(Full disclosure: Links to specific books are Bookshop affiliate links, which earn me a small commission at no additional cost to you. Mentions of BOTM are referral codes.)
Once upon a time, I forgot to update the address for my Book of the Month subscription when I moved. As a result, my BOTM edition of a highly anticipated read, Jen DeLuca’s Well Met, never found me.
That is how I wound up lying in bed in my new apartment clutching my Kindle well past midnight as I tearfully read through to the end of my second, digital edition of the book. Miss the Ren Faire rom com due to a delivery error? Not a chance.
This memory stands out for a few reasons. First, I didn’t end up living in my little one bedroom bachelorette bad for long, since a pandemic left me moving in with my now-fiancé months earlier than we (okay, I) planned. Second, it had been the first time in a long while that I stayed up late to finish a book.
I hadn’t read much fiction during the two years I spent in my nonfiction MFA program, and even after graduation, the habit was slow to come back. So, my then-boyfriend, Andy, was pretty amused when I responded to his late night text to inform him that no, actually, I wasn’t asleep when he texted me after 10pm like I normally would be.
Alas, as excited as I had been for Well Played, the sequel to Well Met, it didn’t quite have that “stay up all night” energy for me. I don’t think I’m alone in this, as a lot of reviews mention not loving the whole catfishing setup.
But, based on some advanced reviews and the fact that the fake-dating trope is far more my speed, I had high hopes for Well Matched. So much so that I participated in my first-ever preorder campaign, and my signed copy and stickers showed up on my doorstep a few days before Andy was headed out of town for the weekend. What better way to live it up while my fiancé is out of town than to stay up late reading a romance novel?
Well Matched tells the story of Emily’s older sister, April, whose daughter is about to head off to college. April moved to Willow Creek to raise Caitlin and has been putting her first for the past almost-eighteen years. Now, she’s ready to renovate her house and get out of the small town that, she feels, never accepted her.
Mitch, on the other hand, likes his life in Willow Creek just fine. It’s just that his family won’t take him seriously, and he figures a smart girl like April might impress them. And so, fake dating ensues, in exchange for some hunky home repair assistance.
Oh, my goodness, what a delight! Mitch and April have excellent banter, and it was nice to see an older woman dating a younger man (she said, with no personal stake in the matter whatsoever as her fiancé is not at all two years younger).
Seeing another side of fun-loving Mitch and watching these two fall in love was fantastic. Even if it did take us a little while to get to the Ren Faire this time around. I love some good banter, and this book for sure delivers.
One thing I’ve seen others mention a decent bit is how the obstacles in this case are largely of April’s own making. She’s so concerned with what others will think that she gets in her own way.
Honestly this is the kind of thing that normally irritates me, too, but I guess I could understand the whole fear of judgement thing a little too well? At any rate, I understood April’s fears and hesitations, even if it was frustrating at times.
In all, Azula can attest to the fact that I was up well past bedtime to finish this one, and I don’t regret it one bit.
I highly recommend this one to fans of Renaissance festivals, single mothers falling in love, fake dating, and quality banter. Even if Well Played wasn’t your cup of tea, I think you should give this one a go! Just don’t expect to start after 7pm and get a full night’s rest.
Thanks so much for reading! If you enjoyed this review, you can keep up to date on the latest reads that kept me up all night by following here and/or on Instagram? If you’re not a Medium member yet but would like to join, you can support me and YBF by signing up here.
Want to support my reviews (and next year’s Ren Faire costume) by chipping in? You can Buy Me a Coffee.