Spotlight Review: WELL TRAVELED by Jen DeLuca 

Well Met, Book 4

From the publisher:

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?

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This is one of my favorite series, and it’s not because I love Renaissance Faires; in fact, I’ve never been to one. I used to know a guy who worked in one, traveling all over the west coast for a few years, until he got a real job. And I love the Gilmore Girls, and there is a RenFaire connection there (which I just rewatched for the hundredth time!) But honestly, I give all the credit for my delight in RenFaires to the author, Jen DeLuca. While I probably still won’t go to one, I love her books that are set there.

Louisa is an attorney who has been busting her butt to make partner for five years now. She has watched one white guy after another, usually with way less experience than she has, move up the ladder. One of the founding partners is a woman, but the one case she worked on with her didn’t lead anywhere. She is sent to North Carolina to take a deposition and her boss is driving her crazy for this interview that really won’t have any bearing on the case. She has a day to kill and there is a Renaissance Faire in town. Her cousin runs the one in the small town in Maryland where she lives, so she is familiar.

At her wit’s end after several phone calls from her boss, she finally confronts him and he admits that they are promoting a guy who has half the experience she has. She quits her job and hangs up on her boss. Infuriated, she ends up throwing her phone into a tub of water where the “laundry girls” are working, one of the shows at the RenFaire. Stacey happens to be there, and Louisa knows her from her cousin’s RenFaire. Stacey gives her the hug she needs and suggests she take some time off from the real world, and hang with her at the Faire. Louisa agrees, and her life changes immediately.

For one thing, she doesn’t have a phone. She is unplugged and off the grid, and finds she likes hanging with Stacey, her boyfriend and all their friends. Except for Dex. He is a musician with the Dueling Kilts and hooks up with a new girl at every faire. Everyone warns her away from him. But once he gets the message that she’s not going to be one of his girls, he finds that he likes just hanging out and talking with her. And she likes hanging out with him.

Dex and Lulu, the nickname she is known by her family, become friends. And then they become more than friends. But when a fantastic job offer falls into her lap, she knows that it is time to go. She can’t ask Dex to leave the Faire, and she can’t keep traveling with them. But because this is a romance, and DeLuca is so good at this, with some angst and a twist, they do get their happy ending.

I don’t think these books need to be read in order, they all stand alone. But you get to know these characters and they overlap throughout the series, making it a bit more fun for the reader who has read them all. That said, you can easily start here and if you love this as much as I did, you can go back and read the rest.

The series in order:

12/2022 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

WELL TRAVELED by Jen DeLuca. Berkley (December 6, 2022). ISBN:‎ 978-0593200469. 336p.

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