REVIEW: The Pairing (The Proposition, #3) by Katie Ashley

Since reading book 2, The Proposal, a few weeks ago, where we first met Dr. Alpesh (aka Pesh) Nadeen, I’ve wanted him to find his HEA.  Pesh is the quintessential nice guy who has been through a lot of heartache and grief in the last couple of years. After the sudden death of his wife and what went down between him and Emma, I really just wanted him to find the right woman to love him like he deserves.

In comes Megan Fitzgerald, who is co-godparent to Emma and Aidan’s son.  From jump everyone is rooting for Megan and Pesh to get together (despite of his past with Emma).  Megan is looking for some fun after her own rough patch the last couple of years and Pesh is instantly attracted to Megan, but wants more than just a romp between the sheets.

For about 40% of the book Megan and Pesh are at an impasse.  Pesh wants a relationship with Megan, while Megan insists she only wants sex without any strings – constantly pointing out their differences. Pesh respects her wishes and for a long while keeps his distance.  After a sexy interlude in the hospital’s supply closet, Megan FINALLY agrees to let Pesh wine and dine her.  The two start dating and sexing each other casually for a while, then BAM!  Megan comes to her senses and goes all in with Pesh.  From this point on, I found myself anticipating conflict, but there was NONE. Maybe Pesh’s traditional, close-knit Indian family won’t like him dating an American. Maybe someone at the hospital where they both work will out their relationship. Maybe Pesh will stop being so damn sweet.  Maybe Megan’s family will object to her dating a man over a decade older than she is. Maybe Megan will doubt Pesh’s love and devotion due to him still holding a torch for his dead wife. Maybe, maybe, maybe…is all I got.  None of that actually happens.

Although, The Pairing is a well-written, opposites attract story that will warm your heart, it was way too sweet and too flowery to wow me. Romancelandia is full of brash alpha males, so it was refreshing to read a book where the heroine is not a blushing, shrinking violet and the hero is more reserved and gentlemanly.  Besides the light tension in the beginning, there’s absolutely no real conflict to speak of that threatens the MCs happily ever after.  For the most part this story barrels toward HEA with one sweet interlude after another between Megan and Pesh. Overall, The Pairing was a good break from the deep, dark heavier stories that I prefer.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️½

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