Emily’s life has fallen apart – she quit her job, her boyfriend just dumped her, and she now has to find a new place to live. When her sister April needs her help after an accident, Emily picks up and moves to Willow Creek, Maryland to help out. What April doesn’t expect is to get roped into helping volunteer at the local Renaissance Faire, which she does to help her teenage niece. As Emily dives deeper into the Renaissance Faire world, her dislike of the Faire’s organizer (Simon) grows. With as much effort as Emily is putting into the rehearsal, she’d appreciate a little bit of positive acknowledgement from Simon, instead he makes her feel like a child getting reprimanded for almost everything. As the faire goes on, Emily’s loathing of Simon only increases, so why can’t she stop thinking about him? And is Simon’s alternate character, Caption Ian Blackthorn) flirting with Emily?
Emily is such a great character. Though she and her sister aren’t the closest, she picks up her life in order to help out and I loved how loyal she was to her friends and family. She’s the perfect blend of nice, fun, with plenty of substances for a romance MC. She doesn’t think much of herself, but as we go through the story she grows tenfold, and I loved getting to see her understand her worth. On the opposite side, Simon is everything Emily isn’t. Still reeling from his brother’s death, he can’t seem to move on and his insecurities with not living up to his brother are well delivered. The chemistry between the two was just right, with not to many unrealistic events. I thought they were both crafted to be realistic 20 year olds just trying to figure it out, and I really enjoyed them as a couple.
In addition, I loved all the supporting characters and can’t wait to who gets a story next! This is such a fun book. I officially want to go to the Renaissance Faire – to bad our area one isn’t until the fall. I always enjoy a good enemies to lovers romance, and this one was the perfect read for when I was being indecisive on my next read. Can’t wait for more of these characters!
Death Valley comes out October 3, 2023. Huge thank you to Scribner for my advanced copy in exchange for my honest opinion. If you liked this review please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my Instagram @speakingof.books.