Review: A Perfect Pairing


Hachette Book Group/Forever


Brenda Larnell (A)


REVIEW: We are back in idyllic Firefly Lake, California, and this time the wonderfully talented, Sheryl Lister, captivates her readers in another engaging story that is centered around second chance love, and the love of mouth-watering, good food shared with friends. The couple highlighted in this story is Natasha Baldwin and Antonio Hayes. Natasha is the top realtor in Firefly Lake, and Antonio, takes over the reality company where Natasha works. This reunion of former sweethearts is not very pleasant at first. There are a lot of hard and unforgiving feelings that are still present. Yet, the couple must put their personal feelings aside to get the job done for a special town project.

Natasha is a brilliant realtor, but her passion actually lies in interior design. Likewise, Antonio, a former investment manager, has always had a heart for construction. They both will get a chance to hone those skills as this “perfect pair” is challenged to work together to bring the town’s vision to life. What a challenge it is! Through her Supper Club friends, that include Serenity Wheeler Cunningham (
A TABLE FOR TWO), Natasha is able to sort through her feelings for Antonio that leads to a “come-to-Jesus'” moment that helps to change the course of their relationship. No spoilers. You will have to read the book to discover the strife that ended their relationship when they were high school sweethearts. One thing for sure is that like “the perfect pairing” of chocolate dipped strawberries, Natasha and Antonio’s chemistry is satisfying and sweet.

There are a number of characters who surround our couple with advice and support. Mama Nora, Antonio’s Grandmother, and Miss Della, the town’s matchmakers, are front and center, along with the ladies of the Supper Club. At the other end of the spectrum, we have Lori, Antonio’s ex, and Kathleen, Natasha’s workplace nemesis. To help make this story so special is the appearance of Cedric and Lorenzo Hunter (
The Hunters of Sacramento) and Malcolm Gray (Grays of Los Angeles) who lend their support and cash to the Firefly Lake project. Great connection! The Epilogue is a perfect HEA for our “perfect pair” and comes with a new house. You’ll get that when you read the story.  One more thing. When you read this story, make sure you have a snack nearby. The food is to die for! The recipes at the end are a bonus addition to the book.

I enjoyed this entertaining ‘second-chance-at-love story’ set in one of my favorite fictional towns, Firefly Lake. Mouth-watering food, sweet, passionate love, and an awesome cast of characters, all blend together to make an engrossing, memorable story. I recommend
A PERFECT PAIRING for your reading pleasure. It’s a great summer read.

8th August 2023 |