by: Jen DeLuca
Expected Publication Date: September 3, 2019
Check it Out: Goodreads
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.
This was such a good debut! I really enjoyed the focus around the Renaissance Faire and the characters.
What really shocked me was that this didn’t read like a debut to me. Not in the slightest! If this is the first book that we get from Jen DeLuca, then I can’t wait for what else she writes. We all know that enemies to lovers is one of my favorite tropes. This actually gave me the vibes I was wanting. The hate vibes were so on point.
I need to say first that I adored the small town here. It seriously felt like a Stars Hollow type of town. Basically, the best kinds. All of the people in this town made their own personalities and made it come to life. While I haven’t been to a Renaissance Faire, I seriously want to look up when the closest one to Houston is so I can go. I loved reading about everyone getting into character and the ins and outs of it.
I really loved our main character, Emily. Some of her insecurities hit home for me. Not to dwell too much, but am I the only one who thought they weren’t enough? She came off so relatable and someone that you could be friends with. While you wanted to shake her loose from those self-doubting thoughts, that’s what made her seem real and honest. Reading about her gaining her strength was the best thing about this book.
“I wanted a home. I wanted a place where I could build a life. and someday, I wanted someone who would love me.
Simon, I have to admit that he rubbed me the wrong way when were first introduced to him. I needed someone to really take the stick from his *ahem* butt. I didn’t really understand him at all and need to know what his problem was. He won me over down the line and I have to admit that I love him more than I ever thought I would.
While these two did take a while to admit their feelings, the wait was worth it! You guys, the sex scenes gave me life. The tension crackled like fireworks and it was everything that I ever wanted. I knew from the banter at the faire that there was chemistry but I was blown away by how much.
All in all, I adored this debut and can’t wait to see what else Jen DeLuca writes. If you are a fan of contemporary romance and the enemies to lovers trope, then pick this one up!!
✨I received an ARC via NetGalley for an honest review.