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Well Met #1

Well Met

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Romance (2019)
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.

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.

335 pages, Kindle Edition

First published September 3, 2019

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About the author

Jen DeLuca

6 books3,526 followers
Jen DeLuca was born and raised near Richmond, Virginia, but now lives in Arizona with her husband and a houseful of rescue pets. She loves latte-flavored lattes, Hokies football, and the Oxford comma. Well Met is her first novel, inspired by her time volunteering as a pub wench with her local Renaissance Faire.

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5 stars
16,854 (25%)
4 stars
28,408 (42%)
3 stars
17,490 (25%)
2 stars
3,777 (5%)
1 star
793 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 9,984 reviews
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,307 reviews44k followers
September 6, 2022

After for a long time and worst experiences with my favorite authors, I was about to lose my hope to find some lovable romance! Then I finally start this book and TATATA I FELL IN LOVE with it! I’m correcting it! IT LITERALLY WOOED ME!

Cute, sweet, swoony, smart and plus it gives you to urge attending a renaissance fair urgently. (I already ordered my Marie Antionette costume for me and Robin Hood costume for my husband dearest who didn’t give a good reaction to my generosity by rejecting wearing tights! Shame!)
Elements for falling in love with this book and to be bound for one year and one day:

- WE HAVE LOVELY HEROINE IN THE TOWN: Emily, golden-hearted, sweet, friendly, honest, loyal heroine who had dumped and kicked out their shared apartment by his douchebag ex after five years of her relationship (We have a winner slap/punch what makes me happy so much contest: Prize is 10 slaps and 10 punches against this character’s ugly face and uglier soul who made Emily drop her school to support him finish his own law school! Then he dumped her and said they haven’t been dating! Another self-esteem destroyer scumbag!), she moves to support her sister who suffers from injuries and helps her niece for her faire experiment.

- WE HAVE A LOVELY, ROMANTIC HERO: At first I thought he was know-it-all, boring, strict, pretentious douchebag. But his connection with his dead brother and his mission to tribute to his memory by taking responsibility of all the hard works of faire earned him 3thousand brownie points. Also his secret identity as pirate is better, hotter, heterosexual version of Jack Sparrow!

- SIZZLING CHEMISTRY: They are so hot as a couple. Of course they are also cute especially as their role play parts as Captain Blackthorne and Emma put the fair on fire! So many parts I wonder if it could be more erotic romance because I felt the building tension that any minute they could rip each other’s clothes!

- BEST SUPPORTING CHARACTERS: All statues go to the man who carries kilt sexier than Outlander’s star Sam Heughan, yes I’m talking about MITCH, sarcastic, entertaining, flirty, lovable character. Don’t forget smart, mature, sweet little nice Caitlin and best big and supportive sister April.

- AMAZING FAIRE ATMOSPHERE: At the beginning I thought it could bored me to death to read a book taken place at faire but as soon as I started turning paces, I took my first steps to the renaissance times and I wished to spend more time, there.

- SUMMARY: Likable characters, good plot, fast-paced, moving, romantic, emotional, heart-warming story, wooing gestures, great conclusion! IT WAS GREAT FIX FOR MY ROMANCE CRAVING! I’m happy and smiling. (I know it won’t be long because there are more thriller books on my tbr list but so far this is the best relaxing, entertaining story I’ve read for so long!)

Profile Image for emma.
1,869 reviews54.5k followers
December 28, 2022
It is with great sadness and dignified surprise that I must inform you: I am an alien.

I have always assumed myself to be of this Earth, considering I have memories going back 15+ years of living here and also zero memories of space or spacecraft or alien technology. Also I feel that I would have some sort of soft spot for galaxies and planets and whatnot if I were an alien, and as is I have no affection of the kind. Plus I don’t even like sci-fi. It’s usually my least read genre.

But apparently all of this is moot, because clearly I am an alien.

Why else would every single thing, every interaction and relationship and joke, that happens in this book make no sense to me? Why would I spend these 336 pages trying to teach myself Human Culture?

There’s no other explanation. I must be from another planet.

That, or this book is off the rails.

Anytime I start reading something I would qualify as quick / easy / fluffy, I intend to finish it the day I pick it up. So that book taking me THREE DAYS TO FINISH, for instance, would be a very, very bad sign.

But nothing about this makes any sense, so.

This Grand Romance follows Emily, a woman who has lost her path in life and come to live with her estranged sister and niece following a car accident, and Simon, the English teacher who runs the Renaissance Faire that Emily and her niece are joining.

As soon as Emily and Simon meet, they go, “I hate you.” Out of nowhere.

And then later, but not that much later, they go, “I love you.” Out of nowhere, again.

It is WILD.

Let me tell you, if enemies to lovers is your favorite romance trope, as it is mine, you are in for a life full of disappointments because books RARELY get it right.

(It may not be fair that I am writing this review the day after finishing You Deserve Each Other, an enemies-to-lovers that is one of the best romances I’ve ever read and a five-star rating that resulted in eight people acting so stunned it was as if I told them I’m an alien.)

(Oh wait.)

While Simon and Emily’s sudden hate-fest and equally sudden love-fest did not add up to me, that wasn’t the only instance I had of turning into a human question mark.

For example: At one point, Emily says she hates Simon’s parents for “foisting” their house on him.

That’s right.

Simon’s parents committed the grave grievance of giving their son...a HOUSE. A WHOLE HOUSE. AN ENTIRE HOME.

Excuse me while I weep for his suffering.

Also, at another point, for the drama, Simon assumes that Emily is dating his frenemy Mitch.

