Review | Well Met, Jen DeLuca

WellMetCoverWell Met is a light-hearted enemies to lovers romance against the backdrop of a small town Renaissance faire. Emily joins the fair’s group of volunteers as a favour to her sister and to her niece, and butts heads against Simon, the fair’s serious organizer, who doesn’t appreciate Emily’s lackadaisical attitude. It turns out Simon has a deeply personal reason for wanting the fair to be just perfect, and Emily learns they have more in common than she first realized.

I love the chemistry between the leads, particular when they’re in role as a Captain Blackthorne the pirate and Emma the tavern wench. Unlike Emily, I never really minded Simon’s seriousness. (My one big minus for this book was Emily’s utter cluelessness at the potential reasons behind Simon’s churlish behaviour and at the considerate things he did on the down low.) Still, like Emily, I totally found Simon’s flirtatious pirate persona hot, and I loved their in-character banter. I also love how their feelings for each other expanded beyond their fair characters and into the real world.

The unabashed cheesiness of the Renaissance faire setting definitely added to the charm. Situations like the wench costume’s tight bodice (not a corset, as Simon points out!), the choreographed battles, and above all, the staged handfasting ceremony (!) all factored into the romance.

I also love the family dynamics, with Simon’s unwavering devotion to his brother Sean’s legacy and Emily’s instinctive generosity in helping her sister manage daily tasks after a major injury. The relationship between Emily and her older sister was so sweet, and I love how much they supported each other.

Finally, I love the secondary characters, particularly Mitch the hot flirty guy in a kilt and Stacey the other tavern wench. I love how they, and Chris the bookstore owner and Renaissance fair queen, so easily welcome Emily into their community’s family feel, and make an effort to include her, a newcomer, in the town’s events. I’m excited to learn that the next book will be Stacey’s story, and from the preview excerpt in this book, seems that it will have a dynamic of a hot guy who isn’t a serious romantic prospect and a sweet guy friend who likely turns out to be the hero. I found Stacey to be a dynamic, compelling character, and I can’t wait to see her find her HEA.

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Thanks to Penguin Random House Canada for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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