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review 2021-08-30 00:13
Stargazer (True North Series: Speakeasy Taproom, #8) by Wendy S. Marcus
Stargazer (Speakeasy Taproom, #8) - Wendy S. Marcus




Stargazer by Wendy S. Marcus

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Stargazer refuses to be put in a box. R.D. and Lily delve into the many facets of love. From casual acquaintances to caring friends and lastly unpredictable attraction. Marcus exposes the heart to the good, bad and ugly. Far from perfect, less than irredeemable, Stargazer is a journey of healing that draws you in by emotions, grabbing at more than the senses. Beautiful heartache has never felt so empowering.

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review 2020-06-16 23:51
Speakeasy: A Novella
Speakeasy: A Novella - A.M. Dunnewin
Eddie Durante is the owner of a speakeasy and a mobster under his Uncle, the boss of the Durante family.  Eddie is still recovering from the death of his wife, Kate who was killed by the rival Caprice family in a territory dispute. Amidst this, Eddie is notified that the Caprice's have a hit out on him within his own speakeasy.  As the bodies start piling up, Eddie realizes that this is more than a regular hit.  This is payback, revenge in the purest form imaginable for the decisions he made for his family.
Speakeasy is a fast-paced historical suspense novella set in the 1920's.  I was quickly brought into the glitz and mystery of Eddie's speakeasy as the writing describes the intrigue and glamour of the hidden speakeasy and the people who frequent it. Since this is a novella, there wasn't much about Eddie's background or character other than he cares a lot about his family and business, however this adds to the mystery of why Eddie is being so mercilessly hunted. The action and suspense ramped up quickly as everyone around Eddie began dying.  As Eddie begins to unravel the reasons behind this particularly merciless hit, I could sense who the mastermind behind Eddie's demise was in an amazing, vindictive and twisted ending.  

This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 
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review 2018-06-04 17:16
Speakeasy by Sarina Bowen
Speakeasy - Sarina Bowen

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I loved this book! May and Alec were just great together and I really loved that this story was a little different. I only recently stumbled upon this series when I read the fourth book, Bountiful, and immediately fell in love with the characters, the setting, and the style of storytelling. I have since went back and read the first book in the series but I can assure you that each book in this series works well as a stand alone story. Readers of the series will enjoy getting to catch up with favorite characters but anyone new to the series will have no problem jumping in with this book.

I was hooked by this book from the very beginning. Alec sees someone he thinks he knows kissing the wrong person in his bar one night and knows he has to do something about it. He doesn't get the chance to figure out what he should do because the person being cheated on walks in a sees everything for herself. Alec stops things from getting out of control and helps May move back home that very night.

I thought that the chemistry between Alec and May was very well done. Even when May has just been hurt by her girlfriend's betrayal, I thought that these two worked very well together on the friend level. Alec just seemed to know how to be the support that May needed at that point in her life and she accepted him in that role. I liked how open these two were with each other from the very beginning and how they just seemed to have a lot of fun together.

When things heat up and they decide to act on their attraction, Alec and May just seemed to fit each other perfectly. On paper, these two shouldn't work. May is a recovering alcoholic while Alec owns a bar. May is bisexual and always thought she would end up with a woman but Alec is definitely all man. I had such a good time watching them try to figure things out and was cheering them towards their happily ever after.

I would highly recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance. I had a fantastic time with this book filled with wonderful characters, steamy moments, a few laughs, and scenes that melted my heart. I can't wait to read more from Sarina Bowen very soon!

I received a digital review copy of this book from the author.

Initial Thoughts
I loved this! May and Alec were great together and I liked that the story was a little different than the norm. The chemistry between them was amazing and I really enjoyed watching them figure things out. Getting a chance to visit with the other character from the series was a nice plus as well.

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review 2018-05-31 00:00
Speakeasy - Sarina Bowen

Bowen brings us back to Vermont in Speakeasy. I never thought I would crave Vermont so much! May, our heroine, finds her live in girlfriend kissing another girl. Alec swoops in an rescues her like a true hero! I appreciated the depth that Bowen takes on with these characters. May's sexuality and alcoholism are topics that play a major role in the story. However, Bowen also knows when to lighten things up too.

May's struggle with addiction has shaped her and her family. Her family has always handled her with kid gloves for fear they might set her off. May is tired of it all, so the story is not just about her relationship with Alec, but about repairing her relationship with her family. The Shipley's are great and they provide some levity with their zaniness! May is also not sure that a real relationship with Alec would ever work. She is sure that friends with benefits is all they could be.

Alec is steady a s rock. He is one of those book boyfriends who just makes you swoon. He is so laid back. It was refreshing to have a character who is just kind of going with the flow as an opposite to the heavy emotions that May experienced.

Speakeasy is another stellar entry in Bowen's True North series and further reminder why Bowen is one of my go to authors!

  • POV: dual 1st
  • Tears: no
  • Trope: addiction, friends with benefits
  • Triggers: none
  • Series/Standalone: stand alone within an interconnected series
  • Cliffhanger: no
  • HEA: yes

Character driven stories like Good Girl by Jana Aston, Wasted Words by Staci Hart, Fighting for Everything by Laura Kaye...then you will probably like Speakeasy!



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See full review on The Book Disciple
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review 2018-05-20 14:31
Speakeasy - Sarina Bowen

This is book #5, in the True North series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  To avoid spoilers, and have a better understanding of this incredible series, I recommend reading this in order.


May has always crushed on Alec.  Having him return her feelings would be a dream come true.  After a bad breakup, he is the one who rescues her.  With a little luck, she can rescue him back.


Alec cannot believe his luck.  Things with May around seem to be much better.  All the pain and grief that was coming his way seems to subside with her around.  With her in his arms - who knows what could happen?


This is best book of the series in my opinion.  This author is a must read already but this story just bowled me over.  I love how the banter and charm of the MC's just swept me away in this book.  I could not put it down.  The pace was good, the heat was high, and the story just really really good.  I give this a 5/5 Kitty's Paws UP!



***This ARC copy was given in exchange for an honest review only.

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