There’s no real reason or evidence for this. Just adding to the will-they-won’t-they, I guess, and also my pending mental breakdown.

And in the cherry on top, this calls itself a “rom-com” and characters often call each other funny/hilarious/the reincarnation of comedy legend George Carlin/etc., but I never once found anything funny.

I would have trouble pointing out a joke in the pages of this at all.

But then again, I’m an alien.

Bottom line: If anyone is aware of a spaceship I can borrow, please let me know. I’d like to reconnect with my alien family, and also launch this book into space while I’m at it.

currently-reading updates

pretty sure this book is either going to be a delightful, cheer-me-up read or annoy the bejesus out of me.

let's find out
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,172 reviews98.8k followers
January 2, 2020

ARC provided by Berkley in exchange for an honest review.

Be still, my heart. This really was the romcom of my dreams. My whole life, I’ve been obsessed with going to renaissance fairs every fall in Michigan. My heart (and my nostalgia) is just so strong thinking about the memories I have from each year I went, numerous times. But never have I ever read a book where the setting was a renaissance fair! Well, that is until Jen DeLuca decided to give me everything I’ve ever wanted.

Emily - 24, travels across the country, to a very small town, after a breakup to help out her sister and niece while her sister recovers from an accident. Her niece, Caitlin, very much wants to be a part of the renaissance fair this year, but she needs a parental guardian to volunteer as well! Emily soon turns into Emma, the tavern wench.

Simon - 27, a high school English teacher, and very protective of his town’s renaissance fair, that he helps run every year, while he also becomes Ian Blackthorn, the hottest pirate ever.

“Emma the Tavern Wench was turned on by Captain Blackthorn, Pirate. This could be a problem.”

I mean, you all know where this is going. But the ride? One of the best I’ve been on for all of 2019. I fell so in love with both of these characters and everything they were going through, while also wishing that Willow Creek, Maryland, was a real town, because I fell in love with the entire community, on and off the fairgrounds.

I loved the themes of family and community throughout this story too. The unconditional love between Emily and her sister and niece was the stuff of dreams, and it was a treat to read. The angst between Emily and Simon was the stuff of magic.

“Let us love you, and remind you that you’re worth it until you figure out what you’re going to do next.”

Overall, I just adored this one. From the romance, to the witty banter, to the sex, to the small-town setting, to the unconditional love of family, it was just everything. I couldn’t stop smiling while reading this one. This is such a unique gift to the romcom world, and I hope you all pick it up and fall in love with it soon.

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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Content and Trigger Warnings: talk of loss of a loved one (non-hodgkin's lymphoma), grief deception, depression depiction, and abandonment.

Buddy read with Riley & Alexa! ❤

I read this for SummerAThon! ❤
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews157k followers
April 4, 2021

Need a good read for a bad day? Here's a Booktube Video all about it!!
The Written Review
And someday, I wanted someone who would love me. Not for what I could do for them, but for who I was to them.
Emily has hit a crossroads.

She supported her boyfriend for years as he went for his law degree...only to be thrown aside now that he's achieved his dreams.

She's decided to relocate to Willow Creek to take care of her injured sister...but little does she know that even that comes with strings attached.

Corset strings, to be precise.

Emily's niece wants to volunteer to work at the Renaissance Faire but she's too young to do it without an adult.

So, with barely a backwards thought - Emily steps up and into a dress, it's bar-wenching time.
“I didn’t choose the wench life. The wench life chose me.”
The Renaissance Faire is the treasure of the town - and no one guards as much as Simon (the leader).

Immediately the two of them clash. Her laissez faire attitude and his stick-in-the-mud one keeps them at each other's throats.

But despite the tension, there's sparks. Lots and lots of sparks.
“This good sir Knight here was showing me his most impressive weapon."
Should she leave after the summer (like she's always planned)? Or is there enough here to put down roots?

Oh my gosh. I adored this book.

There's so much to love - the characters, the plot, the tension, the sexual tension, and more.

Emily was such an amazingly funny and hilariously witty main character. A sweetheart and a sass-bucket, all rolled into one.

Simon was a perfect pirate/dastardly swordsman (and nervous nelly).

The two of them balanced so well and the banter between them was perfect!

And the setting! Oh my gosh the setting! I loved every page - it brought back so many wonderful memories and made me so jealous.

If you are feeling reminiscent of the Renaissance Faire but don't want to risk the literal plague - then this book is for you.

YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,479 reviews19.5k followers
August 25, 2020
Re-read 8/21/20: A solid re-read! I don't think I enjoyed this one quite as much the second time around, but it was still mega cute and I'm excited to carry on with the rest of the series! I need Mitch's story, like, yesterday

Original read 7/1/19: This was SO DAMN CHARMING. Pretty sure I was grinning like a fool the entire time because I just loved it so much. MY HEART!
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.6k followers
November 23, 2019
you guys. its official. hot english teachers whose alter-ego is a roguish pirate are so my thing. it may sound a bit niche, but its the only thing that will do it for me. my heart has decided and theres nothing i can do about it now.

and until that perfect guy comes along, i guess i will just have to spend my time happily daydreaming about simon. i have a weak spot for guarded, yet vulnerable, romantic interests, so simon had my attention from page one. i enjoyed seeing him come out of his shell and really step into his own person. that character growth made the entire story worth it for me.

of course, i also enjoyed the interactions between him and emily. this story is very rom-com-esque, so i know the constant miscommunications and predictable ending would be a given. it didnt lessen my reading experience, but it just lacks that feeling of originality and angst i want when it comes to romance stories, especially when its pitched as 'enemies to lovers.'

but overall, this is a sweet, light, and fluffy read that totally hit the spot!

