Cover Image: Well Matched

Well Matched

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Member Reviews

This book was the first of the three Well Met series books I've read, and I enjoyed it enough to want to go back and read the first two. I wish I had read the first two books first because, while it works fine as a standalone, I feel like I would've enjoyed it more as a "part 3" of the series.

I'm always a fan of fake dating/friends to lovers tropes, and this book does both scenarios well. I especially enjoyed Mitch and April's back and forth banter.

A fun read and a definite recommendation if you enjoy fake dating and small-town settings.
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Single mother April Parker raised her daughter in Willow Creek, but now that Caitlin is graduating and leaving for college, she plans to sell her house and move to the city. Before she can list it, though, she has a long list of updates and repairs from her real estate agent to deal with. 

Mitch Malone, the handsome, gym teacher, is a player known for wearing a revealing kilt at the town’s Renaissance Faire. When he asks April to pose as his girlfriend at an upcoming party for his grandparents’ anniversary, she agrees—as long as he helps her with her home repairs. 

As they spend time together, their relationship heats up, especially when Mitch’s family dinner turns into a family weekend, but April reminds herself that she will be moving soon. What started as just an act, though, could turn into more—if April could let go of her plans, but even Mitch might not be enough to keep her in Willow Grove.

I enjoyed WELL MATCHED as much as WELL MET, the first book in the series. Mitch’s cousin, Lulu, was hilarious, and his family was infuriating—thinking he settled when becoming “only” a gym teacher—but they also began to come around. This book had several scenes at the Faire because April, the quintessential non-joiner, volunteered as a ticket-taker to support Caitlin. Seeing the Faire from that front-of-house perspective was different and fun. The couples from Books 1 and 2 made appearances as well.

A good choice for those who like the fake-dating trope or age-gap romances.

Some open-door steam.
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If it can be faked, the characters in Ms. DeLuca's new novel, WELL MATCHED, will do it. A macho man, a shy single mom, a renaissance fair, genuine laughs and more round out this hard to resist, perfect escapist faire plot. It stars April Parker, who has a teenage daughter soon to go to college. April still is recovering from her accident and is socially inept, preferring her own company. She plans on redecorating her house, so she can sell it and move out, after her daughter leaves. Although, a sexy gym teacher, Mitch Malone, enters her life. Will he complicate things?

Muscular, macho Mitch is known as a handyman, gym teacher, and Kilt man in the renaissance faire. He's known April for a while and their paths cross. April needs a handyman and Mitch needs a fake girlfriend. They mutually agree to help one another. His family teases him about marrying. He asks April to come with him to his family reunion. April agrees, only the weekend turns into a three day affair! Time spent with Mitch and his family has melted April's heart. Mitch is bewitched by the beautiful babe. Will their fake relationship move into the lovers category and more?

The action is fast, the characters are likable and the one-liners never stop in Ms. DeLuca's new story, WELL MATCHED. A sparkling, sexy story starring two friends who fake it, to make it appear there is something more, when actually there isn't or is there? I loved the bantering stars who are clearly made for each other. No one writes like Ms. DeLuca does with her distinct view of Renaissance faires, skilled dialogue and divine story lines. Sheer reading enjoyment, with its likable cast and powerful message to single moms everywhere. WELL MATCHED is like a delicious candy bar. A story to savor!
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I really liked this reverse age gap story, even if I was frustrated at times. For fans of this series you will probably love this book!
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This was my favorite of the series. Mitch was a great love interest and I love seeing an older protagonist as well! If this is the last book I’ll miss this Ren Faire. Fairewell my friend!
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This might be my favorite of the series! I loved the dynamics of this one. The age difference, Mitch's golden retriever of a personality, April unsure of what she wants our of her next chapter. These are great, quick, fun reads full of heart and a tiny bit of steam!
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4.5 stars.

Well Matched by Jen DeLuca is a charming fake dating romance. This third addition to the Well Met series can be read as a standalone but I highly recommend the first two books as well.

With her daughter Caitlin heading off to college in just a few months, forty-year-old April Parker is planning ahead for her empty nest. A single mother, April is getting her house ready to sell so she can move closer to her work. She closely guards her heart in order to avoid getting hurt again so she does not date.  April is an introvert who is rather serious but she has loosened up a bit since her sister moved to town. She and Mitch Malone are social acquaintances but neither knows each other well. Will that change when April agrees to pose as his girlfriend at an upcoming family event?

