Etta

Review: Love is a Battlefield (Seven Brides for Seven Mothers#1)

Published September 15th 2020

Author: Whitney Dineen

Overview from Goodreads:

Who doesn’t want their mom to play Cupid?

Addison Cooper had planned on an all-expense paid vacation to the Cayman Islands to celebrate her most recent business success. Instead, she’s trekking to the outback of Oregon to help a friend of her mother’s.

Reclusive novelist Brogan Cavanaugh’s new thriller just hit the New York Times Best Seller list. To reward himself, he was planning to spend the summer at his family’s fishing cabin until his mom unexpectedly calls in a favor.

Even though moms Libby and Ruby have been best friends since they were college roommates, Addison and Brogan have barely spent time in each other’s company. And when they did, things didn’t go well.

How will they react when they start to suspect their interfering mothers are setting them up?

Find out in this deliciously funny rom-com about mothers who really do know best and the children who don’t know they need them.

Personal Review

Libby and Ruby have been friends since their university days in Oregon. As they are now approaching life in their 60s, they are eagerly awaiting some grandchildren and wedding bells from their children. Unfortunately, neither of their children are single and have no immediate plans for children. The two mothers take it upon themselves to set up their two children as they believe they are perfect for each other. Unfortunately, Libby’s daughter was the target of multiple pranks every year during their times camping and being together with Ruby’s sons.  Can these two mothers pull off the set up of their dreams? Read this fun and light-hearted novel to find out.

Addison (“Addie”) Cooper is a thirty-two interior designer who specializes in renovating resorts/hotels and lives in New York City. After just finishing a dream project in the Cayman Islands, Addie invites her mother, Libby, along for the opening and to celebrate her mother’s birthday as an added bonus. Libby and Ruby have other plans and form a plan to get Addie to Oregon instead. Under false pretenses, Addie and her mom are then off to spend Addie’s long awaited vacation at the Willamette Valley Resort.

Brogan Cavanaugh is a best-selling author who is taking a small break before writing his next novel. After his mother is elusive on the phone, he decides it’s time to visit his home town and his family’s resort. His brother James, a spray free farmer who lives nearby agrees that this visit home would be good for his brother.  He temporarily relocates himself from his Oregon beach house to the fishing cabin located on his family resort’s property.

Brogan presents himself as a changed man, but Addie has a hard time forgiving him after all the torment she experienced as a child caused by him. It doesn’t help that pranks and hijinks keep appearing as Addie is trying to win the bet.  Both of them bicker and Brogan keeps apologizing for his past. It was a little wearing to have Brogan constantly be a changed person and Addie keeps hanging on to the past.

They form a bet that Addie can’t survive a month (30 days) out in the rustic cabins as she transforms them into a future glamping site on the resort’s property. This includes no indoor bathrooms, electricity, or any of the resort’s amenities. Addie is dreading this bet and Brogan can’t wait to win so he can build a future home on Cheater’s Ridge with its gorgeous views back home near the resort in Spartan.  Through many obstacles Addie at least perseveres to transform her abandoned cabin into a glamper’s dream.  Reading about Addie’s redecorating the cabin to be a fabulous glamping site made me want to try out some glamping asap! I’ve been once before in a more rustic type setting, but the descriptions of all the lanterns, the bathing outside, everything just felt like it would be the most relaxing vacation ever.

The other characters in this story are fun and illustrate how close knit small towns can be where you have a mix of those that have lived there their whole lives with those that have claimed the place as their own. Billy Grimps, the “homeless” on/off caretaker that lives on the resort property was a nice addition as he grows to be Addie’s friend and confidant.

Overall, the novel reminded me of that song sequence “This is My Idea” from the animated Swan Princess movie where the parents want their kids together, but they didn’t get along well as kids. Then they meet again as adults and they find each other hot. Add in tons of pranks and hijinks as kids though to make it round out the main storyline. It was enjoyable to read through the prank war, but the romance was hard to relate to at some points if all that brings them together is an attraction to each other’s looks. I wish the novel delved into a little bit more about the deeper connection that would bring them together as a couple. It exists throughout the chapters, but I just felt that there could have been more.

Honestly, this novel was an enjoyable read and I found myself having a difficult time putting it down. The idea of having meddling mothers try and set up their children for their own gain while also wanting their children to be happy is a great concept. I can’t wait to see what happens next with Ruby’s son James and her attempting to set him up with Tara.

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