4.5 stars
Profile Image for Val ⚓️ Shameless Handmaiden ⚓️.
1,862 reviews30.1k followers
December 30, 2019
2 Stars

I picked this for my August Book of the Month box selection. I was fresh off The Reckless Oath We Made and was in "Renaissance mode," I guess. And while this book is usually not something I go for - I don't typically read light, mainstream contemporary romance (nothing against it, just not really my typical fare) - this book sounded really cute and I was very drawn to it and excited for it to arrive. Plus, it had a really cute cover in what is pretty much my favorite color. So there's that...

Unfortunately, however, despite knowing this would be light and fun...it ended up being just a little too light for me. I felt like I never really got to know any of the characters beyond the surface level and the main romantic relationship was without any romantic tension or chemistry.

I enjoyed the writing style, but as I said, it all felt very surface level. I never felt like anything - the characters, and their problems, motivations, and relationships - were never fully fleshed out to my satisfaction. And there was a lot of fodder to make it happen. So many missed opportunities.

That said, this was a light, sweet read from which will appeal to many readers. It just didn't work for me.
Profile Image for  Teodora .
329 reviews1,780 followers
April 23, 2023
4.5/5 ⭐

Full review on my Blog: The Dacian She-Wolf 🐺

*swoons into a puddle of cuteness*

*stops swooning*

Ah, damn, I loved this so much!

*starts swooning some more*

And no kidding. From the first few chapters, I was sure I was going to love this.

I mean, it had everything – the atmosphere was really great, the story was going nicely and the characters were portrayed so well.
And on top of that? I really liked the MC, Emily. She was really cool.

Oh, and of course the love interest wasn’t the hot hunk taking the spotlight but the pompous arse in the background who apparently irritates the shit out of Emily (aka the female MC).
...That was the code for ‘the bloody prick is a damn annoying bastard but I cannot get over him, ugh’.


The title of the book is pretty clever, I’ll have to say. It connected perfectly with the Elizabethan theme of the Faire/book, with some nice Shakespearean elements that were very nicely introduced.

The most common way to greet someone in that period? Well met!
The way those two get to be together? Well met!
The title of the book? Well Met !

So bloody well connected, I loved it. Very well met.

Now, back to our nice little lovebird characters, they just got better and better. Simon, who at first was such a cold little prick, becomes the epitome of perfect homemade bread – hard, crusty exterior and soft, delicious and warm interior.

Also, bonus points for him – he can pull off a decent hot and evil pirate (I mean exposed chest, leather pants and a silver hoop earring? Well ahoy there, sexy Captain Hook!). Mix that with a sad past, some personal issues he needs to work on and the fact that he is actually a great guy and bam! You’ve got yourself a new book boyfriend!


And also, if you aren’t already convinced: he is a damn smooth hand kisser.

And Emily was exactly what he needed to discover all that about himself too.

There are some pretty sweet scenes in there, ready to make you swoon out of your mind.

This was, in fact, the first book in so long that made me wonder how in the hell could a chaste and pure scene be so hot and slightly dirty at the same time.
No clue, but I bloody loved it nonetheless.

Of course, at some point, there was going to be some annoying trouble in paradise, but , of course, , the pair was going to get past them as they should because let me tell you something: Emily and Simon are perfect for each other.

I couldn’t get over the fact that they were so sweet and gentle and loving with each other and that aspect made my heart burst into unicorns and rainbows and made me feel so warm and fuzzy inside!

Ah, I love them so much…!


I don’t even know what I was expecting from this book – probably not much given the fact that I managed to fall in love with it so hard.

But oh well, that’s more than a generous bonus for me. And I took it with both hands and hang on to it as if it were my precious.

I simply loved this cute, fluffy and cosy little romance novel!
Profile Image for Samantha.
440 reviews16.8k followers
January 11, 2020
4.5 stars although I may bump it up to 5. I’m just annoyed with it right now.

This book was 5 stars for the first 75%. Banter. So much banter. So much hate to love. Perfection in every way and I had no complaints. It even had the best written sex scene I have ever read and I’m someone who typically cringes at sex scenes, especially how they are written.

The major conflict near the end of the book was what tripped it up a bit for me. The main characters personality changed a bit and some things, imo, were blown way out of proportion. So that soured the experience a bit.

I still adored this and it will likely be a favorite of the year. I already plan to reread it and I rarely reread. This made me think of Ren Faires as a romance setting when I’d previously thought of them as anything but. I’m very much looking forward to more in this series.

I will also be gushing about this on my channel I promise - so more in depth thoughts there.
Profile Image for Tucker  (TuckerTheReader).
908 reviews1,625 followers
December 1, 2020

Many thanks to Berkley for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review
”Someday, I wanted someone who would love me. Not for what I could do for them, but for who I was to them.

This is truly one of the most romantic and addictive books I read this year or at this point last year because it’s 2020 now which is absolutely crazy.

So, what is this book about?
Well Met follows Emily who has come to Willow Creek, Maryland to take care of her sister, April, who has broken her leg and can’t drive. She expects the job to be easy and simple but when her niece,
wants to do the local Renaissance fair, She finds out that she has to participate as well because each child must have an adult with them. And so because she loves her niece she chooses to participate in the Renaissance fair.

It seems to be going pretty well at first. She’s made friends and is actually enjoying herself. But then she encounters Simon, an uptight but surprisingly hot English teacher who has been placed in charge of the entire fair.

