“An Improbable Pairing” by Gary Dickson


Gary Dickson
Greenleaf Book Group Press (2019)
ISBN 9781626345799
Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (5/19)

“An Improbable Pairing” by Gary Dickson is a historical romance set in 1960s Europe. A charming, cozy read, this story warms the heart reminding readers of all the excitement, joys, trials and triumphs associated with first loves.

Scott Stoddard has a plan for his life that is neatly defined by his loving but somewhat overbearing parents.  When the American grad student travels to Switzerland to attend the University of Geneva, it is the first time he is out from under his parents influence and he intends to make the most of it. Yet, even in his dreams, Scott would never have pictured the life that unfolds for him when he meets the Countess de Rovere.  Divorced, worldly, and slightly older, Desiree, the Countess, introduces Scott to a world only enjoyed by rank and privilege. The pair quickly become inseparable, but will their love be enough to rise above all the odds stacked against them?

I enjoyed “An Improbable Pairing,” soaking it up in just a few days.  It’s one of those easy-to-read-for-the-mere-pleasure-of-reading type of books, and it is exactly this type of book I gravitate toward when I want to indulge myself every once in a while.

Dickson is meticulous with his descriptions. He transports readers directly into the world of the well-to-do, from the gorgeous wardrobes and the charm of the historical settings, right down to the scrumptious delicacies enjoyed in world class dining establishments.

The characters are genuine and authentic to the era. The Countess radiates elegance and class and confidence. Scott reveals some of the inexperience and unsurety that goes with youth, but for the most part carries himself like he was born to be in Desiree’s world. I would like to have seen a more gradual growth on his part as his character feels forced in some of the scenes. That said, I do have to credit his efforts in at least playing the part of an appropriate match for a countess, even if he didn’t feel like her equal at all times.

The storyline itself, while simple, is satisfying. There is some drama and a few obstacles and setbacks to overcome, but for the most part there is not a lot of action, just a pleasant even-keeled read to enjoy on a rainy weekend snuggled up in your favorite chair with a cup of tea. It’s a good story without too much fuss.

Overall, “An Improbable Pairing” by Gary Dickson is a treat to read. Fans of historical romance will enjoy the settings, the characters, the love story, and the time spent strolling through the elegant world of high society.

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