Romancing The Ugly Duckling, by Clare London
Series: A Dreamspun Desires Novel
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: June 15, 2017
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Is this the makeover of a lifetime?
Ambitious fashionista Perry Goodwood lands the project of his dreams—track down a celebrity family’s missing brother in the Scottish Highlands and bring him back to London for a TV reality show. But first he must transform the rugged loner into a glamorous sophisticate.
Greg Ventura has no use for high fashion. He lives on the isolated island of North Uist to escape the reminder that he’s nowhere near as handsome as his gorgeous brothers and avoid the painful childhood memories of being bullied.
Greg wants nothing to do with city life, and Perry’s never been outside London. When Perry is stranded on North Uist, this conflict seems insurmountable. But Greg is captivated by the vivacious Perry, and Perry by both the island and his host. However, Perry’s one heartfelt wish remains: that ugly duckling Greg fulfill his potential as a swan.
If you’re looking for a sweet, low-angst, strangers-to-friends-to-lovers story then Romancing The Ugly Duckling might just fit the bill.
There’s almost a country mouse/city mouse vibe to this story as it sees Londoner, Perry travelling to a remote Scottish island to convince burly, loner Greg to appear in a reality TV show with his estranged brothers. While Greg has absolutely no desire to be reunited with his gorgeous brothers, considering the years of bullying they heaped upon him, Perry’s job is riding on getting Greg to leave his comfortable island life behind for the bright lights of the City. And if Perry has no job, he has no way of paying back the mountain of debt that a scheming ex-boyfriend has saddled him with.
At first, stubborn Greg can hardly bring himself to be polite to this gorgeous stranger that shows up at his door, but neither can he turn him away. For his part, Perry can’t figure out why Greg’s brothers refer to him as “the ugly duckling” as nothing could be further from the truth.
It doesn’t take long for these two men to become attracted to one another, but it didn’t feel like ‘insta-love’ to me. Rather, it seemed that their attraction grew at a steadily believable pace. I loved how Perry was able to ingratiate himself, not only into Greg’s lonely life, but into the lives of his neighbours and friends, and how happy and content he was to do so.
I enjoyed the author’s light touch in this book. The affection Greg’s friends have for him is obvious, even when they are gently teasing him, and I loved how that affection spread towards Perry as well. This is a sweetly romantic, light-hearted, feel-good kind of book. Basically, your perfect summer read.
Clare took the pen name London from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home, she juggles her writing with her other day job as an accountant.
She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with award-winning novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say she’s just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy.
Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic and sexy characters.
Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter 3 stage and plenty of other projects in mind . . . she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home.
She publishes with several publishers, in print and ebook, and offers free fiction on her website.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.