Tuesday, December 12, 2023

CALLING ON THE MATCHMAKER by Jody Hedlund, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise #ReleaseDay

(A Shanahan Match Book #1): 

(An Arranged Marriage Historical Romance Novel Set in 1849 St Louis)

A brand new series focuses on matchmaking in the Irish community in St Louis in 1849.

Ms. Hedlund has written a complex hero who aspires to be the mayor of a growing St Louis. Riley Rafferty has a heart for immigrants and wants to improve conditions. A widower who has no desire to marry again, he is convinced that a good match would further his chances of winning the election. He calls on matchmaker Bellamy for help. The candidate is Finola Shanahan who has put off twelve suitors and wants to become a nun. This stems from guilt concerning an incident in her past. As she tries to thwart advances by Riley, things backfire instead.  

The narrative puts you right in the story. The premise was funny and the characters showed growth throughout the book. They looked past their physical attraction into their deeper motivations of helping people. The sizzle level made me a little uncomfortable, although the story was well paced and interesting and gave hints of what book two will bring.
*A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Bethany House on behalf of the author. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.* 4 stars and a Christian World view.

BackCover Blurb:
Haunted by the death of her sister, Finola Shanahan has resolved that she's not worthy of a family of her own and commits to spending her days caring for immigrants in the slums. When Finola sabotages yet another unwanted relationship her parents arranged for her, her father calls upon the local Irish matchmaker, who pairs her with successful wagonmaker Riley Rafferty. Finola quickly realizes her usual tricks won't work on him, however, as she cannot outsmart or outwit the dashing, determined, and daring man.

A candidate in the St. Louis mayoral election, Riley is confident a union with the wealthy Shanahan family will help solidify his chances of winning--and even more assured he and Finola can make a difference together. When a cholera outbreak begins to take St. Louis by storm, they must navigate a burgeoning attraction and growing danger testing all they know about love and sacrifice. 

Bethany House Publishing, December 12, 2023
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:

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