Author: Lucy Score
Publication date: October 22nd, 2015
Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
A Small Town Love Story
I only wanted to protect you...
Luke Garrison is a hometown hero, a member of the National Guard ready to deploy again. Strong, sweet, and sexy, he doesn't have a girlfriend and doesn't want one. 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 out on another mission.
So what if a single bite of her lip 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 Luke's house a home. When his arms wrap around her like steel, she finally knows what it's like to feel safe. Protected.
One night of sleeping in the same 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 of 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 to him what she's running from.
Anyway, this isn't a real relationship. It's only for a month. Only pretend. Until it isn't...
On my excursion to read every romance book available on Kindle Unlimited I stumbled across this gem. As I had never read anything but the author, I was more than happy to see how to stood up to all the other authors I have had the pleasure of getting to know through their work. I had been going through a bit of a drought for good books so I was desperate to find something I could get into. Once I read the male lead was a military man, I was sold. Who doesn't love a man in uniform, amiright?
Harper was on the run again, this time to avoid the philandering ex-boyfriend she found banging a random woman in their bed. She left her home with nothing but the keys to her car and headed towards her best friend's a few hours away. What she didn't realize until she stopped on the side of the road to find a phone to call her friend, that she had gone the completely opposite way! It was only after Harper jumps on the back of a man assaulting another woman like a rabid monkey that she is suddenly thrown into the path (literally) of devastatingly handsome, Luke.
Luke was set to deploy in a month's time. His life was planned out. His goals were set. Then Harper happened. The attraction was immediate but due to his dark past, Luke resisted. Even with the spirited little blonde tucked into his bed beside him, he tried to maintain his distance. But, his family is determined to see him let another woman into his life and at the risk of dating a third cousin, he asks Harper to be his pretend girlfriend. But where does the line between pretend and real truly end?
Two words, ladies. Miliary. Man. The uniform is drool-worthy on its own but add to that a chip on his shoulder and a 'no nonsense' personality makes the main male lead extra swoony. I loved that he was paired with a woman that was DRASTICALLY different from him in every way. She was the lighthearted troublemaker to his stoic hardass-ness. Harper was my ideal heroine. She was not one to let bad things drag her down for too long. She was a survivor through and through. Her personality is infectious and she bettered Luke's small town and Luke himself just by being there.
In some ways, I found this book to be a little long winded. There were several times in the book where I thought it was drawing to and end only to hit another bump and start towards yet another climax. Normally, I would be heavily frustrated and ripping my hair out but somehow this author made a very odd format work to her advantage. I never got tired of the characters and while I think she would have been better sticking to their underlying issues and not adding separate ones, I still enjoyed it.
"Pretend You're Mine" is the perfect contemporary romance book featuring two very odd characters who make you believe love is possible no matter how hard life kicks you in the teeth.
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