Blurb: 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.
I’ve never been very fond of the romance trope, “enemies to more,” but Jen DeLuca’s Well Met has me rethinking my dislike.
Emily is staying with her old sister, April, and niece, Caitlin, while April recovers from a car accident. Caitlin is in high school and wants to be part of the small town’s Renaissance Faire more than anything. So on the day of sign ups, Emily drives her and then finds out that an adult has to volunteer if a minor wants to be part of the Faire. So Emily ends up being a serving wench and a thorn in the side of Faire organizer, Simon.
Well Met is a delightful read, witty and fun, with the spark between Emily and Simon off-the-charts as they fall into their Faire characters of pirate Captain Ian Blackthorne and serving wench Emma. I loved the descriptions of Simon as the pirate in the leather pants.
There are no superfluous supporting characters, each is integral to the story and probably to future stories. And fortunately none of the ubiquitous mean girls or jerky guys, except for Emily’s ex- who we never meet.
While there are emotional and stirring moments, none are particularly angsty. Instead, they felt just right. In fact, everything felt just right.
This romance really made me happy. If you haven’t read it and like the idea of a romance happening during a Renaissance Faire, read it. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
About the audiobook: Brittany Pressley did a fantastic job of bringing this book to life for me. Excellent audiobook!
5 out of 5 butterflies