It’s been fifteen months since Lacey Becnel’s unfaithful husband suddenly passed away, leaving her to sort her feelings of anger, love, and loss. Her dead-end job, once a life raft but now just endless days of boredom, leave her wondering where exactly her place in life should be.
But when she awakens under an overpass near her home, next to Nathan—a man she met just hours before in the streets of New Orleans—she begins a journey of discovery that some might call supernatural. In the days that follow, Lacey and Nathan try to sort out the events of the evening, and it becomes clear that he might be the target of a murder plot, and she—somehow—might have the power to heal.
Lacey uncovers a link both powerful and deep, a connection to her dead husband’s family and the traiteur tradition, a centuries-old faith healing practice. As she becomes more embroiled in Nathan’s danger, the more confused she becomes about her feelings for him. Will she ever fully understand her abilities, or will the danger surrounding Nathan bring things to an abrupt end?
There is definitely a lot going on in this book. We meet a lot of characters and I do mean characters. All of which play an important role in the plot.
While Lacey is dealing with a boring job, her late husband’s infidelity and attempting to move on with her life something happens to change her.
A favorite scene, is as she leaves her car to join her best friend for a night out. I can see this happening to me, minus the hot guy rescuer.
She got out, pushed a button on her key to lock the car, and then turned around at the same time she was attempting to stuff the key in her pocket. She looked up at the gloaming sky— the faint outline of the new moon had appeared— and missed her pocket. The key dropped to the ground and skipped about a foot, just enough to land behind her in a ditch. Not just a ditch, but a gaping maw marked off with barricades and a few cones. Construction work on that part of Harrison Avenue was a constant.
“Well, shit,” Lacey said to no one in particular as she turned on her precarious heels to see where the key had landed. Fortunately, the pit was bone dry. It had been an unusually parched June so far. Lacey figured she could reach down and grab the key without getting too much of her new outfit dirty. She stepped with her right foot into an innocent-looking part of the crevasse, bent over, and picked up the key. Pleased with the relative ease of the operation, she stood upright and found herself stuck. Her wedge heel must have caught on something.
“Well, shit again,” she said as she strained to see if she could free her foot. She thought of bending down again and unfastening the strap on her shoe, but she began to question her every move. Suddenly the barricade she had previously ignored seemed to heckle her. She was feeling mightily self-conscious as she looked down at her foot, and looked across the street at Patton’s to see if anyone was watching. Preoccupied, she was startled when she heard a voice behind her.
“You look like you could use a hand.”
She whipped her head around and saw a man, alone, at the driver’s side of the car next to hers. He was a little older— maybe ten years older than herself— and looked very sharp, in a summer-casual kind of way. Linen jacket and jeans, like he was dressed for an elegant dinner with elegant friends.
Feeling even more self-conscious than before in her trendy jeans and T-shirt and ridiculous predicament, Lacey didn’t answer at first and just stared. The man removed his hand from his car door and walked toward her, a reassuring smile on his face.
“They always say the potholes in New Orleans are bad enough to swallow a person, but I think this is the first time I’ve seen it actually happen,” he said.
Lacey finally spoke. “Oh, I dropped my key, and now I’m stuck. I feel really stupid. You don’t have to help me.”
“Well, what kind of douchebag would I be if I came over here to help and then didn’t?” He bent his head to look at her foot and gave her a surreptitious once-over as he did.
“This is easy,” he said. “You just need some leverage.” He straightened up and looked her in the eye. “Did you get your key?”
“Yes,” she said as she held out her hand, showing it to him like a child might. “Let me put it away.” She looked down and stuffed the key in her pocket. She averted her gaze for a moment and tried to compose herself. She was afraid she was gawking. The combination of his charm and directness and easy valor was working a number on her.
When she finally looked up, he was smiling broadly at her. She blushed.
“Okay, now turn directly toward me,” he said.
He watched her feet. “Straighten out your left foot. Good. Give me your hands.”
Lacey caught her breath and looked reluctant.
The man laughed. “I promise I won’t bite. And this will get you out of there. Give me your hands.”
She hesitantly held her arms out. The man grabbed her by both forearms, lifting the ring finger on his left hand slightly. As soon as he had a hold, he tugged, and almost immediately Lacey felt her right foot purchase some air. She pulled it out of the ditch and lost her balance, falling right into him as she did.
They both laughed as it happened, and as he released his grip she steadied herself against him, her hands falling to his sides. His waist was rock hard to the touch, no love handles. Lacey quickly removed her hands and righted herself. Even standing straight, she only came up to his chin.
“I’m sorry, I should have given you some warning,” he said to her.
“I’m the one who should be apologizing, for being so stupid,” Lacey said, swiping her hand at the dirt on the right leg of her jeans.
Still standing where she had fallen into him, not looking like he was in any great rush, he held out his hand.
“I’m Nathan, by the way.”
Lacey, most of the time, liked her name. It was unique, and feminine, and had paired well with both her maiden and married names. But there were times when she wished it carried a little more weight, had more of a ring of authority to it, like “Margaret” or “Samantha.”
She sighed and took his hand and said nearly under her breath, “Lacey. And thank you, by the way.”
He smiled. “Lacey,” he repeated, drawing out the two syllables. He held on to her hand for an extra millisecond. “No thanks necessary. Glad I was able to help.” He seemed at a loss for any more words.
“Me too,” she said with a little smile. Lacey was also reluctant to end the exchange. Her sense of embarrassment eventually overpowered that feeling.
Anne McClane. The Incident Under the Overpass: The Traiteur Trilogy, Book One (Kindle Locations 370-406). After Glows Publishing.
It is when Nathan finds himself in a world of trouble that Lacey discovers the changes in herself.
This book is full of suspense and discoveries making me want the next one as soon as it is released.
5 Contented Purrs for Anne!
Anne McClane is a New Orleans native who spent sixteen years out west before finding her way home to embrace the mysteries of the Mississippi River Delta. She has many years experience in publicity, public relations, and marketing, which has provided a fine primer for writing about the speculative, abnormal, and outrageous.