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Imperfect Pairings

Imperfect Pairings

4.0 6
by Jackie Townsend

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Smart, career driven Jamie had not intended to fall in love. And to a foreigner no less, an Italian who doesn't reveal his heritage at first. Jack is short for John, he tells her, but she soon discovers that John is short for Giovanni. Insanely handsome and intense but unreadable, Giovanni is a man of few words. When after two months together she accompanies him to


Smart, career driven Jamie had not intended to fall in love. And to a foreigner no less, an Italian who doesn't reveal his heritage at first. Jack is short for John, he tells her, but she soon discovers that John is short for Giovanni. Insanely handsome and intense but unreadable, Giovanni is a man of few words. When after two months together she accompanies him to his cousin's wedding in Italy, Jamie learns that he hasn't been back to the troubled family estate in ten years-but with one step upon the rich Italian soil covered in ancient vines, it's as if he never left. Suddenly his language is no longer her language, and Jamie is drawn inexplicably into an Italy that outsiders rarely see-a crumbling villa, an old family scandal, a tragic mother, an estranged father, and a host of spirited Italian cousins. Jack is finally forced to face the destiny he's been renouncing; and Jamie makes a rash decision, unaware that it will change her life forever.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Townsend's (Reel Life, 2012) second novel presents a portrait of two clashing cultures, embodied in the relationship between a career-minded American woman and a conflicted Italian man. The novel depicts the tried-and-true themes of the New versus Old World, and pragmatism versus romance, through its main characters: Jamie, a driven woman who has found success in a man's world, and Jack, her Italian lover who is torn between his American business and his family's legacy. Jamie is a child of divorce, dogmatically anti-marriage and single-minded in her professional quest. Jack's character is more interesting: Pressured to achieve success in America, he's a beacon of hope for his bankrupt, haunted Italian family. However, his heart is in the old Italian ways, and he can't escape his attachment to his family's antiquated wine business. The opening chapters are set in Italy, where Jack brings Jamie as his date to his brother's wedding; from the beginning, readers get a visceral look at Jack's struggle to reconcile his feelings for his family with his life in America. The flowing prose is polished, but too easily glosses over moments that could offer more emotional heft. For example, readers experience Jamie's attraction to Jack, but never his attraction to her, thus obscuring one of the driving forces of Jack's character: his love for Jamie. Indeed, the third-person narration stays very close to Jamie throughout, but never reveals as much about her thoughts some readers might expect. Jamie is so emotionally blocked that without objective insight into her inner conflict readers may find her one-dimensional and unsympathetic. A pleasant read, rich in cultural ethos, but with little character depth.

Product Details

Townsend Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.92(d)

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Imperfect Pairings 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Nicnac63 More than 1 year ago
You’ve heard that opposites attract, right? That’s true for Jack and Jamie. This book displays their efforts to keep their marriage intact while running a vineyard in Italy. I didn’t particularly like the primary characters, yet I continued reading, wanting to know how their lives together/apart would play out.  Overall, this is a good story, well worth your time—especially if you’ve been to Italy, or plan to visit. The imagery is spot-on, and the book reveals Italian language and culture that will only help you in your travels. 
Reader_Views More than 1 year ago
I chose “Imperfect Pairings” by Jackie Townsend after reading in the synopsis that it was about an American professional woman who fell for a professional Italian man. Being born and raised in South America of Italian Immigrant parents, I had always considered myself South American more than Italian. However, I must admit that I it wasn’t until I met my Italian husband of over 20 years that I realized how American I was. Needless to say I was curious about the topic, yet I did not know how much I would enjoy this book until I began reading! In “Imperfect Pairings,” Jamie, a professional, independent American woman decides to travel to accompany her Italian boyfriend of few months, Jack aka Giovanni. This trip marks the beginning of her journey in discovering Giovanni as she not only struggles with language and culture differences while getting to know his family, but also struggles with discovering a new side of her boyfriend and herself. Townsend does a wonderful job depicting the Italian culture shock Jaime goes through, and keeping the reader laughing as we picture clearly each situation. As an Italian who grew out of Italy, I could relate as I remembered my own culture shock the first times I met my own family as a child and my husband’s family as a grownup when we lived in Italy for a year. But make no mistake; this story is much deeper than a funny scene compilation. Townsend’s beautiful writing style and craft hooked me from the beginning as she unraveled all of the characters’ personalities, their insecurities, their dreams. She also did a great job depicting the relationship struggles as cultural differences, and long distances challenged their profound love. I was amazed at how real and true all this issues and struggles rang true to me, to point that I wondered if they were the author’s true accounts, even though a work of fiction. “Imperfect Pairings,” by Jackie Townsend is a love story not just for romance lovers, but for everyone who has been in a relationship, as they all will be able to relate while enjoying an entertaining, fun read which provides also a profound message about our choices in life. “Imperfect Pairings” is definitely at the top of my 2013 list for best books I have read this year! Reviewed by Susan Violante for Reader Views (7/13)
ABrantley More than 1 year ago
Read along as Jamie falls in love with a sexy Italian and the fun begins. Imperfect Pairings is a wonderful romance that is sure to warm your heart on a cold winter night. If you're looking for a long romance that you can get wrapped up in, this is the one for you.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Jamie is dating a man who she knows as an American named Jack, but out of the blue he becomes Giovanni from Italy and their relationship changes.  With a few trips to Italy, this couple has to figure out how to make their marriage work with two different cultures colliding.     There were a whole host of characters and it was absolutely hard to keep it all together and I kept getting Jack and Giovanni mixed up and thinking about them as two separate people.  Because of this I had a hard time getting into it and felt lost and confused at times.    
BeachRead245 More than 1 year ago
Thank you to Jackie Townsend and Ripetta Press. I couldn’t resist a trip to Italy. This the first of a two day trip to visit Italy. Synopsis: Jamie met Jack through her work. Jamie works at a firm that buys and sells companies. She is quite good at it. Things seem to be progressing with Jack and then he asks her to go to Italy for a wedding. Jack is from Italy and in the US on a working visa. Jamie gets to meet his Mom and the rest of the family. Will she take these family relationships serious? Then she offers to marry him for a green card. What will Jack decide? How will this relationship change Jamie? Jack decides to go into business with his family which leads to further complications. My Thoughts: This novel made me crave an authentic Italian meal. I devoured the most of the chapters of this novel. The plot seems to fade and go slower towards the end. The only other was a question I asked who narrated this story? I loved the setting of Italy! The story was also set in the United States partially too. Italy is a country I have always wanted to visit. The author did a wonderful job bringing to life the country and its people. The growth of the characters in this novel is great. Jamie isn’t a character I initially would have connected with, but she grew on me as the novel progressed. I sometimes as reader struggle watching characters making certain choices that I as a reader would not agree with. I have learned to appreciate the depth of conflict and what it brings to a story.
celticmaggie More than 1 year ago
This was a difficult book for me to read. First I know nothing about wine. Second I know less about the family dynamics of the true Italians. I don't understand the home eating, the arguments and fighting and just the whole family comes first. NO exception. I have to admit that I almost stopped reading halfway through the book. I didn't because I got hooked on the troubled characters. I just had to follow through to see how their lives work out. While I like HEA stories it is nice to read books with non perfect but not bad endings either. Please give this book a chance.