Saturday, November 17, 2012

Recuing Lacey by Rebecca Heflin

When tough battle-scarred photojournalist-turned-wildlife-photographer Lacey Sommers travels to Costa Rica in a last-ditch effort to save her job, she meets beach-bum-gorgeous Luke Hancock, an outdoor guide, environmentalist and expert on economics and sustainability, who’s been hired by her magazine to serve as her pilot and wilderness guide for the duration of her stay.

It’s clear from the outset there is a powerful physical attraction between the two, but strong personalities, pre-conceived notions, an unexpected and contentious family connection, and the scars from a tragic death and a terrifying event threaten to keep them apart.

Will Lacey shed the mantle of Kevlar she’s worn for so long and allow Luke inside her heart? Or will her ostensible strength be her downfall?

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Rescuing Lacey has the makings for a fantastic story, tragically damaged heroine, tough playboy hero with a chip on his shoulder, extended family animosity, dangerous jungles, crocodiles, poison ants and frogs!

Lacey is a photojournalist who has survived working in Afghanistan and Iraq only to be brutalized while on assignment in Africa. She is now trying to save her career by working as a wildlife photographer in Costa Rica shooting pictures of frogs of all things.

Luke looks like your everyday beach bum eeking out a living as a tour guide in Costa Rica, he has the surfer board short, flip flops and shaggy sun-bleached hair to attest to that being the case. He has been a playboy since his divorce and when he meets Lacey he can't wait to take a shot at wooing her out of her clothes.

Rescuing Lacey is a cute story, it has beautiful imagery of the Costa Rican rain forest and it talks extensively about the environmental issues and socioeconomic issues facing the country and its people. This however is supposed to be a romance novel about Luke and Lacey. The plot line of the story has so much potential and the characters are developed well and you have everything in place for a gripping love story, unfortunately quite a bit of the story feels rushed or squeezed in between the information about the atrocities in Darfur or the plight of the rain forest.
Yes the story is there and it is a pretty good one, it has funny moments and touching ones.
Overall I give Rescuing Lacey a 3 out of 5 flower rating.

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EXCERPT from Rebbeca's website
Lacey knelt down, adjusting her telephoto lens to achieve the sharpest image. They’d finally stumbled across a red-eyed tree frog, one of the must-haves on her list of shots. Satisfied with the composition, she pressed the shutter.

Before she could snap another photo, she shot to her feet, like toast from a toaster, camera dangling from the strap around her neck, hands fisted at her sides.

“What?” Luke asked.

“Get him off me,” she ground out, her teeth gritted in revulsion. She pointed toward her leg and watched as Luke glanced down in time to see the frog climb up her inner thigh and duck beneath her shorts.

Lacey sucked in a breath. The cold, wet suction-cup feet clung to her. She couldn’t even breathe, afraid any movement would prompt the slimy thing to crawl further up under her shorts. If it got to her crotch, she would die on the spot.

Luke didn’t think it was possible, but Lacey’s eyes grew wider as the frog apparently made his way farther north. Enjoying her dilemma, he explained, “You know, because water and air flows so easily in to and out of amphibian skin, amphibians are much more vulnerable to possible pollutants on our hands—”

“Just. Get. Him. Off. Me. I didn’t invite his invasion of my person. He should have thought about that before he assaulted me,” she hissed through gritted teeth.

Luke couldn’t hold back the chuckle that escaped, or suppress his wicked thoughts as he knelt down and peered up her shorts to see where the frog was hiding. The sight of her muscular thigh and pink panties nearly made him forget his mission. He slowly slid his hand beneath her shorts and up her inner thigh.

“How do you know it’s a he?” he asked, taking pity on her and hoping to distract her from her obviously uncomfortable predicament.

“Like that even deserves a response,” came her sarcastic reply. His soft laugh only inflamed her ire.

“Don’t you think it’s rather ironic that you’re afraid of the very thing you’ve been sent here to photograph?”

“I’m not—” Her angry denial was cut off when his warm, rough-hewn hand closed over the sensitive skin of her inner thigh, cupping over the frog and making her flinch at the heat rocketing up her spine.

“Hold still,” he instructed, “otherwise I can’t promise he won’t head for . . . warmer regions.”

She shivered in response to his touch. She had a frog on her thigh, and astonishingly she now had sex on the brain. Luke’s hand rested on her thigh longer than she thought necessary. “You’re enjoying this way too much,” she said through tight lips.

Damn right I am, Luke admitted to himself. Her thigh was as hot and smooth as sun-warmed silk. His fingers itched to glide further up her leg, to hear her gasp in pleasure, rather than in disgust. Between the monkey and the frog, Costa Rica’s fauna was making better time with her than he was. “No, I’m simply trying not to startle him.”

“Then lose the shit-eating grin.”

He struggled to assume a disinterested face, while she eyed him furiously.

His hand gently closed over the offending amphibian, grazing the apex of her thighs with his fingertips, triggering yet another wave of heat up her spine. He slowly inched his hand out from under her shorts, extending the exquisite torture. She didn’t know which caused the stronger adrenalin rush: her revulsion of the wet frog, or her arousal from Luke’s warm hand.

As soon as his hand cleared her shorts, she began pacing and cursing.

Good thing the forest was devoid of tourists, Luke thought, otherwise their ears would have been scorched. Her vocabulary could make a hardened criminal blush. Luke released the frog, watching it hop away without a backward glance.

“Good riddance,” Lacey muttered.

“Hey, frog’s no fool. Saw a warm, inviting spot and went for it.”

“Spoken just like a man.”

Ignoring that comment, he asked, “Want any more photos?”

“No, I don’t. I’m done with that”—she shivered—“frog.” Picking up her pack and turning away, she continued to walk in the direction they were previously headed.

He hefted up his bag and followed after her, wiping his hands on his shorts. “Let me get this straight, you’ve covered two wars, but you’re scared of a little frog?” He shook his head at the vagaries of women.

“I wasn’t scared. It just—it startled me.” She refused to admit to him she was ranidaphobic. “How would you like it if something wet unexpectedly landed on your thigh? Wait! Don’t answer that!”

His only response was a low rumbling laugh that carried deep into the rain forest.

About the Author


I’ve dreamed of writing romantic fiction since I was fifteen and my older sister snuck a copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss’ Shanna to me and told me to read it. Now I write women’s fiction and contemporary romance under the name Rebecca Heflin.
In case you’re wondering, Rebecca Heflin is an abbreviated version of my great-great grandmother’s name: Sarah Anne Rebecca Heflin Apple Smith. Whew! And you wondered why I shortened it.
When not passionately pursuing my dream, I am busy with my day-job as a practicing attorney. My mountain-climbing husband and I live at sea level in sunny Florida.

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