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An Improbable Pairing

3.26  ·  Rating details ·  176 ratings  ·  123 reviews
It began as a simple flirtation . . .
In September of 1963, Scott Stoddard, an American graduate student, is traveling to Switzerland, when he meets the Countess de Rovere, a French divorcee; he is smitten, and she is intrigued. What begins as a little coquetry soon becomes a serious love affair, much to the consternation of the Countess’s ex-husband and mother, not to men
Paperback, 240 pages
Published January 8th 2019 by Greenleaf Book Group Press
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3.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  176 ratings  ·  123 reviews

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Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
Thanks to Netgalley and Smith Publicity for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. Expected Publication Date is January 8th 2019

1960's Europe.
Scott Stoddard, an American graduate student, studying in Switzerland, falls hard for a wealthy divorcee who is older than he is. Silly me, I was waiting for some huge event to take place in this story. But it really was just Scott and Desiree's romance that was the vehicle of the plot. A fact that failed to woo me because these two characters wer
I went into this book having big hopes of getting a good love story packed with a lot of drama and a cultural tour of 1960s Europe with all its glitz and glamour.

When it came to describing the glitz, glamour, lifestyle of the rich and famous living in Europe in that decade and describing the cities of Europe, the book did not disappoint. Reading this book was like having a big screen, cinematic experience, except in words--the author has a talent for descriptive imagery.

However, what did disapp
Chris  C - A Midlife Wife
There was a lot to think about in the crafting of this review. I have to admit I had difficulty getting into the story.

It wasn’t the story itself; that was well laid out and very interesting. The difficulty was in the writing itself. While perfectly structured and easy to read, the writer lacked passion, energy, and excitement that really keeps the reader involved in the story.

Several times within the first half of the book I literally almost stopped reading. I was not enthused. However, giving
Jan 31, 2019 rated it liked it
An Improbable Pairing indeed. Glamour and shine meets dirty and poor. It's amazing that a romance develops in this situation. The story is a testament to love and survival. It's a little slow but not terribly bad. Good description of the time period and place of the 1960s. Historical fiction fans will enjoy this book. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
Dec 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Thanks to for this ARC.

This maybe the first love story I've read by a male author. He didn't do a bad job of it either considering.

Desiree and Scott are total opposites when they first meet on a boat. She is a Countess and he was going to Geneva, Switzerland, for graduate school. Well, boy meets girl and that's it. They are both smitten with each other, even though they are 7 years apart (I didn't think that was a big deal) but obviously her mother, also a Countess and his pare
Dec 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: bookish-first
*Thank you BookishFirst for providing an ARC in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my own and based solely on the book*

An interesting premise that unfortunately fell flat.

Scott Stoddard goes abroad to get away from his parents. To gain a bit of freedom. While on his trip, he falls for a beautiful, extremely wealthy Countess. And then nothing happens. Nothing.

The writing is okay. The cover is gorgeous. But the story lacks a certain, je ne sais quoi. Everything just happens to go Sc
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a different genre of book than I usually read. It was a romance but not your everyday chick lit type of book. It begins when Scott first sees Desiree and almost immediately falls in love. She is way out of his league and he knows it. He starts by seeing another woman on a cruise ship just to be around her. Then the cruise ends and Scott thinks that he will never see her again; until he does. The improbably pair start seeing each other and problems arise. I liked the writer's style. It w ...more
Loraine Oliver
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Lovers of Historical Romance
Shelves: reviewed-books
This book was an incredible read. I enjoyed this book from the first page and was instantly captivated by the story. It takes place in the 1960's when Scott Stoddard, a 23 year old graduate student from the US is leaving by ship to go to graduate school in Switzerland. After getting underway, he meets the Countess Desiree de Rovere, from France who he is smitten with! As for her Desiree is intrigued by him.

