Pretend You’re Mine: A Small Town Love Story (Benevolence Book 1) <— I 5-STAR LOVED THIS BOOK LIKE CRAZY!!!! Almost 500 pages worth, and yet, I devoured it in 3 days (after work, during my evenings). BIG book but it didn’t feel long at all. Every bit of it kept me absorbed.
It gave me ALL THE FEELS!!!! And I mean ALL of them. From swooning, to giggling, to almost sobbing in public…
Maryse: 48% into a book… and wanting to cry so hard right now (but you know… i’m in public so…) *sigh* 😔
Cassandra: Throw on the sunglasses!
Melinda: That’s when you know the author is great.
Paola: What book??? I want to cry too!
Maryse: It’s “Pretend Your Mine” (a HUGE recommendation from a fellow reader and I’m loving it). P.S. Here’s her recommendation that had me starting it right away (and she was SO right):
Renee: I’m probably super late to the Party but have just found a author and current book that might be my best read of all time so far and that’s saying something from the biggest KA fan. So excited to slowly devour her books. Anyway feel like it’s a crime not to share the current read, I’m not even finished it yet 😳
Paola: Thank you!!!
Maryse: My pleasure!!!! Get ready!! LOL!
Rachel: Lucy Score is so freaking AMAZING!
Melinda: I just downloaded this last night. Now I’m really excited
Ali: One clicked last week or so when you featured it, can’t wait to dig in!
Madeleine: it’s now part of my Kindle library
Angela: me too lol
PaulaNicu: That book is amazing! I cried so much while reading it. I actually use as an outlet read , when I feel like crying I re-read it.
Laura: Lucy Score is Amazing. They’re all like that!
Cait: Oooh I finished it yesterday
Rae: loved it! …She’s an incredible writer. I love getting lost in her stories.
Cassandra: I read this last night and it was heartbreaking and oh so good!! I have not cried while reading in a long time. Thank you for the recommendation.
Maryse: I AM SO THRILLED you loved it too!!!!! Holy moly all the feels!!
See the feels from everyone? YEP. This is one of those.
That said… I went from wanting to sob halfway through the book to another moment of even greater “feels” where I gasssssped and gassssped and gassssssped! 😨😨😲 😩. I thought I wanted to cry at the 48% point?? HOLY MOLY wait until you get to THE PART that had my heart and tummy twisted up. Actually many moments, but this particular one.
I. FREAKED. OUT.
Okay so… what’s it about?
Harper just hauled butt out of her own life when she caught her fiancé with another woman. Took off like a bat out of hell, heading in the wrong direction, and landing hours away in a small town, where she promptly gets herself into some trouble. 😉
Luke (our Hero who is a captain in the National Guard) sees her wrestling match and comes to her rescue. *swoooooon* Realizing she’s completely lost, forgot her wallet when she left etc etc… he offers to let her stay at his place for the night, so that he can help her out in the morning.
Luke sighed again and looked down at the bar. “You can stay with me tonight, and tomorrow I’ll drive you back to your place to get your stuff.”
Sophie turned away but not before Harper saw the cat-that-ate-the-canary grin on her face. “Oh, no. I couldn’t. I don’t want to inconvenience anyone,” Harper blurted, her eyes suddenly wide.
Luke looked at her. “I’ll be more inconvenienced if you sleep in the damn parking lot. Besides, I promised the doc I’d bring you by in the morning so she can get a couple of quick X-rays if you were still in town.”
And then the sleeping situation…
“This is awkward, isn’t it?” Harper blurted out.
Luke smiled. “A little.”
“It’s just for one night.” She wasn’t sure if she was trying to reassure him or herself.
“And we’re adults.”
“It would appear so.”
“We’re just being silly,” Harper reasoned. “It’s just sleep.”
Soon enough… he (and his sister, Sophie – who totally notices how Luke is looking at Harper) decide to create a fake relationship situation with Harper (she can live with him in the meantime and work for him too), so that his parents get off his back about finding love.
“Hey, I told you if you didn’t start at least pretending to date, Mom was going to take matters into her own hands. She just wants you to be happy.”
Luke shook his head and stared out the window.
