Review| Well Played – Jen DeLuca

A couple of months ago, I read Well Met and it was a fast and fun read. Even though I did want a bit more romance. The sequel, Well Played, released  at the end of September and it was the October swoonalong read! Today I’m going to talk about what I thought of this book!

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.

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


“I love cats… I’ve never had one myself, but they’ve always fascinated me. They’re these perfect little predators, yet we let them curl up on our laps like they wouldn’t eat our faces if we died in the night. Hmm, that got morbid. They’re also really soft, and I hear that sometimes they let you pet their bellies. I like that.”

Like I said when I read Well Met, I loved the setting. Renaissance Faires are similar to a festival I’ve helped at for the past few years. Once again Jen DeLuca made me feel like I was there when our main character was walking around there. I am happy it didn’t take over as much of the book as it did the first book. We got to spend more time with the characters and I enjoyed that.

Our main character Stacey is reevaluating her life and what she wants. The past few summers she’s had a fling with musician Dex MacLean. If you read the way he’s described, I have to say a lot of people wouldn’t mind that, haha. Stacey is still where she grew up when life turned upside down for her and her mother became ill. I really love Stacey for that. She has a great relationship with her parents, but also feels like she can’t move away in case anything happens.

I feel like we learn a lot about Stacey after she has a little too much to drink and finally takes the leap to try and have more with her fling Dex. It was nice for a change to have a character that isn’t perfect and is also really trying to figure out what she wants. Stacey felt like a really genuine character. She made me laugh and really had me hoping she’d get her happy ending.

Then there’s the romance. It’s a kind of a catfishing/Cyrano Bergerac type of love story. While I do have some issues with the whole lying part, etc. I really ended up loving Daniel. What I was missing in Well Met (more interaction between the love interests) was definitely made up for in Well Played. I loved all the e-mails and text messages (I’m a big fan of these in books). Yeah, the issues may have been solved a bit too easily, but I still loved these two characters together. These two left a big smile on my face.

An extra element I loved about Well Played is the amazing cast of side characters. They’re so much fun and I love reading about the characters we met in the first book. I really didn’t mind getting more Emily and Simon. All in all, I really enjoyed this story and I can’t wait for the next book in the series!

I definitely enjoyed Well Played a little more than Well Met, but they’re both really fun reads. I’m looking forward to the third book, Well Matched releasing next year. Have you read these books? If you have, I’d love to hear what you thought in the comments!

3 thoughts on “Review| Well Played – Jen DeLuca

  1. Wonderful review!!! And I agree I wanted a bit more romance too, but I love the Ren Faire background, makes these books stand out from the crowd.

    ~ Corina |

  2. I’m so happy I read this review! I bought Well Met and didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped for the same reasons as you so I’m happy to hear this book did better with that!

  3. I really enjoyed Well Met and have been curious about Well Played because of that. I’m glad to hear you liked it! Your review definitely makes me want to pick it up sooner rather than later!

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