Review ~ Well Played ~ Jen DeLuca

Posted 20 February, 2023 by Brandee @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Reviews / 6 Comments

Review ~ Well Played ~ Jen DeLucaWell Played by Jen DeLuca
Narrator: Brittany Pressley
Series: Well Met #2
Published by Penguin Audio on September 22, 2020
Genres: Adult, Chick-lit, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance
Length: 10 hrs
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
3.5 Stars

Stacey is jolted when her friends Simon and Emily get engaged. She knew she was putting her life on hold when she stayed in Willow Creek to care for her sick mother, but it's been years now, and even though Stacey loves spending her summers pouring drinks and flirting with patrons at the local Renaissance Faire, she wants more out of life. Stacey vows to have her life figured out by the time her friends get hitched at Faire next summer. Maybe she'll even find The One.

When Stacey imagined "The One," it never occurred to her that her summertime Faire fling, Dex MacLean, might fit the bill. While Dex is easy on the eyes onstage with his band The Dueling Kilts, Stacey has never felt an emotional connection with him. So when she receives a tender email from the typically monosyllabic hunk, she's not sure what to make of it.

Faire returns to Willow Creek, and Stacey comes face-to-face with the man with whom she’s exchanged hundreds of online messages over the past nine months. To Stacey's shock, it isn't Dex—she's been falling in love with a man she barely knows.

Adult - (un)Conventional Bookviews Contemporary - (un)Conventional Bookviews Humour - (un)Conventional Bookviews

I was super excited for Well Played since it was Stacey’s book. I felt connected to her in some way that I didn’t feel with Emily (Well Met). While I did enjoy Well Played, it wasn’t all I’d been hoping for.

What Worked:

  • Plot/Trope
    I enjoyed this twist on Cyrano. JDLuca did a brilliant job in developing this romance via emails and texts. Seeing Stacey and D be vulnerable with one another using the safety of written communication was…well, sweet.
  • Characters
    Stacey, for the most part, delivered on her perky, fun personality. And it was nice getting to know D in this way, especially since we knew nothing about him.
  • Family Dynamics
    Stacey’s close relationship with her parents – especially her mom – were admirable and heartwarming.


What Could Have Worked Better:

  • Character Development
    Stacey had body image issues that didn’t quite jive with her casual hookups, in my opinion. Also, I wished her ability to style people had been explored further. It seemed to me JDLuca missed the mark in further developing Stacey in ways I’d been excited to get.
    D’s insecurities ended up grating on my nerves. Stacey’s, too, for that matter. While I understood both, I also felt they both should have fought for what they wanted out of life sooner than they did.
  • Family Dynamics
    Stacy was close with her parents so it didn’t make sense to me that she wouldn’t discuss her feelings and life aspirations with them.


Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • COYER 2023
Brandee @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Brandee @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Brandee is a mom of 3 and a soon-to-be empty nester. She is also an avid reader, a genre omnivore, and a compulsive one-clicker - but she's in recovery. Besides being a reader, she's also a writer and hopes to divide the vast quantities of spare time she'll soon have between reading and finally publishing her first book.

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