I write to you with bleary, puffy eyes because I stayed up late last night to finish reading Jen DeLuca’s Well Met. When I first saw the synopsis of the book, I should’ve known something like this would happen, because, well, just read it yourself:
“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,” (Goodreads).
The sworn enemies having the hots for each other trope, but set against the backdrop of the Renaissance Faire? A protagonist in her mid to late twenties, literally the exact same age I am now? Yes, please, a thousand times.
I’ve been struggling to fit in enough reading as I’ve gotten older, something protagonist Emily (who has “most of” an English degree) would be familiar with. So, when I get sucked into a book deeply enough to stay up late reading it, it’s usually something that is just so perfectly within my wheelhouse. And as an English/Creative Writing degree holder who starts getting excited about Ren Fest around, oh, January, I’d say this book hits the target.
The basic premise is that Emily moves in with her older sister after a terrible breakup leaves her homeless and a car crash leaves her sister less than ambulatory. In order for her niece to participate in the Ren Fest she so desperately wants to be in, she needs to have an adult volunteer with her. Since Caitlin’s mom can’t exactly walk, let alone parade around in Renaissance garb serving drinks, Emily steps in to save the day. Which is where she meets Simon, who she hates upon first sight, though of course we as the readers know it won’t stay that way for long.
Romances are so comforting because there is a certain predictability to them, an ease of the formula that is tried and true. And yet, every writer puts their own spin on it, and this book is no different. DeLuca writes such a sexy leading man that I did, in fact, stop reading the book to literally fan myself a few times. Yeah, the interactions between Simon and Emily in their Ren Fest personas are that good.
I won’t dig much deeper into the plot because I don’t want to spoil how delightful it is, so I’ll simply say I highly recommend you romance loving nerds out there give this one a try. As a girl who grew up loving both sappy romantic comedies and watching Dragonball Z, who dreamed of one day playing Dungeons and Dragons, I sometimes feel like a unicorn–you’re a nerd girl or you’re into sappy, girly things, but both?! It’s so refreshing to see more and more writers putting the two together in their stories, shedding light on the fact that we all contain multitudes.
Well Met is an absolute delight, and I can’t wait to see what debut author DeLuca comes out with next. Something Dungeons and Dragons related, mayhaps? Just saying, I’d read the crap out of a book where two people who initially dislike one another roleplay characters who slowly fall in love… as they do so in real life, against their better judgement.