Pretend You’re Mine: A Small Town Love Story

Pretend You’re Mine by Lucy Score starts with hometown hero Luke Garrison, a National Guard, prepared to deploy again. He’s attractive, charming, and strong; he doesn’t want a relationship. But he soon discovers that Harper, who is breathtakingly gorgeous, is the ideal ruse. A fictitious girlfriend to keep his family at bay while he’s out on another assignment.

What if he takes one bite of her lip, and his mind wanders to sinister places? He is capable of self-control. Is he unable to?

Harper was headed back to a fresh start in life. However, something about Luke makes her want to go to this little town and take up residence in his home. She finally experiences what it’s like to feel safe when his arms envelop her like steel. Safe.

A single night spent sharing a bed becomes much more than that. Luke eventually becomes fixated on Harper’s gorgeous curves and her large gray eyes. He never imagined that a lady would make him feel this way again. He knows that neither she nor he can genuinely tell her the truth about his troubled background.

Either way, this isn’t a true partnership. For just one month, though. Just act as though. Up until it isn’t…

In case I haven’t mentioned it enough, I adore fictitious relationship books. It’s one of my favorite clichés, really. Even though there’s always a certain silliness about it, I still love it. I had a lot of ideas regarding the plot and the heroine, in particular, after reading this book, which did not disappoint.

I want to talk about the NA (new adult) tag. Harper, the heroine, is 24 or 26, but Luke, the hero, is closer to 30. This novel was angsty but in an authentic sense. There is very little of the back and forth that NA is so big on.

Anyhow, let’s get back to Harper and Luke. After discovering her lover is unfaithful to her, Harper arrives in the Maryland village of Benevolence. Luke is an extremely attractive hero who is emotionally distant and withdrawn. Harper gets knocked out in a domestic fight with someone else, which makes their meeting adorable and strange. Luke awakens her. Their story starts when he asks her out for a drink.

In a month, Luke, a member of the National Guard, is scheduled to deploy. The excessive involvement of Luke’s family is an attempt to get him to date. Since Harper doesn’t own a home and is in between jobs, it benefits both of them when Luke’s sister proposes that Harper pretend to be his girlfriend for a month.

I really enjoyed this story. It’s rather lengthy and packed with action. Harper finds Luke to be a bit of a jerk. I find it incredibly annoying that he attempts to decide everything for her. To get to where she is, Harper had to overcome a great deal of hardship. Luke describes her as a “walking disaster”; you can see his slight above. To be honest, I don’t think he deserved Harper.

Harper was excellent. Clever, humorous, compassionate, loving—the list is endless. I would even venture to suggest that Harper is a little bit of a Mary Sue. She befriends every person in the community. She protects animals. She was fireproof. A difficult upbringing. She works as an incredible employee. Even the most cynical residents of the town fell in love with her. She earned all the excellence in her life, in a way. Nevertheless, my feelings about this book remained unchanged despite her Mary Sue nature.

The female interactions in this novel were one thing that really made it enjoyable for me. Though there are a number of supporting characters and even a couple of side romances, none of them overshadow the primary plot. Harper has to make new friends because Luke will be gone for several months. Harper genuinely excels in her role as everyone’s champion. She addresses a female friend doubting her value with her little speech.

It’s true that we could all use a companion like Harper.

The plot had some suspense, but it felt like it needed to be more fitting. But I can overlook it since I love Harper so much. Luke wasn’t the worst, but he did act erratically on occasion. He made a few little groveling gestures. The other relationships and Harper’s flawlessness were what really sold me on this novel.

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