The Cul-de-Sac War – Melissa Ferguson – Thomas Nelson – Published 10 November 2020
Bree Leake doesn’t want to be tied down. She’s had more jobs than she can count, and she plans to move as soon as the curtains fall on her less-than-minor stage role at The Barter—the oldest live performance theater in the US. But just when it’s time to move on again, Bree’s parents make her an offer: hold steady for a full year, and they will give her the one thing she’s always wanted—her grandmother’s house. Her dreams are coming true . . . until life at the theater throws her some curve balls.
And then there’s Chip McBride—her handsome and infuriating next-door neighbor.
Chip just might be the only person whose stubborn streak can match Bree’s. She would move heaven and earth to have him off her cul-de-sac and out of her life, but according to the bargain she’s struck, she can’t move out of her house and away from the man who’s making her life miserable. So begins Bree’s obsessive new mission: to drive Chip out of the neighborhood—and fast.
Bree isn’t the only one who’s a tad competitive, and Chip is more than willing to fight fire with fire. But as their pranks escalate, the line between love and hate starts to blur—and their heated rivalry threatens to take a hilarious, heartwarming, and romantic new turn.
Aside from having my mouth open in stunned disbelief for the majority of this book, it is actually quite a fun read and quite amazingly hilarious. From gentle animosity to full out war, The Cul-de-Sac War is the very definition of a hate to love romance. With pranks.
Bree wants to hold down her job at the theatre and maybe, one day reclaim her Grandmother’s home as her own. The only thing standing in her way is job cuts at the theatre and her new, extremely annoying neighbour. Chip has just moved in, is planning to renovate the house and start his new construction company, away from the restrictions of his family’s company. But when his neighbour declares war, he has no choice but to retaliate. And he can’t help it if he is enjoying annoying Bree a little too much.
Honestly, a few chapters in, even half way in, I really wasn’t sure we would ever get a romance. Could these characters who were so at war put down their fight and finally realise they had more in common than just their fight? The ending was great – perfectly paced and totally believable (which was surprising).
As much as I enjoyed the war between Chip and Bree, mostly for the crazy ideas and extreme outlandishness, it was the times when they connect and start to talk about the things in their life that they share, their hurts and dreams, that I really loved. Despite the farm animals, dog control (or lack of it), flood lights, girlfriend, crazy schemes, and parent matchmaking, Chip and Bree end up connecting on a deeper level. And that adjust from hate, to mild amusement to friendship to something more is a genuine journey.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Adult fiction
Genre: Christian Contemporary.
Themes: Romance, neighbours, community, theatre, family, construction, employment.
Published: 10 November 2020 by Thomas Nelson.
Format: Paperback, ebook, audiobook. 336 pages.