Title: Well Met
Author: Jen DeLuca
Year of Publication: 2019
Number of Pages: 336
Summary: From Goodreads: 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.
Review: I purchased this book last year on what turned out to be my last trip to a bookstore before the pandemic. I finally got around to reading this book earlier this month for the first book in a trilogy prompt for the TBR Tackle Challenge. I had high expectations going into this book because so many people love it, and I’m happy to say that this book exceeded my expectations and that I loved it.
When Emily relocated to Willow Creek, Maryland, after her life imploded, she expected to spend a summer helping her sister recover from an accident. What Emily wasn’t expecting was being roped into volunteering for the local Renaissance Faire by her niece and spending her weekends learning about the Elizabethan times, being a tavern wench, and trying to figure out what Simon’s problem is. As the summer passes, Emily starts to wonder if maybe Willow Creek is more than a temporary stop in her life.
Unsurprisingly, my favourite thing about this book is the enemies-to-lovers trope. Enemies-to-lovers is one of the best tropes, and I cannot get enough of it. Emily and Simon start to butt heads almost as soon as they meet. Emily thinks that Simon hates her, they exchange some snarky comments, and you can feel the tension when they interact. Anyone familiar with this trope knows what happens next, and I made fangirl noises when it finally happened.
The other thing that I loved about the book was the characters. Emily is a fun character. She’s organized but lost, selfless but trying to learn how to put herself first, and she’s hard-working. It’s clear that she cares about her sister and niece and wants to be part of Willow Creek. Simon is an English teacher, and it’s clear that he has a lot of responsibilities and that he struggles to juggle all of them. He has a past and a legacy to maintain, and it’s clear that he struggles with the idea of change. Emily and Simon infuriate each other, and in my opinion, they balance each other out perfectly. I also love that both of these characters had their moments that made me laugh-out-loud.
I also loved the setting of this book. Small towns are a lot of fun, but Renaissance Faires are even more fun. I’ve never gone to a Renaissance Faire, but I want to go to one after reading this book. I loved reading about the different performers, costumes, and activities at the Faire, and I wanted to be a part of it. I’m not saying that I’m going to give up my current life to become a tavern wench, but this book made the idea very tempting, especially if it means being wooed.
Finally, I loved that this book was cliché. This book follows the typical rom-com trajectory, but I loved it. I like knowing what’s going to happen, and the anticipation and build-up were fantastic. I also like going into a book knowing that I’m going to feel good at the end of it, and this book did not disappoint on that front. I also want to note that even though this book was cliché and that it followed the typical rom-com trajectory, it was still an exciting read.
Overall, I loved this book. It was my favourite book of January, and I anticipate that I’m going to be gushing about it for a long time.
Rating: 5 Stars!