Pippa Reviews: Romancing the Ugly Duckling by Clare London

Title: Romancing the Ugly Duckling
Author: Clare London
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 260
Characters: Perry and Greg
POV: Third person
Sub-Genre: Contemporary
Kisses: 5+


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.


This book hits all my romance feels in a huge way. I do love MM takes on fairy tales, and Romancing the Ugly Duckling is no exception.

Like all good fairy tales this one has heroes and villains, Prince Charming(s) and a hero dog. All good fairy tales have a hero dog. I wanted to hug Greg for his horrid childhood and hug Perry, well, I just wanted to hug Perry. I loathe reality TV with a passion so I really felt for Greg resisting the attempt to be molded into the antithesis of himself.

The small Scottish island setting was perfect and I loved the locals. I appreciate the fact the author didn’t resort to stereotypes. There were business brains among the knitters.

If I had one minor quibble, I would have liked to have seen Perry making friends with the villagers rather than after the fact. But it didn’t matter too much. This was about Perry showing Greg in the most wonderful way that he wasn’t an Ugly Duckling at all.

Clare London has written a story with humour and pathos, there was tension, angst, and tender loving. If you need an antidote to today’s uncertain world Romancing the Ugly Duckling is it.

Reviewed By: Pippa Wood

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