Series: Well Met #1
Published by Berkley (9.3.2019)
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Format: eBook, 336 pages
Source: I own it
Emily knew there would be strings attached when she relocated to the small town of Willow Creek, Maryland, for the summer to help her sister recover from an accident, but who could anticipate getting roped into volunteering for the local Renaissance Faire alongside her teenaged niece? Or that the irritating and inscrutable schoolteacher in charge of the volunteers would be so annoying that she finds it impossible to stop thinking about him?
The faire is Simon's family legacy and from the start he makes clear he doesn't have time for Emily's lighthearted approach to life, her oddball Shakespeare conspiracy theories, or her endless suggestions for new acts to shake things up. Yet on the faire grounds he becomes a different person, flirting freely with Emily when she's in her revealing wench's costume. But is this attraction real, or just part of the characters they're portraying?
This summer was only ever supposed to be a pit stop on the way to somewhere else for Emily, but soon she can't seem to shake the fantasy of establishing something more with Simon, or a permanent home of her own in Willow Creek.
Okay, so this book was pretty hit-or-miss for me. I didn’t like it in the beginning – the MC was royally pissing me off – then the middle was really good, but the ending got rocky again. The Faire was by far the best part and where this book shines. The nerd in me loved the setting, it made me miss Ren Faire!
So, the beginning. I honestly hated Emily. She was petulant and childish, and sorry but she was fucking stupid. It’s been a long time since an MC pissed me off as badly as she did. Her instant hatred for Simon was very petty and childish – I mean, he wasn’t exactly nice, but he wasn’t the outright asshole she made him out to be in her head. I felt like she overreacted in every single interaction with him, and blew everything he did WAY out of proportion. She was horrible to him! Then had the gall to wonder why he was so cold to her in return. Yet she blamed it all on him, because he was clearly the asshole in the situation *rolls eyes*
Also, it was easy to see instantly where Simon was coming from – his brother cherished the Faire, and he was continuing his legacy, so of course he’d be protective of it. View Spoiler »Also, it was blatantly obvious from the very first time his brother was mentioned that he was actually dead. The way everyone tiptoed around the subject, the obvious way that Simon was upset every time he talked about his brother, and when he was OBVIOUSLY crying after coming out of the woods (but she thought it was allergies? Are you fucking kidding me? SO. DUMB.) « Hide Spoiler HOW did this dumb bitch not realize it until it was literally staring her in the face?! I wanted to throw my Kindle in the beginning because she was so freaking STUPID.
Thankfully once she found out Simon’s “secret” things got more bearable. And in the middle, I was actually really enjoying it – I loved the banter between Simon and Emily, it hooked me! Also, I looooved Captain Ian Blackthorne ;) (Think Hook from Once Upon a Time, yummmyyyyy.) Banter is 1000% my cup of tea, and this was super fun and sexy. It made you root for them to JUST KISS ALREADY. I adore hate to love relationships AND banter, so the middle was fantastic!
However, once they had their first fight, it lost me again. Because Emily went right back to being a dumb c*nt. They had a STUPID, ridiculous fight – where she basically said that Faire was all that mattered to him, and that his brother was dead and never coming back (um, I think he knows that? Rude, but ok), and he accidentally called her “Emma,” her stage name (nevermind that he’d been calling her that for 8 weeks so it’s an easy mistake. Not like he called her by another woman’s name for crying out loud), which in her eyes just proved that all he cared about was Faire *rolls eyes again* He tried to get her to stay to talk it over (ya know, like ADULTS), but she, being the petulant little bitch she is, threw a tantrum and stormed off crying. Then she became absolutely exhausting – unbearably mopey and whiny for pages on end, acting like a complete drama queen:
Making fun of Simon had become one of my favorite things to do this summer, second only to kissing him. Now, though…now we were nothing. How was I supposed to live in this town with him in it?
You’re nothing? After ONE fight, seriously? (One fight where you didn’t even give him a chance to talk?!) And even if it was a legit breakup (and not just one stupid fight, smh), you’re going to leave town because he’s in it? Then, there was this gem:
“Why aren’t I important to him? I thought he was…I thought he…” loved me. But I was wrong. I wanted to cry again, but I was out of tears.
Jesus H Christ woman, you sound like a whiny ass little high schooler. And she was supposed to be in her late 20’s?! God, she made me want to bash my head into a wall repeatedly. WORST main character ever.
Okay, so that’s a lot of complaining for a 3-star book. But that’s how much I loved the middle! If I could rate it by parts it would go as follows:
Writing style: 3/5
Overall rating: 3/5
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