The Pairing

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Pub Date 06 Aug 2024 | Archive Date 20 Aug 2024
St. Martin's Press, St. Martin's Griffin


LIMITED FIRST PRINT RUN--featuring spray-painted edges with a stenciled script design. Only available for a limited time and while supplies last.

In #1 New York Times bestselling author Casey McQuiston's latest romantic comedy, two bisexual exes accidentally book the same European food and wine tour and challenge each other to a hookup competition to prove they're over each other—except they're definitely not.

Theo and Kit have been a lot of things: childhood best friends, crushes, in love, and now estranged exes. After a brutal breakup on the transatlantic flight to their dream European food and wine tour, they exited each other's lives once and for all.

Time apart has done them good. Theo has found confidence as a hustling bartender by night and aspiring sommelier by day, with a long roster of casual lovers. Kit, who never returned to America, graduated as the reigning sex god of his pastry school class and now bakes at one of the finest restaurants in Paris. Sure, nothing really compares to what they had, and life stretches out long and lonely ahead of them, but—yeah. It's in the past.

All that remains is the unused voucher for the European tour that never happened, good for 48 months after its original date and about to expire. Four years later, it seems like a great idea to finally take the trip. Solo. Separately.

It's not until they board the tour bus that they discover they've both accidentally had the exact same idea, and now they're trapped with each other for three weeks of stunning views, luscious flavors, and the most romantic cities of France, Spain, and Italy. It's fine. There's nothing left between them. So much nothing that, when Theo suggests a friendly wager to see who can sleep with their hot Italian tour guide first, Kit is totally game. And why stop there? Why not a full-on European hookup competition?

But sometimes a taste of everything only makes you crave what you can't have.

LIMITED FIRST PRINT RUN--featuring spray-painted edges with a stenciled script design. Only available for a limited time and while supplies last.

In #1 New York Times bestselling author Casey...

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ISBN 9781250862747
PRICE $20.00 (USD)

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Average rating from 247 members

Featured Reviews

If you told 2019 me that I would have the honor to read an early-access digital ARC of one of Casey’s new books, I wouldn’t believe you. With that being said, I am so incredibly thankful for the opportunity to get my hands on this work earlier than the release date.

I kid you not, I read this in 24 hours straight. I read it non-stop, catching little snippets while at work, and could NOT for the life of me, put it down. That’s how good it was. It felt like I was catapulted on a summer food and wine tasting excursion right at the tips of my fingers. Not to mention the steamy, yearning and romantic plot within the book, it was astounding and very binge-worthy. I give this book a whopping 5 stars, but wish I could give more than that. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who’s feeling a little indulgent. You’ve done it once again, Casey! You are my icon and hero.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read this incredible digital ARC of The Pairing in exchange for an honest review!

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As a fan of Casey's writing I knew I'd like this book. But I wasn't prepared for just how much I'd absolutely love it!

This book was beautiful! I loved the characters, the world and everything about it. I started reading and just couldn't put it down, I finished the whole book in one sitting. It's just that good!

If you love romance books with heart, this book is for you! Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for allowing me to read this book ahead of release in exchange for my honest opinion.

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I need to preface by saying that it's very probable CMQ could write a book containing one word per page and I would probably throw myself at their feet accordingly.

Be that as it may: this book was everything I wanted it to be and more. It was rich and decadent and brimming with writing that had me moving from blushing ( as if I haven't been reading fanfic since the age of 12), contemplating crying, crying and then absolutely shrieking with laughter. All in a 15 page span.

What is it like to be loved the way Casey McQuiston writes about love? Every sentence and emotion- horny, sad & happy- all came together in the best way and I will now be wandering around aimlessly contemplating this book until it comes out and I can force it upon everyone around me and wax poetic (as Kit would want me to tbh).

This book sets the bar for romance and, maybe reminded me that second chances can happen. True love really hits, eh?

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Theo and Kit are best friends as children, who became lovers, which ended abruptly on a plane on the way to a food and wine tour in Europe. They both decided to use their tour vouchers 4 years later, at the same time. What is the best course of action to take when on a tour with your ex? A competition, of course.

I enjoyed this book. It follows Theo and Kit as they realize what was and was not true, and work though their respective hangups. This story is a beautiful exploration of what love is and what it means to be happy.

I recommend this to anyone looking for romance, set against gorgeous French, Spanish, and Italian countryside. Pairs well with food and wine.

