Review | Well Met by Jen DeLuca

Well MetWell Met by Jen DeLuca
Well Met #1
Contemporary Romance
Berkley | September 3, 2019

About the Book:

All’s faire in love and war for two sworn enemies who indulge in a harmless flirtation in a laugh-out-loud rom-com from debut author, Jen DeLuca.

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.

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It’s funny, the things you don’t know are missing from your life until you find them. Ren Faire is one of my favorite summer activities. The dirt, the vendors, the smell of smoked turkey legs… pickle pushers… it’s immediate happiness for me.

Knowing there’s romance books out there that take place at renfest…! I feel like my world suddenly got a little bit brighter.

Well Met was everything I love about Renaissance Faire, plus it had one of the swooniest love stories I’ve ever read!

I fell so in love with this story!

Honestly, Jen DeLuca blew me away. She captured the energy and atmostphere of being at the festival so perfectly. I don’t think I’ve read another book that put me deep into the setting. I’ve read other reviewers talk about how an author captured the pulse of the setting so well; I didn’t really get it. I always felt like the setting is created by the author. So, if a book was written in my hometown, I would accept it. I don’t question it. Until now. Now I know. This author transported me to my favorite place on earth, and I could smell it. That is how well good perfectly Well Met was written.

Then, on top of everything, she gave me two amazingly thought out and layered characters. Our heroine Emily was lost. She’d had the rug pulled out from her, leaving her feeling adrift. She wanted a home, a place with roots, but history has changed how she views the world. It’s not a trustworthy place. She’s one of the character types not all authors can tackle. There’s a fine line between being anxiety driven and TSTL. Sometimes her wall could make our heroine behave badly, but Emily didn’t. She was human, and even when she was the most paralyzed with fear and doubt, she found a way to ask the tough questions. Sometimes knowing the answer will be bad doesn’t mean you stop asking.

I loved her.
I wanted to protect her.
I didn’t want her to hurt.

Then there was Simon, and he was definitely a tougher nut to crack. I know that might sound like a criticism, but it’s really not. It was important to the story we not understand him. Not everyone is an open book (*ahem*). Sometimes it takes the right circumstances for others to see our light. The beauty inside Simon developed slowly, and my god I loved him so much.

Which brings me to Simon’s renaissance persona, Captain Ian Blackthorne. Confession, I’m a kilt girl. B-Rex, she’s all about the pirates, and for me I’ve always been a kilt chaser. However, given the option between Captain Ian Blackthorne or Marcus MacGregor, I’m panting after the Captain. 100%. His charisma jumped right off the pages.

Honestly, I can’t say enough about this book. Renfaire romance has now become my favorite genre, so I’ll be hanging on every update for Jen’s followup story Well Played.


Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley for providing an advance copy, in exchange for an honest review.

About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

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