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Publisher's Summary

Sam doesn’t think love is in the cards. The cards disagree.

When Phoebe Stevens’ life implodes in a spectacularly public fashion, she’s desperate to escape Manhattan. So the offer of a job setting up a new Vermont gastropub couldn’t come at a better time. Driving a U-Haul on winding mountain roads is Phoebe’s personal version of hell. But when the caretaker of her guesthouse answers the door tousled, shirtless, and baking cinnamon rolls, her first impression of Vermont dramatically improves.

Sam Tremblay believes everyone gets one true love, but he’s already blown his chance. He’s spent five years avoiding relationships. Now he’s back in Colebury where sunrise tarot draws and forest hikes soothe his soul. But why do the tarot cards keep showing him this nonsense about soul mates? Could it have anything to do with the jaded city girl on his doorstep?

Playing tour guide is fun, but taste-testing her culinary creations as she shimmies her luscious hips around his kitchen is downright irresistible. Soon their chemistry burns hotter than the pub’s wood-fired oven.

Has fate brought them together for a summer of love...or a lifetime of happiness?

©2021 Karen Stivali (P)2021 Blackstone Publishing

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  • C
  • 03-08-2021

Speakeasy? Nope. More Wicca and Tarot than story

This was my first foray into reading another author’s attempt to continue a series I loved. It was an epic fail. I hated it. Really. It is set in Vermont, but other than that, it shares no resemblance to the Speakeasy series.

Maybe you will like it. If you are into crystals, tarot, and a passing discussion of Wicca, then you will love it. They are a driving force in the story to the point that they almost make up a main character.

The male narrator was good; the female was meh.

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  • Meredith
  • 24-07-2021

Destiny, Food and High Heat

Loved it. Loved Sam's earthiness. Phoebe's on a bit of a journey from career woman out of touch with her heart to balance. The connection is undeniable, the sex is hot and food amazing.

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  • Claudia Fosca Stahl
  • 06-07-2021

Wonderful story and an amazing listen! Loved it!

I loved reading Touchstone and I had to listen to it. It’s wonderful. I loved Sam and Patrick Zeller is amazing as him. His voice is perfect and his performance is outstanding. I had the best time listening to this book. Tanya Eby is always amazing, and she’s amazing as Phoebe too. They have great chemistry together. I highly recommend listening to this book. It’s totally worth it.

Touchstone is the first book in the Speakeasy Taproom series, which is part of Sarina Bowen’s World of True North.

I cannot even tell you how much I loved this book. It’s such a beautiful story with wonderful characters and the most perfect setting. I loved everything about it from the very first page. I truly didn’t want it to end.

Sam and Phoebe’s story starts with a very public scandal that forces Phoebe to leave New York City. But luckily, she gets a job offer in Vermont, so she moves to Colebury to plan the menu for the new Speakeasy gastropub. And let me just say, it was probably one of the best first chapters I’ve read in a very long time. Just priceless.

On the other hand, Sam has recently returned home to Colebury to help his grandmother and aunt run their shop, and is now Phoebe’s landlord. They develop an instant liking for each other, and their attraction is so powerful that they can’t seem to be able to resist each other’s company. Their chemistry is off the charts, and despite their reluctance to get involved with someone again after their respective heartbreaks, they can’t help it.

I am not into tarot cards, crystals and stuff like that, but I do believe in soulmates. Or I think I do. In any case, everything about this story worked for me. Sam is such a great guy. He’s nice, sexy and laidback, definitely book boyfriend material. And he’s perfect with Phoebe. She’s driven, talented and a badass in the kitchen, but she hides a vulnerable side that she protects with determination. I really liked both of them individually and loved them together.

Then there are Sam’s Grandma and Aunt Iris. They’re both a hoot. They have a very hippie family dynamic that works extremely well. And Puck, Sam’s adorable black cat steals the show. You get to meet some of the characters that will get books in the future, but you also get to see glimpses of some True North characters like Audrey, Griffin and Alec. It’s just perfection.

And let’s not forget Vermont. You not only get the familiar Colebury settings like Speakeasy or the Busy Bean, you also get farmers’ markets, a very nice farm with a greenhouse that gets extra steamy, and plenty of metaphysical elements that contribute to the earthy weirdness that give this story a very Vermonty feel.

Touchstone is a very well written and entertaining story. It’s romantic, funny, sweet and steamy, and it’s filled with beautiful scenery and wonderful characters. I loved everything about it and I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves low-angst, heartwarming romance with a very rural small town vibe.

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