed and it’s Christmas again. This year best friends Chloe, Jules and Lucy are all loved up but living worlds apart.

Chloe is madly in love with her celebrity beau, Archer, but after a whirlwind year in Hollywood’s limelight, she’s desperate to get away and spend some quality time together.

Jules loves her Melbourne life – and gorgeous winemaker Matt – but a crowded flat share has her longing for a place of her own.

Meanwhile, Lucy is stuck in a long distance relationship, jetting back and forth between Colorado and London to see Will.

When Archer’s plan to whisk Chloe to Paris goes awry, he surprises her by bringing her friends together for a Christmas to remember… (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.)

Having read The Christmas Swap, the prelude to The Christmas Trip (reviewed here), I felt more than excited to catch up with familiar characters in order to see where life has taken them a year after the pivotal swap. I had forgotten the premise behind the ladies and their tight-knit friendship–meeting as children in Hawaii–so that was a nice reminder of just how deep down those roots go, and why their relationships are so important. 

In Swap, I’d felt closer to Lucy’s character, but this go around, it was Chloe who I’d been drawn to. Maybe because of the circumstances surrounding the surprise trip that Archer plans for her and for her friends, or it could be due to feeling as though she’s a bit of the glue that propels the friendships forward. For some reason, whenever Archer is described within the pages, I pictured Justin Hartley–which could have very well sealed the deal for me, too. I really loved Archer and Chloe together, the quintessential unconventional Hollywood couple. 

This time, there is a bit of drama for Lucy and Will, in the form of an unsuspected stowaway at the festivities, which added a great layer of drama. A particular pool scene not only made me inwardly cringe from imagining just how awkward it would be to be in those shoes–poor Will and Lucy–but I also looked forward to seeing how Lucy would handle the situation. 

I loved that the story takes its readers on a destination holiday experience! The majority of us won’t get that kind of opportunity, and it’s something I’ve considered doing for a long time. It really inspired me to someday pull that trigger and do it myself–whether on the sandy, tropical beaches of Hawaii, or the snowy, ice-capped mountains of…Flagstaff? Hey, it’s the closest wintery place that’s nearest to me out here in Arizona, and I think it would definitely fulfill that destination holiday feel for me. I really enjoyed the second installment in this Christmas Romance series. It was a great addition!

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Sandy Barker is a writer, traveller and hopeful romantic with a lengthy bucket list, and many of her travel adventures have found homes in her novels. She’s also an avid reader, a film buff, a wine lover and a coffee snob. 

Sandy lives in Melbourne Australia with her partner, Ben, who she met while travelling in Greece. Their real-life love story inspired Sandy’s debut novel One Summer in Santorini, the first in the Holiday Romance series with One More Chapter, an imprint of HarperCollins. 

The series continues in That Night in Paris and A Sunset in Sydney and there are two more to come in 2022. Her standalone novel The Christmas Swap celebrates her favourite time of the year, and next up is The Dating Game, a laugh-out-loud romcom set in the world of Reality TV.

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1 comment:

Sandy said...

Thank you so much - I really appreciate the review and that you were on the tour.