I received a free copy from St Martin's Press through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

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I think is book broke me… TheoandKit KitandTheo broke me, The amount of highlighting I did for this was insane. Who let Casey write, “Sometimes I think the only way to keep something forever is to lose it and let it haunt you.” Because I think I need financial compensation for that one. What a beautiful and decadent book. Can’t believe I read my favorite book in January and it doesn’t even come out until August.

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Theo and Kit are childhood sweethearts who has a brutal breakup on the flight to their dream European food and wine tour. Years later, they both cash in the unused voucher for their trip at the same time and end up together for 3 weeks.... they realize that they still have feelings for each other...

Love Theo and Kit 's chemistry. Their banter is fun. It's a terrific romantic story. Love how they work out their issues.

Thanks to the publisher for the arc.

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To say that I loved this book feels like a massive understatement and an inadequate description of just how good it is. The characters are wonderfully flawed, wildly dynamic, and so incredibly lovable. The story itself is a love letter to Europe, elegantly leading you on the journey the characters are on too. The descriptions were so vivid, I felt like I was back in places I’d seen before but also visiting for the first time places I’ve never been. I felt every part of the story so thoroughly. I already want to read it again and I can’t wait to buy it. Utterly thrilled NetGalley let me experience it.

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Casey McQuiston not only did it again, but made me feel (as one of the characters in The Pairing expresses) the full spectrum of human emotions. I was weeping, I was cheering, I was gasping, I was—everything. On the surface, The Pairing just sounds like a great romp—bisexual exes on the same food and wine tour they were meant to take just when they broke up four years prior. But Casey McQuiston layers these characters and their story with dashes of nepotism, self sabotage, found family, childhood friendship, and more in a way that only they can.

Theo and Kit join the lexicon of CMQ romantic leads that you just need to root for—and god, they'll make you work for it. They're difficult people who clearly give a shit about each other, and struggle with it because of their complex history; two pieces of one whole suddenly ripped apart. As expected, the supporting cast of characters are just as fun—particularly the rest of the tour group and, of course, Fabrizio, who lived up to the hype I've had for him since Casey first mentioned him when first telling fans about the book.

It was a particular joy getting to read this having just been to Europe for the first time as an adult last year, and headed back this summer—like Casey's other books, they're able to capture a true love for the places and things in their writing, both with their language and attention to detail. In RWRB there's the passion for politics and change, in OLS there's the infatuation with NYC, and in IKSW, there's hope for queer kids in the religious South. In The Pairing, you feel Europe; you taste the food; you feel the love on those streets and for those things. I want to find all the places Theo and Kit were, want to eat and drink what they did. It was magic.

I was nervous as someone not typically inclined to first-person POV how I'd feel about this—because Casey is a writer who puts on an incredible cast of characters, I was worried I'd find it limiting. But the way CMQ weaves characters in and out of Theo's POV, who we start the book with, is delightful, just tinged with the character's biases. We're introduced to Theo and Kit's love story from this perspective, too—along with the game they play, trying to sleep with as many locals on their tour as possible. But the second the POV switches to first person from Kit, the story gets turned on its head—and for the better. Leave it to Casey to get me this thrilled with a First Person POV.

The Pairing was another piece of CMQ magic; sluts and fairytale romances pair together just as well as pastry and a great cocktail. Who knew?

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Emotional and raw, the Pairing is a perfect romance from Casey McQuiston. I adored the descriptions of Europe and the food in the tour, but the real stunner of the story is the relationship between Theo and Kit. Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for this electronic advanced reader copy!

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I have been chomping at the bit to get my hands on CMQ4 and boy did it live up to, and exceed, my expectations. This book has all my favourite things: bisexual sluts, travel, poetic odes to one true love, along with that perfect mix of tough and tender witty banter that we love and Casey does so well. They have this unfailing ability to craft characters that make me.feel seen, either through their thoughts, words or actions. Theo makes me feel SEEN, and Kit, Kit makes me hope that one day someone will see me like that.

Oooff I absolutely zoomed through this because I have no self restraint, but I cannot wait to hold it in my hands and savour its decadence slowly, like it deserves. 10/5 stars, no notes.

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Casey McQuiston has done it again! Their magical ability to combine hilarity and poignancy has produced another swoon worthy romance novel filled with all the warmth and richness of the food and wine pairings that accompany each chapter. The miscommunications and mental anguishes of both Theo and Kit keep the reader engaged, but even when you want to shake them for being stupid, you can relate so much to those feelings of inferiority and terror of holding their partner back. Even though you know it's a happily ever after, you don't expect a single one of the twists and turns that get you there. Easily their best book to date!

