There are a few things that are almost guaranteed to make me pick up a book (they mostly involve bookish things like bookstores or libraries). One of them is definitely Shakespeare. And since 2019 is turning out to be the year I eat my words and finally give in to my love for romance novels, I obviously had to read one where the two main characters are Shakespeare fans. Enter Well Met.
(All reviews are spoiler-free unless otherwise noted.)
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.
Well Met is one of those books I’d been seeing around long before it came out. It was all over Instagram and YouTube, and I immediately added it to my TBR. The second my preorder came in the mail, I couldn’t resist reading it. And surprise! I loved it.
I thought the renaissance faire was such a fun setting for this book. I’ve never been, but I kind of really want to go now. I liked how each character not only had a different role in the faire, but the faire had a different role in each of their lives as well. It also made for a very interesting story, since Simon and Emily don’t exactly get along outside of the faire, but when they become tavern wench Emma and the pirate Captain Ian Blackthorne, everything takes a turn for the flirty. And it is so much fun!
I really liked all of the characters in this book. They were dynamic and interesting, and most of them had dual personalities in and outside of the faire, which I enjoyed a lot. The love story wasn’t exactly steamy – though there were some sex scenes – but I thought it was perfect. I just really liked it. It gave me all the warm fuzzies I wanted, and even some Elizabeth Bennet/Mr. Darcy vibes. And, honestly, that is all I want in a romance. Every time.
★★★★☆ – I’ve read quite a few contemporary romance novels this year (I started and can’t stop), but I think it’s safe to say Well Met was one of my favorites. I rarely give romance novels five stars – they’re just too predictable – but this one was close. If you like contemporary romance or are looking for a modern Elizabeth/Darcy romance (that isn’t a Pride and Prejudice retelling) I would highly recommend this one! I mean, there are fake pirates. Come on.
Well Met is available in bookstores now! You can pick up a copy on Amazon.
To get the audiobook for free, use this link to sign up for a free trial of Audible and choose Well Met as one of your two free books.
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