This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Penguin Group
Released on September 22, 2020
A small town renaissance fair is the setting for this book about a woman who gave up her dreams to help take care of her mother after an illness. Life has gone on for everyone else and she’s spending her days working at a dentist’s office instead of the career she was looking forward to in New York City. The only thing she looks forward to now is the yearly renaissance fair where she works during several weekends in the summer. The first delight here is the renaissance fair itself.
Stacey is out with friends when her best friend announces she is engaged. She is stunned to realize just how empty her life is even though she lives in an apartment over her parents garage. She is very active on social media and meets friends out on Friday nights at a local bar. Book club and her cat rounds out her life. Except when the fair comes around. That is definitely her happy place. She decides it’s time for a change-whatever that might be. Daniel comes to the fair every year as manager of a musical group that plays there annually. He watches as Stacey spends a couple of summers staying nights at times with his cousin Dex, also known as the front man of the group. Also known as a total man whore. When the fair ends, and the engagement is announced, a tipsy(drunk)Stacey goes home and writes a I miss you email to Dex even though she really doesn’t. Mortified the next day, she doesn’t expect an answer. But she gets one. What follows is ten months of emails and texts while they get to know each other. But who is she really talking to? Not really a spoiler since you figure it out pretty early on.
I really liked both of the main characters. Stacey is 26, isn’t model thin and is just a normal attractive small town girl. She has a college degree she’s not using and I could definitely relate to that! Daniel is 31, quiet and pretty shy. He does talk to Stacey when he sees her at Fair and is carrying a huge torch for her. But, sexy Dex gets all the girls when he’s around.
Sure, this type of story has been done before, for example, Cyrano de Bergarac or Steve Martin’s movie, Roxanne. But I thought this version was written well with quite a few differences. I’m not even saying it’s a re-imagining either. It just puts you in mind of both of them. Or at least it did me. The setting of the renaissance fair was new for me in a book and I enjoyed that aspect as well. I have been to one twice now and really loved my experiences. I could easily picture the fair and the atmosphere.
This was a fun read that I liked a lot. Unfortunately, I had not read book one because I wasn’t aware of it before I received this one. That one was about Stacey’s best friend Emily and her relationship with Simon, the director of the fair. It didn’t matter at all that I hadn’t read it first. Having said that, I did recently buy book one because I really liked that couple too. Other side characters were April, Emily’s sister, and high school friend, Mitch. That’s going to be book three. I’m sure I’ll be reading that one as well. Recommended to adult contemporary romance readers.