Monday, May 20, 2024

Book Review: "The Pairing" by Casey McQuiston

There’s always that sense of anticipation I feel when I pick up the latest release from an author whose work I enjoy. Sadly, the upcoming book by Casey McQuiston (author of my all-time fave, Red White & Royal Blue), resulted in disappointment for me. There were definitely things I liked, but overall, I just didn’t enjoy it.

Kit and Theo were childhood best friends who became lovers, until their relationship disintegrated on a plane to Europe. The breakup led to their canceling a European food and wine tour, and after all their history, they were out of each other’s lives for good.

After 4 years apart, both have moved on. Theo is a bartender who is studying to be a sommelier; Kit went to pastry school, and he now bakes at a fancy Parisian restaurant. When both decide to use their tour cancellation vouchers at the last possible opportunity, they see each other for the first time in 4 years.

Both Theo and Kit haven’t been lacking for sexual relationships during their time apart; both have had male and female lovers. While neither likes watching the other flirt during the tour, they’re both over each other, so why not challenge each other to see who can hook up with more people?

As both throw themselves into the challenge, of course, they realize they’ve never stopped loving each other. But have they truly changed in four years?

One of the things I dislike most in romances is miscommunication. So much of the plot hinged on their inability to express their feelings to one another or discuss what went wrong between them. And while I enjoyed the sumptuous, detailed descriptions of food, wine, and tourist attractions, neither character really appealed to me, and I never believed they really loved each other.

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the advance copy! The book will publish 8/6.

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