NetGalley Review: Well Traveled by Jen Deluca

Hey all, Sam here.

Look, I’m getting an ARC review up in time for the book release. Yay! Okay, so I read this book a few months ago, when I was really missing the Ren Faire, and I felt very reading slumpy. I had been saying to hold off on this book until closer to release date…..but I obviously failed at that. I wanted to read it really badly, and honestly, I’m glad I read it.

Okay, so this is the fourth book in the Well Met series by Jen Deluca, although I know a lot of people who call it the Ren Faire Romance series. You can probably read these books out of order, since they each follow different couples, but all the characters’ lives are so intertwined that you’ll run into spoilers for each of the previous couples if you read them out of order.

Anyway, thank you to NetGalley and Berkley for granting me early access to this book. Receiving the digital copy did not affect my review or rating in any way. What did affect my rating was my love for the story concept and for Jen Deluca’s writing.

On that note, let’s jump into the review.

The Renaissance Faire is on the move, and Lulu and Dex are along for the ride, in the next utterly charming rom-com from Jen DeLuca.

A high-powered attorney from a success-oriented family, Louisa “Lulu” Malone lives to work, and everything seems to be going right, until the day she realizes it’s all wrong. Lulu’s cousin Mitch introduced her to the world of Renaissance Faires, and when she spies one at a time just when she needs an escape, she leaps into the welcoming environment of turkey legs, taverns, and tarot readers. The only drawback? Dex MacLean: a guitarist with a killer smile, the Casanova of the Faire… and her traveling companion for the summer.

Dex has never had to work for much in his life, and why should he? Touring with his brothers as The Dueling Kilts is going great, and he always finds a woman at every Faire. But when Lulu proves indifferent to his many plaid charms and a shake-up threatens the fate of the band, Dex must confront something he never has before: his future.

Forced to spend days and nights together on the road, Lulu’s interest in the kilted bad boy grows as he shows her a side of himself no one else has seen. The stresses of her old lifestyle fade away as she learns to trust her intuition and follow her heart instead of her head. But when her time on the road is over, will Lulu go with her gut, or are she and Dex destined for separate paths?

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

In the first book of the series we become acquainted with what becomes basically a main trio of characters: Emily, Stacey, and Mitch. Those three are each the focus of the first three books, so I was curious about who would lead the fourth book. As it turns out (and not a spoiler because it’s literally in the book summary), Lulu (Mitch’s cousin) and Dex, both characters we had met in previous books.

It was nice and interesting to get a much different “normie” viewpoint in this book, because Emily was already sort of a history and literature nerd so she fit in pretty easily to the Rennie scene. Lulu being a workaholic lawyer who visited a faire made it a completely different perspective. We also get a different perspective with Dex as well. Sure, we got Daniel in a previous book, but Dex is on stage at the faires, so again, it’s a different viewpoint. And since we’ve met Dex before, this gives us an opportunity to learn more about him.

There was a lot more to Dex than previous opinions had made me believe, and digging deeper into his character was a wonderful experience. And following Lulu as she basically runs away to the faire, and seeing what that experience was like…it’s like vicariously living out a dream of running away from the dreary day to day life.

I loved watching Lulu learn to relax and have a little fun, and to involve herself with other folks at the faires we visited in this book, because unlike the previous book where it all takes place in one small town, this book lets us see what it’s like to travel the Ren Faire circuit. It was also cool to see her learn from the tarot readers and get to discover more about that part of the culture.

I dearly love this series. It is a wonderful escape from the world, and it is perfect for the Ren Faire off season…although, since we’ve moved I now have to track down my “local” faires, which I believe still require a few hours of driving. My former “local” was the Ohio Renaissance Festival, and I miss it. My husband and I bought season passes for this year (during last year’s Black Friday Sale) and ended up moving like 6 weeks before the season started. We’ve bought season passes again for next year, and hopefully our work schedule will allow us to go at least one weekend.

So reading these books gives me all the Ren Faire feelings I love, and allows me to get cozy and follow a fascinating troupe of characters. Honestly, I hope there’s more to come with this series. If Jen DeLuca wants to keep writing them, then I want to keep reading them.

Well Traveled will be released on December 6th, so it’s almost here, and I can’t wait to pick up my finished copy.

That is all from me for today, but I will be back soon with more geeky content.


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