REVIEW: Pretend You’re Mine by Lucy Score

Posted May 25th, 2023 by in Blog, Contemporary Romance, Review / 13 comments


In Pretend You’re Mine by Lucy Score, National Guard Captain Luke Garrison has his reasons for keeping his life under tight control. It’s really the only way the darkness in his past will remain at bay. Then just a month before his next deployment to Afghanistan, Harper Wilde coasts into Benevolence on gas fumes and changes Luke’s life in the blink of an eye. She has chaos written all over her. As is made clear when she jumps into a domestic dispute in the parking lot with no regard for her personal safety. He knows that after making sure Harper is okay, he should walk away. But somehow Luke gets rooked into not only taking her on as a houseguest, but she also becomes his fake girlfriend to keep his family quiet. What could possibly go wrong?

“Haven’t you ever made a temporary bad decision before?” she asked lightly.
He shook his head. “I’ve never been tempted before.”
“How about now?”
“Now?” He reached out and ran this thumb over her lower lip. She parted her lips at the touch and tasted him. “I’m very tempted.”

After one of the worst days she’s ever had–and she’s had some pretty horrible days–Harper has no home to go back to, no money, and no gas for her car. So, stopping in Benevolence, Maryland, wasn’t a choice. It was a necessity. After getting a possible concussion and a bunch of other bumps and bruises by one of the local yahoos, Harper should play it safe and slink away to recuperate. But staying with sexy soldier Luke sounds like a much better plan. Well, at least until she realizes the insane attraction they have won’t quit. And that she adores his family and the locals. What would it be like to settle down in one place and feel safe for once? Harper is determined to give it a real go–if she can get Luke to deal with a tragedy from his past and let her fully into his life.

“The guy is stupid in love with you, Harper.”
“I don’t think so, Ty.” She shook her head.
“Honey, I know stupid in love when I see it. He’s just stupider than most.”

A reissue of the book that turned Lucy Score into a full-time writer, PRETEND YOU’RE MINE was a delicious small-town romance filled with layers of emotions, an outstanding cast, and even some well-placed angst.

“You’re what I’ve been waiting for. You’re the light that got me through the dark, and I’m not willing to go back to a life without you.”

Content Warning: Domestic abuse, child abuse, home invasion, soldier with loss of limb from IED attack (secondary cast).

There’s just something about Lucy Score’s books that always seems to resonate with me. No matter the setting, the overall themes, or what outrageousness she puts her characters through, I know I’ll laugh until my eyes water and at some point, I’ll cry. Guaranteed. PRETEND YOU’RE MINE definitely covered those bases and then some. It also tugged (hard) at my heartstrings with Harper’s backstory of how she grew up and with something that happened to Luke a few years back. Oh, but my heart went out to them both. But what was interesting to me was how differently Luke and Harper dealt with their hardships.

Harper and Luke were basically an opposites attract couple–who ended up fake dating to get his family off his back and to give her a chance to get her feet under her before finding her own place and a full-time job. There was a lot going on. And a pretty big cast of characters to keep track of. But everyone could see that, yes, even though Harper brought some chaos to Luke’s neat and orderly life, she also centered him. Put his guilt and the darkness to rest while she was in his orbit.

I’m going to be honest: Luke’s choices towards the last quarter of the book really, *really* ticked me off. (lol) Things of course did get resolved–and in the funniest, sweetest of ways. But it was a rough go of it for Harper for a while. And somehow, it proved how strong, caring, and absolutely lovely a person she truly was deep inside. It didn’t hurt that there were two other romances brewing between secondary characters close to them, so it gave Harper something to concentrate on until Luke finally came to his senses. When he was all in, though? Absolute magic.

QOTD: Harper rolls into Benevolence after mistakenly driving in the wrong direction thanks to no phone, so no GPS. How good are you navigating around without using GPS?

Book Info:

Publication: Published May 9th, 2023  | Bloom Books | Benevolence #1

I only wanted to protect you…

Luke Garrison is a hometown hero, a member of the National Guard ready to deploy again. He’s strong, sexy, broody. The last thing he’s looking for is a woman to ruin his solitude. When the wildly beautiful Harper stumbles into his life, though, he realizes that she’s the perfect decoy. A fake girlfriend to keep his family off his back until he’s deployed.

So what if kissing her sends his mind to wicked places? He can control himself. Can’t he?

Harper was on her way to starting a new life… again. But something about Luke makes her want to settle down in this small town and make his house a home. When she’s in his arms, she finally knows what it’s like to feel safe. Protected.

One night of sharing a bed turns into something much, much more… and soon Luke can’t keep his mind off Harper’s wide gray eyes or his hands off her luscious curves. He never thought he’d feel this way about a woman again. But he knows that he can’t tell her the truth about his dark past. And she can’t reveal what she’s running from.

At least this isn’t a real relationship. It’s only for a month. It’s only pretend. Until it isn’t…



13 Responses to “REVIEW: Pretend You’re Mine by Lucy Score”

    • Michele H

      Yay!! Isn’t it great finding new authors to try? I hope you have a wonderful time reading all about Luke & Harper, Dianne! 🙂

  1. Latesha B.

    I don’t have a GPS, so I rely on maps or paper directions. Thank you for the review. I would love to read this story.

    • Michele H

      Same! lol I don’t travel much but I’m more apt to use a map or google a rout first. 🙂 I hope you get to read this one, Latesha! It was so much fun–like I’ve come to expect from Lucy Score–but it had so much heart as well.

  2. Glenda M

    Interesting. I’m old school enough that I try to take time to look up directions on maps before relying just on GPS. Its been helpful in the past

  3. Ellen C.

    Maps or finding directions online before getting on the road. GPS does not always work.