Raising the Stakes 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 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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“What about the cub?”
His gaze swerved to hers. “I’ll have to put it down if I can’t find the mother.”
Vivie clutched the back of a chair, lightheaded and nauseous. “What? No!” How could he say that so casually? 
“I’ve called around and our wildlife rehabilitators are overloaded. Since the cub is too young to fend for itself, the humane thing to do is—”
“Kill it?” she stormed, interrupting. “How is that humane?” The cub’s frightened eyes came to mind and she backed up against the pantry door. Officer or not, he wouldn’t take the bear. Stop her from helping. It’d come to her home. Had sought refuge here.
He pulled off his hat and rubbed his forehead. “Ma’am, I don’t expect you to understand. But you need to trust me and move aside so that I can do my job.”
“Not a chance,” she ground out, wishing her pepper spray wasn’t across the room.
“Please be reasonable.” He raised his eyebrows, looking harmless. His holstered weapon told a different story.
Maybe she could reason with him, though she’d failed before. There had to be a way to save the cub. “How do you become a wildlife rehabilitator?”
He drew in a long breath and crossed his arms over his chest. “Pass a certification test then work under the supervision of a rehabilitator for six months.”
Tests. She hated them. Had only ever done well on presentation-style exams in culinary school. Still, for the baby bear...anything. “And when is the next one?”
“In a week.” He made a vague motion in the air with his hand. “Look. I’d be happy to discuss that with you another time, but the cub might be suffering. Please step aside so that I can take it.”
She raised her voice over her drumming heartbeat. “I’ll pass the test. Get certified.”
He ran a hand through his hair, making the curl-tipped ends stand up. “You’d have to study hundreds of pages of online material. It’s not easy. Trust me. I took it and barely finished my apprenticeship before my academy training started.”
“So you’re a certified wildlife rehabilitator? You could care for it.”
His chin jerked. “I already have a job.”
Her mind shifted into overdrive, churning up possibilities. “Not next week. You said you’re on vacation. You could take her while I study for the test.”
He blew out a long breath. “I don’t have an enclosure—something you’ll need along with someone to supervise you.”
She tried to come across as commanding, though at five-foot-three inches that was always a challenge. “You could help with both.”
He shook his head, his earnest expression replaced with a wash of annoyance. “Out of the question. There are too many ifs in that idea.”
She tried keeping the heat out of her voice. The DEC. Always so difficult. Especially Walsh. “Why? I’m sure you could call in a favor. Ask one of the rehabilitators to find temporary space for the cub. Then I’ll pass the test and, with your help, be approved to care for it. Don’t you want to do the right thing?”
Wasn’t that his job?
“I do. Which is why I’m taking the bear. Now.”
“Not a chance. You’ll have to go through me first.” She hated to sound dramatic, use a cheesy line from bad TV, but there was no other way to say it.
A crease appeared between his brows, his eyes scanning hers. Finally, he released a long breath.
“How about this—I’ll take her to the vet where they’ll check her jaw, give her some food and a safe place to stay, temporarily, while I continue investigating.”
She considered, wishing she could trust him. But after her dealings with him before, her faith was on the short side.
“Let’s try this,” she countered. “I’ll go with you and stay with the bear until you come back. Then we’ll talk about what happens next.”
He settled his hat back on, pinching the indented top. “There’s no reason to get more involved, ma’am.”
She pulled out her cell and tapped in Maggie’s number. Someone could come by and pick up the pies. Another worker would be called in for an extra shift. The Homestead would manage without her today. She wasn’t leaving the cub’s side until she knew it’d be safe—from nature and the DEC.
“It’s much too late for that, Officer Walsh.”
She studied him for a long, heavy moment, then moved aside. If the cub’s mother was dead, then she’d take on the role.
And nothing was more ferocious than a mama bear…

About The Author

 Karen Rock is an award-winning YA and adult contemporary romance author. She holds a master’s degree in English and worked as an ELA instructor before becoming a full-time writer.  Currently she writes for Harlequin Heartwarming and has published five novels with them. Her first novel for the line, WISH ME TOMORROW, has won the 2014 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the 2014 Golden Quill Contest and was a finalist in the Published Maggie Awards. The first novel in her co-authored YA series, CAMP BOYFRIEND, has been a finalist in the Booksellers Best and Golden Leaf awards.

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Enforce by Rachel Van Dyken


There’s two sides to every story...
And ours? Isn't pretty...
Then again, what's pretty about the mafia?
Trace Rooks, that’s what.
But she only wants one of us, and I'll kill him before I let him have her.
The only problem?
We're cousins.
And she may just be our long lost enemy.
Whoever said college was hard, clearly didn't attend Eagle Elite University.
Welcome to hell also known as the Mafia where blood is thicker than life, and to keep yours? Well, keep your friends close, and your enemies?
Even closer...

