Of all the books, I couldn’t wait to read April’s story! I think mostly because she and I are basically the same age and while I loved the other books I felt like this one was going to be the book I related to the most because of that reason. April is a single mom and divorcee who is a little antisocial and is counting down the days until her daughter graduates and she can start living her own life again.
While I am NOT a single mom, I felt this connection to April early on in the books. I am also a little reserved and struggle to fit into the whole ‘mom clicks’ like April does so I was super excited to read her romance. What I wasn’t super excited about was that it was with Mitch. While I adore Mitch in the books I always had a hard time taking him seriously. He’s basically marketed as this big dumb jock who is a serial dater. So I was having a hard time envisioning April and him together.
However if there is anything I have learned by reading this series, it’s Jen DeLuca has an amazing ability to capture readers attention and find something funny and lovable in all the characters and the quirky Renaissance Faire. I also downloaded this one to listen to since the narrator was the same as the other books in the series and she was fantastic (as per usual)!
Single mother April Parker has lived in Willow Creek for twelve years with a wall around her heart. On the verge of being an empty nester, she’s decided to move on from her quaint little town, and asks her friend Mitch for his help with some home improvement projects to get her house ready to sell.
Mitch Malone is known for being the life of every party, but mostly for the attire he wears to the local Renaissance Faire — a kilt (and not much else) that shows off his muscled form to perfection. While he agrees to help April, he needs a favor too: she’ll pretend to be his girlfriend at an upcoming family dinner, so that he can avoid the lectures about settling down and having a more “serious” career than high school coach and gym teacher. April reluctantly agrees, but when dinner turns into a weekend trip, it becomes hard to tell what’s real and what’s been just for show. But when the weekend ends, so must their fake relationship.
As summer begins, Faire returns to Willow Creek, and April volunteers for the first time. When Mitch’s family shows up unexpectedly, April pretends to be Mitch’s girlfriend again… something that doesn’t feel so fake anymore. Despite their obvious connection, April insists they’ve just been putting on an act. But when there’s the chance for something real, she has to decide whether to change her plans — and open her heart — for the kilt-wearing hunk who might just be the love of her life.
An accidentally in-love rom-com filled with Renaissance Faire flower crowns, kilts, corsets, and sword fights. (summary from Goodreads)
In short, I loved this one but it still hasn’t topped the first book. The first book is still my favorite in the series. As expected I connected with April much more than any of the other main leading lady characters in the other books. I loved her and felt a lot of her vulnerabilities and insecurities. As a mom your identity is so wrapped up in your children and it is easy to lose track of yourself and I thought that DeLuca did a nice job showing that with April’s character without making her a martyr to motherhood if that makes sense. I loved seeing her insecurities and fears and watching her overcome them as the story went on. The only thing I felt that was unnecessary in the story was the runner aspect. I didn’t think it added much to the story and she stood alone as a strong character without it.
Mitch in this book was almost unrecognizable as a character compared to the other books. He wasn’t what I was expecting from previous books. I loved him as a funny character but as the main hero I was worried—-needless to say how he was depicted in his own story was much better than in the other books. I loved Mitch and found him funny, honest, and upfront not to mention confident. I loved how he and April came together and even if there was an age difference, I didn’t feel it at all between them in the book really. I absolutely loved their romance and couldn’t put it down.
I do wish we had seen a little bit more of Faire though. I mean it can’t always be the focus of course but it is a fun aspect of the series and I just wish there had been a little more about Faire in this one. Overall though this was another great installment to a wonderful and charming romance series. It’s funny and real and just so charming plus there’s quite a bit of heat in them and I am so here for that too! I cannot wait to read the next one in the series!
Book Info and Rating
Published: October 19, 2021 by Berkley
Review copy provided by personal collection. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genre: contempo romance, romance