How I got this book: E-arc from the author
Release Date: Out now!
It takes a real man to wear a kilt. And a real woman to charm him out of it.
It might be modern times, but Kate Simmons isn’t willing to live a life without at least the illusion of the perfect English romance. A proud member of the Jane Austen Regency Re-Enactment Society, Kate fulfills her passion for courtliness and high-waisted gowns in the company of a few women who share her love of all things heaving.
Then she encounters Julian Wallace, a professional Highland Games athlete who could have stepped right off the covers of her favorite novels. He’s everything brooding, masculine, and, well, heaving. The perfect example of a man who knows just how to wear his high sense of honor—and his kilt.
Confronted with a beautiful woman with a tongue as sharp as his sgian dubh, Julian and his band of merry men aren’t about to simply step aside and let Kate and her gaggle of tea-sippers use his land for their annual convention. Never mind that “his land” is a state park—Julian was here first, and he never backs down from a challenge.
Unless that challenge is a woman unafraid to fight for what she wants…and whose wants are suddenly the only thing he can think about.
The historical re-enactments in this story contain very little actual history. Battle chess and ninja stars may apply.
*Blurb taken from Goodreads*
When I read the premise of this book about Jane Austen re-enacters in a battle of wills against a group of highland athletes, I was pretty amused and intrigued because it sounded so different. And I have to say that the unique plot also lived up to its promise that I would be getting into something fun and quirky and Love is a Battlefield certainly lived up to that!
Kate Simmons loves everything all Austen and takes part in Regency re-enactment balls and tea gatherings but she didn’t think she would have had to handle the repercussions of her best friend, Jada who causes mayhem and ruction in the beginning of the book. It opens up to a hilarious scene where a couple of gentlemen in Regency finery rip off their breeches and reveal themselves to be strippers in front of very polite company, in a re-enactment of a ball which causes a few fits amongst the guests who are not amused with this example of debauchery! Due to this Kate is given the responsibility and the headache to organise the next big gathering which is going to be a struggle because of budget constraints and a suitable location. But she comes across a public park which has ruin that would look perfect as the backdrop in a Regency setting, but her plans for the re-enactment comes to a head when it clashes with the Highland games which has always set their tournaments there. The organiser, Julian Wallace is not happy with the idea of sharing the location with a group of Jane Austen Re-enacters with an important tournament that holds a sponsorship deal which is important for him and his family and any derailment may cost him his chance in winning.
From that hilarious opening scene of Regency costumed strippers, Love is a Battlefield opens up to a fun and cute tale of battle of wills from a couple who both belong to unusual societies. Kate and Julian initially meet up when she is scoping for a good location for the fundraising gathering she has to organise and there is an attraction between them. However it all goes downhill when the dates for the fundraiser and tournament clash because it is scheduled at the same weekend. They both refused to back down from their claim on setting their events at the public park. Which they then both commence in a series of comedic tricks and pranks that they play against each other until they finally come to an impasse where they both camp at the site with their friends in order to claim it.
This almost becomes a battle of the sexes as Julian has his team-mates are all males and Kate members from her society and her best friend Jada are women, which steps up the rivalry and the battle over wills. However there was an incident involving a prank involving a harmless snake, which Julian has a phobia of, and this highlighted my dislike of her best friend Jada who was the one behind mean spirited joke. I really found her character annoying throughout the whole book, and Kate is pretty much passive about her even when she crossed the line and I couldn’t understand why she would be friends with someone like Jada.
Nonetheless, the romance between Julian and Kate was fun, and the friendly rivalry between them really kicked up the romantic tension which I found to be enjoyable and witty. It did remind me a lot of Pride and Prejudice because they both had prejudices or had a prideful manner about their hobbies, and throughout the course of the book, they both got to respect and enjoy their friendly rivalry. I really enjoyed the ending and how that played out because it kind of combined their hobbies in a fun and entertaining way. But this also allowed them to realise what was really important and what really mattered to them and I found that refreshing.
Despite the cover and title which I don’t think really conveys how much of a gem this book is, but I highly enjoyed it and it was definitely different from the usual contemporary romances I have read. Love is a Battlefield is quirky and delightful and I laughed out-loud with the antics and the dialogue coming from Julian and Kate. It never really got angsty or used the forced misunderstanding tropes in an annoying way and there was even some real depth of the characterisation, especially Julian’s background and family and how important the games were to him because of their link to his step-father. Hilarious and sexy and fun scenes which is filled full of humour – I am definitely on board for the next book in this series because I know I will be in a for a great time!
I give Love is a Battlefield a B