- 2016 INDIES Finalist
- Finalist, LGBT (Adult Fiction)
Sexy meets satisfying in Perfect Pairing, Rachel Spangler’s latest novel. Hal Orion, a “blue collar meets bleu cheese” food truck chef hits the big time unexpectedly. Mixed in with the other fruits of her success is Quinn Banning, a straitlaced investment banker whose interest in Hal isn’t exactly professional.
Although Quinn initially hoped to interest Hal in a new restaurant, part of a larger business venture, it’s quickly apparent that not only is Hal impossible to boss around, but that the two women are intensely attracted to one another. They test and tease one another, trading jabs as they grow closer. Sexy banter aside, Spangler’s most moving scenes are often in the small gestures. The first meal shared, finally holding hands in public—it’s authentic. Like Hal says, it’s what real tastes like. “Pure, without anything fake … No games, no tricks, just raw ingredients stripped of all the restraints.” Quinn and Hal’s romance is compelling in its realness.
Their dialogue is snappy, funny, and irreverent, making Perfect Pairing a palate cleanser in a genre that can lean heavily on significant looks and heavy breathing. The tension is delicious, but even better are Spangler’s droolworthy descriptions of Hal’s culinary creations: “The texture was perfect, so crisp and simultaneously soft. Her teeth sank in satisfyingly, and the muted bacon echo cracked through her own ears.” Yum! Spangler’s prose works in more ways than one. It’s a delight when Hal and Quinn cross swords—and tongues—in this tasty, contemporary romance.
Claire Rudy Foster