DeLuca, Jen. Well Matched. Well Met #3. Berkley, 2021. ISBN 978-0593200445 336 pp. $16.00
I pre-ordered a copy of this third book in a series I love–and then BOUGHT THE EBOOK THE DAY IT CAME OUT–because I couldn’t wait another three days to read it. Jen DeLuca, you’re welcome for the double purchase; Target, take a lesson from Amazon and deliver, not ship, preorders on the date they debut. Anyway, reader, it was WORTH IT.
April, the winsome Emily’s elder sister who in Well Met supplied the “help recovering from a broken leg” premise that brought Emily to Willow Creek, Ren Faire and her Simon, is faced with seeing her ex at their daughter’s high school graduation festivities. While mourning this fate and getting hit on at a local watering hole, her friend Mitch (remember Mitch? The One in the Kilt?) comes to her rescue, pretending to be her #fakeboyfriend and date.
As payback Mitch ends up helping April make some small renovations to the home she intends to put on the market when her daughter Caitlin graduates, and then April returns that favor by posing as Mitch’s girlfriend at a family event over a long weekend where there is #OnlyOneBed and #OneThingLeadsToAnother and of course their mutual attraction, friendly sparring and friendship is the #RealDeal. And then Mitch kindly steps up again at graduation to support April with grace and solidarity in front of the ex. Because he’s Mitch, and noble, and true.
Independent April has to go and ruin it by dismissing her own desires because Mitch is younger and she’s done with raising kids, and he is (just?) the local gym teacher… but even April sees the dishonesty in reducing him when he is, in fact, an excellent educator who has real impact on the lives of his charges. She claims to be happy with keeping it casual–after all, Mitch has a bit of a reputation–but he boldly refuses to be her secret paramour.
This third book in the Well Met series delivers a strong voice that is unique from Emily and Stacey, the Ren Faire details that make this series stand out, humor and pathos and fully developed characters. You don’t have to buy two copies, but it’s a 2021 must-read for modern romance fans who enjoy full settings and attention to detail.
Go back to Well Met for Emily and Simon’s story, and don’t miss book two, Well Played, which features Emily’s wedding and her best friend Stacey’s romance. I’m so excited a fourth book, Well Traveled, featuring Mitch’s favorite cousin, is in the works.