By: Jen Deluca
Expected Publication: September 3rd 2019 by Berkley
Genre: Adult, Contemporary
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)
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Goodreads description--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.
Well Met was just the contemporary read I've been looking for. Although I have to say upfront that I wish the title had been worked into some super cheesy scene. This felt like a lost opportunity.
I loved the Renaissance Faire setting. I went on a field trip to one when I was in the 8th or 9th grade. I don't remember a ton about it, but I feel like I'm missing out with not having the opportunity to volunteer for one and play a fun character. Maybe I'll have to look into taking the kids on a trip to one in a few years. Anyway, I'm getting sidetracked. This was such a unique setting.
Emily was easy for me to connect with. I feel like we're a lot alike. I love to organize things, and any time I see organization lacking I feel like I have to step in and help whip things into shape. She does so in an unobtrusive way. She only wishes to help where needed. But of course, this isn't always appreciated by others who might feel like she's overstepping. I also connected with her relationship struggles. When someone has taken advantage of you, it is easy to question everyone else's motivations.
Simon. Oh, I just want to reach into the book and give him a hug. He's got the weight of the world on his shoulders. He's keeping the Faire going in memory of his brother. And even though he loves the Faire, trying to micromanage everything is draining the life out of him. I loved how he feels stuck in who everyone views him to be. I mean obviously I didn't want him to stay there, but it gave him character and something to overcome. The pirate side of Simon was easy to love. Swagger as Sean had put it.
The ultimate conflict wasn't perfect for me. I liked that it was really about the culmination of the personal struggles that both Emily and Simon had individually clashing against each other. She needs to know that she's someone else's first priority given her history. And he needs to find a way to honor and grieve his brother without having it take over his life--to take back some control over the things he wants for himself.
You guys, I devoured this book. I happened to start this book the week we were having a party at our house. When I needed to be cleaning the house and getting ready, I was sneaking in a page here and there. And as a matter of fact, the day of the party as the time was getting closer and closer to start, I remember thinking "honestly, I love my family and friends, but I'd rather be finishing my book right now." I was almost to 80% so things were getting ready to wrap up. After the party was over, I read to 94% and my eyes literally shut without my consent. I had to finish the next morning.
Well Met was exactly what I've been needing. A contemporary book that I could devour with characters that I cared about and a setting that I'd love to return to. I'd really be interested in seeing if there's anything possible between Mitch and April. Well Met gets 4.5 Stars. I will certainly be on the lookout for more from Jen DeLuca in the future. Have you read Well Met? What did you think? Let me know!
*Side note: I hate this book cover.