Simon seems to find any reason to criticize Emily and does so constantly. but at least he’s easy to hate. Or is he? Once the Renaissance fair begins Emily realizes that his persona is a dashing extremely handsome pirate who is in love with Emily‘s persona Emma the barmaid. As the fair goes on, Emily starts to lose track of what is acting and what is real.

Let me start by saying that I was reading this over Christmas break and at one point I had to pause it to have dinner with my family. Throughout the entire dinner, I couldn’t stop thinking about the characters (specifically Simon) and what they were thinking, feeling, etc. if that isn’t a sign of a good book, I don’t know what it is.

Simon - First of all, here is his real-life lookalike (you’re welcome):

[Credit: Anthony Crouchelli]
Simon reminds me of me. I mean, I’m not as much of an asshole as Simon is (I hope) they could still relate to his general uptightness and control issues.

Emily - I could definitely relate to Emily in that we both have trust issues. I really liked that they delved into Emily‘s backstory and why she had trust issues and how they affected her.

On that note, I loved the overall theme of “It’s dangerous to put your trust in someone but it’s even more dangerous to never try.” This is something I did for a long time. I was always afraid to let people in because if I let them in, they could (whether on purpose or not) hurt me. It’s something I still struggle with to this day but I’ve gotten a lot better.

This book was a classic enemies-to-lovers romance and it was absolutely perfect. I couldn’t have asked for a better romance to end the year. It was classic and well done. I absolutely loved Emily and Simon’s relationship. I loved how they bantered and play fought. And most of all, I loved that they made each other better.

Finally, I love the sex scenes. Perfect amount of steamy without being gross or overwhelming. Extremely well done.

Overall, this book was romantic, funny, steamy, and all-around perfect way to end the year

Bottom Line:
5 Stars
Age Rating: [ R ]
Content Screening (Mild Spoilers) -
Educational Value (3/5) - [History, Renaissance Fairs]
Positive Messages (3.5/5) - [Moving on from the past, Putting your trust in someone even when you’re afraid.]
Violence (1/5) - [Fake fighting]
Sex (4.5/5) - [Detailed sex scene, kissing, sexual themes and innuendos.]
Language (4/5) - [F**k, sh*t, cl*t]
Drinking/Drugs (2/5) - [Alcohol consumption]
Trigger and Content Warnings - PTSD, Loss of a loved one, Car accidents
Cover (3/5) ~Characters (5/5) ~ Plot (5/5) ~ Audio (4/5)
Publication Date: September 3rd, 2019
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Genre: Romance/Comedy


HOLY MOTHERFORKING SHIRTBALLS!!!!!!!!!! Way to finish out the year with a bang... Thanks, Jen DeLuca!

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Profile Image for Christy.
3,916 reviews33k followers
July 10, 2020
5 stars

 photo 8596BDFA-F2AC-4621-A172-D7D3C91A0512_zpsgl3q47hu.png

This was the sweetest and most delightful romance! I'm a sucker for a good enemies to lovers story. Add in the fact that this takes place at a Renaissance Faire and I was sold. Just seeing the cover and reading the blurb, I knew I would love this book, and I was 100% right.

Emily isn't much of a small town girl, but when her sister gets in an accident and needs help with her teenage niece, Emily moves to Willow Creek to be there for them. When her niece wants to join the Renn Faire for the summer, Emily is fine with being her ride. What she's not anticipating is having to volunteer herself. But she does it. For her niece. She commits to being a tavern wench for every weekend in the summer. It wouldn't be so bad, except that the guy running the show seems to have it out for her.
“Ugh.” I turned to Stacey. “Is he always that unpleasant?”
“No, you seem to bring it out in him. Good going.” She watched him walk away. “The thing about Simon is that Faire’s just … it’s his thing. He’s very protective of it. Everything has to go right.”

Simon's brother used to run Faire, but now it's left to him. Everything has to go perfectly. He's rather particular about the details. As soon as the Faire starts, Simon- the uptight English teacher becomes Captain Blackthorne, the fun loving pirate who Emily- or Emma the tavern wench, loves to banter with. I loved the back and forth these two had. Their sexual tension was off the charts.

As Emily gets to know Simon, she understand why he is the way he is. And she starts to fall for him. Not only Captain Blackthorne, but Simon the person. No one is more surprised about this than her.
I’d known Simon for months now, and I’d seen different sides of him. Uptight rule-follower. Easygoing pirate. Both of those personas were stripped away now and I’d found a new Simon underneath. The real Simon. I liked him. A lot.

As Emily decides what to do with her life, whether she'll stay in Willow Creek once her sister gets better, or move on, Simon factors into that choice. I adored both Simon and Emily. Simon is my favorite kind of character. He was a bit high strung and Type A, but he has his reasons. I loved that Emily got to the root of who he truly was and loved him for it.

Well Met is a fantastic debut novel. I seriously will be reading anything and everything else this author writes. I hope we get some more from this world... maybe a Mitch book? The writing was great, the banter between the two characters- perfect, and the ending was swoony. This charming read was a gem of a book and I highly recommend it to all lovers of romance!
Profile Image for Riley.
429 reviews21.7k followers
September 3, 2019
Consider me properly wooed by this book! This was the perfect summer romance.

Fresh of the heels of a bad break up, Emily moves to a small town to take care of her older sister and niece after her sister was in a car crash. Emily gets roped into joining the towns annual Renaissance Faire as a tavern wench. Right off the bat she get’s off on the wrong foot with the leader of the faire, Simon, who seems to disapprove of every move Emily makes. But once the faire begins, Emily’s wench persona can’t take her eyes off the pirate captain, played by none other than Simon. And when Captain Blackthrone wastes no chance to flirt with her, she becomes confused as to whether this is all a part of the show or actually real.

I loved the premise of this book so much. Emily and Simon clearly detested each other. But their faire characters fell into somewhat of a “showmance". And the banter was 10/10. I really loved the two sides of Simon. During the week he was a buttoned up English teacher but on the weekend, he let loose and became a devilish pirate with a wicked tongue *wink*

I also really liked Emily as a protagonist. Because of her previous breakup, she was dealing with insecurities of not being enough. She was somewhat lost at the start of the book and I loved seeing her move out of her comfort zone and embrace a new start.

I am definietly adding whatever Jen DeLuca writes next to my tbr!
Profile Image for Yun.
521 reviews21.8k followers
May 12, 2020
Well Met is the quintessential modern rom-com. Emily, after moving to a small town to help out her sister and niece, is roped into participating in the town's Renaissance fair as a tavern wench. There she meets a swaggering, flirty pirate, Simon, with whom she immediately feels the sizzle of attraction. The problem is that the pirate happens to be played by an uptight English teacher who runs the fair on a tight leash while disapproving of Emily's carefree attitude. So what's a girl with this kind of hot/cold interaction supposed to think?

This is a slow romance, and it took a while to get going. It wasn't until about 100 pages in that the reader gets the first whiff of Emily and Simon's attraction to each other. But once there, the story gets to the good part, with lots of fun flirtations amid the backdrop of a Renaissance fair. Then, when they finally act on their feelings for each other and all seems set, another 100 pages of the book remained. Those last pages dragged on a bit with mostly uninteresting drama. In particular, Emily was extremely needy, and had to be reassured almost on a daily basis that Simon still liked her, which got a little tiring.

Overall, this rom-com fell in the middle of the pack for me. It's cute and fluffy, with the best part being the tavern wench/flirty pirate banter. It's a feel-good story, enjoyable though never quite rising to the level of memorable for me.
Profile Image for ✨ A ✨ .
432 reviews1,799 followers
March 13, 2020
“someday, I wanted someone who would love me. Not for what I could do for them, but for who I was to them.”

Emily is in town to help her sister, who is recovering from a bad car accident. When her niece begs Emily to take her to audition for the local Renaissance Faire Emily finds herself having to join in as well.

Pretending to be a wench from the 17th century turns out to be more fun than she expected. The only part Emily doesn't like is that she and Simon, the guy in charge of the volunteers and also pirate in the Faire who she can't stop thinking about, never see eye to eye.

The setting of this book was so interesting to read about. It was unique and made me want to go to a Faire so badly.

The general atmosphere of the plot was great. I loved everything to do with the Faire and once the romance picked up I became really invested in the story.

I just wish we had POV from Simon. I felt a bit disconnected from him and for the first 3/4 of Well Met he hardly had meaningful interactions with Emily and it took me long to warm up to him. If we had his perspective, it would have made me like him sooner.

I still very much enjoyed this book and can't wait for the sequel!

Buddy read with Karima; Fares and Warda !!
Profile Image for Norma.
551 reviews12.7k followers
September 28, 2019
Cute, fun, & endearing!

WELL MET by JEN DELUCA is an adorable, charming, heartwarming, romantic, and sweet lighthearted rom-com that captured my heart and attention. I was immediately hooked and fully absorbed within this tale. I absolutely loved the small town atmosphere and the Renaissance Faire elements to the storyline, and got a kick out of the hate to love relationship between Emily and Simon.

I’ve always had this fascination and appeal to renaissance times so I absolutely loved the Renaissance Faire backdrop to this story. It was definitely fun experiencing that through the eyes of the characters. The playacting and Simon’s secret alter ego was extremely attractive and swoon-worthy!! Loved his character!

JEN DELUCA delivers a fast-paced, amusing, and well-written read here that had the perfect mix of humour, romantic moments, steam, tension, and warmth. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the relationship between Emily and Simon grow and thought that they had some good chemistry happening there. The supporting cast was also great and complimented the dynamics of the storyline extremely well.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: An intriguing, cutesy, colorful, playful and amusing cover that depicts this storyline well.
Title: I have a foggy idea of what “Well Met” means, as for the meaning behind the title I see how creative, fitting, and intriguing it is in relation to the storyline.
Writing/Prose: Witty, engaging, smart, and well-written.
Plot: Charming, fast-paced, fun, sweet, steamy, romantic, captivating, humorous, heartfelt, and entertaining.
Ending: A lovely feel-good and satisfying ending that put a big smile on my face!
Overall: A laugh-out-loud rom-com with a lovely heroine and a fabulous romantic hero that is absolutely swoon worthy! Would highly recommend!

Thank you so much to Elisha at Berkley Publishing and Jen DeLuca for the complimentary copy!

My review along with Brenda's (we had differing thoughts) can also be seen on our blog:
Profile Image for Irena BookDustMagic.
635 reviews571 followers
August 26, 2020
Well Met was pretty popular even before it came out. Booktubers talked about, had showcased their proof copies they were very lucky to get, many of my Goodreads friends also read it, and everyone seemed to love it.

“The best romance comedy of 2019, new hate to love story you will fall in love with” is what they said.
And how it affected me? I expected just that, but in the end I didn’t fall into the wagon of people who loved it oh so much.

To me, it was funny and entertaining book, but nothing more then that.

