Title: Well Matched
Author: Jen DeLuca
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: Oct 19, 2021
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.ng?
Mitch is my favourite character in this entire series. I just want to give him a hug because his heart is so big and full of love!
Ren Faire takes a back seat in Well Matched as April isn’t a “joiner,” as she calls it. She’s ready to reno her house, post it for sale, and go back to the city where no one knows your name. It should be easy, but as the school year draws to a close, April begins to realize how hands-off she’s been within the community of the small town through Caitlin’s life, and wonders if she’s missed out. We get a lot more world-building of the town and I enjoyed learning more about their tight knit community!
April is a very relatable character – a single mom who’s been burned by her ex-husband, who’s very introverted and private, panics every time the spotlight is on her. While I don’t think she has an anxiety disorder (she’s not diagnosed), she does have episodes where panic takes over her body – she doesn’t say the right things, the words can’t come out, and she just feels her world imploding. This plays a huge part in her relationship with Mitch and it leads to a lot of the push and pull between them that throws off their chemistry (which they have a lot of!).
I loved seeing them both open up and share their vulnerabilities with each other and how they make one another stronger. I definitely finished this book grinning like an absolute idiot and flailing about cause they’re SO CUTE AND I LOVE THEM SO MUCH.
This book is a huge page-turner and I finished it faster than I’ve finished any ARC recently! I mean, the fake-dating and only-one-bed tropes really had me, but seeing these characters grow to love each other was absolute perfection!
World Building: 5/5
GoodReads Rating: 4.2/5
eARC gifted via Edelweiss+ by Berkley and Penguin Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review.