A Small Town Story with Heavy Themes and a Great Romance
Finally Mine Book Cover Finally Mine
Benevolence (Book 2)
Lucy Score
Contemporary Romance
Bloom Books
June 13, 2023
ebook, paperback, audiobook

From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Things We Never Got Over

If he doesn't end up naked and spread eagle on my bed I. Will. Die.

Gloria is due a happily ever after. She's lost ten years to a toxic, dangerous relationship. Now that she's finally free―and medicating with makeovers and margaritas in her mother's kitchen―she has a long road ahead of her remembering who she really is. She's scarred. But scarred doesn't mean broken.

While Gloria's deciding to take the next decade off from men, along comes larger-than-life, hometown hero Aldo Moretta. He's saying all the right things and flirting in all the right ways. He's deploying for six months and wants a date…with Gloria…when he comes back. Swoon. Panic.

One kiss, one dazzling, remember-for-a-lifetime kiss and he's gone. But life and happily ever afters don't always take the straight path. When Aldo's deployment is cut short by an injury, it's up to Gloria to be the hero for them both.

Author's Note: You will laugh, cry, and fall head over face for Gloria and Aldo. And the evil rescue kitten. Also the four-letter-word-loving, commando-going Mrs. Moretta who's just in it for the cookies.

“I think you might be the girl I’ve been waiting my whole life for. But I want you to see who I see. I want you to remember what it’s like to be you.”

I first read the Benevolence series when it was first released independently by Lucy Score. I can say with utmost confidence that Finally Mine stands the test of time, and this Bloom Books release of Finally Mineshouldn’t be missed by newcomers to Lucy Score.  Set in a quirky small town, Finally Mine is equal parts military romance with PTSD themes and childhood crush to lovers transformation romance.

The main character, Gloria Parker, is a survivor of a long-time abusive relationship. This means that there are a lot of references both on and off page that depict the kind of abuse that Gloria was subjected to while in her relationship with her abuser. While this subject matter is triggering for some, I was able to read on with the confidence that Lucy Score is an author who delivers on a great romance, and addresses abuse and PTSD in a healthy way.  Gloria finally finds the courage to leave her abuser and then, step by step, make a new life for herself that isn’t beholden to anyone but herself.

“Nothing happier than the sound of champagne being uncorked.”

Aldo Moretta is the man who waited for over 10 years to get his shot with Gloria Parker. He was two years older than her in school but lost his chance with her his senior year in high school. This missed chance meant that Aldo flung himself headlong into college and then the military, deployments, and honing his athlete’s physique to tip-top form all while juggling his career and becoming a partner in a successful local business.

Knowing he has a deployment coming quickly, Aldo lays his plans out for Gloria in a way that ensures he doesn’t spook her, but she understands that he’s playing the long game. Aldo knows that Gloria needs to live on her own and work through her demons while he’s away and he’s prepared to give her the space she needs to do that, if she understands that he’s not going anywhere. It’s those best laid plans that always go sideways.

“Most of my ugly scars are on the inside, and I’ve presented every last one of them to you. You’re still here. I think you owe me the same chance. Show me your scars, Aldo.”

Aldo returns early from his deployment with an injury that’s both physical and emotional: a lot like how Gloria still needs to work on her emotional and mental wounds from her abusive relationship. Gloria and Aldo’s transformational journey is a lesson in the importance of mental health care. Learning to lean on someone after being hurt is a lesson in trust as well.

I love Lucy Score’s small-town stories. The surrounding characters, the storylines, and her HEA’s always deliver for me. There are a lot of heavy themes in Finally Mine, but if you’re in the mood to be transformed with the main characters, then I think you should definitely read this wonderful romance.