Raising the Stakes

Raising the Stakes

4.3 3
by Karen Rock

Hiding from the world… 

Tucking herself away in the Adirondack woods was supposed to keep Vivienne Harris safe. From dark memories of the Bronx, from danger, from entanglements. But when an orphaned bear cub raids her pantry and conservation officer Liam Walsh appears with news of poachers nearby, her private, peaceful world is


Hiding from the world… 

Tucking herself away in the Adirondack woods was supposed to keep Vivienne Harris safe. From dark memories of the Bronx, from danger, from entanglements. But when an orphaned bear cub raids her pantry and conservation officer Liam Walsh appears with news of poachers nearby, her private, peaceful world is turned upside down! 

Suddenly two forces are drawing her out—Button, the cub who needs her help, and Liam, the man who's dead set against her rehabilitating the bear. If she can just win Liam's support, Vivie knows she can give Button a good life. And maybe find the courage to embrace a future with Liam…

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Meet the Author

Karen Rock is an award-winning YA and adult contemporary romance author. She holds a master’s degree in English and was an ELA instructor before becoming a full-time writer. Currently she writes for Harlequin Heartwarming and her novel WISH ME TOMORROW won the 2014 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the 2014 Golden Quill Contest and is a finalist in the Published Maggie Awards. Her YA novel CAMP BOYFRIEND was a finalist in the Booksellers' Best and Golden Leaf contests.

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Raising the Stakes 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
HumorMyWay More than 1 year ago
There is no doubt this is a heartwarming read of the best kind. If you are an animal lover you are going to want to read this heart touching, soul searching romance. Karen puts so much of herself in this book, so much sorrow, lose, pain. Three lost souls needing help all have demons from their past they must overcome to find a new life. Each must give of themselves to become whole and start life a new with love, tender loving care can this trio finds the match pair. You have one man who stays on the run, one women who needs a safe place and one cub who has the cards stack again her. These three are a most unlikely pair but together they can give each other what they need to start a new if only they follow their hearts. There is so much you are going to love in this outstanding read…. My heart broke for all of them Vivie has so much pain trying to overcome her past to find a safe place to start her life over. Before she can do that she must come to face with the past that haunts her. When she find a bear cub her life changes in more ways than she can imagine. She is just a wonderful sweet, kind lady. She loves animals and does her best to help them if the DEC man Liam would just let her do it. Laim has other thought on the subject he is doing what he feels is right. When it comes to Buttons Vivie puts her foot down no one no how is going to take this new baby from her. She will take care of it at all cost. Liam is a wonderful character he just needs to loosen up and learn to smile again. His past haunts him he is trying to outrun the pain and the memories. At some point he will have to stop and learn to start over leaving the past behind. He thinks he knows what is best but he might find he doesn’t have all the answers. He might just find a few he has been looking for…. Buttons needs to learn to live and take care of herself. She falls in love with these two humans. One wants to let her live her life as she was meant to be. The other wants to take care of her forever, the question is which one will win this tug a war? It was a pleasure reading their story, watching Buttons grow and become the bear she was meant to be. There was nothing I didn’t love about this story, it really touched inside my heart and gave me a wonderful warm feeling. There were times I smiles and even laughed. There were some very touching parts that brought tears to my eyes. I highly recommend this book from a wonderful author that has fast become one of my favorite. I would have to say each of Karen’s books gets better and better this is by far her best yet. You don’t know what you are missing if you do not pick up this outstanding read. It will be a book you will want to read over and over again.
lilacqueen75 More than 1 year ago
I've come to love the stories that Karen Rock weaves. Each one is unique and tells the tale of two people falling in love. However, this one is slightly different, but the cover is perfect for this story. Vivie is seeking a safe, comfortable life in the Adirondack woods in upstate New York. An orphaned bear shows up in her kitchen and when Liam appears to help, her peaceful zone flies out the window. Vivie and Liam butt heads more than once and over many different things--especially when it comes to raising a bear. Their differences drive them apart, but their need for security draws them together. I used to want to have a pet bear or a monkey--so cute and cuddly. I loved reading about the animals. Vivie is recovering victim of a violent act and is driven to show love to those who need it, namely orphans who are animals. She has a menagerie of pets--a baby bear cub, a cat, and a dog. She really roots and cheers for the underdog and helps them at all costs. Liam isn't like that. He has his own emotional scars and doesn't like to be rooted. He is a rule follower and does what's best for the big picture, not each piece of the puzzle. I enjoyed seeing Niall and Kayleigh in a cameo role from a previous story. I loved the way Vivie and Liam work together and the interactions with Button the bear were the best. I love a good, clean romance. I wish there had been a little more in here, but it was fitting with what the characters were going through. Content: mild romance (kissing); no language or religious elements; mild violence (mentions war violence, death, an attack/rape--not graphic at all). Clean. *I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*
LolitaV More than 1 year ago
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review What I liked most about Raising the Stakes was the focus on the animals, it is a romance book, but there’s also a lot about the animals. The story follows Vivie who finds a bear cub eating her pies, she realizes the bear is hurt and tries to find help for him. Then officer Liam enters the picture and that’s the start of a great story and their romance. They start out as enemies on opposing sides, but grow closer slowly. I wasn’t a big fan of the conflict and how they always seem to fight with each other. I did however like the story and the beautiful setting in the woods. I love nature settings for books, so the setting really worked for me and Vivie her house sounds like a place I would love to live! There’s also a cameo appearance from some characters from Karen her book Someone Like You, it was small, but the male main character from this book is the brother of the male main character in Someone Like You. I was a bit surprised at first as it didn’t list this book as being connected with that one, but it’s pretty small detail. So it’s more an extra bit of fun if you have read that book first, but if not you don’t miss it either. So I would still count them as standalones. I instantly connected with Vivie, she fiercely loves her pets and I could relate to that. She’s been through some hard things and struggles with that, but gradually she grows and it was beautiful to see, there’s this scene at a bus stop that was really poignant and a turning point for her. Button also stole my heart, she’s the bear cub Vivie finds eating her pies and she’s adorable. I really felt for Button and what she had been through and kept hoping she would get her happy ending as well. On the other hand I had trouble connecting with Liam, he seems so hard and cold at times. He was obsessed with not feeling caged and while it was understandable with what happened in his past and then there’s the conflict with Vivie and I just though he should speak up and stay and not be so egoistical. The romance didn’t completely work for me, I didn’t really feel their connecting and never got why they loved each other. While the book was well written, I just didn’t feel the romance. Liam didn’t see to care as much about Vivie her pets and didn’t try and see things from her perspective when it came to them, even though his reasoning was right I though he could’ve handled the issue better. The ending was pretty much perfect and I loved it, it neatly wraps up everything and I liked how the book ended. The epilogue was really touching and I liked how it showed a glimpse of their future and what is next. To conclude: I really enjoyed this book, set in a beautiful place and there was a lot of attention to the various pets and animals in this book and I loved that as I am an animal lover myself. I instantly connected to Vivie and liked her as a character and I liked Button as well, she’s adorable! I didn’t however connect with Liam the male main character and didn’t feel the romance. The ending made up for a lot as it was the perfect ending!