They run into each other again, and they fall in love, much to the disappointment of not
Kimberly Mussell
Nov 18, 2018 rated it liked it
It took me a while to decide to read this one. I love historical fiction, but the 60’s Is not my usual time frame. I decided to give it a chance.
I read the first half of the book in one sitting as it pulled me in. However, the second half took a while longer and seemed to drag on a tad bit for me. It was hard to feel I was in a prior era. Nothing stuck out to me or distinguished the time frame. This could have been a love story in today’s time. It is listed as historical, but it was missing thos
Dec 08, 2018 rated it liked it
On his way to Geneva to obtain his master's degree, Scott, an American graduate student, meets and falls in love with the somewhat older Countess de Rovere. Several months later, their paths cross again, and despite their seven year age difference as well as their differences in social status and religion, a relationship evolves between the two.

"I know it sounds crazy, even improbable, but I've been in love with her since I first met her in September." - Scott to his friend, Jean

An Improbable Pa
Kellyn Roth
This was an "eh" book for me. I wasn't in love with it, nor was I entirely enthralled.

First, and this is my fault NOT the author's or the book's, but I thought it was set in the '20s for the first ... almost the first half? Maybe? Again, my fault since IT IS LITERALLY IN THE BLURB *facepalm* But stupid Kell was sick and dying and didn't want to look at details like that. Well, I did read the blurb but then I forgot, I guess!

Either way, it did feel very old-fashioned to me, so it was hard to tell
Elizabeth ♛Smart Girls Love Trashy Books♛

The first thing that comes to my mind when I try to think of how this book made me feel is 'boring'. Because that's all this book was to me, which is honestly disappointing. I have a huge thing for confident women taking advantage of shyer men but because that's not 'politically correct' or something it's very rarely seen in Western fiction these days. So when I found out that's actually what this book was about, I was definitely intrigued.

But it's so boring. It is writte
Katherine Hayward Pérez
I was sucked in by the beauty of the cover of this book and by the title and synopsis, although from those I was also worried that the story would be predictable.

There are some very good parts in this book. The attention to atmosphere and details that create atmosphere and also the description of the clothes and rooms seemed very lavish and I loved that. But the conversation was stilted.

I did like Millie and she seemed likeable. I was disappointed that Scott, so soon after having met Millie an
Jan 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019-books
Thank you to Netgalley and Greenleaf Book Press for the Advance E-Reader Copy.

An Improbable Pairing is a Historical Romance based in the 1960's Europe. The writing is beautiful, as the author takes plenty of time to write descriptive scenes that really showcase the fashions and decors of the times. It really allows the reader to put themselves into the settings of the story as it unfolds.

The main characters, Scott and Desiree however lacked the same depth. While their romance was interesting t
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An Improbable Pairing by Gary Dickson is about a young man named Scott Stoddard meeting the Countess de Rovere on his way to Switzerland. He is immediately attracted to her, but she is an older woman with considerably more money. The story follows Scott on his pursuit of the Countess.

This book is wonderfully written. Everything in this book is beautiful. Buildings and places are described in a way you can imagine. Characters are very well developed and believable. This author has used words to p
Crystal Zavala
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: smithpublicity
Improbable Pairing is about an American college student named Scott. He is going to Europe for college in the 1960s. He meets a Countess and they fall in love against both sets of parents desires.

The book follows their whirlwind romance. Gary Dickson has beautiful writing, describing couture and designer gowns, amazing homes and cities.

I do not pretend to be an expert on the 1960s in the United States or Europe, so there are some things that I had to believe at face value even if seeming a lit
At first this story pulled me in. A young man leaving a semi-controlling family to venture out on his own for graduate school. I enjoyed some of the story at first, however, I quickly felt as though I was crawling along in my reading. Scott the main character seemed to have no depth, even when I had read through almost half the book I didn't feel I really knew the true Scott. The characters just seem one dimensional.

Ok, I understand this is not suppose to be a sentimental book. As it's in the hi
K.S. Lewis
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, books-i-own
Upon finding this book, it immediately drew me in. It was like there was a magnetic pull between me and the book--especially its characters--that drew me in and didn't let me go. Rarely am I one to enjoy historical fiction set in the 60s (it's a personal quirk of mine), simply because the time period doesn't interest me as far as telling fictional stories go. However, this was one of those books that exceeded my expectations and made me appreciate what I once disliked, and see it in a new light. ...more
Mar 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great concept!