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Casey McQuiston has done it again. The Pairing was one of the most beautifully gut-wrenching and yet somehow so deeply intimate books I've ever had the pleasure of reading. A story starting with lost love, soon reunited and navigating life as....friends? Maybe something more?

Kit & Theo's story was so beautiful and REAL. I could see myself in both of them, in their worries, their flaws, their willingness to love and experience the world. I cannot recommend this enough, the world needs more beautiful queer love-filled stories that explore the complexities of self-doubt and living up to family standards. I am also feeling a deep need to research European food tours to perhaps experience a fraction of the beauty Casey wrote about in this book.

I will be gushing about this for months to anyone willing to listen, as it has surely warmed me from the inside.

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(Thank you St Martin's Press for providing this book for review consideration via NetGalley. All opinions are my own )
Well where do i start. Can I give six stars? Asking for a friend here. The prose is so delicious, both literally (my mouth was watering at some of these descriptions) and emotionally. (I just kept highlighting more and more passages). If you liked RWRB, you will like this. If you like reading about stubbornness, gender thoughts, pastries, competent people, self-destructive actions, the people met and the connections made during travel, art and art history, wine, European architecture, or all of the above, you will like this. If you like having to pause reading a page because your chest feels physically tight and you might cry (in a good way) if you don't, you will like this. Tldr: you will like this, and I cannot wait to rotate this book in my mind 24/7 for the foreseeable future.

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I made the mistake of starting this during my lunch break, and it's amazing that I got anything else done today. Casey McQuiston's writing is so easy to get lost in, and this book was no exception. The way the book is broken up into periods of time, cities, and POVs without ever feeling disjointed or rushed is masterful. I might be biased as someone that has lived through the bestfriends-to-lovers trope irl, but the relationship felt so realistic to being head over heels for your best friend that watching them miss and re-learn each other made my heart ache too; I had to take a break to hug my partner. Now I need to go book a European food tour.

This book is my first 5 star read of 2024, and is definitely in the running to be my favorite read of the year already too.

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This was so much fun. I loved the dynamic, the setting and banter so much. This one by CMQ did not disappoint me at all. It was the perfect read and I loved this so much. Highly recommend all books by CMQ. You will not be disappointed.

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Pairs well with: fresh grapes, pasta salad, cheese, olive oil, and freshly baked bread.

Sometimes I wonder what an alternative me in an alternate timeline would do, and I think this would be it. Taking in art in all its forms and glory. Indulging in the decadence, the abundance of something someone, somewhere worked hard to create.
There’s something about Casey McQuiston’s characters and stories that make me think about the universe in a way I never thought of, and yet in a way that sings to me, like it’s made for me, in a strange ethereal way. I’ll always think of Kit and Theo, and I’ll always come back to them.

Extremely grateful to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the ARC.

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Beautifully full of lust for food, drink, and people. As in all of McQuiston’s work I was delighted, compelled, and just a bit heartbroken by each character. Couldn’t put this book down for a moment

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Pastry, Wine, European Travel, and Your Ex...what could go wrong? I loved this book from the first page to the last. Kit and Theo each have a distinct voice and character that you can't help falling for. Both of these characters are charismatic and sexy and deeply human. Careful- reading this might make you want to spontaneously take off to Europe for your own sensual food and wine vacation.

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Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for this eARC in exchange for my honest review.

Maybe it’s the high of finishing a great book but I think this is my new favorite Casey McQuiston book. Everything in The Pairing is heightened from their previous works, and I say this as someone who worships Red, White and Royal Blue.

The writing is Casey at the top of their game. Everything is so rich and indulgent. I felt like I was on this tour across Europe with them. Everything is so cinematic and vivid. Their descriptions of art and food and love and gender and sex were so incredible they made me weep. There’s a section about Venus and David that’s so beautiful I could die. And it’s maybe the sexiest book I’ve ever read. Casey wasn’t kidding when they said it was their horniest, smuttiest book yet. Bravo.

I also love the dual-POV here. It’s the perfect approach to Theo and Kit’s story. Theo’s chapters made me fall in love with Kit and Kit’s chapters made me fall in love with Theo.

I could write a million different reviews highlighting different things I loved about this book. I haven’t even touched upon how funny it is too! I can’t wait to read it again when it’s released in August.

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