Well Met by Jen DeLuca is a Renaissance Faire set rom-com that hits all the right notes. Emily is in a small Maryland (I think) town (that is extraordinarily homogeneous, aka it’s all white people) because her sister, April, was in a bad car accident and needs help getting to appointments and taking care of her teenage daughter, Caitlin. Emily could put her real life on pause to help April because she just got dumped by her lawyer boyfriend, for whom she dropped out of college to support him through law school. Anyway, when Emily is taking Caitlin to the high school for Ren Faire sign ups, she discovers that she is obligated to stay and volunteer herself so that Caitlin can participate. Leading the Ren Faire is Simon, the buttoned up high school English teacher who embraces his pirate persona at the Faire, but first he has to lecture on all things history. Simon is also dealing with grief over a death in his family.
This book is told from Emily’s perspective and while it is a romance with a very central love story, it is also a story of Emily finding herself and what she wants to do with her life. Emily knows April is getting better and therefore recognizes that she’s going to need to figure out what comes next. In the meantime, she focuses on going all in on the life she’s building in this town, which means we get to meet a fairly large cast of characters. I don’t want to spoil the things I loved the most, but there’s a bookstore in this small town and I love Chris (the owner) so much. And all of the people at the Faire are just really wonderful. Basically, this did small town romance so well.
The secondary characters really breathe life into this story and I very much appreciated getting to know all of them. As I mentioned though at the beginning, this town is very white. It was extremely noticeable to me, which I think is overall a good thing because it means I’m used to reading books with diversity woven in. I think for a lot of people this will be a big detractor to their enjoyment and I totally understand that. For me, this brought it down half a star, but the rest of the book really made up for my discomfort with that.
As far as the usual questions lately, this book is a romance for sure! There was at least one on page sex scene, but I wouldn’t say it’s especially… risqué. We’ll go with that as a descriptor today. Anyway, I enjoyed this one a lot! Have you read it? Are you interested?