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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.

191 pages, Kindle Edition

First published September 2, 2021

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About the author

Wendy S. Marcus

64 books266 followers
Wendy S. Marcus is an award-winning author of contemporary romance who lives in the beautiful Hudson Valley region of New York...where she spends way too much time indoors on her computer. Writing. Really! Okay, more like…where she spends way too much time on Twitter and Facebook! To learn more about Wendy and the books she’s managed to write, in spite of her social media addiction, visit http://WendySMarcus.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 55 reviews
Profile Image for ItaPixie.
993 reviews78 followers
September 3, 2021

Wendy S. Marcus wrote a novel with an incredible smooth flow, I've flown from page to page and I've finished this story almost too quickly.

RD is a marine on medical leave who needs some help and a change of scenery so he accepts to become a bartender in Vermont. Lily is a bartender at the Speakeasy and a resin artist. They are opposites, grumpy the first and lively the latter, but they have a great physical chemistry. When they become housemate is too hard to stay away from each other and the attracrion is too strong to hide, but are they ready to begin a new relationship?

I adored the main characters and their journey. I particularly liked how this characters are not stereotypical and indeed they show their complexity and their growth during the story.

I'm fascinated by resin river tables and now I'd like to see Lily's works.


Copy kindly provided by the Publisher/Author.

Profile Image for ✰ Bianca ✰ BJ's Book Blog ✰ .
2,120 reviews1,175 followers
September 2, 2021
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Lily + R.D.

R.D. has been in a motorbike accident a year ago and he's still not ready to go back to his old military life. To help him stay away from the pain killers, his old buddy Griff Shipley has him come to Vermont to take a job as a bartender at the Speakeasy Taproom.
Lily is working there too and her life is just as complicated: Idiot boyfriend. A dad and a stepfamily where she's not welcome. A mysterious note-writer. A huge crush on her new roommate.

R.D. and Lily are so not each other's type but it's kinda also insta attraction...

LET THE FUN TIMES BEGIN! ☺

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Adorable!


I liked reading this. It was a cute but also a bit of a heartbreaking story. Two lost and broken people finding their happily ever after with each other. Really adorable.
I loved the dog moments and the workshop moments. I want one of those beautiful tables too please!!
Great love story!

And like I say in all my World of True North reviews ... I could read these kinds of books every day for the rest of eternity!

I also wouldn't mind seeing this whole world on Netflix one day!

STARGAZER was a sweet + funny + heartbreaking + sparky and just adorable romance! Run to your nearest amazon for your own R.D. - he'll be sold out in no time!

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💜 💜



Smokin Hot Book Blog Smokin Hot Book Blog Smokin Hot Book Blog Smokin Hot Book Blog Smokin Hot Book Blog
Profile Image for Helen.
2,147 reviews12 followers
September 4, 2021
This is a great story I loved getting to know RD and Lily, two people who really need love and happiness, they say opposites attract and in this case they do although it takes them a few ups and downs till they both accept it and find the joy and love.

Randell Dickson (RD) is a marine but a bad accident has left him not feeling like he is normally, pain is hard to cope with and some bad decisions brings him to Vermont and a good friend Griff who insists he come for a visit and work some hours in his Speakeasy Taproom, here he meets bartender Lily, beautiful, filled with happiness and smiles and RD’s life is about to change in many ways.

Lily Reynolds is the most popular bartender here, she is also a very good artist, she works hard and is always positive but when she meets her new workmate she finds him surly and unhappy but he is one hell of a guy to look at. But Lily does not let that worry her, but when things go bad with her roommate and boyfriend, Lily is now looking for someone to share her house, she talks RD into moving in but she sets some rules that need to be adhered to although it is not long before Lily would like very much to change one of them.

Their journey to a HEA is a beautifully told story that has them both opening up eventually about their pasts and the hot sensual pull between them both is hard to ignore but willpower wins through for a while before they both find the sizzle that has them flying. This story is witty and heart-warming with some fabulous characters, I loved Tulip, Lily’s French Bulldog she has a special personality. RD is protective, caring and loving and Lily is beautiful on the inside and outside, they are made for each other. This is a story that I would highly recommend.

My thanks to the author for my copy to read and review
Profile Image for Wendy'sThoughts.
2,632 reviews3,209 followers
August 31, 2021
3.5 Figuring It Out Stars
* * * 1/2 Spoiler Free-A Quick Review
Lately, the Speakeasy Taproom has been my Happy Place. I have been reading this series and can honestly say, each entry has something for everyone. The characters are not lost in youth, instead, they have issues from past hurts or careers that are at a crossroads.

In Stargazer, we have opposites working together and having to learn to accept exactly who the other is.

