Hello readers! I have read many series before but this is first time I’m reviewing whole series. It was fun to list points and highlight some amazing aspects of all books in this romance series. I hope you enjoy reading Well Met series review as much as I did writing it. Also let me know if you would like to read more of such posts.
(click on title link to read full review)
Well Met (Book 1)
Well Met was cute, refreshing romance with hate to love arc that revolved around caring organized Emily, uptight rule-follower Simon, and Willow Creek renaissance fair with its historical theme. It was about family love, belongingness, getting over grief, letting others help and share responsibility, and need of change without affecting the essence of originality. The message was deep and thought provoking.
Shakespeare lovers would love to read this as there was idea of Shakespeare theme, his plays and sonnet. It was fun reading the story of Emily and Simon. I enjoyed bickering and small fight between them in first half. They disliked each other, Emily couldn’t stand Simon and there was time she even tried to do all to avoid Simon’s dagger throwing stare and Simon was out to find teeny tiniest fault in Emily and whatever she did. But once they started knowing each other, the chemistry between them was lovable and award-winning. Romance between them was steamy, hot, and sizzling. I’m not usually fan of sex scene but trust me here it was amazing.
Overall, it was feel good, gripping, and dramatic romantic comedy with lovey small town and fun fair. It’s perfect summer read. I highly recommend this book.
Well Played (Book 2)
Well Played was interesting sequel to Well Met that revolved around Stacey’s love story. It was about friendship, family, spreading wings, living for yourself once in a while, trust, betrayal, and love. this took place over the course of the year, starting from Faire and ending with it.
Best part of the book was– Like I said, knowing Stacey better, email and text conversations between Stacey and Daniel, Emily’s wedding, and obviously Renaissance Faire and not just of Willow Creek but also Maryland Ren Fest and everything related to faire. I also enjoyed Daniel’s thoughts on nomadic life, its upside and downside.
Why 3 Stars- Big twist was revealed in synopsis, cover and also in just first chapter. I didn’t feel the chemistry and didn’t like main characters as much as I expected.
Overall, Well Played was enjoyable, interesting in some parts and entertaining romance with amazing setting.
Well Matched (Book 3)
Well Matched was interesting and heart-warming finale of Well Met trilogy that revolved around April and Mitch’s story. The story was about friendship, family, belongingness, commitment issue, transition to empty nest phase of life, and preconceptions.
I loved the forced proximity and flirting through home renovation project arc. What I loved most was April standing up for Mitch against his family, their pretend relationship in public and specifically when her ex-husband showed up, April realizing what’s it like to be part of faire, leaving her mundane life and have some fun and that she belonged in Willow Creek community.
Why 4 stars- April was annoying. Her reasons for denial and refusing to accept her feelings for Mitch was getting repetitive and frustrating. Also it wasn’t as good as Well Met in all aspects but I’m glad it was better than Well Played.
Overall, Well Matched was interesting, fast paced, realistic, and lovely romance with relatable characters and life situations.
Things I liked in this series
Elizabethan setting of the fair was best introduced in first book with how Simon enrolled students and volunteers, how they rehearsed the act, how they organise it and how whole community come together for faire. In all books Willow Creek Renaissance Faire was at the centre and each time we know more about faire and acts they involved, how they made changes as the series progressed, first with duration then dresses and in last book Simon and Mitch were changing their Chess Fight sequence as well. You can say faire also developed as series progressed. There was also mention of Maryland Ren Fest in second book and how that was different from Willow Creek Ren faire.
Small town, Close-Knit community
Willow Creek was lovely and quaint small town in which everyone knew everyone’s business. I loved how welcoming this community was specially to both Stacey and April who weren’t born in Willow Creek and yet they settled here and community made them feel they belonged there. I specifically loved how they supported April when her ex-husband showed up in third book and how Chris, the book store owner, helped Emily with job and practically handing over the shop. We also see the downside of small town from Stacey’s perspective in second book.
Realistic and relatable characters
All characters in this series were realistic and relatable. They weren’t perfect and had vulnerability and had faced real life situation that many could relate to –
Simon lost his brother and had trouble trusting anyone else with faire he started with his brother.
Emily had jerk ex-boyfriend who belittle her for whom she left her studies.
Stacey felt trapped in small town that she couldn’t leave to care for her mother.
Daniel felt invisible and talentless.
Mitch’s family didn’t appreciate him as he was gym teacher
April raised her daughter alone and couldn’t let anyone in her life and heart in fear of commitment and heartbreak because of her ex-husband.
All three books had opposite attracts romance
Simon was uptight, rude, and introvert English teacher while Emily was selfless, caring, sensitive person
Daniel was understanding, caring, responsible while Stacey was lively, food loving, cheerful
Mitch was social, cheerful gentleman while April was smart, antisocial, and independent mom
First book included grief and getting over past with enemies to lovers arc
Second book had plus size heroine with catfishing arc
Third had age gap and fake dating arc
In all three books characters do end up together, one of the couple get married, they were adjusting in their relationships or life changes that we see as series progresses but they weren’t planning kids. In fact, unlike all romances I have read that ends up popping kids or think about kids, here characters are willing not expecting that like Mitch and April and in case of Simon and Emily they don’t want kids too soon.
What I didn’t like
Chemistry didn’t live up to first book in second and third book.
Second book was weakest of all. I didn’t feel the chemistry between Stacey and Daniel. And both synopsis, cover and first chapter was kind of spoilery. It was so obvious to guess who Stacey was chatting to.
Couples weren’t as best as in first book
Simon and Emily set a standard in first book. So, it was hard to feel the same with Stacey-Daniel and April-Mitch. I didn’t like both Stacey and Daniel that much and in third I loved Mitch but April was okay, not as good as I expected.
Do I recommend this series or should you continue the series?
You can go into first book blindly but I will say book 2 was one time read and third was great for Mitch fan. You can skip book 2 and read book 3 if you like, only thing you might miss will be Emily’s wedding.
Continue the series if you love Ren faire and would love to know all characters better with different arc in each books.
“I didn’t choose the wench life. The wench life chose me.”
― Well Met
“someday, I wanted someone who would love me. Not for what I could do for them, but for who I was to them.”
― Well Met
“I wonder if what you’re seeing as a cage is obligation instead of love. They can look the same, especially when it comes to family. It’s hard to break free from that, and some people never do.”
― Well Played
“You know, love songs say crap like “love will set you free,” but lately I’ve been thinking that love is more like a cage. The most beautiful cage, with gold filigree and diamonds on the bars. But a cage nonetheless.”
― Well Played
“No one’s ever ready. For any of those big changes that life throws at you. You just have to meet them head-on and do your best. It’s okay to be scared a little. If we all waited till we were ready, we’d never do anything.”
― Well Matched
Thank you for reading! Let’s chat…
What do you think about this post? Have you read any book in this series? Are you going to add it to TBR?
Just in case you missed,,,
- Merciless Stars by Candace Robinson – Cover Reveal
- 10 Bookish Pet Peeves – Discussion Post
- The Lighthouse Witches by C. J. Cooke – Book Review
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