- Release Date
- September 2019
Chick-lit, Contemporary Romance
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.
Book Review by Pip (reviewer)
Sep 06, 2019 [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
32 people found the following review helpful
When Emily Parker moved to Willow Creek to help her sister and niece after an accident, getting roped into being a tavern wench during the summer Renaissance Faire under the disapproving eye of a buttoned-up, uptight Simon Graham--the local high school literature teacher and also the surly man in charge--wasn't the turn she expected her life to take.
But the Faire--the make-believe and physical transformation and the layers of identities that the characters took on--and its supposed Elizabethan magic could work wonders. The friction between Emily and Simon turned into something other than constant arguing…with a slow-burn that proved to be quite rewarding by the time the sparks turn to fire, because the feisty tavern wench and the swaggering pirate can play at something in all their interactions, even if their real life personas are more riddled with confusion about the mutual attraction.
In fact, seeing Simon's layers coming apart was perhaps, the best parts of the book.
In all, WELL MET is cute and light-hearted and honestly, thoroughly enjoyable, more so because it was an easy read that handled the sniping and the humour with quite a bit of panache with a cast of characters that were in their own ways, memorable. The heavier themes like grief, emotional healing and moving on were handled with the knowledge that these are more complicated than we always make them out to be without weighing the entire story down with angst. The only thing that I couldn't entirely get on with was Emily's insecurity about not being the priority in people's lives--a point that she rued often and made it a bigger issue with Simon than it should have been--as it felt like amplified conflict when it didn't have to be.
Still, I had loads of fun to the point where this ended up being one of the rare stories where I alternated between dreading finishing it and wanting to savour the swoon-worthy chemistry between Simon and Emily as much as I could (which mean turning the pages at a furious pace just to see how it would develop). For those who love everything about Shakespeare and his time? This book's yours to hug close.
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Book Review by Ashia (reviewer)
Sep 22, 2020 [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
16 people found the following review helpful
I've never gone to a Renaissance Faire, and reading this book makes me want to go to one right now. Jen De Luca describes the setting and the events vividly enough that I can "see" them and immerse myself in the sights and sounds, smells and heat of the Faire.
Emily is a wonderful heroine; loyal and unselfish as she dropped the things in her life to go take care of her sister and niece when they had an accident. That she was recovering from a breakup was just good timing. She originally didn't like Simon (the hero) but that just created more sparks between them and later made her realize that she did like Simon (over Mitch, whom she originally ogled).
Simon is quiet and reserved and has his own insecurities, as he lived mostly in his dead brother's shadow. He's a relatable hero and I love how he wooed Emily with romantic gestures. Though the story was told from Emily's first person point of view, we did get to see Simon's side through her eyes and the eyes of the other townspeople whom she spoke to, and I didn't feel like anything was missing when we didn't get Simon's POV.
There's a wonderful cast of supporting characters--Emily's sister April and niece Caitlyn, her friend Stacey, Cris and of course Mitch!
I really enjoyed reading WELL MET and can't wait for the next book, Well Played, featuring Stacey and the mystery man she's been corresponding with online.
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