Book Review (SERIES): Well Met

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Well Met by Jen DeLuca, a contemporary fictional rom-com series, has four books so far: Well Met, Well Played, Well Matched, and Well Traveled. Set in the Renaissance Faire Circuit, the series should appeal to those interested in light-hearted romance.

The series alternates between the volunteers of a small town’s local Ren Faire and the performers on the Ren Faire circuit (and sometimes romances between the two). The writer clearly loves her Ren Faires, giving us all our favorites – turkey legs and living chess matches; musicians and fortune tellers; kilts and bodices. Sometimes there are crowds and, other times, quiet gatherings watching campfire sparks fly into the night sky.

What really makes the series stand out to me are the family connections of all the characters. Many romances focus only on the romantic couple and their relationship, scarcely acknowledge the greater world. In this series, a sister helps out another who was in a car accident, three musician brothers work things out when one has his heart tied to a homebody, and grandchildren struggle to find the balance between giving grandparents freedom while making sure they are okay. Jobs are considered, homes are repaired, and school runs are made.

Yes, the romances have hot moments, but these don’t kick in until about half-way in and consent is clearly modeled, both during initiation of activity and ongoing. The stories focus are always on the characters and their relationships. Also of interest to some readers is some of the women are older; one is a single mom of a high school graduate. The older couples finding a new relationship do come with baggage, previous relationships impacting the present ones, but this can be a fun change from the young love stories.

Fun and light-hearted, with a side of Ren-Faire, the Well Met series is popular enough many libraries carry hard copy as well as ebooks. The series has been published between 2019 and 2022. Ebooks run about $12 and paperbacks cost about the same. The older books of the series are also available used.

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