Well Played by Jen Deluca
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.
I really loved the first 40% of this book! The hero and heroine are communicating through e-mail and text message. I love books like this where we get to see the couple learn more about each other and grow their relationship through letters (or in this case, e-mails). They always seem to be more upfront with their wants and their fears this way, and I love seeing how this helps them further develop their connection.
(Semi-spoilers ahead- a lot of it is in the synopsis)
However, I was not a fan of how the hero turned out to be cat-fishing her (FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR). I did predict this pretty early on in the book. So while it was frustrating, it didn’t completely ruin the book for me. What did upset me was how quickly she forgave him. It was almost instantly. There was not much groveling on his part because she was just okay with it all of a sudden. I understand that she realized she actually liked Daniel after getting to know him the last several months, and could build more of a relationship with him than Dex. Even knowing that though, what he did was still wrong. I definitely feel like she should have made him work for it a little bit more.
All in all, I enjoyed their romance. There was just a little too much miscommunication and not enough groveling if you ask me.
I received this book for free in return for an honest review.