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Romancing the Ugly Duckling (Dreamspun Desires) Paperback – June 15, 2017
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About the Author
Clare London took her pen name from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fueled 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. 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.
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Top customer reviews
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It's well written, and easy to follow the Scottish accent, plus we get marvelous descriptions of the area. The characters are different and fun, as they size each other up. Perry learns to like the people, especially Greg, as their attraction grows, and hot smexy times ensue. Perry wins everyone's heart with his rescue.
It's a great story of overcoming staid beliefs and learning change can be good.
I might have had little hearts floating around my head even. From the start to finish I loved it. I laughed out loud. I had some feels. I shouted at the fictional characters in my phone like they could hear me. But most unbelievable of all, I drove the speed limit! Well, for the most part. A lot more than I normally do so that's something.
Romancing the Ugly Duckling had so many things I love in my romance reads my head was spinning around on all the Cracky Fluff. If it had been kinky I would've thought Clare London was courting me. Alas, no kink. So I guess I should end my mailbox vigil waiting for all those wooing gifts I was hoping for. *sad face* Anyhoozit!
Making a family out of friends!
Couples who are good for each other!
Perry Goodwood, which is the cutest name ever, ain't it? Also, solid porn star name. I am just saying. Perry is a posh Londoner and bonafide city slicker. He gets tasked to reel in the other Ventura brother, the ugly duckling of the family full of swans, to come back for a reality show. Problem is Greg Ventura is on an island off the coast of Scotland called Uist. How beside himself Perry gets by this development had me laughing out loud whilst stuck in traffic hell. He acts like it's Siberia or something!
Greg Ventura HATES the city! He left home 5 yrs ago and he's not going back. Not now. Not ever. Those perfect brothers made his childhood hell and he's got no intention of subjecting himself to that nonsense again. He's perfectly happy in his little cottage on the croft, diving for scallops and going to the pub every now and then to meet his friends.
Their interplay starts off fun with Perry not backing down from Greg's gruffness but quickly turns sweet. Having both their perspectives showed just how much things evolved for the better for both. Perry makes Greg more approachable and brings order to the chaos that Greg perpetually lives in and Greg settles Perry's frenetic nature. They both buoy the other's self-image which shows in their interactions with others as the story unfolds.
Perry fits in on this island even though it has all that water that makes him want to flee to a nice safe highrise. So Greg teaches him how to swim. They just fit. Like old shoes. It was the stuff of the best Cracky Fluff high.
There were so many conversations and swoon worthy moments between Perry and Greg like how Perry takes to just sitting on the floor of Greg's studio with Rory to watch him paint. Rory, by the way, is smarter than all of the people combined. How he even got out of the cottage to alert Greg et al. about the Perry/Fiona emergency I don't even know but good dog is good. There were so many touching moments between them and their friends too. I literally didn't want it to end and stretched it out and will probably start listening to it again in the next few days. Whenever I need a comfort read Perry and Greg will be there.
As with all the Cracky Fluffs the sexy times are few but they have chemistry and their desire for one another really came through on that Isle of UST, I mean Uist.
Greg is bad with words. Words are not his friend but the grand gesture at the end... *epic sigh*
This was another fantastic job by Joel Leslie with all the voices. He put emotion and feeling into his performance and made this cadre of characters shine. Clare London wrote a great story and Joel Leslie brought it to life. It was a joy to listen to.
I've squealed over a few of the Cracky Fluffs but this shot to the tippity-top of my fluffs faves list. I loved the characters, the relationship, the secondary characters, how the conflict came about, how their relationship strengthened each of these men and how it all worked out in the end. And Rory. I had a pretty wide range of emotions while listening to it which is always a good thing and it held my attention from start to finish which is saying something since I have the attention span of a hummingbird.
If you're looking for a comfort read that'll hit you in the feels and leave you wanting more, give Romancing the Ugly Duckling a try.
A review copy was provided to Boy Meets Boy Reviews.
The premise is something we’ve all read before; City-slicker Perry meets anything but suave Greg and while their differences should have kept them miles apart, the magnetism of opposites kicks in and the two men stand no chance in the face of that mutual attraction. That in and of itself would have been more than enough to make me a happy reader, but once the ‘ugly duckling’ trope was added to the mix I was well and truly a goner.
Perry and Greg are both wonderfully drawn and thoroughly adorable characters. Perry’s optimism and determination, even when faced with a not altogether happy host (Greg) and a location and community he doesn’t recognise or understand, was a pure delight. Nothing appeared to faze him; least of all Greg’s grumpy, at times borderline rude, behaviour.
At first glance there appears to be more depth to Greg; a personal history which makes his choice to live in almost seclusion understandable, just as it explains his insecurities when it comes to his appearance and his worth. Don’t we all know how hard it can be to shake off those casual but hurtful remarks others throw our way when we are young and impressionable? Sure there were times when I wanted to slap him for his inability to open up, for his refusal to trust Perry’s feelings. But given his history, him keeping his heart locked away made perfect sense. And, of course, his reluctance to embrace the gift that is Perry only served to make the moment when he does accept himself and the man he’s fallen for all the more beautiful. (There are other reasons why I adored that particular scene, but sharing those would mean spoiling the story, so you’ll just have to read the book if you want to know more).
But, just as Greg turns out to be far more than a grumpy man old before his age, there are more layers to Perry too. The first impression may be one of a possibly empty-headed socialite; it soon becomes clear he is anything but, not to mention a lot more. In fact, it was impossible not to fall hard and fast for Perry who refuses to take no for an answer and tackles whatever life throws his way head on.
There was a wonderful cast of secondary characters in this book, especially those we meet on North Uist. The balance between humour, romance, sexiness, and heartfelt drama (I wouldn’t go so far as to call it ‘angst’) was just about perfect.
To summarize, Romancing the Ugly Duckling was a charming, fun and delightful read. I thoroughly enjoyed Romancing the Wrong Twin a few months ago (click here for my review), but I loved this one just a bit more.
Most recent customer reviews
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Ambitious fashionista Perry Goodwood lands the project of his...Read more
The clue is in the title, so you know what to expect. And you would be right.Read more
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
This is a powerful standalone novel that is part of the Dreamspun Desires series.Read more
With Romancing the Ugly Duckling, Clare London has brought a modern M/M romance twist to the childhood story we were all told to show us that the inner self is...Read more
There was something incredibly special about this book for me, I absolutely fell in love with Perry and Greg and their amazing setting in Scotland.Read more