Title: Well Played
Series: Well Met #2
Author: Jen Deluca
Tropes: Epistolary, Small-Town, Rom-Com
Edition/Pages: Paperback, 336 Pages
I received an ARC copy of this from Berkely via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
After another Faire year draws to a close, Stacey feels like her life is still on hold. So after a few too many glasses of wine, she messages her long time Faire fling, Dex. She never felt an emotional connection with him, but when she receives a heartfelt response, she thinks maybe she underestimated him. As the months go by, their messages become more frequent and Stacey finds herself developing real feelings.
But on the cusp of the next Faire season, Stacey discovers it isn’t Dex she’s been pouring her heart to…. she’s been falling in love with a man she barely knows.
➸ POV: 1st Person, Stacey’s POV
➸ Stacey: 27, Tavern Wench @ Rene Faire with Emily (book 1), Lives with parents after moving home to help take care of her mother
➸ Content Warnings: Heart Attack, Catfishing, Talk of infertility/difficulty conceiving, Lots of discussion on body image
This is probably closer to a 3.5⭐ but I’m going to keep my original 4 star rating for now.
This didn’t quite live up to book 1 but I still thought it was a really adorable rom-com! I loved being back at this Renaissance Faire and with these characters. This small-town romance series is just so much fun to read.
This entire book/series is full of witty fun banter. Not only between the main couple, but the side characters as well. I love the friendships, the romances, and the familial bonds. I honestly just want to move to Willow Creek.
Like in the first book, the Renn Faire itself was one of my favorite aspects. The setting is so vibrant and fun and feels almost like it’s own main character. I loved wandering the faire with the characters and getting all the descriptions of shows, vendors, and costumes. Especially in 2020 when none of us can enjoy these things for ourself!…
I also loved the discussions of family and body image. Stacey struggles with finding a balance between going after what she wants and being there for those she loves. Which is something I think a lot of readers will be able to relate to. Stacey put her life on hold to help take care of her mother while she was sick, but eventually feels stuck and unable to let go or move on. Stacey is also plus sized and has a lot of conversation around body image, confidence, and self-acceptance.
With all that being said, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the main conflict and in turn, Stacey’s character. So much of the conflict between Stacey and her love interest was self inflicted. First, I didn’t think the male MC did nearly enough apologizing or groveling for his actions. And two, Stacey stood in her own way to the point of frustration. By the end, I was annoyed by her self-inflicted sentencing. She kept complaining about all these made up obligations and I justwanted to shake her. I prefer the stakes to feel higher rather than unnecessary, self-inflicted barriers.
Overall this was a solid sequel. And when I say I’m excited for April and Mitch’s story. I just… I need it!!!
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