Well Traveled- Review
By Jen DeLuca
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Well Met #4
Publication Date: December 6,2022
Source: Received an ARC in exchange for an honest review
Rating: 4 Stars
One of Amazon’s Best Romances of December
An Indie Next Pick
A December LibraryReads Pick
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?
Jen DeLuca’s Renaissance Faire series just hits for me. Well Traveled really takes the Ren Faire fantasy to live with Lulu having a bit of a break down, quitting her job, destroying her cell phone and running off to travel with a band to faires for two months. I mean, who doesn’t have a secret fantasy about dropping everything and running away (especially for me to Renaissance Faires). Renaissance meaning rebirth really fits in this context too. Lulu is looking for a rebirth, a restart. She really takes this time to examine what she wants in life, the impact of her family on her choices, and what truly makes her happy. And along the way she discovers that a hot guitar player in a kilt really makes her happy.
Dex definitely feels like the less flesh-out character in the book. Part of that is the story is all from Lulu’s POV but he also has the fun-loving, lady’s man persona and even as that starts to fall away, I feel like we only get glimpses into him. Also, with Lulu going through such upheaval, growth, and change, she’s the dominate focus of the book and he gets brushed aside a bit. I would have liked more insight into Dex because at times he almost feels like a desire rather than a full-fledged character.
As the reader, you quickly get pulled into the emotions of Lulu and feel the weight she is under until she cracks. And you understand her panic but also excitement at a different life and adventure. She travels with the band and Stacey and Daniel from Well Played but always craves out a role for herself at the faires. This is a story of rebirth and what better place for it than Renaissance Faires, surrounded by pageantry, costumes, fortune-telling, and turkey legs?