G. Bianco, 2019
Do you like sword fighting, Shakespeare, taverns, and pirates wooing wenches? If the answer is yes, the boy do I have a book for you! Jen DeLuca’s debut novel, Well Met, features all of the above in this heartwarming story about finding love in an unlikely place.
When Emily moves to Willow Creek for the summer to take care of her sister after an accident, she doesn’t plan on having to volunteer at the local Renaissance Faire with her teenage niece. She also doesn’t plan on the irritating schoolteacher in charge of the Faire to be so annoying that she can’t stop thinking about him. The Faire is Simon’s family’s legacy and clearly gets frustrated with Emily’s carefree attitude, crazy Shakesepare conspiracies, and suggestions to make the Faire better. But when they take on their Faire personas, flirtation flow freely between the two, making Emily question whether or not her newfound feelings towards him are real or just part of the act. What starts as a pit-stop summer for Emily quickly turns into the possibility of finding love, and a new home in Willow Creek.
I don’t know if I have enough amazing things to say about this book! I laughed, I teared up, and I couldn’t put it down! This novel was flirty, funny, and blushworthy with the broody banter and coy innuendos scattered throughout the story.
The descriptive language really brought the Renaissance Faire to life in the reader’s eyes, as well as made every moment that much more intense in the way emotions and movements were described. Between the costuming, scenery, and atmosphere of the Faire, the novel took on a very realistic mental image. I could picture the human chess match clearly in my mind (as well as the steamy romance scenes)! Both Emily and Simon were well developed characters that had their flaws, yet were able to try and resolve them through each other. Emily’s attempt to “put roots down” somewhere and Simon’s grappling with making his own choices help to propel the story forward, while still retaining the fun, romantic parts.
On top of all of this, the overall setting of a Renaissance Faire and having little Shakespeare references spattered throughout the story will make any English major/literature lover squeal with delight. The juxtaposition between wooing in Renaissance times versus finding love in our modern day and age was really intriguing as well. While things were obviously different back then, this novel shows how romance isn’t dead and that sometimes all it takes is a gesture, grand or small, to show someone how you really feel.
DeLuca’s amazing concept for a novel is very well executed and fans of romance will fly through this novel, yet never want it to end! This book is a must-grab on September 3rd!
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