Thank you to Wendy S. Marcus, Sarina Bowen, Jenn Gaffney and the rest of the World of True North team for the advance reader copy of Stargazer the eighth story in the Speakeasy Taproom series.
Read all of my World of True North reviews here.
Check out the Goodreads synopsis…
“Randall Dickson is coping. Sort of. An upcoming medical eval, one that could end his military career, has him stressed and making bad choices. So when a concerned friend issues a strongly-worded “invitation” to Vermont, R.D. is all in for a change of scenery, a temporary job as a bartender, and the opportunity to shake himself out of his self-destructive routine.
Then he sets eyes on his seriously sexy new co-worker…
Lily Reynolds, an artist by day, Speakeasy’s favorite bartender at night, works hard to stay positive, unlike her surly new coworker. He may be a treat to look at, but that grumpy attitude and terse manner are not her type. So when Lily finds herself in desperate need of someone to share expenses, she convinces R.D. to rent her vacant room. There’s no way she’ll find herself falling for him.
She’d like to find the secret admirer who’s leaving her secret love notes around the bar, though. But he won’t reveal himself…
This standalone contains: opposites who definitely attract, a workplace romance, and an opinionated French bulldog.“
Check out my more detailed thoughts below…
- Characters: R.D. is a former Marine and is brought to Colebury by his buddy Griffin. Who you should remember as Audrey’s husband and the male protagonist that started it all. R.D. is recovering from an injury adn he needs to work so Grif helped him get a job at the Speakeasy. R.D. is incredibly stubborn and a bit grumpy. Such a classic romance hero type, a guy that will appeal to a lot of readers. Our female protagonist is Lily. You’ll know her from some previous instalments. She is the most popular bartender at the Speakeasy. What I loved about her is that she seemed to have it together, when in reality she does not. Something I think a lot of us can relate to, we all have times where we fake it till we make it.
- Setting: The story is set in Colebury, Vermont. This time we have two characters who both work at the Speakeasy. Lily has been a popular bartender for awhile and R.D. is the new hire. I really love having both of them work at the Speakeasy because their dynamic at work made their relationship more interesting. Simply R.D. was more likely to step up and defend Lily if some guy was being gross at work.
- Pacing: The pacing was quite good. I found nothing went to fast, especially the ending which did not feel too rushed at all.
- Romance: The book opens with Lily in a relationship with this guy named Dorian and with R.D. having zero desire for a relationship right now. So both our characters kinda stumble into what becomes a temporary relationship. Once Dorian and Lily are over she and R.D. have some hookups. I really liked how the author depicted the traumas both characters brought with them and put up as roadblocks. R.D. got scared when he got closer to Lily, and his fear manifests in running from your problems. While for Lily the prospect of R.D. leaving was terrifying. As she definitely has some abandonment issues for good reason, ones you’ll begin to understand when you read this romance novel. This story is emotionally intense, I even found myself tearing up when struggles hit. So I highly recommend this for a reader looking for an emotional, heart wrenching love story.
Stargazer receives four out of five stars.
You can pick up the story at Amazon here.
Thank you again to Sarina, Jenn, and the rest of the team for the review opportunity. Thank you for reading and supporting my blog!