Named one of the funniest voices in inspirational romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today bestselling author known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publishers Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from RT Book Reviews, 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.

In this interview, Jen talks about Meeting Her Match, the third book in her The Matchmakers Series.

FF: Meeting Her Match is the third and final book in your The Matchmakers Series. Can you share a little bit about this story with us?
This story revolves around Miss Camilla Pierpont, a most proper young lady, and Owen Chesterfield, who’s never been accused of being overly proper. Sparks, and not the delightful kind, immediately erupt between them, especially after Camilla, having experienced a series of unfortunate events, realizes her life is at stake, which prompts her to accept a most unusual proposal from Owen. She soon finds herself in Wheeling, West Virginia, a world that’s far removed from anything she’s ever known, and a world that’s filled with new experiences, danger, and perhaps eve…love.

FF: Are the books in this series able to be read as standalones?
Yes. Each one is their own story, and while a few characters make appearances here and there, a reader does not need to read the books in any sort of order.

FF: Your main female character, Miss Camilla Pierpont, is a well-known member of the Four Hundred. Can you give us a quick crash course on Gilded Age high society and the meaning of this term?
The term Four Hundred was coined by Mr. Ward McAllister, who was considered the social arbiter of the day during most of the Gilded Age. Mr. McAllister, along with the queen of high society, Caroline Astor, were responsible for deciding who would be admitted into the upper echelon of society and who would be given the cut direct. Being a rather pompous sort, Mr. McAllister once remarked to a journalist that there were only about four hundred people in New York who were worthy of being considered high society, but the truth of the matter is this: Mrs. Astor lived in a four-story brownstone, and her ballroom could only comfortably hold four hundred guests. For years, no one actually knew who these mysterious four hundred people were until Mr. McAllister finally penned out a list after being pressured by the papers. Interestingly enough, there weren’t four hundred names on that list. Some names were duplicated, and there were a great many families of extreme wealth, such as the Vanderbilts, who were left off, which suggests that it wasn’t exactly an accurate list.

FF: You’re known for writing stories set in the Gilded Age and thus know the era quite well. If you could go back in time to that period, what is the first thing you would wish to do or experience?
I would definitely want to go to Alva Vanderbilt’s famed costume ball of 1883. It was one of the most extravagant events that society had ever seen, and it was also the moment when members of the nouveau riche, which the Vanderbilts were considered to be, started to be accepted by high society.

FF: Camilla has made a vow to herself never to marry. Without giving away any spoilers, what prompted Camilla to make this decision?
She may have gotten her heart broken during her debut Season—and broken by a man who was a complete and utter cad.

FF: Very different from Camilla is Owen Chesterfield, who readers will also meet in this story. How would you describe his character and his first impression of Camilla?
Owen is a man who freely admits he’s lacking in the whole social etiquette department. He’s definitely rough around the edges, speaks whatever is on his mind, and decides a few seconds after meeting Camilla that she is the prickliest woman he’s ever met, even though she tries to convince him she’s never been prickly in her life, which may have very well been true…until she met Owen.

FF: What is it about Camilla and Owen’s characters that make them such an interesting pair?
They’re opposites in every sense of the word, and they come from such different worlds that it’s fascinating to watch them interact with each other.

FF: How has your writing style changed over the years with each novel you write?
I think I’m probably a little better with plots, as well as comedic timing.

FF: What are you most excited for readers to experience as they pick up this conclusion to The Matchmakers Series?
This is one of those stories that holds a special place in my heart because I set it in Wheeling, West Virginia, and I grew up twelve miles from there. I put out a call to my Ohio Valley friends, looking for family stories, local vernacular, and foods that have been passed down through the years—and, wow, did they come through for me. I then sprinkled all of those things into the story, and it just added such a great layer of humor. I also, for the very first time, named a character for a good friend of mine from high school. I never do that because it messes me up when I’m writing. However, this friend saw one of my social media posts and remarked yet again, like for the hundredth time, how he was still waiting for a character named Nems to show up. His tenaciousness made me laugh, so…Nems is now in the story. The character I named him after was originally named Durr, so all I had to do was find and replace Durr with Nems. You’ll be pleased to learn that Nems is now a one-legged carriage driver, but since I didn’t want my old friend to get mad at me, I gave him back his teeth, seeing as how Durr was missing quite a few of those.

FF: What are you working on next?
I am currently writing the first book in a new series called The Merriweather Academy For Young Ladies. The characters definitely weren’t behaving at first. None of them liked their names, what role they were supposed to be playing, or anything else I wanted to do with them. Thankfully, we’ve finally come to terms after a lot of arguing, so I’m hoping to have the first draft done in the next two months. It’s a three-book series, so here’s hoping I can make it a good one.

Meeting Her Match
The Matchmakers #3
Jen Turano
Bethany House
Genres: Historical Romance
Release Date: July 16, 2024

ISBN-10: ‎0764240226
ISBN-13: ‎978-0764240225

Book Summary:
After learning that Miss Camilla Pierpont has enjoyed success with taking wayward young ladies in hand, Mr. Owen Chesterfield travels to the Hudson River Valley, determined to convince Camilla to sponsor his sister, who is in desperate need of social rehabilitation.

Camilla Pierpont, a renowned matchmaker and influential member of the New York Four Hundred, has vowed never to marry after suffering a devastating heartbreak during her debut years ago. However, when she is nearly abducted along the Hudson River, she finds herself rescued by an annoyingly outspoken, albeit fascinating, gentleman who challenges her in a manner she wasn’t expecting.

Knowing her life is in danger, Camilla agrees to Owen’s proposition and travels with him to West Virginia, finding herself charmed by the less-than-formal attitude of his small hometown, as well as by Owen himself. But danger waits in the shadows, disrupting what she knows would be the most spectacular match she’s ever made—her own.


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About The Author

Jen Turano is the best-selling, critically acclaimed author of The Ladies of Distinction series, and A Class of Their Own series, published through Bethany House Publishers. Her novel, After a Fashion, was chosen as a top pick from Romantic Times, as well as being named a top ten romance of 2015 from Booklist. When not writing, Jen spends her time outside of Denver with her husband and their neurotic Cattle Dog, enjoying herself as an empty-nester.