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Things We Never Got Over
by Lucy Score
Happy Tropes & Cheese Day!
Today we’re digging into a spicy small-town romance that showcases why family is so important - but that “family” doesn’t always have to mean blood.
Book: Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Spice Level: 🔥🔥🔥🔥
Content Warning: Toxic masculinity, estranged family relationships, and some violence including gun violence.
Tropes: Small Town Romance, Grumpy-Sunshine, Fake Dating.
This book has everything. Good twin vs. Evil twin! Macho brothers who can’t keep their fists off each other's faces! A sassy best friend who swoops in to help! A sexy librarian! A villianous ex-fiancé! Sooo many dogs!
What’s It About?
We meet Naomi on the morning after (what would have been) her wedding day after responding to an SOS call/trap laid by her hot-mess twin sister in Knockemout, VA. We quickly learn that said twin sister has been tormenting this quaint small town, so as her responsible and somewhat put-together doppelganger, Naomi quickly earns the nickname, “Not Tina.”
Then we meet the grumpiest grump to ever grump, Knox Morgan. Even his name is grumpy. But don’t worry, Knox’s grumpage is no match for Naomi’s sunshine.
But the most endearing part of this story was not actually the steamy and spicy AF romance… although that was nice too.
Tina leaves town after robbing Naomi and stealing her car (I wasn’t kidding when I said “evil twin”) and leaves her 11-year-old daughter in Naomi’s care. Well, “leaving her in Naomi’s care” sounds too responsible. She left her daughter, aptly named Waylay, in Naomi’s hotel room after robbing it.
I was prepared for the journey that ensued to be stressful (mostly because I would not handle that situation well,) but it was an absolute joy to read. Naomi has to navigate a new life that is vastly different than the one she just fled, all while learning how to be a great parental guardian to a kid who has never been able to trust an adult in her life.
It truly takes a village, and Naomi’s village shows up with bells on. Between her new friends in town and her old friends and family who jump in to help, Naomi and Waylay are able to accept the help from others and begin building a life they love, together.
I’m not usually a fan of the overly macho, ‘I beat my chest so you know I’m manly’ love interest, so at first, I was put off by Knox’s gruff exterior and overly masculine demeanor. However, he really grew on me as he showed his softer side - like when he provides the staff at his restaurant (all women) with a “code red care package” every month which includes a plate of brownies, Midol, and stick-on heating pads. So while there is a lot of testosterone flying around in this book, there’s a lot of sweetness too.
As you can imagine, car-stealing, motel-room-robbing Tina doesn’t surround herself with the best people, so there is some drama toward the end of the book involving a crime syndicate. It’s intense but worth it to watch the town turn out in spectacular fashion for their beloved “Not Tina.”
Speaking of evil twins, there are discussions of other estranged family members and general family dynamic issues throughout the book. But rather than be a negative plot point, Lucy Score uses it to show that while blood family is important (Naomi’s parents show up for her, Knox’s grandmother is an absolute saint, etc.) our chosen family is equally important. And when they offer to help, it’s okay to say yes.
Now, how to make your reading experience a bit more fun?
💈🥃 Drink Pairing/Activity Suggestion: Knox owns a barbershop called Whiskey Clipper, and I’m sad it’s not a real place because it sounds fabulous and I’m in desperate need of a haircut. But since it is indeed fictional, here’s a list of six barbershops around the country that could give Whiskey Clipper a run for its money!
🪵🔥 Food Pairing: Firepit nights and s’more feasts are a common thread throughout this book, so I thought it might be fun to share a classed-up s’more recipe. But then I stumbled upon an idea that puts normal old s’mores to absolute shame. Move over, charcuterie boards, s’mores boards are here and they’re our new favorite summer staple.
🛍🛒 Etsy Listing: This is extremely niche and probably won’t get a second look from anyone who hasn't read the book, but if you have and you love it, this Honky Tonk sweatshirt is adorable. Plus, if you wear it and a fellow Lucy Score fan spots you, you’ll become instant BFFs, guaranteed.
As always, I encourage you to see if Things We Never Got Over is available from your local, indie bookstore. Don’t know where one is? Try this Indie Bookstore Finder! You can also purchase it directly from Lucy Score’s website.
Your local library is also a great place to look for this and other books. And, of course, all the big-name booksellers will certainly have what you’re looking for.
Spending a few days in the quaint little town that is Knockemout, VA was a delight and I wish it were real so I could go visit. Instead, I’ll just have to settle for reading the next book in the series - with a third coming out later this summer!
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!