Penguin Publishing Group | September 2019 | 336 pgs
Emily is heartbroken after her boyfriend decided to end their relationship. They'd been through some financial hardship and Emily had helped to support her then boyfriend through law school until the ungrateful brute decided he'd be better off without her after he'd become successful in his career. With no job and nowhere to live, Emily moves to a small town in Willow Creek, Maryland, to help her older sister recover from an accident.
Emily enjoys her time at Willow Creek but she didn't expect she'd get roped into volunteering for the local annual Renaissance Faire as a tavern wench alongside with her teenage neice, who is already one of their acting participants. While Emily is sceptical with her acting skills and some other things, she feels encouraged by the other participants and the enthusiastic residents except for a man who played a pirate and he is supposed to be the love of her life in their fictitious world.
Right from the beginning Emily has get off on the wrong foot with Simon, who's also in-charge of the fair. She thinks he is too uptight and lacks flexibility; and finding faults with her unreasonably. Simon, on the other hand, has no time with Emily's lightheartedness approach towards the faire. It is no wonder he is serious in his work since he is continuing the family legacy and as much as he finds it tiresome at times, there is a reason for him to get through this annually as the reader would find out eventually. And as much as Emily finds Simon annoying, she finds herself attracted by his pirate persona -- a man who's passionate not only in his life but towards her as well. But what confuses Emily is, Simon continues his pirate-like charm outside the faire grounds sometimes and this makes her wonder if he is continuing with their act or if his feelings towards her has changed?
I really enjoyed this light and fun romcom which had me laughing at times (I've to say Simon's pirate persona was quite swoon-worthy. I don't know why, but the image of Captain Jack Sparrow kept popping into my mind while reading this. Go figure.) With the gloom surrounding us lately, this book managed to distract me from reality for a while and made me think of all the wonderful things and not to mention the power of love and family. And I loved it that Emily and Simon, this two sworn enemies, who had had their fair share of unhappiness and unfairness in life, managed to walk out of their gloom and find love again through understanding and respect. Another thing I loved is the (small community) atmosphere of Willow Creek, the Renaissance Faire element and even the supporting cast which all contributed to this delightful read. The next book, Well Played, will feature Emily's newfound friend in Willow Creek and I hope it'd be another fun, romantic read like this book.
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