I was looking for a change of pace when I found RESCUING LACEY, something outside the norm of the usual romance that I've been seeing. This book definitely fits that bill, and it surprised me, but sometimes not in the way I wished it had.
Lacey Sommers is sent to Costa Rica on a last ditch effort to save her recently floundering career as a photographer. The first person she meets after stepping off the plane is Luke Hancock, pilot/driver/guide…pretty much Lacey's go to guy for the two months (or more) that she's been sent on assignment. The sparks are there, the possibility is there, but will they be able to overcome their pasts and be honest with each other?
"You need to get over your hero complex. Not everyone needs rescuing."
Lacey is not some 20-something girl who doesn't know what she is doing. She has chosen to live her life the way she has, regardless of her parents' feelings about it. She's a beautiful girl, tall, tan, with short wavy blonde hair and indigo blue eyes, but that's not what she wants to be known for. If she wanted to rely on her looks, she would have chosen the path of her mother and sister. She's smart, she's strong in so many aspects it almost blew my mind, she's brave, she's kind, but she's stubborn. Almost stubborn to a fault.
She wore a smile unlike any he had seen from her. Open, honest, and pure. Beatific even.
Luke doesn't come without his own baggage or secrets either. He's an American Playboy in Costa Rica, livin' it up like a beach bum…oh such a hard life! Or that's what we're lead to believe… :-) He's made a career out of doing something he's passionate about, and there are certain perks that come with the job. But Lacey is definitely a breath of fresh air for him. She's far from the norm of what he has come to expect and she also brings back some bittersweet memories for him.
Luke couldn't help but feel that he had caught a glimpse of a former version of Lacey Sommers, one that'd existed before she'd encountered the evil in the world that had made her so guarded, so tortured. And in that moment he knew he wanted to see more. He resolved to peel away the layers of Kevlar she wore and reveal the true heart of her.
Lacey and Luke were spunky together. There was a lot of progression and development with their relationship though. None of the ‘instant love' stuff. This thing took work, and with that comes angst. I'm a huge fan of angst, and boy did I get it with Luke and Lacey, They spent so much of the book going back and forth and fighting what was clearly there the whole time, that by the time ‘it' finally happened, I was happy but honestly, it was about time. I liked the fact that they got to know each other and were ‘friends-ish' because that made their quick love relationship seem more real, but it just felt like it took forever to get to that point.
He'd saved her. Again. He'd fought for her. Risked his life for her, not once, but twice.
They both held a few secrets and things from the past…actually a lot, maybe too much? There just seemed to be so many things fighting against them, it was almost a miracle they were able to get past everything and be together. And for me, the ending felt a little rushed. Both of their reactions to things seemed a little unnatural, not as realistic as to who their characters came across to me. That's not to say I didn't like it, 'cause I'm an HEA girl to the core, but I feel the same end result could have been achieved, just maybe in a different way.
"Yes." He tilted his head, looking at the painting. "I've thought all along there was something missing." He glanced back at Lacey and his eyes held hers. "Then I finally figured it out. It was you."
I loved all the secondary characters too--Luke's best friend Tony and his wife, and owners of Mariposa Lodge, the resort where she's staying. I loved the little details--her butterfly tattoo, his dog Sandy, how he calls her ‘Querida' when they danced, how she kicks his butt in every bet they make…so many things that made me smile. There are a lot of little things that made my heart go pitter patter, but not really at any point did I swoon for Luke like I normally swoon for book boyfriends.
"I guess love makes people both brave and stupid." He smiled.
This was a beautifully told story. I love it when an author can transport you to another place, another time – something that requires so much description that they have to paint a picture for you like you've never been there. I've never been to Costa Rica, but Rebecca Heflin definitely made me feel like I had. Sometimes it can feel like there is too much detail and it's over the top, but I never felt that with RESCUING LACEY. The detail that she painted for me just flowed and there were times I felt like I was really there.
Overall, this book did give me what I was looking for--a change in scenery, a welcomed change in pace and an angsty love story that kept me hanging on until the very end. Did it knock my socks off? Not exactly, but it was still a well-written enjoyable read about the twists life can take to bring you on an unexpected path to love.