A Match in the Making (The Matchmakers Book 1) by Jen Turano
About the Book
Miss Gwendolyn Brinley accepted a temporary paid companion position for the Newport summer season, believing it would be a lark to spend the summer in America’s most exclusive town. She suddenly finds her summer turning anything but amusing when her employer expects her to take over responsibilities as an assistant matchmaker. Tasked with the daunting prospect of attaining advantageous matches for her clients, Gwendolyn soon finds herself in the employ of Mr. Walter Townsend, the catch of the Season, but a gentleman Gwendolyn finds beyond irritating.
Walter Townsend is reluctantly in search of a wife for the sake of his unruly motherless children who cannot keep a governess for long. What he wasn’t expecting was Miss Brinley, an amateur matchmaker who turns his quest for a new wife into a complete and utter debacle. Constantly besieged by society ladies on a mission to win his affection, Walter must find a way to overcome their inundating attention–and his unexpected attraction toward Gwendolyn.
The more time they spend together throughout the Newport Season, the harder it is for Gwendolyn to find Walter a wife when she realizes his perfect match might be . . . her.
Genre: Gilded Age Romance, New York Society Romance, Christian Historical Romance
Time Period: 1888
Location: Newport, Rhode Island
Romance: Very light kissing scene at the end
Faith: Woven throughout the story seamlessly. Comes across as realistic to the character’s point of view.
Jen Turano has outdone herself in this magnificent romantic comedy set during the Gilded Age. True to her style, Turano continues to delight me with witty dialogue and funny, creative, off-the-wall scenes that made me laugh. This is her best work yet.
This past year, I’ve read several of Turano’s books and I feel like she continues to mature as a writer, devising amazing comedic scenes and lovable, less-than-perfect characters which draw me into the story and the series. In A Match in the Making, her use of dialogue comes across even stronger, while maintaining a witty appeal. Turano continues to deliver wonderfully entertaining stories.
Gwendolyn’s character came across as realistic and relatable. Her no-nonsense approach to life drew me into her plight immediately. I loved the way she challenged Walter to become a better father and a better man. His character arc warmed my heart. Turano’s choice to add children as a central part of the story line was brilliant. Walter’s children brought plenty of tension and comedic relief to the story. Gwendolyn’s interaction with the children reminded a bit of Mary Poppins, but with a flare all her own.
The non-stop action moved the story at a rapid pace. I was so hooked on this book that I could not put it down. I rarely stay up until the wee hours of the morning reading, but this one was impossible to put down.
I strongly recommend this for fans of clean historical romance with a touch of faith and a large dose of smile-inducing comedy. You will not be disappointed with this read.
Disclaimer: I requested and received an advanced copy of this book courtesy of Bethany House Publishers through NetGalley. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
About the Author
Named one of the funniest voices in inspirational romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today bestselling author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publishers Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. She and her family live outside of Denver, Colorado. Readers can find her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and at jenturano.com.
More from Jen
A Chat with Jen Turano
You’re known for writing historical romantic comedies set in the Gilded Age. What made you decide to write in that particular era?
Funny thing, when I first tried my hand at writing historical, I wrote Regency—think Jane Austen, lots of drama, dukes, and probably a few countesses in serious need of attitude adjustments. One of those books, I believe I titled it A Marriage of Inconvenience, is the book that landed me my first agent. But, as she was shopping that book around, I read this fascinating book about Alva Vanderbilt. There was so much drama involved with the New York Four Hundred during the latter part of the nineteenth century that I threw myself into researching everything I could find about high society. I’ve been writing about that fascinating moment in time ever since.
Your new series revolves around matchmaking. How did you come up with that idea, and what can we expect?
I’ve been wanting to do a matchmaker series forever, and that idea reinforced when I watched Season 4 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and there was a prevalent matchmaking thread. However, I didn’t want to do a normal matchmaker story, which is why I decided it would be hilarious to have a heroine accept a paid companion position and then, due to unforeseen circumstances, find herself turned into an assistant matchmaker even though she has absolutely no experience with matchmaking in general and is actually old enough to be considered a confirmed spinster.
How do you come up with such unusual ideas?
I think I just view life a little differently. I’ve always been rather weird, so when I think of matchmaking agencies, or lady detectives, or hat makers, I begin thinking up all these outlandish situations and then, just when my heroine or hero thinks that nothing else could go wrong, I throw something else at them. It’s a highly amusing job at times, although I’m certain my characters don’t appreciate my odd sense of humor.
Do you have a favorite character or book?
I adore Gertrude Cadwalader from Out of the Ordinary, although that’s not my favorite book. My favorite book is Diamond in the Rough because Poppy Garrison gets herself in some fabulous messes.
Your characters do seem to find themselves in some interesting mishaps and messes. Do you write these from personal experience?
You know, I have to admit that a lot of the outlandish situations I write are based on either observations I’ve made over the years or . . . yep, they’ve happened to me or my friends. I’ve definitely led an interesting life, although I do embellish the situations in some instances—creative license and all that.
How do you come up with such unusual names?
Contrary to what some may believe, I don’t make up any of my names. I scour old obituaries or shake down my friends who are into researching their ancestors for cool names. That’s how I got Mercy Miner, Temperance Flowerdew, and Lucetta Plum.
What’s coming up next?
I just finished up developmental edits for the second book in the Matchmakers series, so now I’ll go back to writing the third and final book in that series. After that? Well, I’m not positive yet. I have two ideas roaming around in my head for the next series I’ll delve into, but I simply don’t know which one I want to write quite yet.
Thanks so much for having me! Always fun being here with your readers.
All the best,
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To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback copy of A Match in the Making and a $15 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.