Okay, get it straight from the beginning: It's LAW-ra, not LARR-a, not Lara Croft the tomb raider but Laura Croft the raven-haired Floridian. Of course, the 25-year-old model did dress as the fictional adventurer and archaeologist of video-game and movie fame for a gamers' convention – avoiding all connections would be impossible. "In high school all the boys would call and say, 'Come on, Laura Croft. I'll play with you,'" she says, "or 'Laura Croft has big boobs.' I had to keep changing my number." Laura admits she has gamed as her near-homonym – "I like to run Lara into walls and hear her make those funny noises" – but she has "never watched the movies and never will." Indeed, when you're as lovely as Laura, you don't really need to take notes from Angelina Jolie.
Although not a tomb raider, Miss July does harbor a taste for adventure. The Jacksonville native lives on a marsh and is frequently greeted at her front door by an alligator. ("I threw rocks at it one day to make sure it was real," she says.) She has also appeared on the reality show Outback Jack, in which a dozen American women competed for one Aussie guy. "We parachuted into the outback," she says, "and this ugly guy walked up to us. I said, 'Forget this.' I was gone in the first round." Big and muscular appeals to Laura – her idea of a romantic evening is "a monster-truck rally in a lifted truck with a hot guy." Still, her taste has its limits: She has a girlie-girl side that manifests itself in her pink bedroom and an affinity for Hello Kitty. So it's Hello Gator and Hello Kitty – got it?
Looking ahead, Laura daydreams about a television career. "I want to be a housewife or weather girl but also work on The Young and the Restless," she says. "I've watched that show since I was five and would want to play a vixen so I could use false names and disguises. But I don't want to move to L.A. and try to be a superstar. I'm happy in Florida."
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