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Pairs With Life

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4.66  ·  Rating details ·  47 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Forty-eight-year-old Corbett Thomas, a one-hit wonder of the 90s, now works as the lead sommelier at Napa Valley's hippest restaurant. Set to become one of the few Master Sommeliers in the world, Corbett self-destructs during his final exam, ruining his last chance at capturing the stardom and adoration he got a taste for in his youth.

When billionaire game designer, Broga
...more
Paperback, 298 pages
Published September 15th 2020 by Hurn Publications
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Average rating 4.66  · 
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Mc Chanster
So this book. Wow. What can I say about this book other than I loved it?

Corbett Thomas, a 48-year-old, barely-ex-rock-star has made many, many mistakes in his life. After completely bombing his Master Sommelier sit, he is fired from job at Napa Valley’s trendiest restaurant thus making his nearly-broke behind swing decisively into actually-broke. His slim ray of sunshine, Sydney, is not who she seems to be and his daughter Remy, seems determined to dig up skeletons he’d rather have hidden deep i
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Jen
Jul 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you, Hurn Publications for my arc.

Corbett, the main character, has made many poor choices in the past, and these choices have given him a bad reputation. He wants to redeem himself and have the fame and fortune he always dreamed of, but there is a consequence, he must give up what is very close to his heart. Many of us probably must choose between what we want or do the right thing once in our lives, and we all know that it is a decision that is not easy. This book covers many significant
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Carrie Flaspohler
Do you ever have a friend recommend a book, put it on your “to read” list, and then just forget about it? Don’t let Pairs with Life by John Taylor become one of those books. Just buy it now and then actually read it.

Corbett Thomas is one of those guys who just has crappy luck. In everything. Epic failures in work, sometimes of his own making. Relationships that don’t take off the ground, not always of his own making. And often interesting life choices that make you question if it’s really bad lu
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Andrea
Sep 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First of all, the cover very quickly captured my attention. It is absolutely stunning. I'm also a sucker for a good vineyard story. I'm sure part of that is my proximity to the Finger Lakes wine region and love for wine tours and tastings. But this book really surprised me.

The story is told in first-person from Corbett's point of view. It's been a really long time since I read a book told strictly from the male's perspective, let alone in the first person. It made me relate even more to this alr
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Danielle Seals
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You’re going to love and hate Corbett Thomas, sometimes at the same time all while reading this book. Guess what? This character is human, with realistic flaws that are completely believable! There are no rose-colored glasses in this book which is refreshing and the author’s style of writing has your attention and keeps you entertained and immersed until the closing page.

I was hooked from the first pages, laughing at the totally accurate details of a bachelorette party visiting the restaurant i
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Curt Brown
Sep 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Full-disclosure...the author is a dear friend of mine and I have been a fan of his writing for over 30 years.
That being said I believe I can give this review without the obvious personal bias because I found the story so captivating (having read the entire book in one sitting) and the characters so fully realized I completely forgot I was reading my friend's book but instead just let myself be transported to a world I was unfamiliar with.
The picture of the wine country of Napa was so perfectly p
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Anthony Medley
Aug 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I though I was going to read this over the course of several days, an hour at a time. Instead, I finished in two sessions. Yes, it was that hard to put down!

John Taylor has a unique "voice" and he packs a lots of into every paragraph. The story explores wine, music, wine, romance, family, wine, and self-discovery.

I'm going to put together a suitable soundtrack and read it again. Too bad I can't find a recording of "Sensitive Ponytail Guy"
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Erin B.
Dec 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a fun and lively jaunt through Napa with our main character Corbett Thomas at the helm. He’s the kind of guy who you’d want to have a few drinks with but might not feel great about introducing to mom and dad.

But he’s real and honest and flawed. Just like a lot of us. And that made him an endearing character. And this is a redemption story.

