The Accidental Life Swap by Jennifer Joyce
Publisher: HQ Digital
Publishing Date: 1st September 2019
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!
Number of pages: 384
Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction
Sometimes one moment can change your life forever…
Rebecca Riley has always been a bit of a pushover. When her glamorous boss, Vanessa, asks her to jump, she doesn’t just ask how high… she asks if her boss would like her to grab a coffee on the way back down!
So whilst overseeing the renovation of Vanessa’s beautiful countryside home, the last thing Rebecca ever expected was to be mistaken for her boss – or that she would even consider going along with it! Far away from the bustling city and her boss’s demanding ways, could she pretend to be Vanessa and swap lives, just for a little while?
Rebecca Riley is a PA at a popular events management company. However, she’s never wanted to be a PA, instead she can see herself organizing events – she’s a hard worker, has a right degree, is a team player and thinks that it really is the highest time for her to be promoted to be Events Manager. But when she finally finds the courage to ask her evil, demanding and overly tanned boss Vanessa for a promotion, it turns out that she has other plans for Rebecca, namely she needs somebody to oversee the renovation of her beautiful property in the countryside, hinting that when Rebecca will give a good account of herself, she may get her desired promotion.
But life has its own ideas. Already on the first day the whole village of Little Heaton mistakes Rebecca for Vanessa. She decides to go along with the charade because she’s sure that the works won’t be done with her – Rebecca – at the helm. Channelling her inner Vanessa, Rebecca starts to make sure the renovations get done in time. But can she do it without being found out? Can’t she do it as Rebecca?
So, this with the whole charade was a bit unbelievable, right? I wanted to shake my head and yell at Rebecca for not giving it up sooner but on the other hand I also completely got it and her choices. She was a bit of a pushover, honestly, wasn’t able to stand for herself, believing she’s smart and brave enough but in the last second loosing all her courage and yes, I usually can’t stand such characters, but this time the author has struck the right balance and made her really likeable. She was meek and indulgent but within the scope, still believable and sympathetic.
She belongs to my favourite characters category, characters that progress throughout the story. She began as a person who does so much for other people, is a bit of a doormat actually, not being able to say boo to a goose let’s not mention to her boss, and receives no acknowledgment, no thank you and guys, yes, it annoyed me on her behalf. I liked the way she was changing, growing in confidence, finding her own voice, reinventing herself.
The romance aspect, the way is develops between the characters, is funny and different, as it blossoms over the love of board games, and I really liked the moments when they were playing them. The attraction between them is palpable and even though you could bet anything on what’s going to happen and how, I still enjoyed it.
I loved the setting of this novel, the picturesque countryside and the descriptions of Vanessa’s home made me want to move or at least to re – decorate my own house. The animal sanctuary was for me a real highlight, with all the animals wandering around and bad – tempered chickens.
The end was for me too rushed and too neat, even though I had a feeling that some of the things weren’t wrapped up completely while the other happened so conveniently and some person experienced a whole change of heart. Yes, it is a bit clichéd, it demands a lot of disbelief, it is predictable but you don’t choose such book for its unpredictability. No, you choose it for a feel – good factor and a few relaxing hours, and this is what I was looking for. I laughed, I cringed and I fell for the characters.
I liked the fact that the story was more than a bit of fluff and mishaps and embarrassing shenanigans – there were moments with much more depth to it than I have expected, touching upon some more serious issues, such as self – confidence, friendship and betrayal, standing up for yourself, giving the book so much needed substance. The writing style is warm and welcoming, chatty and the banter between the characters flows easily and naturally. It was a funny, light – hearted romantic comedy and if you’re looking for an easy, not too demanding read, then grab this book.