Well Met by Jen DeLuca
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
At the risk of sounding like the grinch who killed Romancelandia, I have to admit that I don’t get this one, and that surprised me given what I’d heard. Well Met is sweet and the setting, a Renaissance Faire, and setup are original. And that is admirable and worthy of note. Yet the book as a whole still felt a bit beige, like a serviceable rather than joyful read for me. I just didn’t find compelling. It was hard to escape the feeling of wanting more.
A woman moves to a small town in Maryland and moves in with her older sister and niece to take care of them in the wake of a serious car accident. The heroine Emily is also going through a difficult time in the wake of a bad breakup. While she’s in town, she chaperones her niece as a volunteer in their local renaissance faire and instantly strikes up an intense love-hate connection with the faire’s organizer. That’s all great. But things go a little off track, veering into stereotypes and overplayed tropes from there. First and foremost this is an enemies to lovers story of the weakest form about two people who know very little about each other and have a couple really minor, tepidly unpleasant exchanges. At worst, the hero is a super watered down Darcy type perhaps. Enemies is a big stretch. The second problem is that the heroine is annoyingly insecure in a way that is frustratingly common for women in romance. When they finally connect it’s still a sweet story but a little underwhelming.
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