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I love a good Opposites Attract trope! When it's mixed with a fun Fish out of Water trope, I'm in like Flynn.
Put it in Scotland and add Joel Leslie's narration? I could (and did!) listen all day.
What's to know? Perry Goodwood, who's never been outside of London, is given an impossible assignment of getting the wayward brother of a celebrity family to leave his home on the isolated island of North Uist and return to London to participate in a reality series.
Only thing is Greg Ventura has no use for London or his brothers - who used to tease and torment him terribly. When Perry arrives it's without any of the normal support he'd have from his firm and he's alone and has to try to convince Greg to do the show.
Greg, who was always called out as the "the ugly duckling" of the family, has grown up to be the best looking of the bunch, but is still largely unaware of it. Perry, now stranded on North Uist, sets out to convince him otherwise, and in the process falls in love with both Greg and North Uist.
This is a really enjoyable story. It's got a great setting, a wonderful cast of characters, a dual perspective from both Perry and Greg's POV, and not a lot of angst...but what absolutely did it for me was the narration of the audiobook. I loved Joel Leslie's Scottish accents! And while I don't know how accurate they may be - it was a downright pleasure to listen to.
Romancing the Ugly Duckling is the second book in the Romancing the...series, and it's the 36th book in the Harlequin Books-esque Dreamspun Desires series, but can absolutely be read as a standalone.
This is a sweet fish out of water/ opposites attract romance with terrific narration. I had a lot of fun listening to this and hope you will too!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I went into this thinking it would be a sweet "not so great looking guy meets gorgeous guy that looks past physical looks to the person inside." It was not quite that. This is a story of one man not having confidence in his looks because of family stuff and another that is very confident in his looks, but still insecure. Perry is sent to a small island off the coast of Scotland to try and convince one of five brothers (Greg) to return to London to star with his other four brothers in a reality show. The fact that this is even realistic continues to blow my mind, but I guess it is.
Greg walked away from his family five years ago b/c he didn't think he fit in; even though he is "roguishly handsome". Perry thinks he is out of his element leaving the city, and is a bit of a drama queen, but slowly finds his steel, falls in love with the town and Greg. There is of course family drama, town drama, Perry's job is in jeopardy and a HFN ending. The story is sweet, but Joel Leslie takes it to another level with the wonderful variety of English and Scottish accents. He gives a great performance as he captures the humor and romance of these men.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This was a nice, sweet, east listen. Quite a unique concept and although unrealistic it was fun and interesting. Joel Leslie was a great narrator, switching his voice between English and Scottish is no easy thing but he managed it with ease.
Perry works in London at the Latham Agency doing makeovers for b list celebrities. One day 4 impossibly attractive brothers come in to request their services. They want Perry and the team to collect their 5th brother from Scotland, give him a makeover and bring him back to the capital for a reality TV show that will only go ahead if all 5 of them are involved.
Perry is sent to the middle of nowhere in Scotland and right from the beginning it is one cock up after another. The rest of the team never shows up and he soon realises this London city boy is well out of his league in the countryside. And then he meets Greg.
Greg left London and his family once he graduated university for an idyllic life in Scotland. Bullied by his brothers and their friends for being 'the ugly duckling' of the bunch he just wanted to escape and never return. All of a sudden he has an attractive young gay guy from London dripping wet on his door step trying to convince him to return.
They are both attracted to each other and whilst circumstances lead to Perry staying with Greg in his cottage they realise how deep their feelings for each other go.
These two are so sweet I loved listening to them interact. Although Perry comes across as a slick city boy he has his own insecurities and vulnerability that is endearing and sweet. Then there's Greg and oh how I loved him. He's not 'the ugly duckling' at all but just different to his brothers and in all the best ways! But he has been damaged by the taunts from his youth and Perry needs to help show him how truly unique and amazing he is.
Secondary characters are great in this book. I loved all the Scottish folk on the island they made me laugh and I loved Joel Leslie's narration of them. Greg's dog Rory is awesome! Love him! And he manages to win round Perry who is scared of dogs.
There's some angst and drama in this book mainly surrounding Perry returning to London and Greg being in Scotland but thankfully it wasn't over done.
A nice, light and sweet story and an awesome audiobook
To be honest I thought this was going to be like other transformation stories but this is so much more. A truly modern and realistic take on the story. Greg Ventura is the ‘ugly duckling’ brother and has hidden himself away on a remote Scottish isle because of his brothers bullying. Over time he has become more of a man in all senses then his materialistic brothers. Perry was sent to entice him back so that the brothers can What I loved was that Perry is not a shining Prince Charming character but a lovely friendly bloke who is down on his luck. When he gets to North Uist Perry finds a different and better way of life which he begins to appreciate. Both Greg and Perry, with a little help, fall for each other. I think there are two Swan moments, one for Perry when he realises being a fashionista doesn't make him happy and the other is Greg’s
Joel Leslie’s narration makes the story glow. I already knew he is a master of accents but in this story he shows how superb he is. I loved his Scottish accent and was sorry when the audiobooks finished.
Such a perfect feel good story and one I will listen to over and over again.
I was given a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.