Author: Jen DeLuca
Narrator: Brittany Pressley
Audiobook Length: 9 hours 31 minutes
A pretend relationship gives two friends more than they bargained for in a Renaissance Faire rom com filled with flower crowns, kilts, corsets, and sword fights.
Single mother April Parker has lived in Willow Creek for twelve years with a wall around her heart. On the verge of being an empty nester, she’s decided to move on from her quaint little town, and asks her friend Mitch for his help with some home improvement projects to get her house ready to sell.
Mitch Malone is known for being the life of every party, but mostly for the attire he wears to the local Renaissance Faire–a kilt (and not much else) that shows off his muscled form to perfection. While he agrees to help April, he needs a favor too: she’ll pretend to be his girlfriend at an upcoming family dinner, so that he can avoid the lectures about settling down and having a more “serious” career than high school coach and gym teacher. April reluctantly agrees, but when dinner turns into a weekend trip, it becomes hard to tell what’s real and what’s been just for show. But when the weekend ends, so must their fake relationship.
As summer begins, Faire returns to Willow Creek, and April volunteers for the first time. When Mitch’s family shows up unexpectedly, April pretends to be Mitch’s girlfriend again…something that doesn’t feel so fake anymore. Despite their obvious connection, April insists they’ve just been putting on an act. But when there’s the chance for something real, she has to decide whether to change her plans–and open her heart–for the kilt-wearing hunk who might just be the love of her life.
Well Matched once again transports the reader to Willow Creek, Maryland where the annual Renaissance Faire takes place in this third installment of the series. Since all the novels feature a new couple, each can be read as a standalone, although it is best to read them in order as characters cross over and the timeline is continuous. This story centers on 40-year-old single mom, April, who the reader first meets as Emily’s older sister in Well Met (#1). Her love interest in this romance is Mitch, the 30-years-old kilt wearing man introduced in the first novel. While April is in a bar one night contemplating all of the changes in her life as her daughter, Caitlin, is graduating from high school. Her ex-husband sends a letter congratulating Caitlin, even though he has not been in the picture, which adds a new stress in April’s life. When a man hits on April and won’t take no for an answer, Mitch rescues her and proceeds to propose for April to become his fake girlfriend for a family event. After some contemplation, April eventually agrees.
As most of the story takes place in the months leading up to the Faire, similar to the second book, I did miss the fun and whimsy from the event. I missed this part a lot in both this novel and its predecessor as it helped set this series apart from many others out there that contain similar storylines. This novel is still an enjoyable read as Mitch and April share great chemistry and banter. I love the fact that this is a May –December romance with the woman as the older partner! April has devoted her life for her child and put herself on the backburner. She is a more introverted and nonsocial person that is ready to leave Willow Creek to start again once Caitlin graduates.
Past characters from the other novels make appearances, such as Simon and Emily, the main couple from Well Met, and Stacey and Daniel, the main couple from Well Played, so it was nice to read updates about each of their lives. As Simon and Mitch are close friends and Emily and April are siblings, they are featured more compared to Stacey and Daniel. Mitch was previously portrayed as the confident playboy-type and this was a great exploration into the man beneath the façade. His vulnerability is shown and his character becomes a lot more complex. As April was also explored in a lot more depth, it was great to see these two interact and grow. Similar to the previous installments, the stories lean more towards women’s fiction than complete romance as a lot of focus is given to April and her personal growth. Overall, this was a fun read as I enjoyed both characters a lot and loved their connection. I greatly look forward to reading the fourth installment, Well Traveled, when it is published this fall!