Tuesday, February 13, 2024

THE IRISH MATCHMAKER by Jennifer Deible, Reviewed by Paula and Trixi #ReleaseDay

(Sweet, Clean Historical Romance Love Triangle and Matchmaking Set in 1900s Ireland)


An appealing look back at an old Irish custom.
Donal Bunratty is a widower with an 8 year old daughter, Sara, who wants her father to find a mother for her and a wife for himself. She makes him promise to go to the festival in town to meet with the matchmaker, Catriona Daly. However, Catriona has her eye on well-to-do and handsome but vain Andrew and splits her time between matching duties and trying to catch herself a husband.

This was a cozy-feeling story set in a small town that burgeoned every year with the matchmaking festival. With likable characters and shifty antagonists, this was a taste of old Ireland and its customs and culture. 

A recurring theme was that God provides as illustrated in The Sermon on the Mount. Another was that we should seek God before going ahead with our own plans and then wanting God to put His stamp of approval on them.

I enjoyed the Irish lilt of the characters and the bond that developed between Catriona, Sara and Donal. It was fun to see the story unfold and that faith in God played a great part in the lives of the characters.
*A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Revell on behalf of the author. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are mine alone.* 4 stars and strong faith thread


Making the perfect match is both art and science—but love doesn't always follow the rules.

I fell in love with Jennifer's writing from her very first book A Dance in Donegal. Her lyrical writer's voice and immersive scenery took me to a place I long to visit....Ireland! When I read this book, I can hear the characters' Irish accents and nuances in their voice. I can picture in my mind everything you see, hear, touch or smell. That's a sign of an excellent author when they can make you feel like you jumped into the pages of a book!

Here we start off with the annual Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival where both gentry and poor come together to socialize, dance and otherwise have every opportunity to mingle with the intent to make love matches. It's a time of fun and frivolity for all. I loved watching all these things take place and can imagine what it would be like! Here's where we also meet our local matchmaker and heroine Catriona Daly, and our hero Donal Bunratty. She's a vibrant young lady who loves life and lives to serve others. However, she's desperate to find a love match of her own and chases after what she thinks will fulfill that desire. 

Donal lost his wife six years ago and is raising his daughter alone. He's not looking for love for himself, but reluctantly does for a mother for his girl and help to run his farm. Well, I bet you can imagine what might happen in this story! No spoilers here, I think you will enjoy how the author weaves all things together. I liked getting to know all the side characters too, especially Catriona's dad. He taught her all about the fine art of matchmaking and will do anything for her. Little Sara—Donal's girl—added her own charm with her precarious nature, fun-loving heart and easy laughter; she added an extra layer and depth.
I enjoyed this story immensely—from the arm-chair visit to Ireland, to the festival itself and of course that happily-ever-after at the end (and everything in between). Deibel has the sort of writer’s voice that calls to a reader and makes them glad they picked up her books!

*I received a complimentary copy from Revell publishers and was not obligated to leave a favorable review. All opinions expressed here are my own. *

BackCover Blurb:
As daughter of a well-known matchmaker, Catríona Daly is no stranger to the business of love--and sees it as her ticket away from the sleepy village that only comes alive during the annual matchmaking festival. Enter Lord Osborne's son, Andrew, who has returned to the festival after being disappointed by a rival matchmaker's failed setup. Catríona seizes the opportunity to make a better match for the handsome man--and for herself!

Cattle farmer Donal Bunratty is in desperate need of a wife after loss left him to handle the farm and raise his daughter on his own. Shy and lacking the finer social graces, he agrees to attend the matchmaking festival to appease his daughter. But when he arrives, it's not any of the other merrymakers that catch his eye but rather his matchmaker--who clearly has eyes for someone else.

Catríona will have to put all her expertise to work to make a match that could change her life forever. Will her plan succeed? Or will love have its own way?

Revell Publishing, February 2024
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:

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