Welcome to the Short N’ Sweet Book Review! For the ten years that I’ve been reviewing books on this blog, I’ve written long, wordy reviews that, let’s be honest, not a lot of people are probably reading. I’ve recently decided to shorten those reviews and get straight to the point – what is this book about, who wrote it, where you can find and a short review on what I loved, liked and maybe thought could be better.
Today’s review is the fourth installment in Jen Deluca‘s fantastic ren faire romance series, Well Traveled!
ABOUT THE BOOK
The Renaissance Faire is on the move, and Lulu and Dex are along for the ride, in the next utterly charming rom-com from Jen DeLuca.
A high-powered attorney from a success-oriented family, Louisa “Lulu” Malone lives to work, and everything seems to be going right, until the day she realizes it’s all wrong. Lulu’s cousin Mitch introduced her to the world of Renaissance Faires, and when she spies one at a time just when she needs an escape, she leaps into the welcoming environment of turkey legs, taverns, and tarot readers. The only drawback? Dex MacLean: a guitarist with a killer smile, the Casanova of the Faire… and her traveling companion for the summer.
Dex has never had to work for much in his life, and why should he? Touring with his brothers as The Dueling Kilts is going great, and he always finds a woman at every Faire. But when Lulu proves indifferent to his many plaid charms and a shake-up threatens the fate of the band, Dex must confront something he never has before: his future.
Forced to spend days and nights together on the road, Lulu’s interest in the kilted bad boy grows as he shows her a side of himself no one else has seen. The stresses of her old lifestyle fade away as she learns to trust her intuition and follow her heart instead of her head. But when her time on the road is over, will Lulu go with her gut, or are she and Dex destined for separate paths?
Pages: 304 pages
Part of a Series?: The 4th Book in the Well Met Series (each book CAN be read as a standalone!)
Release Date: December 6th, 2022
Publisher: Berkley Books
Source: Owned Physical Copy
FIND THE BOOK:
SHORT N’SWEET REVIEW
Please keep in mind that while this review will NOT have spoilers for this novel, I cannot guarantee that it won’t be spoiler free for the previous three books. Please take a look at my spoiler free review of book one, Well Met!
I am a HUGE fan of Jen’s series and so, of course, I was excited to read the next installment in this series, especially since it seemed to be more Ren Faire involved than the previous one. I loved Well Met and Well Played but I had mix feelings about Well Matched. Maybe I didn’t connect with April the way I did with Emily and Stacey or maybe it was because that one wasn’t as much as a love story to the Ren Faire…I just didn’t LOVE it. It left me a little apprehensive of the fourth book. Sometimes you wonder – can a series stretch out too far?
The answer is no. At least not in this case because this book is PHENOMENAL!
I loved Lulu from the beginning to the very end, from the moment she took her cell phone and tossed it into a bucket of water, and decided to quit her job and join up with the Ren Faire. I love a second chance at life sort of story, a reevaluation of what a person wants in their life. I’m becoming more open to characters that are closer in age to me – which will be solidly mid-thirties in about one month – and I think I especially like it now because authors that are writing characters that age are usually around my age and they just get it. I’m a millennial and I have spent most of my adult life, wandering around, pretending that I know which direction I’m going in…and I’m loving characters that are stumbling around, trying to figure it out too, because it’s super relatable. Lulu is incredibly relatable. She knows that what she does, what she spent so much of her life working hard to earn, is what she wants to do. She wants to be a lawyer and help people but she wants it to be better than it was before and she doesn’t know if that’s even possible.
And I love that the story allows her the time to figure out and to figure out that she can have so much more than she really believes. She’s been a workaholic, trying to make partner, completely glued to her phone and traveling with the Dueling Kilts (and Stacey and Daniel, of course) gives her the opportunity to disconnect. There’s SOOOO much Ren Faire in this book and I LOVE it. I LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE Ren Faire and I love that we get to travel to different faires with the characters. With the previous books, we were limited to the Willow Creek faire and so I appreciated that we almost got an entire new cast of characters with the traveling and hitting different locations. I especially loved the fortune tellers that Lulu becomes friends with and I wish we could have gotten more from them because they were SO great.
But I also absolutely love a good fuck-boy-falls-in-love story. I love it. It’s kind of my jam. I love that there’s a guy who doesn’t do love, commitment, relationships until they meet the ONE, who, of course, is the main character. I am a SUCKER for this and so I thoroughly enjoyed watching Lulu and Dex fall in love. Stories like that usually have a really good slow burn and I get all swoony and sweaty at a good slow burn. Add in that Dex is a musician (FAINTS!) and they fall in love while on the epic road trip, going from faire to faire, with the background of jousting and fortune tellers, queens and turkey legs…I can’t handle. I spent the entire book wishing I could step into the pages and BE Lulu…or at least be her best friend.
The point is – Jen knocks it out the park once again with a fun and swoony romance, set against the super awesome background of the Ren Faire. It’s romantic and fantasy and the perfect escape. I read this book while holed up in bed with covid so it was a PERFECT way to escape and feel happy and better. If you haven’t had a chance to grab the latest addition to the series, I highly recommend you do, ASAP!
Also…and this could potentially be slightly spoiler-ish, but did anyone else kind of hope that a book five with Caitlin and Seamus would be announced? Just me? Maybe I’ll fanfic that…
4 out of 5 Stars