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What i think

First of all I loved it, I got to see,hear what the guys of the Elect were thinking or doing. I am hoping it continues to be written after this because I really like to see their point of view of the guys for the rest of the books.

Well I have to start with “The Boss” Nixon, oh my goodness where do I start with him he is dick to Tracey most of the time only because he has feelings for her he doesn’t know if he should then as he is the boss of the family and cant show weakness to his people or other familes.

I now see Chase in a different light after reading this book. He has the short end of the stick yet again, in elite you didn’t see how he really felt about tracey and how hard it was for him to see his cousin go after her and have the same feelings as him for her and all he could stand there and watch.

Tex well what can I say he is funny as hell something you only see a little in elite but you get to see the real him in this book and how totally in love with Mo he is or is he??
Tex is I don’t know how is say it loyal but in the book he is in love with Mo well you think that then he turns around and says shit to the guys like he is a manwhore. But if he was like that Nixon wouldn’t let him be with his twin sister.

Phoenix well is was a total arsehole in elite and he is even worst in this book, I think I dislike him even more now then before reading this. But the thing is the things he does and say he thinks it’s the best for them all as in the family,the elect. With Phoenix it is all about the elect and noone can come between them and when tracey does he takes it in hi own hands to do something about it.

I will be recommending this amazing book to everyone I know as well as the series, I have not read a bad book from Rachel Van Dyken yet and I hope I don’t. I’m giving this book a 5 readers rating and will be putting it in to my must reads for 2015.

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Secret Diamond Sisters by Michelle Madow

Book Info

The Secret Diamond Sisters (The Secret Diamond Sisters #1)
Release Date: 02/25/14
Harlequin Teen
381 pages


Savannah. Courtney. Peyton.

The three sisters grew up not knowing their father and not quite catching a break. But it looks like their luck is about to change when they find out the secret identity of their long-lost dad—a billionaire Las Vegas hotel owner who wants them to come live in a gorgeous penthouse hotel suite.

Suddenly the Strip's most exclusive clubs are all-access, and with an unlimited credit card each, it should be easier than ever to fit right in. But in a town full of secrets and illusion, fitting in is nothing compared to finding out the truth about their past.

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"Sexy and often electrifying ... Gossip Girl meets The Princess Diaries in a city that never sleeps." 

"This quick and entertaining read is filled with glitz and glamour ... get ready for one crazy and fabulous ride." 

--RT Book Reviews

Book Two

 Book Info

Diamonds in the Rough (The Secret Diamond Sisters #2)
Release Date: 10/28/14
Harlequin Teen

All-access doesn't mean no problems.

The three Diamond sisters survived the summer in style after coming to live with their long-lost billionaire father. But making a place for themselves at their exclusive new Las Vegas private school is throwing them any number of gold-plated curves. Savannah's YouTube stardom turns into a Sweet Sixteen reality show extravaganza—with complimentary enemies on the side. Dangerous flirtations don't keep Peyton from a gamble that will risk far more than she planned to bet. And when Courtney and the sisters' archenemy, Madison, uncover two explosive secrets, it will rock even this town of glittering illusion—and turn their lives upside down all over again.

Sisterhood, first crushes, and scandalous secrets explode in book two of Michelle Madow's riveting series, The Secret Diamond Sisters.

About the Author

Michelle Madow was inspired to write The Secret Diamond Sisters series while walking through her favorite hotel in Las Vegas. The next book in the series, Diamonds in the Rough, launches in October. Prior to The Secret Diamond Sisters, she successfully self-published The Transcend Time Saga. A tireless promoter of her work, Michelle is active on social media networks and has toured across America to promote her books and encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. A graduate of Rollins College, Michelle lives in Florida ... but she loves going to Vegas.

To chat with Michelle and other fans about her books, joinMichelle Madow's Street Team on Facebook!

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Bittersweet by Michele Barrow-Belisle

 Book Info

(Faerie Song Trilogy, #2)
Date: 03/24/15


To save the Faery world and her mother’s
life, Lorelei sacrificed everything, and the dangerous bargain she made in
Nevermore had lasting repercussions. Now safely back in her own world, Lorelei
seems the same to her highschool friends and her supernatural boyfriend. Yet
love across dimensions is complicated, especially when an invisible Veil
between the two worlds—the only bridge that links the pair, is sealing,
threatening to separate Lorelei and Adrius forever.

Determined to find a solution, Lorelei
resorts to using her new found powers. But when her friends succumb to the same
mysterious illness that nearly took her mother’s life, Lorelei can’t help but
wonder if her own dark magic is responsible. Still, the nightmares from
Nevermore continue their icy hold. Someone from Adrius’s past arrives,
determined to destroy Lorelei’s world starting with those closest to her, and
Lorelei is forced to choose between her family and friends and a love that was
ill-fated from the start. 

