To avoid running into her ex-boyfriend, a teenage girl leaves town to work the summer at a Renaissance fair.
All of Rowena Duncan’s summer plans went kaput when she discovered her boyfriend was two-timing her. Hanging with her friends at the beach and working at the local tiki-themed restaurant was no longer an option—those are places she would assuredly see him. Landing a job she finds online, she winds up as a face painter at a Renaissance fair, far from civilization and reliable cellphone reception. Her deep desire is to pursue art, so she’s thrilled to be painting—even if it’s only on the cherubic faces of young fairgoers—but what’s more, the place is rich with artists and performers. Her high-powered parents, however, want her to follow in their white-collar footsteps and only view the job as a topic for a standout college essay. Rowena settles into the fair life quickly thanks to Will, a witty, whip-cracking magician who shows her the ropes and is sweetly and perpetually attentive. But it’s the heart-stopping, black-haired, blue-eyed knight Christian who keeps Rowena’s adrenaline pumping—and soon she finds herself wrestling with Cupid all over again. Sharp, funny dialogue is mixed with thoughtful resolutions of relevant teenage topics—love and lust, admitting fault, the mettle it takes to pursue a passion. The rich backdrop of the fair, with its vivid description and appealing characters, is icing on the cake.
Verily, fine fare. (Fiction. 12 & up)