A SEQUEL I LOVED: Well Played Review

Summary (from the publisher): Stacey is jolted when two of her two best friends get engaged. She knew she was putting her life on hold when she stayed in Willow Creek to care for her sick mother, but it’s been years now, and even though Stacey loves spending her summers pouring drinks and flirting with patrons at the local Renaissance Faire, she wants more out of life. Stacey vows to have her life figured out by the time her friends get hitched at Faire next summer. Maybe she’ll even find The One.

When Stacey imagined “The One,” it never occurred to her that her summertime Faire fling, Dex MacLean, might fit the bill. While Dex is easy on the eyes onstage with his band The Dueling Kilts, Stacey has never felt an emotional connection with him. So when she receives a tender email from the typically monosyllabic hunk, she’s not sure what to make of it.

Faire returns to Willow Creek, and Stacey comes face-to-face with the man with whom she’s exchanged hundreds of online messages over the past nine months. To Stacey’s shock, it isn’t Dex—she’s been falling in love with a man she barely knows.


My Rating: 5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

Jen DeLuca’s Renaissance Faire inspired contemporary romance, Well Met, is one of my favorite reads of 2020, so I could not wait to get my hands on the sequel companion novel, Well Played. Never have I ever been to a Renaissance Faire, but that hasn’t stopped me from falling in love with these two books! You don’t necessarily need to read Well Played before reading Well Met, but I highly suggest that you do, #1 because Well Met is such a fantastic contemporary romance and features one of my favorite fictional boyfriends, Simon (he gives me MAJOR Ben Wyatt vibes). But more importantly, the sequel does contain spoilers for Well Met, i.e. the relationship progress or status of Emily & Simon. Reading Well Met gives you a more rich and fun understanding of the Ren Faire world, since Emily is new to it herself in the first book, while Well Played’s main protagonist, Stacey, is a seasoned tavern witch. 

Well Played follows Emily’s best friend, Stacey. A longtime tavern witch and Ren Faire volunteer, Stacey looks forward to the faire every year, not just because it’s one of her few favorite parts of still living in the town she grew up in, but also to reunite with her summer fling, Dex. Dex is a member of renaissance band, the Dueling Kilts, managed by Dex’s cousin, Daniel. On a whim after the faire ends for the year, Emily emails Dex to share her thoughts on their ‘relationship,’ and receives a way more tender and emotional email back then she could have ever expected. As Stacey and Dex email throughout the year and form a relationship, it never crosses Stacey’s mind that the person behind the email might not be Dex after all…Read More »