Calling on the Matchmaker

Bethany House. (A Shanahan Match, Bk. 1). Dec. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9780764241963. pap. $17.99. CF
Finola Shanahan has one goal in life: to drive all her suitors away so she can join a convent and continue her charity work with the Irish immigrants of St. Louis, MO. A matchmaker hired by her family sees beyond Finola’s self-imposed penance, however, and matches her with daredevil businessman Riley Rafferty. The more Finola tries to scare Riley away, the more intrigued he becomes. Set against the backdrop of the bustling Gateway to the West, this laugh-out-loud historical romantic comedy also addresses the deplorable living conditions in the St. Louis slums and the struggles of enslaved Black people. When cholera hits a city bursting at the seams, Finola and Riley must decide where their true loyalties lie.
VERDICT Hedlund (“Colorado Cowboys” series) seems to have a hit no matter what time period she writes, and this book is no exception. With its strong supporting characters set to continue this new series, readers will appreciate a unique U.S. immigrant story not set on the coasts. Fans of historical fare from Karen Witemeyer and Regina Jennings will want to open up this matchmaking adventure.
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