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Well Met by Jen DeLuca
Romance

Well Met

Debut

We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Jen DeLuca, on your first book!

Early Release

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by Jen DeLuca

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Quick take

A cute romance that makes us kind of want to go to a Renaissance Faire. (Shakespeare knowledge not required.)

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Romance

    Romance

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FastRead

    Fast read

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Happy

    Happy

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LightRead

    Light read

Synopsis

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.

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Free sample

Check out a preview of Well Met.
Well Met

One

I didn’t choose the wench life. The wench life chose me.

When I pulled into the parking lot of Willow Creek High School on that late-spring morning, I had very little on my agenda. No doctor’s appointments for my big sister, no school obligations to shuttle my niece to. The only thing I needed to do was get my niece to the sign-ups for the Renaissance faire. We were five minutes late, so it was going great so far.

Caitlin huffed from the back seat as I threw my little white Jeep in park. “Em, we’re late!” She managed to stretch both my name and that last word out into at least three syllables. “What if they don’t let me sign up? All my friends are doing this, and if I can’t, I’ll—”

“They’ll let you sign up.” But of course she was out before I’d even unbuckled my seat belt. I wasn’t going to call her back. I didn’t have that kind of authority over her. At barely ten years older, I was more a big sister than an aunt. When I’d first come to stay with my older sister and her daughter, April had tried to get Cait to call me “Aunt Emily,” but that was only a short hop away from Auntie Em and Kansas jokes so we’d abandoned it quickly. My relationship with the kid had settled into more of a friendship with overtures of Adult In Charge.

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Why I love it

Whenever I show off my hometown of Annapolis, MD, to first-time visitors, I make them do the following things: eat crabs, sit by the bay, and spend a day at the Renaissance Festival. If that last one gave you pause, allow me to convince you: Giant turkey legs! Lots o’ booze! You can throw an axe, watch grown men wield spears, and, inexplicably, slide down a magic carpet-themed slide! Needless to say, I’ve got serious Ren Fest nostalgia.

But even if you’ve never sported a flower crown or stuffed your face with funnel cake, there’s so much to love about Well Met, a rom-com set at a summer Ren Fest. It’s the story of Emily, a 20-something who, after a bad breakup, moves in with her sister to take care of her niece. Aunt duties lead her to volunteer at the local Ren Faire—as a tavern wench no less—where she’s quick to butt heads with Simon, the uptight schoolteacher in charge of the festival. But when Simon dons his pirate costume, a new and freer personality comes with it, and suddenly Emily finds herself wanting to be more than just enemies...

I’m not gonna lie, when I first picked up this book, I was expecting it to be a little too fluffy—but what I found instead was a story that had me completely emotionally invested. Emily is smart, witty, and devoted to her family, and I loved watching her unpack the puzzle that is grumpy Simon. This is a book about friendship, beautiful men in kilts, and figuring out where you belong—and the romance at its core is endearing to witness. Well Met is funny, sincere, and feel-good in all the best ways.

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Member ratings (12,316)

  • Katie S.

    Neenah, WI

    I loved this unique storyline and could not put it down! It was hard not to fall in love with the characters, but it was a little predictable. Easy to read and I’m excited to grab the sequel! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Michelle M.

    Whittier, CA

    5⭐️♥️ I loved this book! I loved Emily and Simon!! A lovely RomCom book! So glad it’s my August book pick!! Loved it so much. I’m even more tempted to go to a Renaissance Faire. A great Summer Read

  • Kelle M.

    Lubbock, TX

    I really enjoyed this book. It had some real laugh out moments and i love that in a book. I liked all the Characters but, I have to admit, Emily could be a little too insecure for me at times. 

  • Autumn B.

    Kettering, OH

    5/5⭐️’s I absolutely adored this book. It was lighthearted with the perfect amount of humor and the added bit of spice made it the perfect rom-com. I’ve never wanted to be a part of a ren-faire more!

  • Molly D.

    Pittsburgh, PA

    It had me at ren fair, but this book completely exceeded my expectations and just blew me away. I won’t say it’s the next Pride and Prejudice, but it’s absolutely adorable and such a feel good novel!

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