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 have both worked as a vendor and attended as a spectator man Ran Faires over the past years, so the book Well Met by Jen DeLuca was a perfect read for me. The author’s writing was able to transport me back to all the fun I have had over the years and all the fun I was missing this year due to cancellations.
I adored the main characters of Simon and Emily. Emily gets dumped by her boyfriend and moves across the country to help out her sister who is recovering from a car accident. Her 15-year-old niece Caitland signs up for the school’s Ren Faire and Emily has to sign up also due to Emily being a minor and needing a parental volunteer with her. Being a newbie at the whole Red Faire thing she takes the role of a Tavern Wench named Emma.
Simon is the local High School English teacher and is in charge of the Red Faire. It is his baby, having been started by his now-dead older brother that he looked up too. He is stern about how things are run with the faire, not wanting change due to the fact it is all he has left of his brother and he holds on to that.
Naturally, Emma and Simon do not get along, they disagree on a lot of things. Simon is stuffy and rude. One the first or second day of the faire Emma is grabbed to be a part of a handfasting ceremony, they needed faire participants along with the people that were paying to be handfasted. She is coupled up with Simon of course, and they are handfasted by the Queen.
Simon takes the faire seriously and plays the roll of Captian Ian Blackthorne perfectly, he becomes charming and likable and sexy, and Emma the Tavern Wench finds herself crushing on him, and they continue to play the roll as a couple, but where does that leave Emily and Simon when they are not playing parts at the faire?
Well Met is a quick and fun Rom/com read with plenty of romance, great banter, some steamy love scenes, and fantastic family and friend relationships. It is cute, sweet, and def will make you swoon.
** Jen DeLuca had a sequel to Well Met titled Well Played, which will be released September 22, and it continues the story of the Ren Faire, only the main character is Emily’s friend Stacy who was a Tavern Wench with her.**