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.
Well Met might go down as my favorite summer read of 2021. It was so cute and swoon-worthy against a perfect Renaissance Faire backdrop. From wenches to hot men in kilts along with dashingly romantic pirates; this book had it all.
Emily has picked up her life, or what little is left after being dumped and losing her apartment, and moved to Willow Creek to help her injured sister out for the summer. While there she discovers not only her love of Renaissance Faires but new friends, a relationship with her older sister and niece and a town that accepts her as she is. There also might be an annoying Ren Faire Killjoy that makes her heart race.
I adored Emily and following her on her journey of discovering what is next. Whether she likes it or not, she has this clean slate to figure out her life all over again. Been there, still figuring that out. She starts as this girl with nervous tendencies who avoided confrontation but discovers the strong girl she is underneath it all. Her relationship with her sister was so cute and heartwarming. They finally get to connect after years of having their lives be in different places. I love a book with a good sister relationship.
Of course we get some romance and buckle up for some HOT sex scenes. Were there enough of them? Yes. Did I want more? Of course. Simon is this giant jerk at the beginning of the book and that’s something I’m still not quite sure I’m okay with. It wasn’t all a misunderstanding but he does redeem himself. I’m always a tad uneasy about perpetuating the stereotypical “well if he’s a jerk to you then he likes you” stuff we sometimes get caught in. I think it was unintentional on his end though and had more to do with the faire versus Emily herself though.
But anyways the romance was totally cute and very much a slow burn. We get tension, back leather pants, sexy Shakespeare and some major wooing. All the makings of a true love story. Don’t even get me started on the joining ceremony.
This book made me want to dress up and visit my closest Renaissance Faire, or at least buy a Willow Creek shirt from Blissfully Bookish. I like that it’s a series and that we get to meet new couples and I’m sure get tidbits about Simon and Emily. Cannot recommend this one enough if you’re looking for a contemporary romance to add to your TBR.