Sunday, November 27, 2022

Review: Well Traveled by Jen DeLuca

Well Traveled by Jen DeLuca
Series: Well Met, Book 4
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Well Traveled
ISBN: 9780593200469
Release Date: December 6, 2022
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Audible

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?

Lawyer Lulu Malone has been killing herself to try and make partner. Frustrated and exhausted, everything goes wrong one day and Lulu quits her job in a most spectacular fashion. She’s at a crossroads and her cousin, Mitch, has the perfect idea: travel the Ren Faire circuit with The Dueling Kilts. Lulu adapts to her new life on the road faster than she could have imagined, thanks to the help of her new friend Stacey and the friendly guys in the band. But there is one thing about her new life that throws her off (aside from being banned from computer and cell phone usage): guitarist Dex MacLean. Dex is the bad boy of the Ren Faires with a girl (or two or three) at every stop. He’s handsome as heck but shallow… Or is there more to him than meets the eye?

Well Traveled is sweetness, comfort, romance, and fun all rolled into one. I love escaping into the world of Jen DeLuca’s Renaissance Faires and this time was no exception. Lulu is tired of trying to live up to the expectations set by her family, which is why when she has a meltdown her cousin suggests a break from reality. I loved Lulu’s journey as she came into her own, melding her old self with her new. It was a delight to watch her become part of the Ren Faire family, doing odd jobs and making friends along the way. Her friendship with Stacey (of Well Played) and the MacLean family charmed the heck out of me.

In many ways, Well Traveled is Lulu’s story more than hers and Dex’s, but don’t fear that DeLuca skipped the romance. Dex seems charming and shallow and he plays into that, but there’s more to him than even his own family gives him credit for. Lulu is the first woman to treat him like a person rather than a plaything and it broke my heart a bit for him. Dex can be sweet and caring and I liked how easily he fell for Lulu. But Lulu’s time at the Ren Faire is only for a few months and the two of them live in different worlds. To make things work, they have to be willing to compromise and risk being open and vulnerable to each other.

Well Traveled was a pleasure to read. The world of Renaissance Faires is just a delight and I loved seeing it through Lulu’s eyes. The romance was understated but built as the story went on, culminating in a happily ever after that made me smile. Lulu and Dex’s story is a true comfort read and I am very much looking forward to revisiting them.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.