Audiobook Review: Romancing the Ugly Duckling (Romancing the... #2) by Clare London

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.

Narrated by: Joel Leslie
Length: 7 hours 15 minutes

Let's just nutshell this deal, k?

L     O     V     E     D   !     !     !     !

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!

Size difference!
Cute Dog!
Sassy Twink!
Grouchy Bear!
Making a family out of friends!
Opposites Attract!
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...

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.

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