Well Met by Jen DeLuca
Publication Date: September 3rd, 2019
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Genre: Contemporary Romance
After an accident drives Emily to relocate to the small town her sister and niece live in to help out, she gets roped into volunteering for the local Renaissance Faire. With promises of quality time spent with her niece, the chance to utilize some of her skills and not to mention ogling a buff man in a kilt all summer, what could possibly be the downside? Well, the man running the Faire for one.
Simon is as straight-laced as they come. He wants everything to be done a very particular way and when Emily shows up with ideas for changes to the long-running Faire and seemingly not taking it seriously, he decides to make things difficult. Even more so when his Faire persona is apparently into Emily’s which leads to a plethora of confusing interactions.
Will Emily get caught up in the fantasy of it all or is there a chance at this being real?
Well Met had me hooked from the first line.
“I didn’t choose the wench life. The wench life chose me.”
This idea of the city girl getting away to a small town and meeting a guy is by no means a new one, but add in great family dynamics, fun locals, an interesting love interest and a Renaissance Faire and you have an adorable nerdy read that is something you didn’t even know you needed.
While there were no huge surprises and the plot was rather predictable, this story was just so fun and I became invested in the characters so quickly that I wanted to see what came out of all of these relationships. I wanted to see Emily interact with her sister and niece, to acclimate to living in a small-town, to learn about Faire culture and, of course, deal with the ever-confusing Simon. I could have read about Willow Creek for ages and it seems like we may get just that… but that’s for another time.
Going into this story, I knew we would likely get a stereotypical newly single due to jerk ex circumstances leading lady and an infuriatingly emotional whiplash inducing leading man and - for the most part - I was ok with it. I say ‘for the most part’ because I wish that Emily hadn’t been written with such a blind spot for this one thing (being vague to avoid spoilers). In every other area, she is very self-sufficient but I feel that the backstory with her ex was put in as a plot device for her to feel insecure and that is a trope that always bothers me.
The Faire itself was such a fun idea and I loved the use of the characters’ alter egos during those weekends. Especially Captain Leather Pants *wink wink*. I could easily see myself in the tavern with Emma and Beatrice or in the crowd watching the human chess match. Now I just need to find one in real life that I can attend - preferably with the chance of being wooed!
For being a contemporary romance, Well Met had a lot of depth and heart which is something I always appreciate. This was definitely a slow-burn but, once it got there, this romance was on fire!