WELL PLAYED (Well Met #2)
Written by Jen Deluca
Published by Berkley, September 22, 2020
My star rating – 4.5 stars
Stacey is jolted when her friends Simon and Emily get engaged. She knew she was putting her life on hold when she stayed in Willow Creek to care for her sick mother, but it’s been years now, and even though Stacey loves spending her summers pouring drinks and flirting with patrons at the local Renaissance Faire, she wants more out of life. Stacey vows to have her life figured out by the time her friends get hitched at Faire next summer. Maybe she’ll even find The One.
When Stacey imagined “The One,” it never occurred to her that her summertime Faire fling, Dex MacLean, might fit the bill. While Dex is easy on the eyes onstage with his band The Dueling Kilts, Stacey has never felt an emotional connection with him. So when she receives a tender email from the typically monosyllabic hunk, she’s not sure what to make of it.
Faire returns to Willow Creek, and Stacey comes face-to-face with the man with whom she’s exchanged hundreds of online messages over the past nine months. To Stacey’s shock, it isn’t Dex—she’s been falling in love with a man she barely knows.
Well – that was freaking adorable! I could end the review here basically, but I won’t. I feel like you deserve a little more than that. This is the sequel to the equally adorable Well Met that I read last year and loved. I love a good rom-com but when I heard that this series was central to a Renaissance Faire – I could barely contain myself!!!
Book one was focused on a woman named Emily as she moves in with her sister to help her after a car accident. She was helping her niece sign up for the renaissance fair and managed to get pulled into volunteering by the overbearing and somewhat bitchy teacher who transformed himself into a flirty sexy pirate during the faire – sounds great right? Well, it was!
In this book we follow Emily’s friend Stacey who was a fellow beer wench… yes, a beer wench lol. Complete with the sexy corsets and everything! Stacey always seemed like the person who had everything together in book one. But here we get a more in depth look at her life and it’s not as sunshiney as Stacey always looks. She had big dreams of being a fashion designer. She even went to college and had a job lined up in the big city. But the moment she heard of her mothers heart attack, she dropped it all to be at home and help her family. On the outside she seemed content in this new life. A place of her own that’s still close to her parents, a good job at a dentist practice, volunteering in the Ren Faire every summer, and singing karaoke at the local hang out. But there was one thing missing……. this IS a rom com we’re talking about so, of course, that missing thing is love.
She’s had flings. Hot and steamy flings that were more than enough to satisfy her needs. But there’s never really been anyone to make dinners with and snuggle on the couch with her cat watching movies. So, in a moment of drunken desperation, she sends her fling a message on Facebook and all was history from there.
OK. I will admit that you could see the plot points coming a mile away. Every point of conflict throughout the story was clear as day – but NONE of that mattered because it was just soooooo cute! Seeing two people who were always on the sidelines and never really the stars of the show finding each other….. *insert melting heart*
The main theme of this romance was long distance. Stacey and her man were sending texts and emails while he was on tour with the Renaissance Faire circuit and I think this was really well done! Highlighting the cooler aspects of touring and then giving the lonely and sad aspects of it some time as well. The two of them were talking about their lives and supporting through emails and texts and they both appreciated it so much and didn’t take it for granted.
Another theme? Mistaken identity. I will say nothing! Ahem – spoilers! Once again, I saw it coming from a mile away but I think that knowing what was happening before it was revealed in the book as it went was kind of funny. I felt like I was in on the inside joke. Knowing what was happening didn’t take away from the story in any way.
If you love strong females, cutesy romances, sharing raw emotions, and renaissance faire’s……. why the hell haven’t you picked up this book/series???
Until next time, happy reading!