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Book One

(cover linked to Goodreads)

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About the Author

Michele Barrow-Belisle is chocoholic author and artist living in southern Ontario,
Canada with her super-sweet husband, brilliant son and a ridiculously
affectionate cat. Often told by teachers to stop dreaming and get her head out
of the clouds, Michele still spends much of her time lost in make-believe
worlds, populated with fascinating and occasionally terrifying characters. Her
passion for fantasy extends beyond her writing into her clay figure sculpt-ing,
creating miniaturized replicas of the paranormal beings she writes about.
Michele is as passionate about reading as she is about writing. When she’s not
reading or writing, she can be found sculpting tiny fairy desserts in polymer
clay. She also loves mocha lattes and watching fireflies at twilight. Did we
mention she loves chocolate?

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Burnt by Karly Lane


He came home to heal. She came home to start over. Can first love reignite without one of them getting burnt?
Sebastian Taylor and Rebecca Whiteman were country town high school sweethearts dreaming of a future together when an accident one night forever changed their destiny...
Eighteen years after the tragedy, newly divorced Rebecca returns to the small town she left behind, to start a new life. Seb, now an elite SAS soldier in the Australian Army, arrives home to his farm, injured and grieving, to face a town that hasn’t forgotten and a father who has never understood him.
Rebecca has enough problems of her own without adding Seb Taylor to the mix: a failed marriage, two children to support and a persistent mysterious caller. The last thing she needs is her first love making a sudden reappearance in her life. Seb doesn’t want to get mixed up in Rebecca's life. He came home to heal his wounds, both old and new, but can he do it without getting burnt?

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About the Author


Karly Lane lives with her extremely patient husband and four children in Macksville, on the beautiful Mid North Coast of New South Wales. A certified small-town girl, she is most happy in a little town where everyone knows who your grandparents were.

Karly writes women’s fiction, everything from romantic suspense to family sagas and life in rural Australia. She fits in her writing around her chooks, dog, various adopted farm animals, school pickup and children.

Growing up, Karly and her family moved a lot with her father's work, living in many rural communities. Many of her fictional towns are based on these places spread throughout NSW and QLD. Karly has since returned to the town where her family can trace its origins back to the original settlement to raise her own children.

Having previously worked as a pathology collector, she is now lucky enough to be able to write full time, spending all day with her fictional characters while trying to ignore her nemesis, the never-ending cycle of washing which continues to multiply daily. She dreams of one day having a housekeeper...and a pool guy...and a pool...

She is a proud member of the RWA Australia. Karly loves to hear from her readers so find her on Facebook, and say hi.


What i Think


When asking to review this book for harlequin i wasn't sure what to expect i haven't read a book in a long time that was based here in Australia, it was weird to read about the story being told in places that i have been myself but i loved it.

Seb is all ARMY and is only home because he got injured and has to take time to let is body heal, so he comes back home he hasn't been to in 18 years. so much has changed and at the same time nothing has. Seb didn't know that Rebecca has moved back home as well until he walks in to the hospital where she works to get has dressing changed, and all the feelings he had 18 years ago comes back.

Rebecca is getting used to being a single mum of two girls after her marriage didn't work out she tried to stay in the city so the girls would be closer to their father but it was hard on Rebecca and she put in for a job at her home towns hospital. She could stay with her parents for long because she didn't want them to hate her for leaving them to look after her kids when she was working nights. When Rebecca seen Seb for the first time since he left to join the ARMY the feelings were still strong.
  I am giving this book a 4 book readers rating and recommending it to everyone to read it, it is a amazing book written by a amazing australian author.

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I Need You Always by Cynthia P. O'Neill

Book Info

Author: Cynthia P. O'Neill 

Series: Need, Book #1

Genre: Contemporary/Erotic Romance


Dane Prescott flew all over the world for his family’s business, partying at every turn and avoiding taking the reigns of his father’s company, until tragedy strikes. 

He feels lost until he sees her…

Marissa Lawson couldn’t wait to graduate college, going from intern to employee at the company she works for until one of her peer’s stole her ideas and job offer.

Everything around her begins to unravel until a controlling kiss from a handsome stranger, leaves her breathless and seeking to transform her life. 

Her luck changes when she’s offered a new position to work with the boss’s son; her stranger!

Marissa wants to focus on her career, but Dane wants to dominate her; mixing business with pleasure. Every touch tempts her to submit to his desires. 

Can she hold up to the control he craves in life, especially in love? Can she let go of her own hang-ups and submit to him?

Only time will tell if she can be everything he Needs!

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About the Author

Cynthia P. O'Neill 

I grew up in a small town in South Florida called Clewiston and moved to Central Florida to attend college. I married my friend, love, and soul mate and still reside in the area with our amazing son, and a feisty, four-legged little doggie boy.

