I love Meredith Schorr's books and, I'll be up front and honest, I love her, too. Over the past few years, I've read all of her novels, have met her in person twice, and have emailed and messaged her countless times. I might be a bit biased but if you know me you'll also know that I'll be honest with my review even though I consider Meredith a friend. So when I say I adored The Boyfriend Swap it's because it really is another fantastic read from Schorr.
Here's the synopsis:
Is Christmas really the most wonderful time of the year? New Yorkers Robyn Lane and Sidney Bellows aren’t so sure.The Boyfriend Swap is full of Schorr's trademark (yep, I'm calling it a trademark) humour and heart. She manages to create characters that I always want to be best friends with and are so totally realistic. None of her heroines are perfect and some are far from it. Sidney, for example, is a real piece of work. She's tough, always needs to be in control, and is actually pretty difficult to like. But there's a certain something in her that has the reader hoping she'll redeem herself by the end of the novel (you'll just have to read it to find out if she does). Robyn, on the other hand, is the "good girl," a point that's driven home when it's revealed that it was Will who came up with her high school nickname of Snow White. I will say that I found Robyn to be a touch too much like Kim, Schorr's heroine in her Blogger Girl series. I love the series and Kim so I loved Robyn but they are definitely very similar characters. Maybe it's just because they're both sweet, smart, sassy women. Nothing wrong with that, right?
Robyn has always dated struggling creative types. For once, her parents would love her to bring someone with health insurance and a 401(k) to their Chrismukkah celebration. Her actor boyfriend doesn’t qualify. While across town, Sidney’s professional life already belongs to her parents. She’s an attorney at her father’s law firm and she works tirelessly to keep her love life private. If she brings her lawyer boyfriend to their annual Christmas extravaganza, her parents will have the wedding planned by New Year’s Eve.
A mutual friend playfully suggests they trade boyfriends for the holidays. The women share a laugh, but after copious amounts of wine, decide The Boyfriend Swap could be the perfect solution. This way, Robyn can show off her stable attorney boyfriend and Sidney’s high-society family will take no interest in her flakey actor beau.
It’s a brilliant plan—in theory. In practice—not so much. When Will turns out to be the boy-next-door Robyn crushed on hard throughout her teenage years, and Sidney’s family fawns all over Perry like he’s an Oscar-winner rather than a D-list wannabe, one thing is certain: The Boyfriend Swap might just change their lives forever.
The main plot of the story - swapping boyfriends for the holidays - had the potential to end up being really cheesy but Schorr makes it work. Maybe because not everyone is super into the idea. Sidney has to work to convince Robyn and especially Will that it's a good idea. It proves that Sidney is a damn good lawyer and can argue her way to a win in just about anything. But, as you can imagine, it also shows the cracks in the established relationships. Schorr does an awesome job of writing these relationships so they feel realistic even in a bizarre situation.
There was a bit of an unbalance in the stories for me but that wasn't exactly a bad thing. I didn't really connect with Sidney (or Perry) but I wonder if that was to be expected. There's one line that I absolutely love from Perry when they're discussing the swap. He says to Sidney, referring to the two of them, "We're definitely the villains in this story." To me that line says that Schorr maybe knows that Sidney and Perry aren't the main reason you're still reading and that, maybe, that's ok.
I had totally forgotten that Will was Robyn's high school crush so I was pleasantly surprised by that reveal. It was sort of like a second chance romance, which is one of my favourite tropes. And Will himself? Oh my goodness, swoon. I adored him. I felt a bit like Robyn's mom did, constantly wanting to tell Robyn that I just loved him. He was smart and had interests that were all over the board. And he really seemed to understand Robyn and what made her tick.
And for fans of Christmas stories (like me!) the main portion of the story takes place over the holidays in December. There's just enough cheer to make it a holiday story but not too much that you can't read this in, say, July.
I could probably keep gushing about The Boyfriend Swap but I should probably leave a little mystery for when you read it yourself (and you will, right? You should.). I loved Meredith Schorr's latest novel and am already waiting for her next one!
*An eARC of this novel was provided by the author and publisher, Henery Press, in exchange for review consideration. All opinions are honest (I promise) and my own.*