Friday, April 04, 2014

Lisa Harris's Deadly Safari ~ Reviewed

By Lisa Harris
Published by: Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense
215 Pages


Texas Ranger Alex Markham lands an unusual assignment—protecting an ambassador's daughter on the African savanna. No one—not even wildlife filmmaker Meghan Jordan herself—can know his true identity. The stubborn but beautiful Meghan is nothing like the bookish woman he expected…and neither is his unguarded reaction to her. For the cowboy-turned-cop, the routine babysitting assignment turns into a lifesaving mission when poachers target the unsuspecting beauty. But when Meghan learns the truth of Alex's identity, can she forgive him before their chances for a future are destroyed forever?

REVIEW: I’m thankful for the review copy of a book that gave me a peek at some beautiful sights in Africa along with a compelling story. Lisa blends in some deadly elements into the mix as Meghan is trying to wrap up filming a documentary about lions.

 I had the opportunity to interview this author for Book Fun Magazine a few months ago. It was there I learned she lived in Africa and loved safari. I saw her several of her animal pictures and learned about her passion for photographing these amazing creatures. Lisa and her family have lived there for over ten years. She has a note in this book where she says, “This continent has captured a piece of my heart, from the people to the animals to the scenic beauty...I’m thrilled at the opportunity to give readers a glimpse of this beautiful place…the people there have impacted my life…They’ve taught me how to laugh, love, dream and how to truly give from the heart.” 

The author does just that In Deadly Safari. Some of Lisa’s characters have the above revelations as well. I instantly liked Meghan Jordan who is from a broken home and is an only child. Her father kept busy as he thrust himself into his work and left Meghan to fend for herself in boarding school. Meghan has a passion for photography and wild life. She waits weeks to capture just the right moments on film for her documentary. Things were getting crazy and she needed an assistant. 

Alex Markham is hired by Meghan’s father to be her personal bodyguard under the pretense of being her assistant. He didn’t know anything about making a documentary but he did know how to use a camera. He didn’t capture animals on film but he photographed the after math of a crime scene. He was a Texas Ranger by trade. Solving crimes was what he did. His view of life wasn’t focused on the beautiful things like Meghan was. He saw and photographed the ugly, the things you wanted to forget. 

He came to Africa to protect Meghan undercover for two weeks before a political campaign ended and to see with his own eyes where his mom had grown-up. He found more than he bargained for in Africa. He discovered feelings for this intelligent, strong-willed, beautiful woman filming this documentary. He wasn’t looking for a relationship. He’d have to work hard at not mixing business with pleasure. He had to keep it all business to save his heart and to protect the girl. 

Alex’s first meeting with Meghan didn’t go exactly as planned. She thought of that first day, “Alex had torpedoed into her life, bringing with him a string of disasters. He’s barely been here an hour, and he’d ticked off a rhino and gotten them stranded out in the bush!” This kind of help she didn’t need. He was handsome, protective and very responsible she’d give him that. Oh, he looked like a cowboy. It unnerved her when he came near. She found her heart racing! She wasn’t looking for a relationship. She had work to finish. She had no time for romance and/or personal relationships. She’d have to keep this all about work. She didn’t want complications.”

Alex explains his week to Meghan, “It’s been one of these weeks for me. I missed my flight out of Amsterdam, which resulted in them losing my bag. Then there was a flat tire on the way here and I’ve been chased by a rhino before wrapping a vehicle around a tree. Now we are stranded in the bush as night is quickly making its presence known.” 

They are battling the forces of nature, animals and poachers while filming. Meghan Jordan explains to Alex that there were two types of poaches. “The first came on foot or jeep and simply shot the rhino. The other one used high-tech methods, weapons and powerful knockout drugs. They can be in and out in a matter of minutes, severing the horn and leaving the rhino to bleed to death… These men are skilled hunters drive by financial gain and greed.” 

I couldn’t put this book down as Alex tries to keep Meghan safe against poachers as he determines if she is being threatened and/or harmed because of death threats her Ambassador father was receiving. I laughed along with Meghan and Alex as they tried to make this documentary in the middle of chaos, as they both fought feelings each was having for the other. I also enjoyed learning about Africa (thru the authors’ eyes and passions). I could imagine being there. It’s a winning combination of suspense, mystery and romantic tension. This author has good discussion questions in the back too for your book club meetings. I highly recommend this novel as a book club pick and as a delightful, and fun read

REviewed by: Nora St Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins
Finding Hope Through Fiction blog  

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