Faire returns to Willow Creek, and Stacey comes face-to-face with the man with whom she's exchanged hundreds of online messages over the past nine months. To Stacey's shock, it isn't Dex--she's been falling in love with a man she barely knows.
Jen DeLuca returns to her glorious world of Ren Faire romance with this warm follow-up to last year’s Well Met ... DeLuca has built an evocative, delightful world in only two Ren Faire books. Returning to the Willow Creek Faire feels as comforting as slipping on a pair of well-worn leather breeches. It’s an inviting and lively setting, one that allows the pages to be dotted with taverns, drinking songs, and just the right amount of huzzahs. Well Played doesn’t have quite the undercurrent of melancholy that helped Well Met pack its extra punch – like its heroine, it’s sunnier, possessing an altogether lighter touch. But that doesn’t lessen the joy it has to offer ... In DeLuca’s hands, we’d have to agree – there’s endless tales and excitement to be found in this world, still one of the freshest, most engaging concepts in romance a year after she introduced us to it. A hearty huzzah for Well Played.
Well Played by Jen DeLuca is the delightful second story in her Well Met series. The first in the series, also called Well Met, has a well deserved place on my best of 2019 list, so I have been eagerly awaiting this sequel. It’s another enjoyable romantic comedy that cements this author’s place on my auto-buy list ... The author writes for the reader of today, where social media is an ever present part of daily life and selfies with one’s pet (cue Stacey’s cat Benedick) are the norm. The epilogue does a great job of tying everything together, making Daniel and Stacey’s relationship believable as it moves forward. I’m already excited for whatever comes next in the series, and hoping it’s not too long a wait!
Well Played – the second in Jen De Luca’s series of renaissance faire-centered romances – is a bit of a step down from the excellent Well Met. While the story itself is charming, and the heroine is wonderful, there are several rather frankly icky plot points that keep this one from a higher grade ... The biggest problem I have with Well Played is its central conceit. Daniel is Cyrano-ing it up here, has been lying to Stacey for an entire year about who he is, and had no intention of telling her the truth – until he slips up. This is catfishing, and lasts for the first half of the book ... As always, De Luca does a beautiful job with the setting. Her take on renaissance faires and small town life is inspired and beautifully handled. All the quiet details of Daniel and Stacey’s relationship, too, are sweet and lovely to read. We get a lot of build up for Simon and Emily’s ensuing wedding, reminding us all of why we fell in love with De Luca’s work in the first place. Well Played is weaker than the first entry in the series, but it’s not unreadable, and that means it’s worth a look, though not a top priority one.