Maybe it was the Renaissance Faire setting the thing, because we don’t have them where I live, and I found everything about it in this story a bit silly.
I couldn’t understand how characters were taking it so seriously and how big of the deal it was for their town, but I also could not get my head around how everyone was doing all this work for free.
But if I’m being fair, that speaks more about me then about them. I guess they are better people then I am.

The main character Emily was good narrator, but I couldn’t like her as much as I wanted to.
From my perspective, she looked down on so many other characters that it turned me off from appreciating her, and that is where my disconnection from the story began.

I also thought that the love interest, Simon, was ungrateful, so he wasn’t in my “characters I like” circle either.
I mean, all these people were volunteering to make his event happening, and at times he acted like a mean CEO towards them.

I also didn’t get all that love/hate situation, because I didn’t understand why our main characters hated each other in the first place.
It was like they were fighting just for the sake of fighting.

One more thing: characters they were playing at the faire acted so disconnected from their real personalities, that I just couldn’t buy it.

So now when I told you everything I wasn’t a fan of, let me tell you that despite it Well Met was one really entertaining and funny novel and I do see why many people like it.
The writing style was simple and the book can easily be read in one day.

As for me, I read it in 5 days because I picked it up during my reading slump, so maybe that is also why I didn’t love it as much as others did.

However, I don’t regret reading it and I would recommend it to readers who are looking for their next fast paced comedy. I would just warn them not to take it seriously.

Read this and more reviews on my blog https://bookdustmagic.com
Profile Image for Whitney Atkinson.
940 reviews14k followers
October 25, 2019
This book was fine. I have nothing majorly for or against it; it just struck the middle of the road for me. Initially, I really liked that the main character is a college drop-out and it focuses on her selfconsciousness about that because I've never seen that trait in a romance before. Also, I thought the writing style was funny and I would have tabbed it up had I gotten my own copy rather than a library book.

But then, the writing style became more of a hindrance than something I enjoyed. This is set at a Renaissance Faire, which I have never been to, but I didn't really feel immersed in the environment. It glossed over a lot of descriptions of the characters and scenery in lieu of Emily's inner monologue, which I felt was very unsubtle and ruined a lot of the angst and build-up. She overstated a lot of things and just made the book very surface level and explain-y, and it didn't serve the relationship between the two main characters well.

I'll be first to say that I love the enemies to lovers trope, but this book just felt like it used that plot as a selling point. This book didn't give us angsty moments between the two characters or any sorts of pining. They were annoyed with one another in the beginning, but as soon as the main character sees the love interest in leather pants, all hard feelings melt away. I mean, relatable, but not great for a 300 page book where the characters go from hating each other to loving each other in a snap. In general, the relationship was just really convenient and low stakes, and I didn't feel any chemistry between them other than knowing they would eventually end up together because it's a romance book. The author didn't give me any believable tension or emotions. All that being said, I didn't mind them being together, I just didn't quite believe it.

I still gave this book three stars because several aspects of it are different to anything I've ever read, but the writing really undersold the story and the romance to me. I would probably read more by this author, but it'd probably have to be a book as short as this one to keep my interest.
Profile Image for Warda.
1,208 reviews19.7k followers
November 24, 2019
Well, me and my mushy-caged heart loved this story.
It was nerdy, communal and healing.

In summary, we have a bubbly Emily who’s uprooted her life for her sister who was in a car accident, though it doesn’t feel like much has been uprooted since she more or less lost everything. And taking care of her sister and her niece felt much easier to deal with than what her life had become.
We have our resident, grumpy Simon who instead of facing his problems, hid behind a project his brother built and which he is now running since his brother passed.

So, we have two characters who are facing similar situations but are dealing with it in different ways and get to see how their lives collide.

From the small town, to the Renaissance Faire to the characters, everything about this was built really well. I wish we could’ve gotten a Simon POV since I feel like his perspective would’ve added depth to the story. It would’ve been nice to see how he was coming to terms with his loss and grief and how that translated into his life and affected it.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed the heck out of this. I truly felt the warmth of these characters and the small town they lived in. I wanted to be there!

I think this book will be even better when I reread it and I can’t wait for that to happen. And I’m SO glad we’re getting companion stories too!


It’s a buddy-read party with Azrah, Fares and Karima! 🤩
Profile Image for Cait Jacobs (Caitsbooks).
305 reviews14.6k followers
July 2, 2021
*Thank you to Netgalley and Berkley for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions in this review are my own. Quotes are from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.*

Quick Stats:
5/5 Stars
Characters: 5/5
Setting: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot and Themes: 5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 5/5
Review in a Nutshell: Well Met is just pure fun. This book is adorable, entertaining, and full of heart.

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

// Content Warning: Insecurities around not being enough, depression //

“Birthday wishes were allowed to be lofty. I blew out the candles and let those wishes fly away with the wisps of smoke. The ones that were meant to be would come back.”

Release Date: 9/3/2019
Publisher: Berkley
Page Count: 336

When Emily’s sister got in an accident, she dropped everything to help her and her niece. So when said niece needs an adult to volunteer with her at the Renaissance Faire, she agrees. However, what she didn’t expect was to make an enemy of the man running it, Simon, so quick. He has no patience for Emily and is quick with a critique, but once they get on Faire grounds, he changes completely. He turns into a suave pirate and flirts constantly with Emily’s character, but is it real, or is it just the characters they have to play?

- Writing & Setting -

This book is addictive, and while that definitely had to do with the great plot and characters, I also have to give credit to the writing and setting. Jen DeLuca’s writing style is so easy to be absorbed by, and the immersive setting of the Renaissance Faire hooks you the second you start. Although that could just be me, because I absolutely love the idea of Ren Faires. It’s because of this book that I’ll actually be going to my first one soon! Okay, but back to the writing. It’s very well done, with such a relatable tone that allows the book to feel both lighthearted and fun while also heartbreaking when necessary.

