Clean Wholesome Romance, Contemporary Clean Read, Inspirational

The Cul-de-Sac War (2020)

About the Book

BookThe Cul-de-Sac War

Author: Melissa Ferguson

Release Date: November 10, 2020

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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.

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My Thoughts

The Cul-de-Sac War by Melissa Ferguson is, in my humble opinion, a perfect Contemporary Romance. This story is so engaging and engrossing I literally lost time. Reading hours passed in minutes. I absolutely adore Bree and Chip and their insta-attraction-hate-love relationship. I found the pacing between the insta-attraction to hate to friendship to admitting romantic feelings very well done. Nothing feels too soon or too unrealistic. The pranks Bree and Chip pull on one another were some parts shocking and all parts hilarious. This story made me laugh out loud, but it also brought tears to my eyes. The Cul-de-Sac War illustrates real life — life-like characters, real-life issues and struggles, and real-life mistakes — and I appreciated that in this fictional escape. It turns out, this story was the cathartic read I didn’t even know I needed. Truly, The Cul-de-Sac War is a must-read story!

There really is so much to love about this novel. Ferguson brings up several compelling themes. I particularly appreciate the discussion on the dream of life we have when we are young versus reality. When we are young, for the most part, we dream about the golden-age of adulthood. We imagine this golden-era of adulthood as being a rosy-colored time of prosperity, freedom, and friendship and love. We imagine amazing well-paying jobs, fun nights out with friends, and falling in love with “the one.” But reality is different. I’m not sure there ever is a “golden-age” of adulthood. Don’t get me wrong, there are some seriously amazing moments that take place during the adult years: meeting new friends, being promoted at your job, falling in love with your spouse, holding your child for the first time, etc. These are all amazing moments, but that’s all they are — moments. In reality, adulting is hard. It’s dealing with bills, illnesses, family turmoils, politics, waking up EVERY DAY to go to work, making dinner, budgeting, and recognizing that life is NOT stable ever. Chip, the superb hero of The Cul-de-Sac War, has dreams. He wants the house, the girlfriend, and the job. He is absolutely willing to put in all the hard work to get these things, but life constantly chooses to go against Chip’s perfect plans, and it’s so frustrating. But that’s the point. We humans are not in control. We live in a fallen, unstable world. The only thing we have control over is HOW we behave and act as life hits us in the face every day. While Chip does sort of understand this fact because life has hurt him some in the past, it is fun as the reader to watch as Chip navigates his life and his plans once he meets Bree. Boy, is his life turned upside down!

The Cul-de-Sac War is a seriously excellent Contemporary Romance. I cannot recommend this book enough. It’s well-written, witty, hilarious, and romantic. It’s not standard fluff, but rather it’s full of substance. I implore you to purchase a copy today. You won’t be disappointed you did!

I received a copy of this novel in eBook form from the publisher, Thomas Nelson, via NetGalley, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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