Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Hiding from the world… - Raising the Stakes by Karen Rock

The strings felt foreign to his fingers, like old friends meeting up again. He played soft and slow, sending notes to the edge of the circle gathered around them. Fingers and strings worked together carefully, as if this tender bond might be broken at any moment.


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…

"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." - Goodreads,Cynthia


In a few strides he closed the distance between them and gathered her in his arms.

“You’re right. It’s both of us. Let’s take this one day at a time. See if you feel differently in the next three weeks.” With his head lowered, his words flowed over her lips.

“You might be the one to change your mind… But either way, we can at least enjoy the time we have left together,” she whispered back, and in an instant he was pressing his firm mouth to hers, sucking gently on her lower lip before capturing it fully. She breathed in his scent, the fresh pine smell that made her head swim. She clutched his shoulders as his kiss strengthened, her fingers twining in the thick hair that brushed his collar. He moaned low in the back of his throat and his hands slid up her back, cupping her head as he deepened the kiss until they both gasped for air.

His heart drummed against her chest and an electric lightness rolled through her. She’d never felt so vulnerable, yet empowered, in a man’s arms before. Intoxicating. When his mouth trailed down her jaw, her head lolled back. She shivered when his lips nibbled along her neck, lingering at its base.

“You feel so good,” he growled when he pulled away at last.

She grabbed the back of a nearby seat, feeling dizzy. “So do you.”

“Have I convinced you yet?” The excitement in his eyes was infectious. But how could she be anything but honest? Yes, he made her feel things no other man could. Still…it was a big decision.

“I need time.”

He lifted her off her feet and gave her another breathless kiss before setting her down again. “We have three more weeks and I’m making the most of them. You see…I love you.”

Her breath evaporated in her lungs and her heart somersaulted. He loved her. It was beyond imagining. Wishing. Did she dare say it back given her doubts about their future?

She put a hand against his chest. “Liam. I don’t want you to get your hopes up.” There was so much to consider…and would a refuge in Yellowstone be available for Button? One she could volunteer at perhaps? Would she be able to keep her family together? So many questions to work through. Three weeks might not be enough. But the thought of losing this…these moments with Liam…it hurt, too.

“Too late.” His mischievous grin was contagious and she returned it, pushing him away to return to her dinner.

“Impossible. That’s what you are.” She pointed her chopsticks at him before scooping up a California roll, her heart full to bursting.

“It’s all part of the charm,” he said with a wink before picking up his chopsticks.

And it was…that strong, thoughtful man who’d entrusted her with his deepest hurts, his hidden insecurities. It only made him more special to her.

She brushed away the last shred of her doubts. They had three weeks together and a lot could change. Better to enjoy this time and worry about the future when it happened. For now, she’d let go and live— for Liam, for her pet family, and most of all, for herself.

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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