Happy Monday all!  I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.  The weather was great here on Saturday so I did a little yard work, but Sunday it rained most of the day so I read and start getting caught up on my blog hopping.  Today I’m back with two new reviews from authors who are fast becoming auto-buy authors for me, Katy Birchall and Lucy Score.


Reviews:  THE LAST WORD and PRETEND YOU’RE MINEThe Last Word Goodreads

Author: Katy Birchall

Publication Date: May 2, 2023

Publisher:  St. Martin’s Griffin

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley.  All opinions are my own.


The Last Word by Katy Birchall is a fun new enemies/rivals-to-lovers romance. I just love Birchall’s humor and the way she writes her characters, and I’m also a huge fan of the enemies/rivals to lovers trope so I couldn’t wait to dive into this book.

The story follows Harper and Ryan, two journalists who crossed paths years ago when they were interns for the same publication. There was definitely chemistry between them back then but Ryan ultimately betrays her, and they haven’t spoken since.  When we meet Harper, she is fully focused on her career as a successful and well-respected Celebrity Editor for a newspaper magazine.  Life is good with the exception of her sexist boss.  Not only does the man seem to go out of his way to be rude to her, but he also takes every opportunity to stifle her career growth.  As if all of that wasn’t bad enough, now he has gone and hired Ryan to be his new Features Editor.

Needless to say, sparks fly as soon as Ryan and Harper are forced to work together.  Constant bickering and disagreements eventually give way to a tentative partnership, and of course my favorite part of an enemies to lovers story – when the main characters realize that maybe they don’t hate each other after all and the trajectory of their relationship changes.  I always love those moments and Birchall handles them well here.

Harper is a fantastic character. I love how she’s a real go-getter even in the face of blatant sexism that has her other colleagues shaking their heads.  Harper is amazing at her job and is the go-to person when celebrities want someone who they can trust to respectfully and professionally handle their stories.  Even though I went into this book craving a fun rom com, I really enjoyed Harper’s personal/professional journey as she fully comes into her own and takes the reins of her career.  It took me a little longer to warm up to Ryan just because I was Team Harper all the way, but once we are finally allowed to learn the details of what happened all those years ago, my heart fully melted toward him.

The Last Word is the third book from Katy Birchall I’ve read and it definitely will not be my last! 4 STARS


Reviews:  THE LAST WORD and PRETEND YOU’RE MINEPretend You're Mine (Benevolence, 1) Goodreads

Author: Lucy Score

Publication Date: May 9, 2023 (First published, October 26, 2015)

Publisher: Bloom Books

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley.  All opinions are my own.


I’m pretty late to the Lucy Score party and have been playing catch up on all of her popular romance novels.  When I saw that Bloom Books was reissuing her Benevolence series with gorgeous new covers, I decided it was a good time to snag a copy of the first book in the series, Pretend You’re Mine.  And boy did this story hook me  — I read it cover to cover in one day!

Luke Garrison is beloved by everyone in the town of Benevolence. He’s a hometown hero whose life has been touched by tragedy.   He has no interest in building a life with someone and thus fully devotes himself to his business and to serving his country through the National Guard.  When Harper Wilde comes barreling into his life, he has no idea that his life will never be the same.

When we meet Harper, she has just caught her boyfriend in bed with another woman. Furious, she grabs her car keys, and nothing else, and just starts driving.  She runs out of gas in Benevolence and while she’s trying to figure out what to do next, she witnesses a man assaulting a woman in the parking lot and without thinking, rushes over and actually jumps right on the man’s back. The man she went after has a reputation for being abusive, so Harper becomes a bit of a hero in the town herself for taking him on.  Luke witnessed the incident in the parking lot and immediately made it his business to look after Harper, even reluctantly allowing her to stay at his place and temporarily work as his office manager once she confesses that she has nothing but a set of car keys to her name at the moment.

Pretend You’re Mine features so many of my favorite tropes.  In addition to the small town romance, it also features forced proximity, only one bed, and even some fake dating.  The fake dating aspect was probably my favorite because Harper agrees to go along with it to give Luke some peace from his well-meaning, but very meddlesome, family.  Luke’s family is so sweet and loving, and I love how quickly they all fell in love with Harper and made her feel like she was part of the family.  Since we learn early on that Harper’s life was also marred by tragedy that left her in the foster system, that made the Garrison family’s love for her all the more touching.

With its mix of sexy, steamy moments and full-on rom com antics, Pretend You’re Mine kept me thoroughly entertained, although I will admit that it also frustrated me at times.  Luke was especially frustrating in that he was practically paralyzed from moving forward in his personal life because he felt like he was betraying the memory of someone else he cared about.  He sent Harper so many mixed signals that at times, I just wanted to shake him.  Even though I occasionally wanted to throttle Luke, I was still rooting for him to sort himself out and not lose Harper and I can’t wait to dive into the next book in the series and see what the folks of Benevolence get up to next. 4 STARS.

6 replies
  1. Angela @ Literary Wanderer
    Angela @ Literary Wanderer says:

    I just bought my first Lucy Score book, so it’s good to know that this one was also a hit! The Last Word also sounds really great; I love when authors mix in personal/professional growth into romances, makes it feel more well-rounded.

  2. Sam@WLABB
    Sam@WLABB says:

    The Last Word was my third book by Birchall, so I expected the romance to take a backseat to the heroine’s personal journey. I don’t mind though because Birchall gives enough attention to the romance while also writing a wonderful story filled with great characters.

  3. verushka
    verushka says:

    I can’t get enouhg of the cover for The Last Word! It sounds like such a fun read, and Harper, I definitely want to know more about her!

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