Book Review: A Match in the Making by Jen Turano

Posted February 24, 2023 by meezcarrie in Christian, historical, Jen Turano, romance / 14 Comments

SERIES: The Matchmakers #1

GENRE: Inspirational Historical Romance / Gilded Age
PUBLISHER: Bethany House
RELEASE DATE: February 21, 2023
PAGES: 368

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.


“It came as no surprise when shrieking immediately commenced.”

… And it should come as no surprise to fans of Jen Turano that there are times in A Match in the Making where everything devolves into a delightful form of author-controlled chaos that leaves you laughing out loud. The scene I quoted from above – and the aftermath of explaining it – was one such spot in the book for me, but there are several others. In short, this Gilded Age romance is brimming with classic Turano hilarity and a bevy of amusing characters and plot twists.

Speaking of plot twists, poor Gwendolyn just wanted a relaxing summer without the typical social constraints so she could figure out what to do with her life. She thought being a paid companion in Newport would afford her that time for self-reflection… and perhaps it would have, had she not been unexpectedly thrust into the role of ‘assistant matchmaker’ instead.  Trying to describe the havoc she wreaks on the Newport social scene … well, there are no words that will really do it justice, but imagine Amelia Bedelia trying to play matchmaker and you have at least an inkling of the mayhem that ensues. I loved Gwendolyn’s character – she is a wonderful mix of independence, kindness, and humor with the type of personality that would make her a good friend.

“You’re going to be told throughout your life that girls shouldn’t do many things. It’ll be up to you to decide whether that’s true or not.”

And poor Walter. Deciding his children need a mother, he reluctantly joins the Newport season and “hires” a matchmaker out of desperation. He’s not looking for true love – just someone ‘pleasant’ … much to Gwendolyn’s irritation. Needless to say, they clash over the kind of woman that would be perfect for him – introducing all manner of hilarious conversations and comedic incidents. I adore when Turano writes a hero and heroine who are so perplexed (and often perturbed lol) upon suddenly discovering they’ve fallen in love. Gwendolyn & Walter are one such couple, and I delighted in following their slow-burn romance to its foregone conclusion.

I would be remiss in my review if I failed to mention the pure delight that Walter’s children add to this story. While they may be little rapscallions to start with, we soon begin to see them as their charming, sweet and adorable selves. So many of my fave quotes from A Match in the Making involve the children, and oh goodness they wrapped themselves firmly around my heart.

“How do you know it’s telling? You’re nine.”

“And old for my years, so you’ll simply need to believe me.”

Bottom Line: A Match in the Making by Jen Turano is a completely entertaining & farcical example of what could happen if Mary Poppins and Amelia Bedelia were blended into one person who has reluctantly become a society matchmaker and unexpectedly fallen in love to boot. I also got some definite While You Were Sleeping movie vibes (one key scene in particular), and I adored it all from beginning to end. Laugh-out-loud situations, hilarious conversations, and vibrantly lovable characters are the perfect match for Turano’s flair for the endearingly ridiculous, and your spirit will be lighter for having read this delightful story.

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. In the interest of full disclosure, the company I freelance for as a blog/review tour coordinator was hired to promote this book with a social media tour. This in no way affected my review. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4.5 stars / loved it!

KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion

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Named One of the Funniest Voices in Inspirational Romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today Best-Selling 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. When she’s not writing, she spends her time outside of Denver, CO.

You can connect with Jen on her website, Facebook, and Instagram.

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14 responses to “Book Review: A Match in the Making by Jen Turano

  1. Lori Smanski

    thanks for sharing your thoughts. I absolutely love this cover and reading one of her books is always a delight and so wonderful. I love her research she puts into her stories and her humor. cant wait to read this book

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