“You’re so focused on the past it’s all you can see. How can we have a future if all you keep doing is looking back?”

- Plot -

I know I already said this book is addictive, but I just need to say it again. I could not put it down. There was always something interesting happening, between the romance plotline, the family dynamics, and the Ren Faire itself. The plot also managed to both be fun and entertaining while discussing some deeper issues and handling them well.

“Let us love you, and remind you that you’re worth it until you figure out what you’re going to do next.”

- Characters -

Partially why this book is so good is the characters in it.Emily is a great protagonist. She’s strong, smart, and organized, with painfully relatable insecurities that she is trying to work through. I really loved her character development, and how she grows over the course of the book. As for our love interest, I really don’t want to say too much because it’s best to learn more about him over the course of the book. I know that’s one of my personal favorite parts of enemies-to-lovers romance. However, I will mention that I loved how much his pirate character reminded me of Hook from Once Upon A Time. It was amazing. Also, there were some great side characters! I especially loved Emily’s dynamic with her sister and her niece.

”I know you want to. You want to help everyone. But you need to help yourself for a change. Do what’s right for you.”

- Conclusion -

Pros- Great characters, addictive
Cons- There are no ren faires near me, which isn’t the fault of this book, but this book has now brought this problem to my attention so I’m blaming it.
Overall- 5/5 stars.
Well Met is everything I wanted it to be and more. With an adorable and steamy romance, the perfect setting, and amazing characters, you do not want to miss this.

Follow Me Here: Blog ||Tumblr || Bookstagram || Twitter|| Reviews
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,535 reviews9,951 followers
April 12, 2020
Well, until around the 70% mark on the audio book, I was going to give this book 4.5 stars and buy it. It was so fluffy!!

Then the smut scene, which I usually skim over if one shows up in a book depending on certain things, happened. (Movies and certain books are ok, but a lot isn’t any more with my trauma past and the battle with cervical cancer) I like the sexy parts to leave things to my own imagination and not carry on about cocks and slits and shit! I do believe I can imagine that goodness better than hearing/reading about it 🤨

After that the story seemed to go downhill for me and the characters. There was a happy ending and what not but the overall fluffiness and sexiness and cuteness in the beginning went out the window.

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Profile Image for Cristiina♡Reads.
576 reviews3,329 followers
May 10, 2019
A sweet romance that has so many touching moments between Simon and Emily, that will have you dreaming for much more...

Let's begin by stating that this is Jen's debut novel and the first time reading anything by her, so I am rather surprised at myself that I was able to enjoy her story. Why am I surprised you may say? Because lately, with new authors I have not been hitting it squared. And it scares me to think that this may be a constant thing with future new authors. Either way, I can say for sure that reading that synopsis had me drawn to idea of requesting this baby. I mean, have you read it? Renaissance reenactment? I mean, HECK YES! Sign me up one hundred percent! There is a lot to this story that brings the eye to the attention in all good aspects. Especially when dealing with the characters that will have you questioning a few things, but also make you fall in love with them;
"I'd held hands with my share of guys over the years; this certainly wasn't a new experience. But this was the first time I'd felt this: a sense of peace. Of protectiveness. The sense that this was the guy, and he was going to take care of me..."

I am keeping it short and sweet with this review, because you cannot miss from reading this novel. I am keeping my eye out that hopefully we can get a book for Mitch? Seriously, I need his kilt to be taken off by my teeth if I am being honest. Jen DeLuca, you better give us more Mitch action. Because I seriously want him like right now. But overall, this story is heart melting. Make sure to check it out, because you don't want to miss out on it.

ARC kindly provided by the Berkley Romance in exchange for an honest review...

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Profile Image for EmBibliophile.
532 reviews1,355 followers
September 19, 2019
4.5 stars

Kissing my summer vacation goodbye with this adorable book!!

I know absolutely nothing about renaissance fairs, but thanks to this book I get to experience this awesome event!! It’s so fun. So adorable. So enjoyable. Definitely a book that would put a smile on your face.

Emily moved to Willow Creek to help her sister and niece since her sister has been in an accident. Emily was just helping around, driving her niece and her sister and things like that. When her niece decides to join the fair which is this huge event that happens in the town every summer, Emily finds out that she has to volunteer so they can accept her niece. So she did it. She actually kind of liked it except for the guy who kind of ruined it for her. For some unknown reason Simon, who kind of runs the fair seems to hate her presence. But is it really hate what he feels?

This was such a sweet fun adorable romance with lovable characters!! It felt like watching an amazing play and now I feel like throwing flowers at all the characters. I can’t believe that this is a debut novel! It was so good!! The writing style was so enjoyable. The supporting characters were amazing. The atmosphere was so perfect and refreshing. The romance was so swoon worthy. A really enjoyable rom-com book!

Song recommendation:
Not a bad thing by Justin Timberlake
Summer nights by John legend
Something just like this by Coldplay & the Chainsmokers
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,514 reviews29.5k followers
September 17, 2019
4.5 stars.

Huzzah, Jen DeLuca! Huzzah indeed!!

Emily’s life is kind of at a dead end. Her fiancé ended their engagement, leaving her with nowhere to live, and really no prospects. When her older sister is in an accident, Emily drops everything—not that it's too big a sacrifice—and heads to Willow Creek, a small town in Maryland, to care for her sister and her teenage niece, Caitlin.

