Publisher: Penguin


Friday, September 27, 2019

Adorable if Lacking Tension: Well Met by Jen DeLuca

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I received this book for free from Berkley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Adorable if Lacking Tension: Well Met by Jen DeLucaWell Met by Jen DeLuca
Published by Berkley on September 3rd, 2019
Genres: Adult, Romance
Source: Berkley
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three-half-stars

All's faire in love and war for two sworn enemies who indulge in a harmless flirtation in a laugh-out-loud rom-com from debut author, Jen DeLuca.

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.

All I heard was enemies to lovers and Well Met immediately had my attention. I dove in expecting some good banter and cuteness and I definitely got a LOT of cuteness. So, Well Met is truly a bundle of softness and cuteness but I also felt like the plot itself wasn’t always gripping?? No I wasn’t expecting an adventure or murder mystery amidst its pages but I felt like even with the plot revolving around the Renaissance Faire, there wasn’t any amount of urgency or tension in that regard. It sort of just felt like we were gently floating through the happenings of the Faire and everything that came with setting it up and running it through.

The romance itself was adorable but I also felt that it was also missing something?? Well Met is pitched to us as an enemies to lovers so I really really wanted banter but there wasn’t really that much of that? Their dislike of each other doesn’t even seem that well founded and I barely read it as a dislike because it was clear they were lusting after each other. Also, Simon was just mean sometimes and that threw me off a little.

As I got to know the characters better, I warmed up to them and once the Faire was under way and the romance in full swing, I couldn’t help but ship them. Emily stressed me out sometimes with how much she’d take on just to feel wanted/needed but I am glad she got a good character arc that ended with her acknowledging those issues and finding a way to value herself and her time. Once Simon’s backstory was revealed (a sob story), I couldn’t help but like him because that’s WHO I AM. He also had a good character arc that unpacked his issues and let him deal with them in a healthy manner.

Here is the thing about Well Met, I think due to just a general lack of plot tension, it is slow going and I sometimes drifted in and out of the Faire semantics stuff, but once you hit that 50% mark, the slow going doesn’t seem as bad because the romance is a bundle of softness and adorableness. You sort of just end up becoming lost in it and want to absorb the rays of sunshine jumping out of this book. Well Met is the PERFECT summer time read (even if it isn’t technically summer anymore…) The characters, primary and secondary, truly do make this book worth reading and I do hope we get to come back to this world and see a couple more peeps get their happy endings.

three-half-stars

3.5 Hot Espressos

Hits All the Right Notes: A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh

Hits All the Right Notes: A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh

Posted by on 09/06/2019 • 2 Comments

It’s been a long time since I’ve read anything by Nalini Singh but when I saw she was venturing into the world of suspense, I knew I’d have to pick up A Madness of Sunshine. A Madness of Sunshine is exactly I want from a mystery. It has no flashy red herrings, but is still enticing. In fact, once I hit the 33% mark, I read the book in one sitting. Which, I read books in single sittings all the time, but I’ve been struggling a lot with reading lately and this just… it was what I needed. If you love small town mysteries, where secrets bubble underneath the surface, A Madness of Sunshine is exactly what you need too.

By the 20% mark in this book, I trusted no…

So Much Food and Softness: Natalie Tan’s Book of Fortune by Roselle Lim

So Much Food and Softness: Natalie Tan’s Book of Fortune by Roselle Lim

Posted by on 07/19/2019 • 0 Comments

Here is the thing about Natalie Tan’s Book of Fortune, it is sweet with a dash of magic and an incredible amount of food porn. For those reasons, I was immediately drawn in and enjoyed the book. But, the writing is not quite there so even though the story itself is wonderful, the way it is written and told isn’t? 

First things first, this book is not a romance for those romance readers eyeing this book. It is a story about love but not necessarily romantic love. 

