It all started with a necklace.
A beautiful pendant, made of gleaming silver in the shape of a dragonfly, strung on a green silk cord. Its eyes were tiny crystals that caught the light, and the wings were a delicate filigree. I spotted it on the last day of the Willow Creek Renaissance Faire, while Emily--or Emma, since we were still in character--and I strolled the grounds. [opening line of Well Played]
His arm went around me, his fingertips stroking slowly up and down my upper arm. There was no expectation of anything physical. He hadn't even kissed me since I'd first arrived.
It was the best date I'd been on in years. [excerpt from 56% in Well Played]
Romance; 332 pgs
My thoughts: I adored Well Met, the first in a romance series by Jen DeLuca, and so was looking forward to reading Well Played. Now seemed like the perfect time since my family and I had just been to a Renaissance Faire, and I was very much in the mood to maintain that Ren Faire ambience. It didn't take me long to settle in with the book, and the next thing I knew, I was done!
While a portion of the novel takes place off season, much of it is set during the summer in small town Willow Creek. Stacey lives for the faire and looks forward to being a part of it each year. Her dreams of a career and her own life fell away years before after her mother got sick, Stacey has accepted that she's stuck in her current life. She tries to pretend she's happy, but that façade cracks a little when her best friend Emily and Simon get engaged. After drinking too much one night, Stacey leaves a comment on the Dueling Kilts band fan page of her sometimes Ren Faire fling, which leads to a year of e-mail correspondence and later texts. She pours her heart out to him and him to her. Or so she thinks. If you are getting a Cyrano de Bergerac vibe, you wouldn't be far off. Or catfishing for the less romantic take on it. But this is a romance so let's go with with the Cyrano vibe . . .
Although Well Met was magic for me in every way, I was a little less enamored with Well Played. I did enjoy it though. It was funny and charming, not to mention the setting. I found Stacey relatable (and it's always nice to come across a plus sized heroine). On the outside, she's confident and flirty, which we see some of in the first book in the series where she is a secondary character. But in this book, with her front and center, we get to see a more complex character, as the layers fall away. It was great to see some of the repeat characters from the earlier book--Emily, Simon, April and Mitch (whose turn it will be in Well Matched, which I look forward to reading).
I admit to not knowing much about faire life, but one aspect I really appreciated about this novel was how it gives readers a glimpse behind the curtain of a Ren Faire and some of it's moving parts--from the local volunteers to the vendors and entertainers who spend their life on the road traveling from faire to faire, as well as the rehearsals, costumes, and some of the behind the scenes action.
Every Friday Coffee Addicted Writer from Coffee Addicted Writer poses a question which participants respond on their own blogs within the week (Friday through Thursday). They then share their links at the main site and visit other participants blogs.
Have you ever attempted to repair a damaged book? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)
Kind of. I once ordered a set of books on E-Bay that were said to be in good condition. The seller's definition of good condition and mine are not the same. The covers were ripped and extremely loose (I could see the threads barely hanging on) and pages were falling out. My husband and I tried taping the pages to the covers but it was clear we didn't know what we were doing.
Then there was the time I accidentally dropped a book into a bucket of water. I ended up buying a new copy. There was no coming back from the damage done to that soaked book.
I have read a few fiction books in which characters restore damaged books. I am in awe of their skills. It really is an art all its own.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Be sure and tell me what you are reading and are up to!
© 2023 Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.