A Match in the Making: Author Interview and Book Review

I am so, so excited to not only be reviewing Jen Turano’s newest book, A Match in the Making, but also to interview the author herself! If you don’t know me by now, you should know that Jen Turano is, by far, one of my favorite authors, so getting to interview her was such a privilege for me!

Before we get to that, however, let’s find out more about the book and the author herself.

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.

About Jen Turano

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 Publisher 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. When she’s not writing, she spends her time outside of Denver, CO. She can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jenturanoauthor/ or visit her on the web at www.jenturano.com. She is represented by the Natasha Kern Literary Agency.

Thank you so much for being on my blog today, Jen! Let’s get right into the questions.

1. I’m so excited for the release of A Match in the Making! I absolutely loved this novel.
Where did the idea for this book, and, more specifically, the idea of a matchmaker
character come from?

I’ve been wanting to do a matchmaker series forever, but I simply couldn’t figure out a quirky
angle because, well, I do seem to gravitate toward quirky. However, one day, when I was out on
the trail with my neurotic Cattle Dog, something I do a lot because she loves her adventures, a
thought sprang to mind – one that revolved around this question – what would happen if a young
lady suddenly found herself going from a paid companion to an assistant matchmaker, and then
found herself thrust into the antics of the New York Four Hundred. The possibilities for
shenanigans were endless and the entire series simply took off from there.

2. What was the writing process like for this book? Were there any roadblocks that you
came across?

It was a typical hot mess at first. I don’t care for first drafts because I see a story unfold in my
mind like a movie before I start writing. The problem with that, though, is this – more often than
not, as I’m trying to change the images I see into words, the scenes and plots begin to shift.
Before you know it, I’m heading off in all sorts of weird directions, and it takes a while for me to
rein myself in and get back on track. “A Match in the Making” was no exception to that, so
drama on my part was frequent, until I figured out exactly where the story needed to go and got
back to the business of penning a credible story.

3. If this book ever turned into a movie, which actors would you want to play Walter and

Hmmm…interesting question. I never visualize actors when I write a story. I mostly see a vague
image of my characters in my mind. But if I have to pick two – I’ll go with Bridget Regan and
Jeremy Renner.

4. Every character that you create are all so unique. Are there any that you feel best
represent you or that you relate most to?

Daphne Beekman from “To Write a Wrong” is probably the closest to me because she’s a writer
and a lot of her little idiosyncrasies definitely came from first-hand experience.

5. You’ve written so many stories about the Gilded Age, and the New York Four Hundred
specifically. What about this time period, and this niche group of people, fascinate you?

I first became interested in the Gilded Age over ten years ago when I picked up a book about
Alva Vanderbilt. In all honesty, up until that time, I knew relatively little about this era, but after
reading about Alva and her determination to become admitted into high society, I was hooked.
Scandals were rampant within the New York Four Hundred, and the more I read up on the
people who inhabited this world, the more I became convinced that this was going to be my
sweet spot. After I wrote “A Change of Fortune,” I’ve been writing in the Gilded Age ever since.
And, because there’s so much delicious fodder for story ideas during this time – think murders,
embezzling, and society mayhem in general, I’ll be writing in this period for years to come.

6. Besides The Gilded Age, is there any other historical time period, or genre in general,
you have thought about writing?

I love contemporary, but simply haven’t had any available time to write one. I wrote a few
before I got published, not that those will ever see the light of day because, wow, did I have
some craft issues. But, they were a blast to write so I do intend to write one in the future, just as
I’m definitely going to write a Christmas story. I’ve had one plaguing me for years that really
does need to get down on paper, if only to stop those particular characters from talking to me all
the time.

7. If you could spend a day with another author, whom would you choose?

My go-to author friend is Carla Laureano. We live about twenty minutes apart, so anytime we
have breaks in our schedules, we get together for lunch and a bit of shopping.

8. What do you need in your writing space to help you stay focused?

Deadlines seem to keep me on track.

9. What can readers expect next from Jen Turano?

The second book in the Matchmaker Series, “To Spark a Match,” comes out this November, and
I’m currently writing the first draft of the third book, tentatively titled “To Meet Her Match”
right now. As I mentioned, I don’t actually enjoy first drafts, so I’ve taken to muttering quite a
bit lately.

Thank you so much for spending time with me. Fun interview!

Thank you for spending time with us! Can’t wait for your next book to come out!

Book Review

Jen Turano’s books have been some of my absolute favorite. They’re all filled with humor, mixed in with a little bit of chaos, intrigue, mystery, and, of course, romance. Turano is an expert at creating colorful characters and throwing them into hilarious–and oftentimes embarrassing–situations in a way that is natural, funny, and not at all cringe-y. There’s never a dull moment in her books. And A Match in the Making was no exception.

I loved the idea of a matchmaker character–although Gwendolyn did not want to be a matchmaker in the first place. However, she did take her role seriously, albeit reluctantly. And after seeing what she had to put up with throughout the Season, I did not blame her. It did give her the chance to meet and get to know a rather handsome gentleman–Mr. Walter Townsend.

I’ve read many of Jen Turano’s book, but there is something about Walter Townsend that is just…swoon-worthy. I can definitely see why he was the catch of the Season. However, he did have a bit of trouble keeping his children in line–which made Gwendolyn’s job that much harder.

Speaking of Walter’s children, I believe they were my favorite characters throughout the whole novel. Not only were they important to the plot-line, but they also added yet another level of humor and personality to the story.

To Steal a Heart is still my favorite book by Jen Turano, but I still thoroughly enjoyed this one. It was unique, funny, and light-hearted. I would highly recommend it.

I had received a complimentary copy of the book and this is my honest opinion.