Category Archives: Well Met

Review: Well Met by Jen DeLuca

Title: Well Met by Jen DeLuca
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 335 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through First to Read


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 by Jen DeLuca  is an utterly charming romance.

Emily Parker is reeling from a break up with her longtime boyfriend when she relocates to help her older sister April recover from a car accident.  Although busy taking care of her niece Caitlin and her sister, she is loving spending time with them.  When Caitlin signs up to work the Renaissance Faire (which is an annual fundraiser), Emily is dismayed to discover she has to volunteer as well.  However, Emily is surprised by how much she enjoys working alongside Stacey Lindholm, Christine “Chris” Donovan and Mitch Malone.  Unfortunately she is not at all thrilled at having to spend time with the Ren Faire’s grumpy coordinator Simon Graham.  Needless to say, Emily is a bit confused when she finds Simon’s  pirate alter ego very hard to resist.  Will Emily’s and Simon’s unexpected summer romance continue once the Ren Faire is finished?

Emily is sarcastic and snarky but she also has a heart of gold.  Despite the circumstances, she is truly enjoyed getting to know her older sister and niece better.  A planner by nature, Emily is a little concerned about what she will do with her life once April is fully recovered. Having put her life on hold for her ex-boyfriend, the only thing she knows for certain is a career change is in order.  After spending the summer getting to know the townspeople, Emily cannot fathom starting over somewhere else. But can she count on her job at Chris’s coffee shop/bookstore to continue when summer ends?

An English teacher at the local high school, Simon is a bit uptight and a stickler for details. He is also resistant to any changes to the Ren Faire but everyone he works with is ok with him running the show. Once he dons his pirate garb, he is fun-loving and flirty. But with summer drawing to a close, Simon is once again very serious and intense as he prepares for the upcoming school year.

The relationship between Emily and Simon runs hot and cold for a good part of the novel.  Emily does not need his disapproval and he does not appreciate her light-hearted approach to life. But a funny thing happens as they transform themselves into their Ren Faire characters. As the Faire draws to a close, Emily’s self-doubts threaten to overwhelm her just as her romance with Simon is heating up. At the same time, Simon’s inability to move past a heartbreaking loss threatens their chance for a future together.

Well Met is a delightfully breezy romance that is quite captivating. The characters are endearing and easy to like. The storyline is engaging and the Ren Faire is a fun backdrop for the unfolding story. Emily’s and Simon’s romance is a slow burn but it is still enjoyable watching them fall in love. The conflict that arises between them is quickly resolved with a very heartwarming scene.  I absolutely loved and highly recommend this marvelous debut by Jen DeLuca.


Filed under Berkley, Contemporary, Jen DeLuca, Rated B, Rated B+, Romance, Well Met