Well Met by Jen DeLuca
Published by: Berkley
Pub Date: September 3, 2019
Format: ebook | Source: library
Genres: adult, contemporary romance
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.
The second half of this book was much better than the first half in my opinion, which is kind of rare for me. It was a little too Stars Hollow cutesy for me at points but the setting was unique and seemed very authentic. The real star is the chemistry between Simon and Emily, which is much better when they finally admit their attraction to each other. The hate-to-love didn’t work for me for some reason- it felt convenient rather than convincing. There wasn’t enough interaction at first to justify it, and the switching back and forth between regular and Faire personas confused it too. I was tempted to rate this lower until the second half of the book if that tells you anything. It does get very cute and very romantic. I also really liked Emily’s interactions with her sister April and with Christine (Chris), the local bookstore owner and resident Queen Elizabeth. Well Met would make a very sweet Hallmark movie.
I think this is the first time that I didn’t love the hate-to-love trope! If you’ve read Well Met, what did you think? Do you enjoy overly cutesy books or do you only have a certain level of cheese toleration like I do?