I’m still on my NA romance kick, and have a few eARCs to read and review. I don’t even remember how this book came on my radar. I think I may have just been browsing NetGalley and thought this sounded good. Pleasant surprise! It was!
Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group for giving me a free digital copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Title: Well Met
Author: Jen DeLuca
Expected release date: September 3, 2019
Genre: Contemporary, adult, romance
Length: 336 pages (paperback)
Synopsis: (via Goodreads) “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 the themes I’ve noticed in NA books is that the MC has often gone through a big event (break up, losing a job, death of a parent, etc.) and doesn’t know quite how to pick themselves back up again. The MC, Emily, has gone through a break-up and is not retreating to a small town in order to take care of her teen-aged niece and older sister who broke her leg in a car accident. Emily thinks she’s only there temporarily and while she struggled to find a niche with her now ex-boyfriend, we see her slowly make a path for herself. I enjoyed this sort of enemies-to-lovers trope between Simon and Emily. The things Emily learns about Simon, all the pressure he puts on himself, really tugs on your heartstrings, and I like how he and Emily come together, pushing past their dislike of each other because it all came out to be a misunderstanding. We see them hit it off early, and then Emily’s confusion and who Simon really is. I’m glad we learn who he truly is through Emily’s eyes.
I love that this revolved around a Renaissance Fair, too. It seemed like Simon and Emily found a connection early on, but it also brought on some confusion on Emily’s part because she had to break down Simon as a person to find out who he truly was. The same goes from Emily and her relationship with her sister, April. They have a wide age gap. Emily admits she never felt particular close to her sister when she was younger, and I like how this has given the two sisters a chance to get to know one another. Good siblings relationships is always something I root for.
I enjoyed all of the characters in this book! I liked how each of them took Emily in and made her feel welcome and a part of the small town because that was something Emily hadn’t experienced before with her ex-boyfriend. Again, the budding sibling relationship with April and the gradual romance with Simon was really fun to read. It was heart-breaking to read the need Simon felt to continue on the Faire, and I’m glad he was able to talk through some of it with Emily.
Emily was a good main character. The internal struggle she has due to how her ex-boyfriend left her and trying to reconcile this with her feelings for Simon was done really well. It makes you feel sad for Emily, but glad that she can overcome them.
Completely enjoyable! I flew through this book pretty quickly, and I find I do that easier when the writing isn’t bogged down. I’ll definitely read more of DeLuca’s works, and I can’t wait to see what she has in store.