Mitch is always cheerful and oozes charisma. He is a much-loved coach and gym teacher and he is great with kids. He is very involved in the annual Ren Faire and he is a fan favorite in the human chess event. Mitch is well liked by everyone and he has an extensive dating history. Which is why April is very surprised when he asks her to be his fake date at his grandparents’ anniversary dinner.

Because she always protects herself from getting hurt, April does not typically get to know anyone very well. This is true when it comes to Mitch so her opinion of him is a little superficial.  Needless to say, April is a little taken aback when she realizes that she has a lot to discover about her fake boyfriend.

Well Matched is a delightful romance that is quite steamy. April can be a bit frustrating at times, but she is an overall likable character. Mitch is self-confident but he also has his share of vulnerabilities. The storyline is engaging with realistic issues for April to overcome.  Over the summer, April and Mitch’s relationship takes an unexpected turn, but will she risk her heart again? With a conflict brewing late in the novel, Jen DeLuca brings this third installment in the Well Met series to a heartfelt conclusion.
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Fake dating, a man in a kilt, and a kind himbo? Sign me up. I've never really read many age gap romance novels, so I was eager to give this one a shot. I love, love, love the world and characters of the Well Met Ren Faire series books, so getting to return to the faire and see characters from previous books was delightful. I loved the story and that it was a little more somber than the first two - getting to understand April more (after not totally understanding her motivations in the first book) was good - though sometimes she was a little frustrating. She stood in the way of her own happiness to the point that it got a little frustrating at times. Outside of that, I can't wait to return to the faire with the fourth book soon.
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Well Matched was a cute read, but sadly I didn't love it. It definitely could be my mood though since I have had several friends love it. This is the 3rd book in the series, but can be enjoyed as a standalone.

What I enjoyed:
- Mitch was a total sweetheart and he was just so gone for April. His moments of vulnerability were my favorite and I appreciated that he put his foot down about what he was willing to accept (and not) when it came to a relationship with her.
- I loved the message that there are all kinds of happy endings and that it can take many different forms.
- The relationship between Caitlin and April. It was so relatable and for me, it was the heart of the story. April put her own needs on the back burner for so long and it was wonderful to finally see her be open to possibility.
- The tropes! Well Matched had forced proximity, fake dating, only one bed, reverse grumpy + sunshine, age gap, and more!

What didn't quite work:
- It took me a long time to warm up to April. I understand it was part of her character arc and I could relate to her hesitation and fears about opening herself up again, but it was hard to see her be so hot and cold with Mitch.
- The chemistry between Mitch and April. I didn't really feel their connection and so the final declarations were a lot to accept. The intimate moments were very sweet (and sexy), but it didn't make up for fact that April and Mitch didn't really seem to know each other. They didn't communicate well and it all felt emotionally stunted (but maybe that was the point?)
- The pacing of the story felt very slow and things really stalled for me in the middle of the book. It made the book feel overly long and I found myself skimming at times.

CW: strained family relationships (on page), divorce/reappearance of absentee parent, mentions of scarring/insecurity over appearance as well as challenges with physical activities related to automobile accident (past)

*I voluntarily read an advance review copy of this book*
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Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Well Matched by Jen Deluca

Single mother April Parker, has lived in Willow Creek for twelve years with walls around her heart. She's about to be an empty nester soon and she's decided to move from the quaint little town, ask her gorgeous friend to help with home renovation to get the house ready to sell.

Mitch Malone is known for his Saturday prowling at the town bar and his renaissance fair attire: a kilt that make all head turns. When he agrees to renovate April's house, he needs a favour in exchange. A fake date to a family dinner, so he can avoid the lectures about his unsatisfactory life. When dinner becomes a weekends trip, it becomes hard to tell what is real and what is just for show. As the weekend ends, so must their little arrangement.

Even with the obvious chemistry between the two, the connection that keeps them wanting more and feelings that are to real to ignore, April insists they are just friend. She'll have to decide if opening her heart is worth changing her plans for the kilt-wearing hunk who might just be the love of her life.

CW: Family tensions, child abandonment (off-page by a side character)

It seems we have waited an eternity for Mitch's story, and what an incredible hero he was. Their chemistry was palpable and I loved their bond and how the fact that the heroine was older, wasn't a plot point of it's own. I have an eternal crush on April for standing up to Mitch's family. I wish we had more time with April and her daughter. A lot of really important events happened in her life during the book, and I feel that it was brushed off pretty quickly. A little Cait-Mitch bounding would have been so adorable. I loved all the tropes present in this book, they were entertaining, flowed flawlessly together and made for an exciting read! I wish April's character ARC was a little more developed, it felt a little stuck in the "commitment-phobe" phase for the entire plot.