Randall Dickson (R.D.) has been in the military forever and is down due to an injury from a lousy hometown accident.
He has gone through the healing, needs to get in shape so he will be accepted back to his unit, and has a hiccup in his dealing with the pain and pill dependency. Luckily, his old pal from school offers for him to get out of the city, come to Vermont to overcome his circumstances, and have him work at the bar.

Lily Reynolds has developed this reputation of being the most positive person in Vermont. She always has a smile on her face, an uplifting quote written on the whiteboard at the bar, and a way to brighten everyone's day. No one would know the heavy burdens she carries inside. When she isn't at the Speakeasy, she is an artist working on beautiful resin pieces.

When R.D. comes to the Speakeasy, he is asked to make sure Lily gets to her car safely after closing. R.D. understands that even though she is too cheery for him, he knows how important looking out for her is.

When Lily's housing situation changes, the answer to her need for a roommate is not what either she to R.D. wants...But in reality, that is the only real answer. Both are fighting the interest in each other, chemistry pinging off the walls, so rules were made.

Of course, we all know what happens with those types of rules :DDD

This has these two connecting, fighting the needs they have, overcoming their individual issues, and then realizing what is important.

Touchstone (Speakeasy Taproom #1) by Karen Stivali Touchstone (Speakeasy Taproom #1)
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Heartwood (Speakeasy Taproom, #2) by J.H. Croix Heartwood (Speakeasy Taproom #2)
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Homecoming (Speakeasy Taproom #3) by Rebecca Norinne Homecoming (Speakeasy Taproom, #3)
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Sideways (Speakeasy Taproom #4) by Lisa Hughey Sideways (Speakeasy Taproom, #4)
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Wildflower (Speakeasy Taproom #5) by Mae Wood Wildflower (Speakeasy Taproom, #5)
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Firefly (Speakeasy Taproom #6) by Krystyna Allyn Firefly (Speakeasy Taproom, #6)
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Starlight (Speakeasy Taproom #7) by Christine DePetrillo Starlight (Speakeasy Taproom, #7)
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Stargazer (Speakeasy Taproom, #8) by Wendy S. Marcus Stargazer (Speakeasy Taproom, #8)
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Safeguard (Speakeasy Taproom #9) by Stephanie Rose Safeguard (Speakeasy Taproom, #9)
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

A gifted copy was provided by author/publisher for an honest review.

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Profile Image for ✰  BJ's Book Blog ✰Janeane ✰.
2,685 reviews12 followers
August 29, 2021
ARC received for an honest review

I am headed back to the Speakeasy Taproom, want to come and people watch and have a cider with me?

Yes - the only correct answer is yes.

Randall and Lily's story is full of lustful looks and beautiful friendships between two people who have been broken by their pasts.

They really don't make much sense together, but that is why they make so much sense together, if you know what I mean. The artist and the Marine are just perfect for each other.

Speaking of the artist, I want a piece of her artwork, desperately!

I loved how they work together, bringing out the best (and the worst in each other). Even when they hurt each other, they like each other.

Adored the whole thing in this visit to the Speakeasy.
And want more. I know the series is coming to an end, but I am hopeful that we can keep coming back in the future.


a> Email Smokin Hot Book Blog
September 2, 2021
It’s been a long, long time since Wendy S. Marcus has written and released a book. Honestly, the wait was DEFINITELY worth it. Stargazer was perfect in every way.

Stargazer was inspired by the True North Series written by Sarina Bowen. I’m probably one of the few people who has never read Sarina. However, I can say that Griffin Shipley from Bittersweet is in the book and I love him. For those who don’t know, Griff owns Speakeasy Taproom in Colebury, Vermont. He’s also a college friend of Randall Dickson II aka R.D. R.D. is now a Marine going through a tough year after the death of his mother and a bad motorcycle accident that left him addicted to pain meds. Time is running out for R.D. to get cleared to return to his home base in California. Griff suggests R.D. comes to Vermont for a month or two in order to clear his head and stop using the pain pills. Griff even gives R.D. a job working behind the bar at Speakeasy.

Grumpy and a man of few words, R.D. isn’t too happy to be sharing shifts with bartender Lily Reynolds. But Griff has his reasons for putting the two on the same shifts. Lily is the picture of sunshine and optimism. She even has a motivational quote board that she updates daily. Lily’s sunny disposition hides a dark and painful past. While Lily works hard behind the bar, her true passion is her resin art. She’s been making a name for herself and her online store sales have been taking off. However, a lot of her money goes to her deadbeat boyfriend, who no one is a fan of. All too soon, R.D. realizes why Griff has asked him to watch out for Lily. R.D. steps in and in essence takes out the trash. But this leaves Lily with a clear knowledge that she needs more money and someone to help share her expenses with. She convinces R.D. to be her roommate and from there things in R.D. and Lily world get so much better.

