Wrapped Up In Christmas Joy

Wrapped Up In Christmas Joy by Janice Lynn

Narrated by Alexander Cendese and Rachel L. Jacobs

Published:  October 2020 – Dreamscape Media

Review audiobook courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley

Description:

When a quilt shop owner finds a former Marine’s journal, she longs to heal his heart…


When Sophie Davis sorts through a box of donated books to her church, she’s surprised to discover a soldier’s journal. As the daughter of a veteran who watched her father struggle over the years, she feels a deep connection to the man who wrote the emotional entries. Former Marine Cole Aaron battled to find peace after returning to civilian life. He’s always needed to protect others. Now, fighting fires in Pine Hill, Kentucky helps him put out the demons within him. When Sophie shows up at the fire hall with his journal from when he’d first returned stateside, Cole can’t believe it was in the box he’d donated. Not wanting to face painful memories, he tells her to trash it. Sophie and Cole are drawn together as they both volunteer for their community, but it’s hard for Cole to let down his guard, and he doesn’t need anyone’s pity. After all he’s been through in the past, can he find faith in a more hopeful future…one touched by joy?
This heartwarming romance includes a free Hallmark original recipe for Dilly Duchess Potatoes. (publisher)

My take:  Wrapped Up in Christmas Joy is a heartfelt Christmas romance about Cole, a veteran, and Sophie, a young woman with a heart of gold. He is a firefighter who also fights his war memories. When Sophie discovers (and then reads) his journal in a box of donated things at her church’s sale she decides to involve him in holiday related activities. He’s reluctant but has a hard time saying no to Sophie. Saying yes could make all the difference. This is a sweet story for the season that fans of Hallmark movies are sure to enjoy!

Narration:  I thought, overall, Rachel Jacobs and Alexander Cendese did a good job. However, there was one thing that struck me. When Jacobs voiced Sophie and Cole I was totally invested in the story. When Cendese did both I was distracted by Sophie’s voice. I’ve found I usually feel the same when any male narrator voices a female character. I guess it’s personal preference.


 

The Switch

The Switch by Beth O’Leary

Narrated by Alison Steadman and Daisy Edgar-Jones

Expected publication date:  August 18, 2020 – Macmillan Audio

Audiobook courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley

About: When overachiever Leena Cotton is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, she escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some long-overdue rest.

Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She’d like a second chance at love, but her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen.

So they decide to try a two-month swap.

Eileen will live in London and look for love. She’ll take Leena’s flat, and learn all about casual dating, swiping right, and city neighbors. Meanwhile Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire: Eileen’s sweet cottage and garden, her idyllic, quiet village, and her little neighborhood projects. (publisher)

My take:  When Carla Cotton died (before the novel begins) she left her mother, sister, Leena, and grandmother, Eileen, in the throes of grief. They’ve tried to move forward but aren’t having much success.

This is mainly Leena and Eileen’s story. As things play out Leena and Eileen decide to switch things up and change places. Leena will spend her sabbatical at her grandmother’s house in a village and Eileen will live in Leena’s London apartment. This might be the change they need to jumpstart their lives. I really enjoyed the spots these two found themselves in – some laugh out loud scenes. I know this: I want to be like Eileen when I’m her age! I loved her willingness to try new things while, at the same time, reconsider people who’d always been in her life.

Beth O’Leary wrote about serious and relatable subjects with a light touch and yet just enough weight. I think fans of Jenny Colgan and Jojo Moyes would enjoy The Switch. I loved listening to the audiobook (alternating between 1.5x and 1.75x speed). I was thoroughly entertained by the narration of Alison Steadman and Daisy Edgar-Jones. I thought their performances were spot on as they brought the characters (main and secondary) to life and made me cheer on Eileen, Leena and all the rest.