Thank you to @berkleyromance for gifting me a free digital advanced reader's copy via @netgalley . As always, all thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.
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I've been really enjoying Jen DeLuca's Well Met series. They are snappy, romantic, and they promise a good time. Well Matched is probably the one I was most eagerly anticipating in the series since we've been acquainted with April since the first book. 

This book felt different from the other two books but not in a bad way. It focuses a lot more on April and her journey which I personally liked. April is going through some major life changes here. She's focused most of her adult life raising her daughter, Caitlin, and Caitlin is about to leave the nest for college. In the middle of all this, Caitlin's absentee father decides he wants to reconnect with her, so April is dealing with some resentment. She gets some respite in the form of adorably sappy, Mitch, who is in need of a fake girlfriend. This is a romance novel, so we all know how this fake relationship will go. ;) 

April was the star of Well Matched for me. I felt her every feeling so deeply even though I'm not personally a single mom. I had mad respect for her and for all that she had sacrificed. Of course, she's in a vulnerable state especially when it comes to the love department but Mitch is there to show her that love can be in the cards for her if she let herself be loved. 

Ahh, Mitch. What a sweetheart! He's got a heart of gold. He's part of this big family that has looked down on him in ways despite them being loving towards him, so he has his fair share of vulnerabilities. But the man knew how to love openly and he wasn't afraid to show April ALL THE LOVE. She does spend a lot of time pushing him away, which was understandable given her complicated relationship with love and romance, so I did feel bad for the guy. I would have liked a few more romantic scenes between them towards the end, but overall, I enjoyed the slow-burn friends-to-fake-lovers-to-real-lovers romance they had going on. 

Overall, this was a great read and I had fun chatting with Andi as I read this book! Jen DeLuca is an obvious favorite here on The Infinite Limits of Love!
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3.5 Stars

Well Matched is the third book in the Well Met series. In this book, we follow April (Emily’s older sister) as she prepares for her daughter’s high school graduation, her estranged ex-husband appearing asking to see her daughter, while also listing her house for sale.

April was a young, divorced mother who always put her daughter’s needs before herself. Now that she will soon be an empty nester, April plans to leave Willow Creek and start a new life in the city.
The lovable high school gym teacher, Mitch Malone, is struggling to have his family take him seriously. Mitch asks April to be his fake girlfriend at a large family function in order for his life to look more secure.
April agrees and they begin a hilarious and charming weekend of faking a relationship. After returning home, they both find themselves caught up in their deception and begin to second guess their true feelings.

This book is full of some of our favorite tropes; fake dating, only one bed, age gap and Sunshine/Grumpy character contrast.

In many books I find the “grumpy” character is usually the male, when in this book, it is April. Mitch is a bright light and full of fun. April struggles with the pressure of being a single parent and never being the “fun” one. I love seeing how Mitch brings out the lightness and warmth in April. Meanwhile, April grounds Mitch and believes in him when he feels others do not.

They also have a 9 year age difference, which could consist of the “age gap” trope. Being the older of the two, April feels insecure and past the phase of life that Mitch is in.

I found April’s character to be very frustrating at times, but her struggles make her so much more relatable to the reader. She worries too much about the opinion of others, has trouble being honest about her feelings, and is unsure about her future.

Mitch’s character was *swoon* a dream. He carries his own insecurities as well, but is so sweet and caring to his family and April. Mitch never thinks the worst of a person, he only wants to be loved.
I thought their relationship was very special. A lot of the book was spent with the two of them alone, so you are really able to see their sweet chemistry together.

We are also reintroduced to our other favorite friends in Willow Creek from the past books. The Renaissance Faire plays a role in the book as well, but it is not as prominent as the rest of the series.
I had a great visit back to Willow Creek watching April and Mitch find love within themselves and each other.
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I loved this!!! It might be my favourite in the series. All these characters are so fun to read about! I would have loved some chapters from Mitch’s point of view but yeah I really enjoyed this :)
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YES. Just yes. So much yes. This is the book I didn’t even know I needed.  Not only did it continue my love of how the Renaissance Faire is portrayed in Willow Creek, but it gave side characters in the first and second novel more of a story – and I loved every page of it.

April, Emily’s sister who had been in a car accident prior to the first book, is the star of this one. April and Mitch, anyway. Mitch, the fun-loving ladies-man who doesn’t settle down and just enjoys having a good time whenever possible. But when Mitch needs a pretend girlfriend to get his family off his back, he turns to April, and for some reason she decides to agree to it. What she doesn’t expect is for this carefree and all-woman man to seem so interested in her – and only her.

