My Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Category: New Adult/ Adult
Type of romance: MM and FF
For fans of Alexandria Bellefleur and Alexis Hall comes a charming, hilarious, and heartwarming LGBTQIA+ romcom about two separate couples finding love over the holidays from acclaimed author Roan Parrish!
Greta Russakoff loves her tight-knit family and tiny Maine hometown, even if they don’t always understand what it’s like to be a lesbian living in such a small world. She desperately needs space to figure out who she is.
Truman Belvedere has just had his heart crushed into a million pieces when he learned that his boyfriend of almost a year has a secret life that includes a husband and a daughter. Reeling from this discovery, all he wants is a place to lick his wounds far, far away from New Orleans.
Enter Greta and Truman’s mutual friend, Ramona, who facilitates a month-long house swap. Over the winter holidays, each of them will have a chance to try on a new life…and maybe fall in love with the perfect partner of their dreams. But all holidays must come to an end, and eventually Greta and Truman will have to decide whether the love they each found so far from home is worth fighting for.
I received a free copy from the publisher through NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed it.
The concept for The Holiday Trap sounded so fun, two people who swap houses and then find love a and a whole new life while they’re there. The book was just a fun as expected and also could hit surprisingly deep at times. It’s a lighthearted holiday themed romance book with two romances as well as some deeper parts with two characters struggling and then having to come to terms with who they are and figuring out what they want from life.
I liked the mix of the more lighthearted and fun romance combined with the deeper topics of finding out what you want from life. There are relationships struggles, family struggles and work struggles. Both characters lived their lives in a way they wasn’t the best fit for them and only now they’re figuring that out and how to change their lives. I really loved these themes of self discovery and figuring out their path. I also liked the finding love and really blossoming into their best selves parts of this book.
The Holiday Trap is told from two points of views. Greta who lives on a small island in Maine with her tight knit family and Truman who lives in New Orleans. They both experience something and they want to run away and say so to their mutual friend who comes with the idea of the house swap. They agree to the swap and both find themselves feeling more at home in this new place and finding love along the way. I liked how this book told two stories, they intertwine a few times, but mostly the connection is that they live in each other’s house for a month. I thought the dual stories worked well, although I did end up being more invested in Greta’s story.
I liked seeing how Greta discovered New Orleans, found new friends and love. I liked her love for plants and the way she had to figure out some things. I also thought the romance progression with Carys was well done and I liked them together. I liked how they talk through things and communicate and how Carys helps Greta figure out some things about herself. I liked seeing Greta make new friends as well as figure out what she wants to do work wise. I thought it was amazing to see her grow and develop throughout the story and the romance was well done too.
I felt bad for Truman and how he got his heart broken. I thought it worked well how Truman knows early on what his flaws are, although I would’ve liked to see him struggle and work more on fixing them as that part felt a bit too easy. I liked reading about him and Ash and especially all his ideas for Thorn. I did feel his story was a bit less interesting than Greta’s and I was a bit annoyed at the piece of drama toward the end. Ash is struggling quite a bit and totally overwhelmed and unable to muster energy to improve things and I thought that made it a bit harder to really feel their romance. The cold Maine island was an interesting contrast to sunny New Orleans.
I liked how at the end of the book Greta and Truman meet and help each other out. The skip forward to 6 months later was awesome and was a great way to show their futures and where they’re going.
To summarize: This was an amazing read. I liked the house swap concept and the way it unfolded was fun to read, it has a bit of a holiday theme too, as well as some deeper parts where both characters have to figure out what they want and who they want to be. I thought the two stories in one book worked well, although I enjoyed Greta’s story more. I liked the romances and the lighthearted feel of the book as well as the themes of finding yourself and what you want. The six months later skip forward at the end was great and worked as an epilogue showing how both characters are doing and where they’re going with their lives.