Lily and R.D. are polar opposites of each other. She���s a talker and a flirt. He’s the quiet silent type. She’s open and approachable. He’s dark and brooding. What really breaks the ice between these two is Tulip, Lily’s French Bulldog. Tulip LOVES R.D. and this tattooed Marine loves her right back, even making sure she’s dressed in her favorite outfits when he takes her out for walks.

From the beginning of this story, I loved R.D. and Lily. Told in dual points of view, Wendy really allowed you to see what each character was thinking and get to know them. R.D. has this heart of gold that he doesn’t allow people to see. He is the quintessential cinnamon roll hero. Lily is a sweetheart, who tries desperately to be someone a person wants to stick around for. I love when books make me happy and have my heart soaring. Stargazer did that and more.

It should be noticed that this story mentions a paragraph or so of a memory involving violence and murder.

~ Favorite Quotes ~

“Happiness is a choice.”

“Everyone is fighting a battle we know nothing about.”

“Respect yourself enough to know you deserve the very best.”


**Received a copy of the publisher and voluntarily reviewed it.**
Profile Image for Jessica Alcazar.
3,861 reviews435 followers
September 4, 2021
It has been way too long since I’ve read a book by Wendy and I’ve missed her! Stargazer had all the elements you’d want to read about in a romance journey!

I especially liked the choice Wendy made in the chemistry of RD and Lily. They’re polar opposites yet had an instant connection. That whole scenario creates a special kind of spark that puts me on the edge with anticipation waiting from the next move between them and I love it when that happens. The best love stories to read are those from people who seriously make zero sense as a couple. I mean when I said polar, I meant polar people, but they are brilliant together as well! For that alone, everyone should grab this story!

You should also grab this story because it is well written, not cliché in the least even tho I’ve read enough roommate stories this year to make me deep sigh! This story tho, not only are these two housemates, but also work together. That’s taking close proximity to a nuclear level LOL And you know what, it worked for them. Wendy wrote a really great story for these two and I was riveted to every word. The journey in their relationship was swoony and heartbreaking at times but oh so full of hope.

Now go do the thing, you’ll be sorry you missed out if you don’t! #trust

Available NOW and in Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon: https://geni.us/AmazonStargazer




August 25, 2021
OKAYYYY. SO. At this point I have read TWENTY FOUR freaking books between the four different series that make up The World of True North and I think this might be my top favorite. I know, that's a pretty bold claim. BUT....once you all read R.D. and Lily's story I think you'll understand.

Everything about their book was sheer and utter perfection. The two of them shouldn't make any sense together and yet they do. And it's beautiful. And really fucking hot. And Lily's little French bulldog is in love with R.D. and if that itself doesn't make you ALSO fall in love with him, I don't know what will.

Going into this book we have only seen Lily before, seeing as she is one of Speakeasy's favorite bartenders for her upbeat personalities and inspiring quotes that she loves putting up on a white board every day before her shift starts. I knew there was going to be more to her story than someone who was just positive and happy every minute of the day so finding out more appealed to me. Enter R.D. Randy Dick. lollll He and our old pal Griff Shipley had been friends back in college and when R.D. makes the mistake of reaching out to an old dealer to get pain pills for an accident than occurred over a year ago, Griff catches wind and "forces" him to come to Colebury to work at Speakeasy for a bit.

The two work together for a bit and then R.D. winds up moving in after Lily's terrible ex moves out. I loved how Lily immediately confided in him, big things that she never told other people who had been in her life for longer. Even just the fact that she gave him a key to her workshop. That was a big trust move right there. The almost-moments they had too were so appealing. Who doesn't love a good ~oh we promised we wouldn't have sex but now we're drowning in all this sexual tension and how long are we going to last before we break and do something about it~ dynamic? *Chefs kiss*

I don't even know what more to say about this book other than to again just reiterate how obsessed I was with it and how I am both excited and devastated to be starting the final book in the series next. This is one I will for be re-reading many a time!

Huge thanks to Heart Eyes Press for allowing me to read an eARC of this in exchange for my honest review!

For more of my reviews, please visit:

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Profile Image for Ruthie Taylor.
3,500 reviews37 followers
August 29, 2021
~~I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads ~~

This is the eighth book in the series - and is part of a wide family of stories all based in Sarina Bowen's True North world. I have ready many of them, and can recommend them all! We get different authors' writing styles, bringing us different viewpoints of the Vermont residents, their lives and their loves - great fun.

This book deals with a very serious issue of fighting a painkiller addiction - following on from an injury whilst in the military. R.D. - the better short form of Randall Dickson ... I am guessing you can work out the original one quite easily! has been invited by his old friend, Griff Shipley to come and work at the Speakeasy whilst he recovers and prepares to return to active service.

At the bar he meets Lily, also bar staff, and very popular and friendly with customers. Lily has a deadbeat boyfriend who R.D. soon sees off, and somehow he ends up moving in with her, as a room-mate to help with the bills. They both know that there is a lot of chemistry swirling around, and we get to sit on the side-lines and watch just how their fated romance could possible actually work.