In my books, I draw on my background in healthcare, business, and science, along with my husband's engineering and wireless technology knowledge.

I currently write on all levels of Romance. The Learning Series is for those who like a little more steam with their books, falling into the categories of Contemporary and verging on Erotica, with a hint of Suspense. The Remembrance Series encompasses Young Adult, with a touch of Paranormal activity and a hint of Historical romance. A new contemporary romance series is underway, called Need. It will be different than the others, because each book will focus on a new couple, while all of the characters will still have a large presence throughout the series.

I try to make my writing very personal and close to her heart. Regular life is the inspiration for my books, but I'm only limited by imagination taking ideas to new heights, opening up possibilities that would normally not exist.

On a more personal note...I love to cook and create in the kitchen and on the bbq grill. I sometimes lose myself in a song at the piano. I often sing with my son while we are driving or making dinner together. I enjoy crafts (flower arranging, making wreaths, painting pottery, needle point and drawing in pencil and charcoals). My music tastes are eclectic at best, ranging from classical piano to hard rock/heavy metal. It all depends on the song, group, and if it has a good beat or is a soulful ballad.


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Enchant by Rachel Van Dyken


Stand Alone Prequel to the Eagle Elite Series

In the mafia...only the strong survive.
Joyce loves Luca.
Luca loves Joyce.
Frank loves his family and will do anything to protect it, even if it means taking away his brothers reason for existing.
Falling, only takes one step, one movement of the chess piece, and in Joyce's fall she took more than just one heart with her. Go back to the beginning where the drama of the Elect all starts.
Go back to the first part of the story.
Where true love tried to conquer all.
Where true love...failed.

Book Links

Goodreads ♦ Amazon ♦ B&N

What i Think

I think this book is a great start to the series it brings light to things that doesnt get touched in Elite, it gives you a look into franks and luca's past and the reason why they are the way they are.

Yes it is a short story but opens your eyes to what happens in the series.I think you should read it before you start the rest of the books but totally up to the readers.

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Elite by Rachel Van Dyken


For Tracey Rooks, life with her grandparents on a Wyoming farm has always been simple. But after her grandmother's death, Tracey is all her grandfather has. So when Eagle Elite University announces its annual scholarship lottery, Tracey jumps at the opportunity to secure their future and enters. She isn't expecting much-but then she wins. And life as she knows it will never be same . . .

The students at Eagle Elite are unlike any she's ever met . . . and they refuse to make things easy for her. There's Nixon, gorgeous, irresistible, and leader of a group that everyone fears:

 The Elect.

Their rules are simple.

 1. Do not touch The Elect.
 2. Do not look at The Elect.
3. Do not speak to The Elect.
 No matter how hard she tries to stay away, The Elect are always around her and it isn't long until she finds out the reason why they keep their friends close and their enemies even closer. She just didn't realize she was the enemy -- until it was too late.

Book Links

Amazon ♦ B&N ♦ Goodreads 

About the Author

Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.
She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband and their snoring Boxer, Sir Winston Churchill. She loves to hear from readers!

Author Links

GoodReads ♦ Website ♦ Twitter ♦ Facebook

What I Think

What i was thinking in 2013...

This is one of my Netgalley ARC's that I have had the lucky to be picked to read.
the story follows Tracey Rooks farm girl from Wyoming and Nixon Abandonato the leader of the school.

Tracey thought she was the luckiest person to win the lottery to get into the Eagle Elite University were the most important people went to school but she was surprised when she got there that people were not friendly or helpful but mean and saying that she was like a piece of junk on the ground not from money but there was one person that like her, her roommate Mo.

from the first moment Tracey got to elite she know that this was gonna be hard. when her grampa parked and got out to help her to take things up to the dorms he was told there is no family and he is to say his goodbyes here.

What im thinking about it in 2015...

This is one of the book series i had to re-read and review i havent read this since i first started out with blogging and i not long recommend it to a friend to read and the way she was talking about it i just had to read it.

There has been alot of different reviews good and bad but with the bad ones it isnt even about how the story line is or the characters its about how does the author know so much about the mafia and if it was real events, i had to laugh when i was told about it, if you look in to the book it says its made up not real.

I am so glad that i re-read this as i picked up more then the last time i read it, and i understand what Tracey was thinking.

With Nixon you dont know if you want to love or hate him this book at first he was a ass but then you relized that he was really helping Tracey out by doing what he was doing.

I am not going to tell you much about the book you will have to get it yourself and read then you can see why i have given it a 5 readers rating this time around as well as putting it in to the must reads list for 2015.

I recommend this book anyone who loves to read once you start this series you will have to get them all.

Book Rating

In 2013

In 2015

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