Hey all, Dani here.
Today’s post is a review of a book that I have absolutely been looking forward to since I learned of its’ existence…what, last month sometime? I think. Anyway, I’m sure most of you know that I enjoy going to Renaissance Faires and Festivals. In fact, Damian and I already went once already this year, and our wedding theme is Ren Faire. So learning that there was a contemporary romance based around people who work at one of these festivals…well, I absolutely had to get it and read it as soon as possible.
Spoiler alert, lol: I read 98% of this book in one sitting.
Okay, let’s get started.
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.
Rating: 5 stars
The first thing I will say, in case it wasn’t already obvious to you: this is an adult romance. To me the cover and summary are inconclusive enough that you could maybe think this is a YA book. Emily is 24 (and turns 25) in the book and her love interest is 27. There is sex in this book, but not super descriptive if that’s something that bothers you.
Okay, with all that said, I read this book so quickly. Also, I guess I should say that this book once again highlighted the fact that there are definitely some books I probably shouldn’t read in public. With this one I laughed, I cried, I gasped, and yes, there were people around to witness these reactions and outbursts. I regret nothing.
This story was set up so well. The characters were all so incredibly fascinating to me. Can I just say that I especially enjoyed the diversity in the main cast of characters, and not just in a racial descriptor sort of way. One of the main secondary characters looks like a meathead jock, but underneath that is basically a geek at heart (and I really want a book following his search for love–can that happen down the road please?).
The witty banter of Emily and Simon is great as well. Simon is an English teacher, and Emily was an English major in college, so they are such a wonderful fit, even as they argue about Shakespeare. I found it to be utterly adorable, and I could have read those sorts of conversations between them all day.
It’s clear that Jen DeLuca knows what she’s talking about when it comes to the feel of a Ren Faire, and I was completely enraptured by the story. This is especially true since I was just at the Ohio Renaissance Festival a couple weeks ago, and we’ll most likely be going again here in a couple weeks. This book just made me feel like I made a bonus trip and I loved it so much.
I also very much loved the fact that there is another book coming in 2020. It seems to have a lot of the same cast of characters, but instead of being a continuation of Emily and Simon’s story, the main focus is going to shift to Stacey’s story. So I’m counting down to the release of Well Played next year.
Where to Get a Copy
You can also check with your local library.