The book had a classic good versus evil feel as Corbett grappled with billionaire Brogan Prescott for control of the vineyard of his dreams. Toss in
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Karista Bennett
Sep 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most entertaining read of the summer! I belly laughed, I cried, I cringed, I swooned. This book reads like a really great movie that you'll never forget. Loved it! ...more
Mel
Jul 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
John Taylor's debut novel offers a hilarious look into the Napa Valley wine scene from the perspective of a self-involved sommelier who can't seem to catch a break (though it's mostly self-inflicted). This is the first book I have read in a long time that has actually made me laugh out loud - and often! Taylor certainly has a way with words, and comes up with the most startlingly accurate similes, spot-on observations, as well as amazing, quotable expressions ("precious awake juice" as a synonym ...more
Derra Nic
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Paris With Life...this story has a little bit of everything. Corbett, the main character, is given a second chance to find his happiness in life, however, the journey there is lined with bumps along the way. From confronting and dealing with his past to making the ultimate decision on what holds more value to him. A second chance to grasp that fame he lost long ago or doing what's right.

This story has that life lesson of, "it's never too late to start over" embedded into it. It's a great read t
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James Bartowski
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a really cool book to read.
I've worked in the service industry for many years and really loved seeing it portrayed so correctly at the beginning of the book and throughout. I could tell the author has 'been there' before.

Corbett is so like many other dudes I know, and I really appreciated that this wasn't another "has been rock star finds another way to get rich" story. The characters are human, full of flaws and they shine right through in John Taylor's writing. (which I find hilarious
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Liz Wulff
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pairs With Life is laugh-out-loud funny, endearing and unapologetically human.

I absolutely loved this book and read it in one sitting. My husband made dinner because I didn't want to stop reading, I just had to know how everything ended up for Corbett!

The author has this unique writing style that really shines through, which I found even more interesting when I learned that the author had actually been in a hit band like the character. What a cool accomplishment to have.

Pairs With Life is a real
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Disa Travis
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pairs With Life is entertaining, absorbing and all around exciting.

I like many others I can see, didn't take my time reading this book. I really thought I would enjoy a lazy weekend reading this and ended up with a late Friday night instead.

My absolute favorite thing about this book is that it quite literally grabs your attention right at the beginning. There's no slow building here and I really appreciated that.

I learned so much about wine that I never knew as well (non-drinker here), which en
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Margaret Wolfe
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is just......so much wow!

Looks like I'm not the only person who read this in one sitting, and you best believe it was worth it!
I absolutely loved the complexity of the characters. The wonderful amount of detail provided to the reader from the very beginning and the development of Corbett along the way.

Pairs With Life is a story that will capture your heart, make you laugh and is entirely relatable no matter if you know anything about wine or not.

Did I see something on Instagram about
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Sabrina Bryan
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pairs With Life was such wonderful and truly fun read.

Did anyone else picture Josh Brolin as the evil billionaire? That's who I pictured in my head and it legitimately fit. We should get this book on the big screen stat, I've already figured out part of the cast! :)

I really enjoyed John's writing style and I can only imagine how witty he is in person.

Ya'll need to support this author and buy his book!
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J Reilly
Sep 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been a fan of John Taylor’s blog for several years and had great expectations for his first novel. Pairs With Life did not disappoint!

Characters spring to life as the story begins at the exclusive restaurant where Corbett Thomas works as a sommelier. Corbett is a relatable character (regardless of gender) for all his strengths and weaknesses, failures, and ultimately success. His background as a B-list rock star captures the nostalgia of our glory days. His role as a single dad portrays th
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Steve Parsons
Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is the best and most enjoyable novel I've read in several years. The narration radiates authenticity and humor. The dialogue flows beautifully. The plot is well-structured with plenty of interesting surprises. The characters are credible, engagingly complex, and masterfully developed.

Corbett Thomas is the narrator and protagonist. He's single and middle-aged, the loving father of an adult daughter, and a loyal friend. He also can be impulsive, petty, and prone to self-delusion, and he
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E.S. Danon
Oct 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Annie Cathryn
Dec 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“Wine is life in a glass.” (I need this etched on a stemless glass)

You know a book is life-changing when it inspires you to buy wine that brings back memories of days gone by.