It is a sexy, fun story, even though it is also moving; dealing with Lily's issues with men, as well as R.D.'s painkiller problems, and his identity being so linked with his life as a marine.

Another good addition to the series, with a good number of the team featuring in the story as well.

Wicked Reads Review Team
Profile Image for Denise - Shh Mom's Reading®.
940 reviews381 followers
September 2, 2021
I jumped at the chance to read Stargazer by Wendy S. Marcus as soon as I saw the blurb go up.... I had read this author years ago and I was excited to see she was back at it!
Randall Dickson (RD) - yes there is a cute joke in the book around his name - comes to Colebury invited by Griffin Shipley, Griff gets R.D. a job at the Speakeasy and that puts him in Lily orbit as they end up working side by side.
Lily is a hustler... working her job at the bar and running an Etsy business and when we meet her also supporting her deadbeat soon-to-be ex-boyfriend. I won't ruin the for Dorian becomes her ex part of the storyline because well.. read it.. so good.
RD and Lily bond bonding is so enjoyable to read and the author did not use sex as a crutch to bond them, LOVED IT! The reader can feel the EMOTIONAL connection! RD's and Lily's shared experiences around their relationships with their moms made for some wonderfully powerful moments in the book.
These two become friends and then more before they get into bed... and then when they do.... well..... trust me it is worth the wait and laced with heat and emotion just how I like my books!
Lily's dog, Tulip, makes for some adorable scenes in this book but also added for some additional bonding and provides insight into how caring RD is.... I LOVED how this highlighted being together is about the small things, not grand gestures. And RD's support of Lily's artwork and stepping up to help without being asked... swoon.
RD and Lily's final step to forever was not rushed, it was true to the wounds both come to the relations and it was very perfect for them!
I truly hope this author continues to write... she has an amazing ability to bond characters and to make the reader feel.

Grab Your Copy https://amzn.to/3yFtdVe
Profile Image for Laetitia.
1,209 reviews30 followers
October 18, 2021
R.D. is on medical leave from the Marines because of an injury and after a call from his old college buddy Griff Shipley, he gets on a plane to Vermont. Once he gets to the Speakeasy, Griff offers him a job behind the bar until he's ready to head back home. Lily is known as the most positive, bubbly bartender and waitress at Speakeasy and everyone loves her. R.D. is the complete opposite of Lily and they have to work together for the foreseeable future, she's always smiling and he's always brooding. After breaking up with her deadbeat boyfriend, Lily is in need of a new roommate and R.D. is just the person to share a house with. Lily and R.D. had amazing chemistry and they were very much attracted to each other but R.D. wanted Lily to stick to her rules of not sleeping with yet another roommate. R.D. was the best roommate Lily ever had, he helped her with her resin work, he walked and took care of her dog, cleaned and cooked and just took care of Lily. Even though R.D. was always brooding, Lily made him happy in ways that he never knew he needed. She was always there to listen and just support him. What I loved the most is that they became friends and got to know each other before ever having sex. They worked together at Speakeasy and spent time together at home and they were a great couple. I especially loved that after R.D. messed up, he did everything in his power to protect Lily and to make sure she would be OK. He came back, he and Lily talked through all their mistakes and what they wanted in their relationship with each other. I loved this book, Lily and R.D. made me happy reading their HEA, it wasn't perfect but they made things work for them.
Profile Image for Amy Dufera - Amy's MM Romance Reviews.
2,671 reviews118 followers
September 3, 2021
4.5 Stars

Stargazer is the eighth book in the Speakeasy Taproom series. This is Wendy S Marcus' contribution to this multi-author series.

This story is charming, sweet, and beautiful, despite all though heavy and serious moments.

Lily and RD make for a great couple. The opposites attract aspect is fully illustrated, making for some delightful moments. I enjoy the way that forced proximity plays a role in their story, as becoming roommates brings them closer.

I am obsessed with Lily's resin work. The author fully brings her creations to life and they sound amazing. I love watching videos of resin tables being made and other resin projects and this part just made me smile.

As for the addiction element, it's written with care and compassion. We all know how easy it is to become dependent on pain killers, so I appreciate RJ's issues.

This is a story with some family issues, a secret admirer, and addiction to painkillers.

The writing is great, with interesting characters and a compelling storyline. Everything flows well and I couldn't put it down.

Stargazer is a great addition to this small town series. Wendy S Marcus brings everything to life well and created a feel good romance.
Profile Image for Darcy.
12.1k reviews417 followers
September 21, 2021
What we've seen of Lily through this series has made me really like her. So when I realized this book was with her I was excited. The one thing that surprised me was Lily's choice of boyfriend at the start. I would never had thought she would be with that kind of guy, so glad that she ditched him quickly!