Unexpectedly, as well, this one weekend charade turns into much more when Mitch’s family shows up at the Faire later in the summer. Pretending to be Mitch’s girlfriend in front of his family in another town was one thing, but in front of her family and friends is another, and April is faced with numerous decisions in the moment, which aren’t her favorite thing.

I loved this book. I loved April and Mitch together, and I loved seeing them come out of their comfort zones together. I highly recommend this one, this series altogether, and I really hope to see a fourth book soon.
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4.5 stars

April Parker is about to become an empty nester and she's ready to leave Willow Creek behind. Mitch Malone, our favorite kilt-wearing PE teacher, is sick of being pestered by his family for being single. Obviously the best option is for April to go home with him and pretend to be his girlfriend. But is there more to Mitch than meets the eye?

Y'all, the Faire is back and has completely redeemed itself. This one is everything I wanted and more. I had no idea how much I would love April. And then there's Mitch, ohh Mitch. He's made of muscle but even more heart. Basically, he's perfect and I always knew he would be.

The relationship between April and Caitlin is just what I wanted. Single mom and newly adult daughter, Gilmore Girls anyone? I loved seeing April work through her daughter growing up and leaving and what that means for her life moving forward.

In case you needed more reasons to read this book: it has the BEST tropes. Fake dating, one bed, older woman. It's all there. Plus I love their chemistry and how they both learn that they are good enough. Of course there's some steam too.

This book doesn't have as much faire content as the previous ones but I thought it was just the right amount. So, if you're ready to jump back into your favorite small town, get some much needed Emily and Simon content, and fall more in love with Mitch Malone, don't wait any longer!

Thank you Netgalley and Berkley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Berkley Romance has been killing it lately with the love game, and Well Matched is no exception. I loved the first two books in the series, so it will come as no surprise that I loved this one too. We first met April and her daughter, Caitlin, in book one, when she was in an accident that damaged her knee and her sister, Emily, came to Willow Creek to help out. Now, in Well Matched, April gets her own story. We learn a lot about the Renaissance Faire in books one and two, so I liked that this one didn't focus too much on that, although it was still a part of the story. April and Mitch are the two main characters in this story, and I loved them both so much. I loved the reverse age gap romance, with April being about 10 years older than Mitch. I also usually enjoy the fake dating trope, and I liked it in this book. I liked that April stood up to Mitch's family; most of his family was really unlikable, especially his male cousin. I liked that Mitch helped April out around her house and was able to come to her rescue when Caitlin's long lost uninvolved father came to her graduation. Their chemistry was undeniable from the beginning, and I enjoyed watching their friendship and romance bloom throughout the story. The steam came in at the perfect time; not too soon and not too late, and I binge read this book in one sitting. I am also already looking forward to Lulu's story in the next book.
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I enjoyed this book! The relationship developed was endearing and I loved their interactions. I do wish we’d gotten more of Mitch - it seemed like more of April’s story.
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The third book in the Well Met series brings us a fake dating trope as well as an age difference romance. While it was as charming and small town as the two previous books and had a great leading man, April’s curmudgeony personality just isn’t my cup of tea and the whole straight laced woman falls for sexy goofball really isn’t my favorite, so while enjoyable and very readable, it’s probably my least favorite in the series. There wasn’t a ton of depth in Mitch either and if I wasn’t familiar with the series, I don’t think I would’ve enjoyed it as a stand-alone. 

Still looking forward to the continuation of the series with I’m assuming Mitch’s cousin Lulu as the protagonist.
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Omg!! I thought I loved all the other books in this series too much, but this one just blew them out of the water!! This is by far my favorite from this series!! I honestly thought I wasn’t going to like this one since Mitch seemed to be a bit of a player in the other books, but BOY OH BOY MITCH MALONE!! You sir are my favorite 😍 loved everything about this book!! No complaints here!! Steam level was fantastic and I love a good fake dating trope!! All the stars for this one!!
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I really enjoyed Well Met, skipped Well Played, and honestly had pretty low expectations of Well Matched. But the premise of an older single mom falling for the cute HS teacher actually worked really well! 

I thought the writing was engaging, and I found myself smiling every time Mitch and April shared a moment together. I appreciated April's journey to discovering what comes after her daughter goes to college. After putting someone else first in her life for so long, as readers we got to see her challenge to choose something for herself. 
And Mitch was her perfect match; not in a cheesy way, but in a way that felt realistic yet hopeful. 

I will definitely read whatever Jen DeLuca comes up with next! Recommend for fans of Well Met and Life's Too Short.
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