Review: Well Played by Jen DeLuca

Posted September 22, 2020 by Lorna in Reviews / 14 Comments

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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Well Played by Jen DeLuca
Well Played

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
three-flames


Series: Well Met #2
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Penguin Group
Released on September 22, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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The Delight

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.


Review

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. 


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I’m a lifetime book addict and currently own nine Kindles, with only six still working. I do tend to wear them out! They pretty much are my favorite technology-well that and my cell phone. Okay, yes and my laptop. I spent most of my life in Kentucky, but moved to Maryland in my attempt to get closer to the the ocean a few years ago. Being retired helps. I have a B.S. degree in law enforcement with a minor in sociology, but never really worked in my major. Instead, I spent my entire adult life working in the medical field in some capacity. After retiring(early), I found my passion in reviewing books for a couple of blogs and I love it. My author favorites include, Dannika Dark, Amber Lynn Natusch, J.T. Geissinger, Colleen Hoover, Samantha Towle, K.A. Tucker, Karina Halle, Sarina Bowen, J.R. Ward, Mariana Zapata, Dianne Duvall, and I could go on and on. I read many different genre’s, but still like a romantic element in most, if not all of them.

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Debbie Haupt
Debbie Haupt
1 month ago

Thanks for putting this on my radar Lorna I enjoyed your review

Lorna
Lorna
1 month ago
Reply to  Debbie Haupt

Thank you!

Anne - Books of My Heart

Sounds fun! Wonderful review! They had a big Renaissance Festival in Minnesota which was weekends for 6 weeks in September into October. I always wanted to go but it was also in a big area out of town just full of ragweed! I did go a few times and it was tough.

Lorna
Lorna
1 month ago

I lived in Kentucky back then. The closest festival was farther up in Ohio but still not too far away. I loved it both times I went. I really liked how the workers all stayed in period character when they talked.

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

A renaissance fair… this sounds cute Lorna. I love the cover 🙂

Lorna
Lorna
1 month ago

It was cute. The Renaissance Fair was just the icing on the cake.

Melliane
1 month ago

It sounds like a fun series there!

Lorna
Lorna
1 month ago
Reply to  Melliane

I still need to read the first book and I know there’s a third so it should be a fun series!

Sam@wlabb
1 month ago

I hope you get a chance to go back and read Well Met, because it was so fun! I liked this one, because I found it easy to relate to Stacey’s life crisis. The bit of conflict was whatever for me, but I cannot argue with the way everything worked out. Smiled my face off!

Lorna
Lorna
1 month ago
Reply to  Sam@wlabb

Definitely a book to smile while reading!

Carole Rae
1 month ago

renaissance fair? how fun!

Lorna
Lorna
1 month ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

I know right? It was a first for me in a book so that’s something!

Sophia Rose
1 month ago

Love that its set at a renaissance faire and they do the email thing. I’ll have to look this one up. 🙂

Lorna
Lorna
1 month ago
Reply to  Sophia Rose

I think you would enjoy it Sophia. I did really enjoy the characters too.