I wasn't sure about RD at first, he was surly and didn't seem like he liked people. I get why, but it was odd, because as the book went on, he was a people person. I really liked how the relationship between him and Lily evolved, but hated how there was an end date, hated it even more how RD handled the ending. Part of me liked that in some ways he let Lily know he cared for her by what happened afterwards, but he needed to tell her ahead of time.

I really liked the choice that RD made at the end, liked that he let Lily know she wasn't 2nd choice, but 1st.
Profile Image for Isha Coleman.
6,795 reviews131 followers
August 29, 2021
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.
Profile Image for meganreads.
111 reviews
October 5, 2021
Absolutely loved this book! I thought it was very creative of the author to make Lily a resin artist, and enjoyed reading those sections. And Tulip is definitely now on my list of favorite book dogs!

The romance was very cute and real in so many ways. Lily is very relatable protagonist and her character growth was great to read about. RD as well! The spice was also very well written. I highly recommend reading this book if you’re looking for a contemporary romance with a whole bunch of build up and spice!
Profile Image for Crystal Stafford.
290 reviews5 followers
September 5, 2021
After reading a few of The Speakeasy Taproom books I really need to start from the beginning! This is the third I have read and even though they can definitely be read as standalones, I would love to know the characters who came before better. I have enjoyed the ones I have read and really loved Lily and R.D. Give me friends to lovers, roommate's first, with a side of slow burn any day!

Lily is one of the bartenders at Speakeasy and is always trying to live her life positively and not let negativity get the best of her. Sometimes it seems like she has too much joy but really the girl inside is scared and sometimes lost. She may have many things to be grateful for but lately her boyfriend Dorian is just not one of them. But she won't let him dull her shine with his selfishness and childish ways. She is strong, independent, creative, and lively. She loves to work with her hands and has a successful and blossoming resin art business and the cutest French Bulldog princess named Tulip. Lily for me was a very real character. I loved when she let her anger and frustrations get the best of her sometimes, that may be weird to say but I do it too and I could really relate. So Lily being the positive go getter at work that she is finds out she now must work in close proximity to the new Tap guy R.D. and he is all sorts of grumpy and grunty. He proves to be a BIG challenge to Lily and it is very entertaining.

R.D....well listen I just LOVED him. He is in Vermont to get his life back together and his friend Griff will not let him fail. He was in a terrible motorcycle accident that has left him reliant on a broken body and pain meds. He is a Marine and is determined to use this Vermont escape to prepare to go back to Cali, pass his physical, and get that promotion he has been waiting for. He may be grumpy to most but I just felt for him throughout this whole book because he is living with crippling pain and tries so hard to hide it and fight it. And his dependence on the pain meds is something he is ashamed of but can't seem to fully kick because once something like that has a hold on you, well it is very hard to overcome. This aspect of the story was done so very well without making it an overkill subject and I appreciated that. So, R.D. is the new guy at Speakeasy and even though he doesn't see eye to eye with Lily, he still finds her amazing and finds himself constantly helping her even when she didn't ask for it. Honestly their back and forth was so funny and kind of made this story. He is a protector and his instinct is always to protect her. Working together doesn't get much better but Lily, now boyfriendless and down a roommate needs a solution stat. Her friend suggests R.D. and even though it sounds just awful it may be the best thing for her since she definitely does not want to invite a new man into her life and bed so easily and she definitely doesn't want R.D. (keep telling yourself that sister!)

The forced roommates was my favorite thing about this story. I loved how their relationship developed with some massive failures to start and things smoothing over with trust and friendship and then so much more. R.D. really goes out of his way to be this perfect guy for Lily even though he claims he is not the one for her. And Lily wants to be better in her love life and in her independence and especially her art. And R.D. helps in all those areas and more. I loved all the things he did for her and I just loved how little Tulip became his princess so quickly. He truly is the perfect roommate and Lily eventually will not stand for NO anymore. The heat kicks up to about an 11 and they have massive chemistry but above all trust and understanding. It's these things that make the inevitable fall so hard to swallow because they really are prefect for each other.

If I had to choose a favorite it would for sure be R.D. The things he does for Lily to help her overcome her passed fears and see her self worth and making her feel safe when he couldn't be there to eventually winning her back where amazing. But, everything else about this book just works too. The secret notes Lily keeps finding, the resin art, and all the side and returning characters round out the romance with Speakeasy and Vermont always being such an awesome setting. And the title fits perfectly!
Profile Image for WycEd Reader.
2,064 reviews30 followers
September 2, 2021


Check out our full post for STARGAZER on Wicked Reads.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Ruthie – ☆☆☆☆
This is the eighth book in the series – and is part of a wide family of stories all based in Sarina Bowen's True North World. I have read many of them and can recommend them all! We get different authors' writing styles, bringing us different viewpoints of the Vermont residents, their lives, and their loves – great fun.

