Well Played by Jen DeLuca – A Ren Faire Romance (Well Met #2, ARC Review)

Thank you to Netgalley and Berkley for giving me an earc in exchange for an honest review!

Overall: 3.75/5 Stars
Characters: 4/5
Setting: 5/5
Writing: 4/5
Plot and Themes: 3/5
Awesomeness Factor: 2.5/5
Review in a Nutshell: If you’re looking for something quick and cute, Well Played might be the book for you.

// Content Warning: Mature Content, Catfishing //

Release Date: 9/22/2020
Publisher: Berkley
Page Count: 336
Premise:

Well Played is the sequel to Well Met, following Stacey, who decides after a night of too much wine to message her no-strings attached summer fling who has left for the year. While he’s traveling, they grow closer through emails and texts. But, when he, and the annual Ren Faire, comes back the next summer, she realizes the man she was messaging (and falling for) is not who she thought.

Keep reading for all of my thoughts on Well Played!

[ Related: My Top 10 September 2020 Book Releases! ]

Setting

This series really makes me want to go to a Ren Faire. I love how Jen DeLuca describes it. It adds such a fun and magical layer to this cute read. However, the faire itself definitely plays less of a role in this book than it does in the first. Around half the book takes place before the faire, in normal small-town life.

I think the lack of faire in this book might be one of the reasons I didn’t love it quite as much as Well Met. The faire almost feels like a character in this series, and I really missed it.

Plot

This book takes place over the course of a year, following the relationship between Stacey and the guy she was messaging. Their relationship was adorable, but it is based on lies and catfishing, so if that’s something that bothers you in a romance, be warned.

If you can look past that (which I was able to fairly easily), the pacing of Well Played is fast and the story is easy to jump into. I was hooked from the start and never wanted to put it down!

Characters

I really enjoyed Stacey’s growth over the course of this book. Just like Well Met, there was a lot of depth in the main character, and their growth felt just as important (sometimes more) than the romance plot. But that doesn’t mean the romance plot wasn’t there, because it was, and it was adorable.

The love interest was really sweet, and while I do feel like Stacey moved past some of the bad things he did a little too quickly, I still loved him.

I also love the side characters in this series. Especially Mitch. I can’t tell you how excited I am for his and April’s book!

My one main complaint with the characters in this book is the lack of diversity. There weren’t any POC that I can remember, and any LGBTQ+ characters were only included for a second. Hopefully the third book, Well Matched, will be more diverse.

Conclusion

Pros- Quick read, interesting characters, makes me want to go to a ren faire
Cons- no diversity & we’re really gonna move past those lies that quick?
Overall- 3.75/5 stars.
Well Played is a lighthearted read with good depth. It isn’t perfect, but I’m glad I read it, and I’m really looking forward to the third book!

If you liked Well Played, I’d Recommend:

Have you been to a ren faire? Would you want to go to one?

- cait









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One thought on “Well Played by Jen DeLuca – A Ren Faire Romance (Well Met #2, ARC Review)

  1. Pingback: October TBR and September Wrap Up – Cait's Books

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