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4 WELL PLAYED Stars for Jen Deluca

Another laugh-out-loud romantic comedy featuring kilted musicians, Renaissance Faire tavern wenches, and an unlikely love story.
Stacey is jolted when her friends Simon and Emily 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.

Well Played (Well Met, #2) by Jen DeLuca
Series: Well Met Series #2
Published by Berkley on September 22, 2020

Genres: 2 Flames- PG Closed Doors, Contemporary Romance, Romance

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I received a complimentary ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


WELL PLAYED by Jen Deluca

Sue thoughts

Well Played by Jen Deluca is the second book in the Well Met series.

Stacey Lindholm life is stuck in a rut.  She had dreams of being in the fashion industry in New York City but her mom’s heart attack has kept her in Willow Creek.  It’s been 5 years since the attack and now her mom is healthy, but Stacey still worries.  At least she has the yearly Willow Creek Renaissance Faire to look forward to each year.

Stacey is hoping that this year will be her year and maybe she will find someone special just like her best friend, Emily.  Imagine Stacey’s surprise when her summer fling for the past two years, Dex MacLean, from the Renaissance band, The Dueling Kilts, answers her drunken email.  Something about his elegant words touches Stacey and this starts a 9 month correspondence back and forth really getting to know each other.  As the Renaissance Faire approaches Stacey is excited to see Dex again.  She thinks he may be “the One”!

When Stacey realizes it was not Dex she had been communicating with, but someone else, she feels hurt that he lied to her, but at the same time excited because she knows she has fallen in love with him.  Now she just has to decide is she is ready to take that chance on love.

I really enjoyed Well Played.  The characters were fun and I loved their conversations they had.  I really loved the ending and how these two found their happiness.


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Excerpt of WELL PLAYED by Jen Deluca

Back on the couch I took a healthy sip of wine and clicked through to our Faire’s private group page, filled with pics from not only the Faire that had just ended but also from years past. A warm glow filled my chest, which was only partially from the wine. Those few weeks of Faire every year were the best part about living in Willow Creek these days. I’d just put my wench’s costume away for the winter, and I was already looking forward to taking it out again.
In one of the online albums, Emily and I grinned at the camera in a photo taken the summer before last, our arms around each other in our wench outfits. She’d been a complete newbie then but totally game, and by the end of the summer she’d become a real friend. I’m gonna miss her.
“Stop it,” I said. “She’s getting married. She’s not going anywhere.”
A couple more clicks, and I landed on a shot of the Dueling Kilts. One that was obviously taken at pub sing; Dex was framed by late afternoon sunlight streaming through the trees. God, he was gorgeous. I missed him.
That thought brought me up short. Did I really? Or did I miss the whole “friends with benefits” situation? That couldn’t be it . . . we weren’t friends. We’d gone out on what could loosely be considered a date a few times over the past two summers, and we’d hooked up more times than that, but we weren’t friends. We’d hardly even talked at all this summer. Acquaintances with benefits? I should want a guy who wanted actual conversation with me. Who wanted to get to know me. Relationship material. Dex was relationship Teflon.
Besides, he had a girl at every Faire. For all I knew, he was with the next girl right this minute. I looked back at my laptop, at the photo I’d blown up to screen-size. Dex cradled his guitar, grinning at something just off camera, his dark eyes doing that crinkly thing at the edges that was somehow ridiculously sexy on guys. He’d smiled at me like that, and every time he did I was lost. Friends, acquaintances, whatever-you-wanted-to-call-it with benefits, he was the kind of guy who gave you his full attention when he was with you. I’d never asked for more . . . but what if I did? Would I stand out among the crowd? I’d stood out well enough for him here in Willow Creek, after all.
It was the photo that did it. That grin. Those crinkly eyes. What was he smiling at? I’d slept with the guy but had no idea what made him laugh. And suddenly I really, really wanted to know.
Well, only one way to fix that.
The photo was tagged, so it was just a matter of a couple clicks to navigate to a private message screen. I put down my wine and started to type.
Yes. This was a great idea.

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Reviewer:  Sue is a retired IT Computer Programmer who loves to read just about any type of romance….Contemporary, Historical, Comedy,  or Suspense.  She tends to like sassy heroines and hot alpha heroes (although the occasional nerds are fun too!) with lots of fun witty banter.  She lives in a small suburb of Cleveland, OH with her almost perfect husband.  She has three adult daughters who all live nearby, with the oldest being married.


About Jen DeLuca

Jen DeLuca

Jen DeLuca was born and raised in Virginia, but there weren’t enough alligators and hurricanes so she relocated to Florida as soon as she could.

Her first career was in theatre, where she served as a wardrobe master and also worked backstage as an ice-show dresser. (She can strip down an ice skater and shove him into a Klingon costume in less than a minute. Where’s THAT Skill & Endorsement category, LinkedIn?)

Jen lives with her husband and a house full of rescued pets. She spends her days picking cat hair off her clothes and fighting with at least one of them over the office chair. She likes latte-flavored lattes, Hokies football, and the Oxford comma.

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