Natalie Tan comes home for the first time in years after her mother passes away. They parted on bad terms and Natalie never got to bridge the gap that emerged between the two. A letter her ma-ma left behind for her imparts her…

Potentially the best Pride and Prejudice Adaptation: Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

Potentially the best Pride and Prejudice Adaptation: Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

Posted by on 07/02/2019 • 8 Comments

I’ve been going through a reading slump lately and starting a book takes a lot more effort than I would like. When, I picked up Ayesha a couple days ago, I was really sad I couldn’t get into it so I put it down and continued binging Brooklyn Nine Nine. Because I had it for review though, I decided to pick it up again  and push through. I ended up going to bed at 5:30 AM because I legitimately did not want to put Ayesha at Last down.

I first read P&P in 10th grade and watched the BBC adaptation alongside reading it. I thought the Colin Firth adaptation was the peak of P&P adaptations. Reading Ayesha at Last has made me completely reevaluate that opinion. This thoughtful, creative retelling…

Pretty Toxic: Fight or Flight by Samantha Young

Pretty Toxic: Fight or Flight by Samantha Young

Posted by on 11/09/2018 • 3 Comments

Okay so we are diving right into this review because I have a lot to process and break down. Fight or Flight started off as a book that I didn’t expect too much from. I went it basically hoping I wouldn’t hate it and unfortunately, things didn’t turn out the way I had hoped. Let me back up here for a sec tho, for the first couple chapters I was NOT a fan but the book started growing on me a lot but then a THING happened and I ended up extremely disappointed and sad. I mean, the book wasn’t perfect aside from the thing but I was still enjoying it so it sucks. While keeping that in mind, I am breaking down this review into the good and the…

In Conversation With Nick: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

In Conversation With Nick: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Posted by on 06/04/2018 • 1 Comment

Nick (The Infinite Limits of Love) is the one who made me read this book so it’s only right that my review of it is actually just me fangirling over it with her. ENJOY!

Rashika: Nick left me here to write a review while she is showering and I don’t know what to say. IT’S HER FAULT I READ THIS BOOK. WHY ISN’T SHE HERE TO TALK? HMPH.

Nick: BACK FROM THE SHOWER! Let me just preface by saying this: Michael Phan is mine. No one is going to steal my book boyfriend from me.

R: Wow. UM. Michael is mine. I am sorry to break it to you. AND EVEN IF YOU READ THE BOOK BEFORE ME, IT DOESN’T COUNT. WE GET TO FIGHT IT OVER NOW. But speaking,…

OTP Playlist: Trouble Never Sleeps by Stephanie Tromly

OTP Playlist: Trouble Never Sleeps by Stephanie Tromly

Posted by on 04/27/2018 • 1 Comment

Today, I am bringing to you a playlist that I think encompasses Digby and Zoe’s relationship. This was slightly harder than I thought because well… I started off with a song in mind and like the fool I am, I never wrote it down. This hindered my initial search because all I could think about was WHAT WAS THAT SONG. Anyway. So. The general vibe Zigby & Zoe give me is fun and banter so that’s the general vibe of this playlist as well. Enjoy!

About the Book About the Author

Stephanie Tromly was born in Manila, grew up in Hong Kong, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, and worked as a screenwriter in Los Angeles. She is currently on leave from her PhD program in English literature at the…

An Emotional 24 Hour Journey: I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman

An Emotional 24 Hour Journey: I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman

Posted by on 03/26/2018 • 0 Comments

I Have Lost My Way was my first book by Gayle Forman even though I’ve wanted to read a book by her for the past 5 years. I guess I am just going to have to go back and read more because I am in love with her writing style. I finished I Have Lost My Way feeling satisfied and warm gushiness from the good vibes in the book. However, upon hours of reflection, I can see that this book is not perfect for a number of reasons.

For starters, I was slightly uncomfortable with the way Forman wrote Harun’s story. Harun is a gay Pakistani-American. Throughout the book, we see his struggle with those identities and I felt like that struggle wasn’t really Forman’s to write about? I felt like she did…