Monday, January 15, 2024

CALLING ON THE MATCHMAKER by Jody Hedlund, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney


"Guilt nudged at Finola. She was a dutiful daughter in almost every way except one . . . She wasn't cooperating with her parents' efforts to find her a husband."

Finola Shanahan's courting antics were becoming legendary, so when her father resorted to hiring a local Irish matchmaker, she tried one more tactic . . . convincing her father to contract with the man's son, Bellamy, who was merely learning the trade. Ironically, the young matchmaker was just as wily as his client, for the man he chose for Finola was none other than Riley Rafferty, a local hero of sorts, who wasn't particularly interested in marriage either . . . until an unlikely meeting in a livery stall awakened his senses.
While this entertaining romp through courtship provided many entertaining (and quite romantic, QUITE comedic romantic) scenes, Finola's underlying issues were very real to her as she dealt with guilt from her past that she imagined required penance and sacrifice for the rest of her days. To his credit, Riley's male instincts were sweetly tempered with a deep desire to love well, whatever that meant, which made for such an engaging story, book-ended with a beginning and ending that readers will clamor to read dozens of times over.

And Bellamy!!! What an imp! WHAT AN IMP! (gotta love him)

"Sometimes we mistake our own inability to forgive ourselves as God's inability. But Holy Scripture says that God forgives us so deeply that He put our mistakes out of His mind as far as the east is from the west . . . His forgiveness sets us free . . . Free to truly live and love." 
*I purchased this book and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. 

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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