This book deals with a very serious issue of fighting a painkiller addiction, following on from an injury whilst in the military. R.D. – the better short form of Randall Dickson (I am guessing you can work out the original one quite easily!) – has been invited by his old friend, Griff Shipley, to come and work at the Speakeasy whilst he recovers and prepares to return to active service.

At the bar he meets Lily, also bar staff, and very popular and friendly with customers. Lily has a deadbeat boyfriend, who R.D. soon sees off, and somehow, he ends up moving in with her, as a roommate, to help with the bills. They both know that there is a lot of chemistry swirling around, and we get to sit on the sidelines and watch just how their fated romance could possibly actually work.

It is a sexy, fun story, even though it is also moving; dealing with Lily's issues with men, as well as R.D.'s painkiller problems and his identity being so linked with his life as a Marine.

Another good addition to the series, with a good number of the team featuring in the story as well.

Reviewers received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.

Wicked Reads Review Team
Profile Image for Misty (Reds Romance Reviews).
2,890 reviews6 followers
September 1, 2021
Randall Dickson is trying to make a comeback from an injury and a pill dependency. The healing process was rough on him and he turned to pills to get through it, but now he is clean and pushing himself to get back into shape. A friend sees his struggle and offers him a change of scenery and a new job to take his mind off of things. Slinging drinks doesn't sound like a bad gig and he'll be helping a friend out to boot so he figures it is a win-win kind of deal. But that is not all he finds in Vermont...

Stargazer is a wonderfully penned emotional page-turner that will touch your heart in all the right places! These two roommates find far more than they bargained for when they signed on the dotted line and agreed to live together. They are thrown together by a matter of convenience, but it's their strong physical attraction to one another that keeps them radiating around one another. Neither are looking for love or a relationship, but it's pretty evident early on that they have something special...it's the "getting there" that seems to be difficult. RD is very closed off and tends to be more grumpy than not most days, and Lily is more of a bubbly free spirit type, which tends to rub RD the wrong way. It's almost hard to believe that they finally find common ground and find their way to happily ever after!

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with these characters, I loved watching them turn from mild enemies, to friends, and eventually more. They had many ups and downs, and demons to conquer, but they found a way to do it together and with their hearts. Highly recommend you get your hands on this one, it's a perfectly concocted romance that's certain to leave you in your feels!

I requested an advanced copy of this title from the publisher and I am voluntarily leaving my honest and unbiased opinion.
Profile Image for Sabrina.
702 reviews57 followers
August 19, 2021
In this book in the series Speakeasy Taproom we get Lily's book! A popular bartender we have seen in previous books, Lily is a ray of sunshine and generally happy person when she is at work. But she has a small problem when it comes to her boyfriends. She always picks jerks. And this latest one is kicked out the door after Lily finds out he is cheating on her. She never understands why she isn't good enough for anyone, yet Lily has the biggest heart of anyone. But R.D. won't let this get Lily down. Not if he has anything to say about it. R.D. comes to Colebury after his friend Griff threatens to drag him there himself. R.D.'s been going through a rough time since his accident that has threatened to end his career in the Marines. With his sense of purpose on the line, he doesn't know what to do or how to deal with the pain. Griff gives him an opportunity to stay away from the painkillers and get his head on straight. So he takes a job at Speakeasy and works his shift with his total opposite, the optimistic Lily. Then he finds himself as her new roommate when he needs a place to stay and when Lily needs someone to give her a sense of safety. They soon become actual friends and the attraction beings to build between the two of them. But R.D. doesn't want to hurt her when he has to go back to the Marines and starting something between them can only lead to heartache later. As for Lily, she didn't expect to start falling for her grumpy roommate who is so different than her usual type. Their story is a slow building connection between two people who see one another in ways no one truly has before. They bring out the best in one another. A wonderful addition to this series!

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Shannon.
994 reviews
August 29, 2021
Stargazer is book eight in the Speakeasy Taproom series, but can be read as a complete standalone. It was my first book by this author and I went in blind and I am so excited because I highly enjoyed it and am excited to have found another author to read.

Lily is a bartender at the Speakeasy Taproom and also an artist. She has had a couple of rough relationships with guys who haven't treated her how she deserves.

R.D. is in the Marines but was also in an accident and is now at a crossroads of sorts. He finds himself in Vermont at the urging of his friend, Griff Shipley, where he then also finds himself working at the Speakeasy and a roommate to Lily.

I absolutely adored these characters....from Lily, to R.D. to Tulip as well as the various friends throughout the story that helped support the main characters on their journey. I loved Lily's strength and determination and artistic side and her light and fun side when it came to R.D. I fell in love with R.D. as the book went on with how much he cared for Lily in his own way even if he didn't outwardly show it all the time. His protectiveness and how he cared for her said more than his words could. I liked the many sides of his character. He was amazing with Tulip but fierce and protective with Lily especially if others were bothering her, but he was so soft and sweet with her at times and nurturing...all while trying to manage his own stressors and demons.