This book is full of rich details and interesting characters. The start aboard the ship provides an interesting opening. Unfortunately it is one of the few glimpses that we see of the sixties.
The beginning seemed to drag a bit, though the details that were shared of the opulence and character descriptions were interesting. Everything seems to go well for the characters, which sometimes pulls you from the story a bit. It made it difficult to identify with the characters as their st
Kayla Tornello
I liked the European setting of this story, but I didn't care for the characters. The only thing going for the main character, Scott, is that he's young and handsome. He was so incredibly boring. Most of the story involved the main characters overreacting to minor problems in their relationship. The story needed more drama.

I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway. Yay!
May 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
I won a copy of this book on Goodreads. I rated it only 2 stars because it just did not click with me. I ended up skimming alot of the book. The positive was the author has great descriptions. The negative the 2 main characters were unlikeable, the plot dragged, and it was very predictable. I'm sorry but this book was not for me.
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I won this book in a Firstreads giveaway. It was a nice and steady story set against a historical backdrop of the 1960's in Europe. While it wasn't terribly exciting, I enjoyed it.
Feb 01, 2019 rated it liked it
This book would be a good beach read. Not overly complex story or characters.
Melissa Dee
Dec 29, 2018 rated it liked it
"An Improbable Pairing” by Gary Dickson is an intimate look at the European high life of the 1960’s

Dickson is at his best when he is describing the clothes, food, and interior decoration of the homes and playpens of the rich. His descriptions of his characters' thoughts and emotions are perhaps a tiny bit cliched and left me less than fully engaged with his hero and heroine. He does a very good job, however of describing the tender ego of the twenty-something male in a relationship with a wealth
Alicia Herrington
Librarian: Historical romances (especially those with luxurious settings) can always find a readership. I have no doubt that this one will manage it as well. The fact that it is a common man with an aristocratic woman, rather than the other way around (as is typically the case with these kind of books), may appeal to some readers, though it may turn others off. Honestly this seems to be a fairly typical example of a historical romance, and readers who are fond of the genre should enjoy this one ...more
Terry ~ Huntress of Erudition
Beautifully written and authentic sounding, the author seemed very familiar with the geography and culture of fabulously wealthly Europeans in the 1960's - this was the most interesting part of the book to me.
Desiree was beautiful and glamorous countess, Scott was tall, handsome and witty graduate student. Aside from being among the rich and famous in Cannes and various parties in Switzerland and Paris, nothing really happened to this couple. I guess their affair may have been very scandalous to
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
I've been on a bit of a historical fiction kick lately, so I was looking forward to reading something set a little closer to today than what I had been reading. Unfortunately, this book just didn't do it for me. Overall, it's ploddingly slow. I've been known to watch golf on TV and I still found this akin to watching grass grow.

While I don't have to like/love the characters of the books I read, I do have to be able to connect with them on some level. However, I was never able to get that with ei
Michelle Arredondo
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fabulous tale filled with romance and intrigue. Author Gary Dickson crafts a story set in the early 60's, an American student embarking on a journey to Switzerland. From upper class Southern wealth Scott Stoddard has led a life of privilege and the constraint of parents who expect to give approval to all his life choices. While taking in the worldly life of all Switzerland has to offer his eyes...and his desire...become focused on the one and only Countess Desiree de Rovere of France. Old weal ...more
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was ok

Scott Stoddard is an American graduate student traveling to Switzerland. On board a ship, his path crosses with Countess de Rovere, a recent French divorcee. Scott is smitten by her charm and looks. The pair begins a simple flirtation and soon evolves into a serious love affair. As their love affair progress, they face criticism because they have so many differences.

The premise of the novel seemed interesting as it is about a younger man courting an older woman. However, I felt like this novel f
When I think of the ’60s, my mind automatically goes to the war, protests, free love, hippies and fashion. After all, it was an era of change and historical movements. But the author focus’ more on the travel experience, the radiance of upper-class events and the ambiance of a good time.

In this story, we meet Scott who is a graduate student traveling abroad to continue his education. His first realization of how freeing his life is to become is when he’s on the ship getting ready to sail off to
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Gary Dickson is an inveterate traveler and a Francophile sans merci. Educated in the United States and the University of Lausanne in Switzerland in history, literature, and the classics, Gary lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Susie.