WELL MET (Well Met #1)
Written by Jen DeLuca
Published by Berkley, September 3rd, 2019
My star rating – 5 stars
Emily knew there would be strings attached when she relocated to the small town of Willow Creek, Maryland, for the summer to help her sister recover from an accident, but who could anticipate getting roped into volunteering for the local Renaissance Faire alongside her teenaged niece? Or that the irritating and inscrutable schoolteacher in charge of the volunteers would be so annoying that she finds it impossible to stop thinking about him?
The faire is Simon’s family legacy and from the start he makes clear he doesn’t have time for Emily’s lighthearted approach to life, her oddball Shakespeare conspiracy theories, or her endless suggestions for new acts to shake things up. Yet on the faire grounds he becomes a different person, flirting freely with Emily when she’s in her revealing wench’s costume. But is this attraction real, or just part of the characters they’re portraying?
This summer was only ever supposed to be a pit stop on the way to somewhere else for Emily, but soon she can’t seem to shake the fantasy of establishing something more with Simon, or a permanent home of her own in Willow Creek. Find it on Goodreads
Well now that was freaking adorable! But, with a cover like this, how could it not be?? There were two things that sold me on this book – 1: it’s about a renaissance faire. 2: The opening line – “I didn’t choose the wench life, the wench life chose me”…. hahaha!
This book was written for book nerds, to be honest! There was a lot of coffee, a book store, Shakespeare, literature, renaissance faire’s…. It’s basically me in a nutshell lol. It was the renaissance faire setting that completely sold me on this one though. I LOVE everything about them! I didn’t realize the work and preparation that goes into them though! I imagine this to be true to life. Literally months spent working on costumes, chosen persona’s, accents, characters, choreographed fighting, skits….. hours upon hours of work! It probably wouldn’t feel like work though! It would be a freaking blast to be a part of the renaissance world just for a little bit! Play a part and get into character wholly and completely.
The renaissance fair obviously plays a huge roll in the book but, the major themes of this book are friends, family, and relationships from every angle. Sisters, aunt/niece, new friends, coworkers, old friends, romance…. there’s so much!! Emily moves in with her sister after a severe car accident and is helping take care of her niece. Her and her sister were never really close and now they have a chance (as adults) to connect on a whole new level. Emily is also thrown into a large group of people who have known each other their whole lives and is struggling to find her place among them while also deciding if she wants to trust them and open her heart to them. The Faire was cool and all but it’s the relationships that left an impact on me.
I love stories where a character is lost and their life and future are hanging in the balance. They have nothing holding them down and they can literally go anywhere and do anything. If there was ever a chance for a person to choose a path and reinvent themselves, this is the time. I love the character arc as they’re dealing with the shitty things in the past that brought them to this moment, figure out what worked for them and what didn’t, and then decide what they want to do. In this case, Emily had a bunch of options. Yes, she was helping her sister and niece out, but she didn’t have to stay. She could have went back to her home, she could have gone back to school, and back to her friends and old life. Watching her take stock of what’s important to her and make decisions that are JUST FOR HER and her happiness was really great!
And then there’s the romance – this was a bit of an interesting one!! Emily and Simon first meet as they’re preparing for the faire. Tensions are high, stress is a factor, and both of them are dealing with some grief and trauma of their past. They didn’t get along that well at all and both seemed to get under each other’s skin and for no reason at all. When the Faire begins and they take on their alter ego’s, they became totally different people. Both of them seemed to be able to set aside their stress and be a little carefree and flirty. Problem was – neither of them really knew what was real and what was for show. It was equally interesting seeing them interact after “the show” when they once again became their regular selves and see if they should go back to hating each other or flirting…. Their relationship was very real and messy. Not enough smut though…….. sorry! I know some of you might not like that but I love me a good dirty story!
Safe to say, this is yet another romance author I can add to my must read list! A light hearted, adorable, cute, funny read to take my mind off of everything and just fall in love. Read this!!
Until next time, happy reading!