This story brought out all the feels for me. I really enjoyed the author's writing style and the story line and I loved these characters. Definitely one of my favorites in the series!
Profile Image for Crystal.
366 reviews
September 3, 2021
Gah! I've read a handful of Wendy's books in the past and I've loved them. I thought I was prepared for Stargazer, but this adorable book hit me right in my craft-loving feels. Whenever Lily was proudly explaining her arts and crafts, I was sitting on pins and needles. I wanted her to be real so I could talk to her about her finished items. I wanted to see them in person. From one crafter to another, she was my kinda girl from the get-go. I wanted the best for her and that certainly was our hero, RD. Randall's military career is in jeopardy. He is angry, frustrated - generally making bad decisions. After a friend not-so subtly suggests a change of scenery, RD finds himself in a local Vermont taproom and sleeping next door to the one woman he can't seem to resist. I freaking loved this book. RD and Lily's chemistry was amazing. Lily's string of bad luck has her wondering if she's good enough for anyone. RD sees right through that armor and longs to show her just how beautiful she is. I loved them together. Stargazer made me giggle, swoon, and whoop in joy when they finally find their way to each other. My only regret is that I haven't picked up the rest of the books in the Speakeasy Taproom series. A mistake I hope to correct very soon.

I received an advance copy. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Jen.
3,078 reviews
October 10, 2021
Note: An ARC was provided by Heart Eyes Press.

One of my favorite things about Sarina Bowen's World of True North collection is that I've come across quite a number of new-to-me authors. The latest one to add to the list is Wendy S. Marcus, and my first read from her comes by way Stargazer, which is the eighth book in the Speakeasy series. If you're familiar with the previous books, you'll remember Lily Reynolds, favorite bartender among many patrons of the Speakeasy Taproom and uber talented artist who works with resin. With her sunny personality and amiable spirit, it's no wonder many people are at ease with her. The new guy, however, is the grouchy to her cheery. Randall Dickson, aka R.D., is only bartending temporarily, waiting for his upcoming military evaluation so that he can go back to his real work. He's a marine through and through. Theirs was a story of opposites, and you know what they say about opposites. I very much enjoyed getting to know these two and seeing them come together, with Lily bringing light his way. They went from strangers to co-workers then roommates and...well, much more! There wasn't a whole lot of angst, but what was there satisfied the angst addict in me. All in all, Stargazer was a really great read, and one I wholeheartedly recommend. 4.5 stars!
Profile Image for Jessica (jpbooklife).
575 reviews7 followers
September 12, 2021
I struggled with this book.

R.D. is trying to get himself healthy again so that he can return to the military. He is also trying to kick his pain pill habit. Lily is a bartender that puts on a happy face but is really struggling inside.

I really didn't like the female lead. Lily came off as immature and flakey. She seemed to completely define herself based on what others thought of her. She is someone who can't be alone, so I never fully believed that she wanted R.D. for him, and not just because she wanted to be with someone.

The build up for this couple was pretty good. And that was completely because of R.D. He didn't allow himself to give into Lily when she was throwing herself at him. I enjoyed the commraderie and friendship they found. Lots of fun banter. But their actual getting together was very anticlimactic.

I was also not a fan of how they dealt with his addiction to pills. I would have liked to have seen him start some sort therapy or rehab.

I did really enjoy at the end how R.D. ensured that she would be taken care of. He really was a swoon worthy main character. And this book definitely started my new fascination with resin river tables.

But overall this just wasn't a book that resonated with me.
577 reviews29 followers
September 18, 2021
This book had the potential to become great. A new bartender in town, who is struggling as a Marine, meets no-fuck-giving feisty bartender who has a penchant for motivational quotes. She needs a roommate, he needs a place to stay, blabla.

The problem for me was that since the beginning of the book Lily doesn’t know how to be alone and single. Every roommate of hers was soon her boyfriend. She picks R.D. because he is not an artsy type like her ex even though she feels a strong attraction to him. But it wasn’t long after she ended with her previous boyfriend.

So I had a hard time seeing their chemistry because while R.D. was all in since the beginning (or at least getting there), I didn’t see Lily’s deep feelings beyond sexual attraction. She falls in love quickly so this relationship seemed to be more convenient than a true love story.

The ending was a quick wrap-up, nothing that would make me love this story.

I’m giving this story 2.5 stars.

⭐⭐⭐
Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
ARC was provided via the author’s publicity manager in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

P.s.: Apologies to the author and publicity manager for leaving a review so late. I really thought I could do it sooner but the book didn’t pull me in as I thought it would.

