Review: Well Played (Jen DeLuca)

Well Played
Series: Well Met, #2
Author: Jen DeLuca
Publication Date: September 22, 2020
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Another laugh-out-loud romantic comedy featuring kilted musicians, Renaissance Faire tavern wenches, and an unlikely love story.

Stacey is jolted when her friends Simon and Emily get engaged. She knew she was putting her life on hold when she stayed in Willow Creek to care for her sick mother, but it’s been years now, and even though Stacey loves spending her summers pouring drinks and flirting with patrons at the local Renaissance Faire, she wants more out of life. Stacey vows to have her life figured out by the time her friends get hitched at Faire next summer. Maybe she’ll even find The One.

When Stacey imagined “The One,” it never occurred to her that her summertime Faire fling, Dex MacLean, might fit the bill. While Dex is easy on the eyes onstage with his band The Dueling Kilts, Stacey has never felt an emotional connection with him. So when she receives a tender email from the typically monosyllabic hunk, she’s not sure what to make of it.

Faire returns to Willow Creek, and Stacey comes face-to-face with the man with whom she’s exchanged hundreds of online messages over the past nine months. To Stacey’s shock, it isn’t Dex—she’s been falling in love with a man she barely knows.


Jen DeLuca’s Well Met was one of my favorite debut novels I read in 2020. I remember finishing it and being excited about what could possibly come next from the author. I was hoping it would be a second book set in the same world, and I lucked out because it is! I was so excited to go back to the Faire world DeLuca created and get to know some of the characters better.

Well Played was even better than Well Met. DeLuca’s already strong writing has only gotten better in her sophomore book.  The feelings she had me feeling… so much emotion!!! I felt like I was Stacey through so much of this book. It was a little overwhelming — in the best way.

I loved Stacey and every minute I spent with her. I also really loved her love interest. The way they got to know each other over emails and texts was a big plus for me! To be honest, I figured out right away who “Dex” really was. The blurb and some stuff at the beginning of the book kind of give it away. I would have liked it to have been more of a surprise, but  it didn’t diminish how much I enjoyed this book too much because I immediately liked the guy.

It was also fun to see some of the other characters I met in Well Played show up again in Well Met. I enjoyed finding out how Emily and Simon were doing. I loved knowing that Mitch was up to his old tricks. All these great characters had me wanting even more books in the Well Met series.

Well Played was such a cute romance novel. I feel like I am not adequately telling you how cute and fun it was. I think other readers are going to love this book.

18 thoughts on “Review: Well Played (Jen DeLuca)”

  1. I was the black sheep that didn’t really care for Well Met. I didn’t really have any interest in reading this book because of that, but I’m a little tempted because you made this sound really cute and said it was better than the first book. Great review!

  2. I read this one the other day and LOVED IT! DeLuca did a great job bringing us back to this world, while augmenting it. I found Stacey’s feelings of being stuck and feeling left behind so relatable. I had a good cry at the wedding too.

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