“Harper, help me out here,” Sophie pleaded. “My idiot brother may not see the sense here, but you do, don’t you?”
“Are you talking about me pretending to be Luke’s girlfriend?”
“In exchange for a temporary job and a place to live.”
Anyway, he’s deploying to Afghanistan soon for 6 months, so this should be a piece of cake, right? The perfect “symbiotic relationship” (or non-relationship). 😉
OH BOY. You already know “fake relationship deals” have so much an angsty unrequited love potential…
“I don’t want you to get the wrong idea and think that we’re going to start some romantic affair—”
Her eyes widened. “Who said anything about an affair or a relationship, which I’m sure is your bigger concern? You’re leaving. I’m leaving. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like how I feel when you touch me. Because I really do. It makes me wonder.”
but OMG this one will put you through the ringer!!!!
“What? Barely controlled chaos?” Luke’s lips quirked.
“‘A breath of fresh air,’ I believe she said.”
“She’s more like a hurricane.”
And EVERYTHING makes sense. Every bit of it, and all HUGE reasons. Just. You. Wait!!!!
NOW SKIP THIS NEXT PART AS I ANALYZE MY “HOLY MOLY I CAN’T BREATHE” SCENE and compare it to another scene in one of my all-time favorite books that had me reacting like this (but in case you’ve read it, or don’t mind knowing what you might be in for…) read on:
Like remember… I dunno if you’ve read “Mystery Man” by Kristen Ashley? Remember how Hawk was so hot and cold with the heroine, and possessive and seemed so into her… but at one point he totally lost it on her? Said some stuff that ripped my heart out… er… I mean hers. Remember??? THAT PART cinched that book for me as a forever favorite because it was such a raw and real moment, and took me out of my reality and I BECAME the heroine at that point.
I was all OH NO HE DIDN’T!!!!!!!!!!!
THIS BOOK? TOTALLY THAT AND I FREAKING LOVED IT! I know, I know… in reality I NEVER want to experience the hurt that this story brought on, but in books, it turns a “safe” slightly angsty story that you know will end in an HEA into a full blown hurricane of emotions that keeps me devouring every single word of it. In books. Always and ONLY in books. <— ‘Kay Universe? I don’t want any angst in real life please. Thank you. ☺️
If I was to quote some of what I experienced in this book… you. would. GASP!!! In fact… while I highlighted SO MUCH of this story (again, it was my romance book perfection because it kept me on the edge of my seat and experiencing every single emotion), here are my notes (I was speechless… obviously):
Page 1**: GASSSSSSP!!!
Page 3**: GASSSSSSPPP!!!!!!!
See? It kept me reacting.
So all that to say…
5 STARS!!!!!! I’m thrilled Renee took the time to let me know about it, because it checked off all of my “romance book” needs. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!
➔➔➔ Looking for more of my must-read recommendations? Browse my 5 star and 4.5 star and 4 star reviews. 😀
➔➔➔ Love this trope? Check out more of my fake relationship & unrequited love features and reviews on my blog!
This makes me so HAPPY 💝 I’m so glad you loved it as much as I did!! I wish i could erase it from my mind and start it all over again…. and again and again and again!!
I’m finding it so hard to find a book to follow it up tho now 😭 have had a couple DNF’s so have decided to try another Lucy Score one. Her book By a thread was also a 5 ⭐️ from me but not GIANT ones like this one X
I keep hearing how good By a Thread was!!! Maybe I’ll try it next. 😀
I loved it!!!! Looking up By a thread!! Thanks
Read the other two in the Benevolence series. They’re pretty good, too. Second book about Aldo, third book about Linc. All characters are revisited in each book. I love when authors do that. Threads – yes! Rock Bottom Girl – thumbs up. Lucy Score has become a new fav author for our tiny reading group.
I LOVED Linc!!!!!! Yesssss his book I’m def. interested in.
Read 2nd, too. The girl interest is the one Harper ‘saves’ in the first book. The first two books are written in the same time frame but separate character stories.
I agree 100% with your review. I have read over 5000 romances and Pretend You’re Mine remains in my top 5 of all time. I have read it several times over the years and love it more and more for all the reasons you mentioned.
I absolutely loved this book. Loved it, loved it.