I absolutely loved this book, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. I full-belly laughed through most of it and when I wasn’t laughing, I was awed by tender moments. This book has all the feels.

I seriously had a book hangover when I finished (and it wasn’t from the wine I paired with it). I honestly could not pick up ano
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Laura Solar
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing

Corbett Thomas is pushing 50, a former one hit wonder, and an esteemed sommelier at the trendiest restaurant in Napa. When he absolutely blows his exam to become a Master Sommelier in a way that ends up with his accreditation being revoked, it seems like everything he’s worked for may be torn away from him. He ends up finding work as a consultant to Brogan Prescott, a billionaire video game designer who wants to build a futuristic VR winery themed after an ant colony, a concept Corbett finds app
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Hurn Publications
Nov 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Pairs With Life is entertaining, absorbing and all around exciting.

I've worked in the service industry for many years and really loved seeing it portrayed so correctly at the beginning of the book and throughout. I could tell the author has 'been there' before.
I like many others I can see, didn't take my time reading this book. I really thought I would enjoy a lazy weekend reading this and ended up with a late Friday night instead.

My absolute favorite thing about this book is that it quite liter
...more
Malia M Miller
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pairs With Enjoyment

When you want to escape into a book, you’re looking to connect with the characters and truly feel engulfed in every moment. John Taylor does a phenomenal job of character development, dialog and putting you at the center of the story. I mean, you really feel Corbett’s pain (joy, humiliation, fear, etc). Truly an enjoyable read from start to finish.
Kristi
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This fluid and relatable read hooked me immediately, had me excited for the turn of every page, and left me yearning for more even when I was finished reading the book.

Corbett’s cringe-worthy outbursts are how most people wish they could react at their breaking points. Multiple moments throughout the book the character had me snort laughing. I was instantly rooting for him, even when he made undesirable mistakes.

Pairs with Life is a kindred story bringing out the best of emotions.
Alicia Fadgen
Dec 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Where do I start?! This book has all the feels! I absolutely loved that this story had me laughing out loud! It also gave me warm, fuzzy feelings (as well as the wine I got to enjoy while reading haha). I did not want to put this book down. The main character spoke to me, and I love how relatable this story can be. I highly recommend to pour yourself a glass of wine, cozy up on the couch, and read this beautifully written story.
Stacy Dymalski
Oct 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A good time set against the backdrop of the Napa Valley vineyard world. This writer has a definite talent for characters and dialogue. There are several laugh-out-loud moments, and the situations in which he puts his characters are very cinematic. This story would make a good TV series or movie. Plus, there's just enough of intrigue and plot twist to entice you to keep going at the end of each chapter. Overall a fun read with relatable characters. And I learned a lot about wine! ...more
Lisa
Oct 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good debut effort

A quick, enjoyable read with several laugh out loud moments. A hopeful ending and character growth.

Some of the phrasing was reminiscent of your friend who loves to tell stories when they drink, but overall a fun read.
Heather
Oct 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Captivating..intrigue, humour..guilty smiling throughout this reading experience...resonates with a buzz of adventure, heart, inspiring, drive & passion
Gen
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book!

What a good surprise! This book was entertaining, funny but also touching. I couldn’t put it down. To be enjoyed with a good glass of wine.
Dusty Drosche
This is the last book I read in August and I couldn’t have chosen a better way to end the month with a bang! I have followed the author on the socials for years and have been a big fan of his podcast and blog. When I heard he was writing a book I knew I HAD to read it. This novel centers around Corbett Thomas, a character who could be any of us. He has a dream and the best of intentions. But sometimes life just gets in the way. The novel follows Corbett on his quest to own a winery and thus pres ...more
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John Taylor is a writer, musician, wine geek, sci-fi nerd and Certified Master of Failure & Redemption. A graduate of the USC School of Journalism, John threw his education out the window to become a founding member of the alternative rock band, The Uninvited. The band enjoyed about nine minutes of its allotted fifteen minutes of fame, including a release on Atlantic Records, movie & TV soundtrack ...more

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