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?
Type: Contemporary Romance
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing, 227 pages
It's been a while since a book made me laugh so hard I was crying and man is that a good feeling. Rescuing Lacey was an incredibly fun and moving story with strong willed and fiery characters, an exotic locale and a good dose of humor that will easily make my 2013 favorites list. It was one of those books I had a hard time putting down and really didn't want to see end.
Lacey's basically been sent to the jungle, in a last ditch effort to save her career, to photograph...frogs ::shudder:: with Luke playing the part of her guide. It's a seemingly easy gig but both get a lot more than they bargained for from her short assignment in his world. The excerpt down below is one of my favorite scenes and what had me completely falling for Lacey (and Luke).
I absolutely love when there's fire between the main characters. When they completely get under each others skin and give the other a run for their money. And Luke and Lacey so didn't disappoint. They're both strong and willful and it shows so nicely in how they play off of each other. The banter, the times when they're getting along and especially when they're pushing each others buttons. And these two have a way of seeing into the other like no one else can. Seeing what's really beneath the surface that they try to keep hidden from others. And when things get steamy between them they get really steamy in the most delicious way.
"How's it hanging?" Luke greeted Phillipe in Spanish.
"Oh, it's hanging. Caught anything lately?"
"No but I'm working on a tasty little machita," Luke continued in Spanish, pointedly referring to Lacey. He grabbed a bar stool next to Tony, using him as a buffer between himself and Lacey.
"I'm particular about who I let reel me in," Lacey quipped in Spanish without missing a beat.
Luke felt his cheeks grow red, while Tony held back a snicker, almost choking on his beer.
"Four years of Spanish in college," she said with a shrug, taking another pull on her beer.
Luke turned to Tony. "Couldn't tell me she spoke Spanish? What kind of friend are you anyway?"
"It never came up," Tony said with a half shrug and a mischievous grin.One of the things I liked about the story was that while there was a lot of humor and lightness along the way the two were also dealing with terrible pains from their pasts and the affects they still had on them. You really get a feel for each of them and what makes them the way they are. Why she's so stubborn and determined to do things on her own and what keeps him going and how they start to heal from their past experiences because of the other. There are a couple scenes that'll have you in tears as you watch them fight their demons. It's not always easy to watch but it'll make you love them even more.
With a wonderful support cast, a delightful romance and getting to watch two incredible people grow and find love Rescuing Lacey was a real treat. The ending may have been a touch dramatic but the outcome is sweet, utterly perfect and left the romance lover in me with a smile on her face. I can't wait to see what Heflin comes up with next.
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*A copy of Rescuing Lacey was provide in exchange for my honest opinion and review.
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.
Rebecca Heflin has dreamed of writing romantic fiction since she was fifteen and her older sister snuck a copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss’ Shanna to her and told her to read it. Rebecca writes women’s fiction and contemporary romance. When not passionately pursuing her dream, Rebecca is busy with her day-job as a practicing attorney. She and her mountain-climbing husband live at sea level in sunny Florida.