Monday, August 19, 2019

Well Met by Jen DeLuca

Title: Well Met
Author: Jen DeLuca 
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: September 3, 2019

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.

One of my favorite debut romance novels this year!

Well Met by Jean Deluca surprised me with its originality and charm. I was taken by the characters early on. I was invested in their relationship and my wish was for a happy ending.

Things I enjoyed: 

Enemies to lovers story: ✔
A love between a Pirate and a Wench: ✔
Good secondary characters: ✔
A Renaissance Faire: ✔
Hot guys fighting: ✔
A Kilt and Leather Pants: ✔

Emily moves to Willow Creek, a small town in Maryland to help her sister and her niece. Emily's sister, April was involved in a car accident and she's still recuperating. Emily is taking care of all the chores and driving her niece, Caitlin to school and April to the doctor's appointments and physical therapy. 

Emily was able to be there for April because her own life had imploded. Her boyfriend of many years, Jake, had dumped her without a second thought. Without a home or a relationship, Emily takes the opportunity to forget about her problems by helping others, and hopefully, come up with a plan for her future too.

When Emily takes Caitlin to sign up to play a part in the Renaissance Faire, the last thing she thought was that she needed to sign up herself or Caitlin couldn't join it. Next thing she knows, Emily is going to be playing one of the tavern wenches.

"That was what I was there for. Be the cool aunt. Do the fun stuff. Distract her."

Emily likes the small-town people feel. Emily is enjoying making new friendships and the feeling of being accepted by everyone. Well, maybe not everyone. The English teacher is not too keen on her. Simon never appears happy to see her and he keeps on looking at her with disapproval. He's the Renaissance Faire organizer and wants everything done to perfection.

"I knew which of these two guys I was looking forward to getting to know better this summer, and it wasn’t the Ren Faire Killjoy."

However, when Emily turns into Emma, the local tavern wench and Simon Graham turns into a pirate, Captain Blackthorne, everything is different. Simon becomes flirtations, easy-going, and has a smile on his face. A smile that makes Emily forget about her first impressions of him.

“Well, love. I’d be fighting for you.” 

Well Met was sweet, charming and left me with a smile on my face. I would love to read another book by Jen DeLuca set in the same town. Maybe one with Mitch and April.

"But then you came along, Emily, and you weren’t a should. You were a want."

4/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Berkley via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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