A Pairing to Die For, the second book in my Colorado Wine Mystery series, recently released and in it, my main character must defend her dashing chef boyfriend when he is shockingly accused of murder. While writing this story, I mulled over my favorite bookish relationships. What draws characters together and why do certain couples standout?

For me, it comes down to blending personality traits such that the sum is greater than the independent parts. Not dissimilar from wine blends, where individual varietals are carefully proportioned and mixed together to create something nuanced, surprising, and delicious. (Admittedly, I **might** be overly fond of wine metaphors).

For example, in the classic Jane Austen novel Emma, Mr. Knightly and Emma fall in love, to some extent because of the differences they admire in the other. Emma is fun, flighty and, yes, at times selfish, but these characteristics pair perfectly with the grounded, loyal, and kind George Knightly. (Anyone else a fan of the most recent film adaptation?!).

But it’s not always opposites that attract. In Love Your Life by Sophie Kinsella—one of my favorite romcoms of 2020—Ava and Matt have a lot in common, like an appreciation for trying new things, the Italian coast where they met, and blinders to rather unattractive habits they’ve formed in their lives. It takes the two of them challenging each other to realize their instalove may be longer lasting than they think…

In The Duke and I by Julia Quinn, their friendship—and a mutual desire to dodge societal demands—draws Simon and Daphne together, and their chemistry and easy discourse lead to stronger feelings. Simon, having no family, grows curious and infatuated by Daphne and her siblings, and Simon with his quiet demeanor and stoic witticisms intrigues Daphne, who’s accustomed to constant chatter. They’re both compelling, likable characters on their own, but together, they’re even stronger.

In A Pairing to Die For, it’s Reid’s passion, unpredictability, and kindness that make Parker initially fall for him. And he admires her for her loyalty, idealism, and bravery. These traits come together—along with a stubborn streak they both share—to become something even more delectable. As long as a killer doesn’t foil their partnership, of course.

For a chance to win a signed copy of A Pairing to Die For, comment below with your favorite bookish couple!

Author Bio: Kate Lansing is an award-winning short story author. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband, daughter, and a chair-napping tabby cat named Maple. Killer Chardonnay is her first novel.

Website: http://katelansing.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lansingkm/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lansingkm

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kmlansing/

About A Pairing to Die For: A young winemaker is over a barrel when her new boyfriend is accused of murder in this delightful cozy mystery.

It’s fall in Boulder, Colorado, and the leaves aren’t the only things changing. Parker Valentine, owner of Vino Valentine, is finally settling in to her winery and her new relationship with Reid Wallace, a local chef. But their delicate pairing is endangered when Reid’s estranged family comes into town to celebrate the opening of his new restaurant.

Reid and his family are immediately at loggerheads, given their often acidic temperaments, but Parker still wants to make a good first impression. However, her efforts might be in vain when Reid’s sous chef is found dead in the alley behind the restaurant, and Reid is implicated in the murder. In order to save Reid, Parker will have to find the real killer, even if the truth is difficult to swallow.

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Impenitent social media enthusiast. Relational trend spotter. Enjoys both carpe diem and the fish of the day.