Review Tour & Giveaway: Romancing the Ugly Duckling by Clare London


Length: 63,000 words


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.


I’m a sucker for books with Scotland or Scottish element in it. Which was why I jumped at a chance of reading Romancing the Ugly Duckling. And I had quite a fun time reading this book.

The main characters – Greg and Perry – were the absolute opposites attract expected: a klutzy nature-loving recluse and a polished city guy. Yet what’s interesting to me was the effortless ability with which Perry take up the simplicity of small town living, even charmed his way into the island community. And into Greg’s life, of course. This narrative of days spent at North Uist captivated me. They more than made up for what I felt some stereotyping of characters in the book (ie. too nice heroes, horrible boss and douche brother).

I liked that Gregg and Perry took time and not jumping each other bones the first time they met. And even when their tryst began, it was rather sweet. The humorous element was also being elaborated into the story (Perry and Rory’s first encounter was a hoot!) and not just thrown there just for the sake of (trying to) being funny. That saying, as much as I disliked Greg’s douche brother, the constant lack of self confidence he’s feeling just didn’t fully agree with me. From thought of it as adorable, I grew exasperated that a grown up (still) let other’s opinion to affect their life.

After such leisurely pace, toward the end the story pick up speed and even rushed unto conclusion. The finale also struck me as rather comical. But eh, nothing I couldn’t stomach *g*. All in all, I was quite entertained by Romancing the Ugly Duckling. (Most of) the Scotland setting and a group of great supporting characters (Rory is big influence) helped boost the enjoyment of the story.

Author Bio

Clare London took her pen name 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 three 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.

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