Taking care of all of her sister and niece's needs makes Emily feel like she has a purpose again. Since her sister is so much older, they're finally getting the chance to build a relationship. And when Caitlin wants to work at the town’s renaissance faire for the summer, Emily has to accompany her, but she doesn't mind. She gets to play a serving wench at the faire’s tavern and she finds herself enjoying all of it.

All of it except Simon. During the year he's an English teacher, but he also runs the faire, which was his older brother’s legacy. He doesn’t tolerate any suggestions for changes and he certainly isn’t interested in Emily’s ideas or even her jokes. In fact, it seems like he just wants Emily to leave as quickly as possible.

But when the faire officially begins, something inexplicable happens. Why does Simon’s pirate character take such delight in flirting with Emily’s wench? It only seems to happen when they're in character. Is all of this just for show, or is there something else happening here?

As Emily struggles with her feelings for Simon, and tries to figure out her future in Willow Creek, she'll realize that living in a small town and having everyone know her business might not be as bad as she thought. But more than that, she'll discover that sometimes loving somebody means giving them the space to figure out their own problems and solutions, no matter how much you want to help.

I loved this book. Sure, it was predictable, but the fact is, it was fun, charming, romantic, sexy, and emotional, too. DeLuca captured the setting and tone of a renaissance faire so perfectly I felt like I was right there in the woods alongside everyone. Beyond that, reading Well Met made me crave one of those giant turkey legs, too!!

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.

Check out my list of the best books I read in 2018 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2018.html.

You can follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.8k followers
March 29, 2020
3.25 stars for this fluffy Renaissance Faire-inspired contemporary romance. Emily, fresh off a painful breakup with her long-term boyfriend - she dropped out of college to put him through law school, spoiler: BIG MISTAKE - temporarily moves to the small town of Willow Creek in Maryland to help out her older sister April, who's laid up from a severe car accident, and April's 14 year old daughter Caitlin.

Right after she gets to town Emily finds out that Cait is dead set on participating in the town's amateur, six-weekend-long Renaissance Faire as a performer and - lucky Emily - a parent or guardian is required to participate as well. Which Emily wouldn't mind so much if the high school English teacher in charge of the fair, Simon, weren't such a critical, annoying stick in the mud. Maybe she's more interested in Mitch, the hot blond gym teacher ("Gaston mixed with Captain America")?

The weird thing (to Emily) is that when Simon starts dressing up as a pirate for the fair, it's like he gets a total personality transplant. What gives?

Well Met is a cute, sexy read. There's not too much really unusual going on here, as compared to other contemporary romance novels, other than the Ren Faire setting, and maybe Simon's struggles to deal with a tragedy in his past. But if you like the idea of the main couple acting like a pirate and a bartending tavern wench (yay?) during their spare time while they work out their love-hate relationship ... this should fit the bill.

I'm trying to figure out now what inspired me to ask for this on NetGalley? Probably one of my GR friends reviewed this and it just sounded cute. Recommended if you're a fan of light contemporary romances.

Thanks to the publisher, Berkley/Jove, and NetGalley for the ARC!

Content note: F-bombs and an explicit sex scene.
March 31, 2021
Well Met starts off with such a great opening line and it hooked me in right away. I was smitten with the story theme here with enemies to lovers and the Renaissance Faire adds something different and fun to the story.

At about the halfway mark, things started to slow down for me and I wanted to feel more tension, suspense and substance to the characters and their relationships. It’s not an easy thing to pull off for this picky non-romantic soul and I am in the minority here with my thoughts.

I received a copy from the publisher.

Profile Image for Berit Talks Books.
2,024 reviews15.7k followers
September 11, 2019
Best romcom I’ve read this year!!!

I loved absolutely everything about this book! Jen DeLuca stole my heart with this charming romance. Emily’s life has kind of fallen apart so when her sister April needs her help she sees it as a perfect opportunity to regroup, her intention was never to stay in small town Maryland. It also was not part of her plans to spend her summer volunteering at a Renaissance Fair. But when her 14-year-old niece needs a parent to supervise her volunteering she feels forced. Also volunteering will give her the opportunity to see Mitch the hot gym teacher in a kilt, that is if she doesn’t get fired from her volunteer position by the uptight Simon. After many Saturdays of rehearsal it is finally time for the fair opening and who is that hot pirate in those tight leather pants? Oh no it cannot possibly be Simon! Ah but it is Captain Ian Blackthorn (Simon’s alter ego) and he is quite fond of Emma (Emily’s alter ego) the tavern wench. I’m certain you know where this is going and let me tell you what it was so much fun getting to that delicious HEA!

Emily was such an amazing character, she had such a generous heart and a beautiful spirit. The chemistry between Emily and Simon was undeniable and the banter was divine. The renaissance Fair offered the perfect backdrop to the story. This really actually surprised me I am not a big Renaissance fair person, never been to one, never want to go to one, but I was completely intrigued with the goings-on at the fair. I think it really showcased the sense of community in this small town in Maryland, and added a little extra sparkle to the story. All the secondary characters were delightful! Mitch, stacey, and April in particular. Loved how supportive and kind these characters were. This was just a feel good story that still has me smiling a week later!

This book in three emojis: 🏴‍☠️ 💑 ♟

*** Big thanks to Berkley for my copy of this book ***
Profile Image for Trina (Between Chapters).
872 reviews3,757 followers
February 25, 2020

Not sure how much your enjoyment of this story will depend on your opinions of Ren Faires, but the faire in this book felt exactly like the one in my state that I've been to and that really brought it to life.
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