Full post: https://slovenianbookworm.wordpress.c...
Profile Image for Kari Hansen.
8,744 reviews51 followers
September 2, 2021
Due to an accident while on leave R.D. is struggling to heal so that he can return to his military career which is the driving force in his life. When he is about to make a devasting choice Griff isn’t about to stand by without doing anything so he convinces him to get away from the situation by taking a temporary job at the Taproom.

Lily is an artist who also works at the Taproom. She has a way of seeing the good in every situation and every person and is just someone you want to be around but there is so much she doesn’t share. When she needs a roommate and he needs a place to stay it seems like the perfect solution and it’s not like they are going to act on the chemistry between them, right?

Both R.D. and Lily have their challenges to overcome but for two people who couldn’t be more different in every way they prove they are simpatico when it comes to what really matters and that is their feelings for each other.
Profile Image for Vera Blaz.
1,049 reviews2 followers
September 4, 2021
Lily Reynolds was living her best life working at the Speakeasy and honing her craft as a resin artist. Randall “RD” Dickson is in town temporarily. He doesn’t want to make any lasting connections and is just biding his time until he can get back to active duty. When Lily breaks up with her boyfriend and needs a roommate, RD moves in. As they learn how to navigate living and working together, they begin to depend on each other. Their sizzling chemistry made for some swoony sexy times! When RD leaves Vermont for California, Lily is devastated. All the things RD lined up for her we’re helpful, but she was still bereft. RD needs to figure out on his own what he needs. As he reflects on his actions leaving Lily, he finds out just what he was looking for…a life with Lily. This is my first book by the author and I look forward to reading more.

I received an advance copy of this book at my request and voluntarily left this review.
737 reviews15 followers
September 3, 2021
Another wonderful addition to the Speakeasy Taproom Series. R.D. And Lily are a fantastic couple who come from different walks of life.

R.D. Has some big life decisions to make and his time in Vermont is temporary. He’s broody and cranky but may be able to help Lily out in a pinch.

Lily has made herself a great life in Vermont, enjoys her bar tending job and her hobby of resin work…I want to see one of her tables! She puts on a great front of being positive but there are some stresses in her life.

These two will make you laugh, frustrated and cheer for them be together. Also, the supporting characters help build this amazing family of friends.

This is one of my favorite books in this series. Love these true to life characters with some imperfections but beautiful hearts.

I requested an arc and I am leaving my honest review.
Profile Image for Claudia Fosca Stahl.
161 reviews21 followers
September 1, 2021
Stargazer is a roommates to lovers, opposites attract, and grumpy vs. sunshine love story. And it delivers in all fronts. It’s heartfelt, sweet and steamy, and extremely Vermonty. There’s so much tension, the anticipation is almost unbearable in the most delicious way. And the chemistry and banter between Lily and RD is beyond description. It’s really a great story.

Lily is Speakeasy’s favorite bartender and an artist. She’s a free spirit and an eternal optimist, but lately she’s been faking her cheerfulness. She has the biggest heart, and people often take advantage of that, especially her (ex) boyfriends.

RD is Griffin Shipley’s old college football teammate and friend. He’s a marine on medical leave, who is not in a good place physically or emotionally. So when he makes a call to a reformed dealer, Griffin gets a wind of it and invites him to Vermont. And gives him a bartending job at Speakeasy.

Lily and RD are complete opposites. He’s dark and twisty to her bright and shiny. And they start off on the wrong foot. But as different as they are, they connect on a deeper level. They’re both hiding wounds and hurts. But then they become roommates. And then friends. And now they need to decide if what’s growing between them is worth risking their friendship for.

I loved Lily and RD as people and how they connected. I loved how their story is written, and how their relationship grows. I loved the Speakeasy atmosphere and the Vermonty-ness of it. And I particularly loved how a giant viking hunk becomes bffs with Tulip, Lily’s adorable French Bulldog. There’s a lot of depth to their story, with their troubled past and the way they reveal their true feelings to each other. Then there’s so much fun to be had. And there’s so much heat. It’s a wonderful addition to the Speakeasy series, and I highly recommend it.
September 4, 2021
As soon as I read the synopsis for this book I was instantly curious about this story and started looking forward to it right away. Being new to Ms.Marcus's work as well had me wanting to read it even more! I liked how it grabbed my attention. I enjoyed this story!

From the first chapter I got into this story so quickly! From their memorable first meeting to their chemistry, Randall and Lily's journey was such a good one! I loved being able to dig deeper with these two and getting to connect with them.

I wasn't sure what all was going to happen with these characters and that got me into it even more!

With Stargazer, Ms.Marcus has created such a good read that'll most definitely hook you! I am so looking forward to picking up more of her work in the future!


*I volunteered to read and review a copy of this book from Heart Eyes Press / the author*
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