This Chick Read: Well Played by Jen DeLuca

Stacey has spent the last two years of the Renaissance Fair playing a buxom barmaid by day and hooking up with hot guy and musician Dex by night. When the month long fair ended her two good friends got engaged and Stacey felt dissatisfied with how she was living her life. So, one night after too many drinks she reaches out to Dex on his fan site and opens up about her feelings. Surprisingly he emails back and they spend the next 10 months becoming best friends and falling in love. There was a lot more to her hot hook-up than she thought! Or was there? She’s been played!

I couldn’t help but compare Well Played to Well Met, the first novel in this series. I may be doing this book a disservice because I LOVED Well Met. The setting surprised me and I loved the banter between Emily and Simon. There was a lot to like about Well Played but it just didn’t live up to my expectations.

Here’s what I liked. Stacey was a plus-sized heroine, which let’s face it, most of us are and so we can easily identify with her body self image insecurities. I loved that we still had that Renaissance Fair setting. I actually do wish that more of it had been set at the fair though. I did also like the friendships in this novel. They were all there for each other and had each others backs. If you have a great pack of friends you can survive most everything!

Here’s what weighed against my rating. (I can’t say dislike!) It took too long to get to our hero and heroine being together. There was a LOT of email exchanges and texts and I just didn’t feel all of the emotions I was supposed to feel. I liked our hero, but I didn’t love him. There was one scene that just really bothered me! I can’t get into who he is or what that scene was, so this is kind of lame to even mention but that scene set him up as being weak. I just couldn’t look at him the same after it. Now that I’m putting it on paper, that was really the main issue for me.

So, I liked Well Played, but I was disappointed at the same time. Maybe this is a case of building the book up too much in my head before actually reading it. I don’t know, but my rating reflects my feelings.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest.

Click this link to purchase!* Well Played

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: Well Met by Jen DeLuca

Emily moved in with her sister and niece in order to help her sister recover from a bad car accident. Part of that help is squiring around her teenage niece Caitlin to audition for a part in Willow Creek’s hometown Renaissance Faire. What she didn’t know was that her under age niece needs an adult to sign up with her. Guess what? Emily will be playing Bar Wench for the summer. When she meets high school English teacher, and man in charge of the Faire, Simon, they immediately butt heads. He’s a know it all with a stick up his butt and Emily has just had it with “that” kind of man! Well Met is a rom-com where two people go from enemies who don’t think they have anything in common to confidants and lovers. I laughed out loud and sniffled away a couple of tears. My favorite kind of romance!

Emily just got dumped and admittedly has a chip on her shoulder for men who think they know everything. Simon’s definitely got an attitude that pushes all of her buttons. I’m a sucker for this trope and loved the Renaissance Faire set up. I can remember going to one of these Faire’s with my mom and aunt when I was a kid and remember how the actor’s really got into playing their parts. This book gave you a behind the scenes look into putting on one of these events and really brought back some fun memories!

Simon’s character had an interesting mix of vulnerability and bravado. I loved the way the author contrasted Simon with the pirate Captain he played in the Faire. It allowed him to act on some of his fantasies through the Captain’s antics. This sped the plot along while also creating conflicting emotions that made this a lot more interesting than it might have been. Emily’s confusion at what were real feelings and what weren’t added tension as well as a little comic relief.

This novel also had a great supporting cast. Mitch the brawny, kilt wearing hunk, her friend Stacey who helped strap her into her bar wench costume, and her sister April who’s injuries gave Emily a sense of purpose. All of these characters helped add comic relief, but also depth to Emily’s character making her more 3-D and not so two dimensional.

I can’t really think of anything I disliked about this novel. Yes, there was a miscommunication that went on a little too long, but i understood how that helped establish why these two characters needed each other. Maybe it was my own memories of a Renaissance Faire that made me like this so much? Who knows! I just know that I read it at the right time, it hit my sweet spot, and I really enjoyed the journey. You can’t ask for more than that!

♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️

I received a copy of this ARC through NetGalley and the publisher for my honest review and it was honest.

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“Overall this is one of my favorite romances of the summer! I absolutely plan to read everything that Jen Deluca writes in the future! If you’re looking for one final, swoon-worthy romance before the cool weather hits, definitely pick this one up!” Paperbacks and Planners

“Emily was adorable and totally relatable, her hesitation about the Faire at the start of the book rivaled my own, so I knew she was my kind of people. Simon may as well be called Swoonworthy Simon, my lord this man knows how to woo a lady. Throw in a supporting cast of characters that are just as lovable, sizzling chemistry between Em and Simon and an absolutely adorable and heartwarming story and I’m done” Novel Gossip

Click this link to purchase!* Well Met

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate