Author: Jen Turano
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: The Matchmakers #2
Release Date: November 14, 2023
Publisher: Bethany House
After five unsuccessful Seasons on the marriage mart, Miss Adelaide Duveen has resigned herself to the notion that she's destined to remain a spinster forever--a rather dismal prospect, but one that will allow her to concentrate on her darling cats and books. However, when she inadvertently stumbles upon Mr. Gideon Abbott engaged in a clandestine activity during a dinner party, Adelaide finds herself thrust into a world of intrigue that resembles the plots in the spy novels she devours.
Former intelligence agent Gideon Abbott feels responsible for Adelaide after society threatens to banish her because of the distraction she caused to save his investigation. Hoping to return the favor, he turns to a good friend--and one of high society's leaders--to take Adelaide in hand and turn her fashionable. When danger surrounds them and Adelaide finds herself a target of the criminals in Gideon's case, the spark of love between them threatens to be quenched for good--along with their lives.
Reviewer: Marie Edwards
As with any series of books, once I have one book, I want the others. And, even though I haven’t read the first one yet, I still wanted to read this one. As a note, while some characters in this book first show up in A Match in the Making, some of the characters from that book don’t show up in this one. This one can act as a standalone, but reading the first book is always a good idea.
This is the first book I’ve read by Turano. She’s said to be one of the funniest inspirational writers, so I not only wanted to, I had to read her work. And this was not a bad introduction. I was not disappointed.
Anything with matchmaking is bound to either be funny, tragic, or cringe-worthy. This is in the funny category, especially when mixing a 23-year-old “spinster” with a former intelligence agent. In addition, there is also a group of “characters” that round this out.
Adelaide has failed the past five seasons (I can more than relate), so she relegates herself to being a spinster. One who loves cats and books (I can definitely relate to her). That is until Gideon comes along. And it’s clear—he loves her wholly as she is. He doesn’t want to change her, despite her ending up in some sketchy situations. Though there are times when she comes in handy for his work.
She is an absolute delight from the first page, and Gideon is charming from the moment he helps her with her bustle. These two are a perfect, unlikely couple in this witty, light-hearted mystery and Jane Austen-worthy romance. I was immediately drawn in and couldn’t put it down. Though, I had to because I needed a breather not only from reading it because it was so entertaining, but because of the humor.
I had to laugh at some of the names of the characters. Three of them—Vernon, Dudley, and Petunia—were especially amusing. As a fan of the Harry Potter movies and books, I immediately caught that.
Despite coming from a publisher who focuses primarily on Christian literature, this is a clean mystery with a sweet romance that takes a romp on adventure. Fans of the author will be delighted with this latest release.
Thank you to Bethany House for providing a complimentary review copy through Interviews & Reviews. A positive review was neither required nor requested, and all words are my own.
Reviewer: Adriann Harris
I have read many books by Jen Turano that have made me smile and even laugh. However, this story of Miss Adelaide Duveen and her coiled, spring-loaded bustle in the first chapter had me in hysterics! Adelaide and Gideon's banter kept me giggling throughout this wonderful book, To Spark a Match, the second in The Matchmakers series.
Beautifully written with outstanding character development, Jen Turano brought Adelaide to life, trying to be accepted by her fellow Knickerbockers for who she was, even though she did not fit into their preconceived mold.
In addition to the humor, this book has an outstanding plot line, a mystery with gangsters, and a romance. The faith thread in this book is subdued but present, as Adelaide believed that God had created her for more than to be just a fashionable Knickerbocker. This is definitely my favorite book by Jen Turano thus far.
Through Interviews & Reviews, Bethany House provided a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Billi Varela
This was such a funny read. Jen Turano has brought another book full of humor and wit with a touch of romance.
For those of you who are fans of mystery-slash-detective novels, this is the one. And it’s set in the 1880s. This book couldn't get any more perfect.
Adelaide assumed she'd never find a man because of the awkward and funny situations she would get herself into. She intrigued me in the first book, and this book is no different. I wanted to find out more about her. It was really sad that she was pushed aside because of all the unwarranted attention she kept drawing to herself. Granted, it’s the 1880s in New York, so that type of embarrassment probably wasn’t accepted, which Jen Turano does so well in displaying.
And Gideon! He was such a perfect guy, especially when he started to be with Adelaide. And all he wants is for her to be happy.
I requested and received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers through Interviews & Reviews. I was not required to give a favorable review. All reviews are my own.
Reviewer: Raechel Helwig
Author Jen Turano writes some of the funniest historical romances. The opening page had me laughing right off the bat, and the giggles continued as I read more.
The main character, Adelaid Duveen, is honestly a riot—without necessarily trying to be so—which just added to her charm. She is a quirky and unique character with strong values and personality. I loved seeing what all she got herself into—and how she got herself out of those fixes too.
The hero character, Gideon Abbott, is equally charming, and I loved their friendship-of-convenience story and how that turned into something more.
I also thoroughly enjoyed the inclusion of cats throughout the novel. Adelaide's little dears. Harvey was especially adorable.
To Spark a Match is a fun, light-hearted read with plenty of entertainment to be found among the pages. Each of the characters was well-written and amusing in their own right, and I loved seeing them together, particularly Adelaide, Gideon, Camilla, Charles, Leopold, Vernon, and Edna. They were all so much fun.
There wasn't really a huge faith message present in the story, which is why I am giving it four stars as opposed to five. I definitely enjoyed the book, but I think that a stronger inclusion of faith would have strengthened the story. I missed the first book in this series, but I didn't feel at all lost or confused by reading this one. I definitely want to go back and catch up on the first one, though, and I'm looking forward to the next one.
This book was provided courtesy of Bethany House through Interviews and Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Rebecca Maney
"The odds were definitely not in her favor these days. Normally, unexpected visitors appearing on Duveen Land wouldn't be a cause for concern, but considering she'd been forced to abandon her gown because it kept getting snagged on tree branches, impeding her rescue attempt of a stranded kitten, it was a disconcerting predicament to be sure."
To conclude that Miss Adelaide Duveen did not fit the mold of a top-tier socialite was more than obvious. There was a mountain of evidence. She had an enormous proclivity for escapades of momentous proportion, typically calling attention to herself in a most unladylike manner. But in a roundabout way, her numerous acts of mortification had drawn the regard of Mr. Gideon Abbott, who, for the life of him, couldn't figure out why he felt the need to rescue her all the time. Quite recently, the little scamp had convinced Gideon that he needed her assistance in the most delicate matter of removing an unconscious man from a party, thus staging another monstrous debacle that caused Gideon to feel indebted to her.
And the entire cycle would begin all over again. The difference is that this time Adelaide's antics had caused her interminable disassociation from polite society. Gideon needed help, and he knew just where to find it. Thus began the transformation of Miss Adelaide Duveen. It would be strictly business, with no sparking involved.
"You're quite mistaken if you believe you're a lady who doesn't stand out in a crowd."
Filled with lengthy scenes (well, because Adelaide did go on and on about things), witty conversations (disguised as arguments), and an amusing assortment of catastrophes (there might be weapons, criminals, and secret codes involved), this story spins its readers around and around and around again until they can certainly understand why Gideon cannot keep his head straight around Adelaide. Forget sparks—the two of them together? There's enough combustion to ignite a blaze!
I received a copy of this book from Bethany House through Interviews and Reviews. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.
Reviewer: Ewurabena Wilson
Jen Turano has penned another excellent piece.
Having read the first book in the Matchmakers series by Jen Turano, I knew that I had to read the second book in this series. I expected a book with witty characters and plot scenes that would make me laugh. I was not disappointed.
Set in the Gilded Era, Jen Turano’s To Spark a Match is a novel about a quirky, socially awkward woman, Adelaide Duveen, who is considered a wallflower by the high society in New York. Gideon Abbot is a private investigator whose path crosses with Adelaide. The beginning of the novel is enough to get readers' attention with the mishap of Adelaide.
What begins as an inconvenient meeting soon blossoms into something more than friendship for Adelaide and Gideon. I enjoyed the characters in this novel. Jen Turano has a talent for creating characters who stay with you long after reading her novels. The addition of mystery and a bit of suspense—a signature of Jen Turano—was well incorporated into this novel, adding to the delight of reading it.
To Spark a Match has themes of standing out to be different, respect, mystery, and a touch of knowing one’s true value. I will highly recommend this novel to someone who loves cats, wants a good laugh, and wants a good dose of romance.
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Bethany House through NetGalley and Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
To Spark a Match by Jen Turano is another fun-filled adventure that will have you in stitches.
I was so happy to see Adelaide Duveen as the main character in this second book of The Matchmakers series. Her wallflower status and love of cats made her an unlikely match for anyone until she met Gideon Abbott. It is obvious to everyone but them that they are made for each other.
When Adelaide agreed to help Gideon with his investigation by providing a distraction at a party they were attending, neither of them expected how horrible that distraction would be. With all of society about to give Adelaide the "cut-direct," Gideon feels compelled to help her, never realizing how much Adelaide prefers her cats and books to society. He has his work cut out for him.
I loved Adelaide's spontaneity and quick wit. She was hilarious and perfect for Gideon. The unending stream of banter between the two, while at times hilarious, left me exhausted. I do prefer dialogue in a book, but it would have been nice to have a break from that now and again. However, the author was descriptive enough in setting a scene that I was able to picture what was going on.
If you have read the first book, you will probably, like me, think Adelaide is a frumpy cat-lady spinster type. So I was surprised to find out the real reason behind her looks, and I enjoyed seeing her transformation.
While this is the second book in the series, it can be read as a standalone. If you enjoy historical rom-coms, you will love To Spark a Match. I highly recommend it!
I received a copy courtesy of Bethany House through NetGalley for my honest opinion.
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