- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 589 KB
- Print Length: 174 pages
- Publisher: Carina Press (5 Aug. 2013)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00CC68FWK
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #781,720 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Ugly Ducklings Finish First (Bitterthorn, Texas) Kindle Edition
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The story is told from two characters points of views. Payton Pruit, a young doctor, who returns to her hometown of Bitterhorn, Texas for her ten year high school reunion to prove to all her past tormentors that she is no longer the victim that she once was and Wiley Sharpe, past high school jock and ultimate playboy turned local family law attorney.
There were times when Payton got on my nerves and I was like, "Get over it already" but then I would remember that she graduated when she was fifteen years old and all those insecurities of not fitting in were still haunting her. She grows a lot during the story, puts some of her demons to rest, and realizes that she has had a lot of misconceptions about her past and the people she has tried to leave behind.
Wiley is adorable, smart, and persistent. In high school he was the playboy jock who had to be tutored by a then thirteen year old Payton in order to pass his senior year. He remembers the past in a completely different way than Payton does and is determined to make her see things his way.
In the midst of all the reconnecting and healing there is a mystery to be solved and a bad guy to catch. I don't want to give any of the story away but some of my favorite parts were during the times that Wiley and Payton where trying to gather evidence. One of the characters, old Mrs. Bimmel, was hilarious!
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a light, fast and fun contemporary romance with a side of drama thrown in. I had a great time reading it and look forward to reading future books by Stacy Gail featuring Bitterhorn, Texas.
"Ugly Ducklings Finish First" is the best combo of sweet small town romance and sexy, can't-resist attraction. There's quiet wisdom underlying the banter and fun: the importance of family, strength of community, the painful journey to maturity.
Most of all, it's a story about love. We're loved, even if we don't always realise it.
Which isn't to say that their relationship is without friction. It is. Payton knows that Wiley used to play fast and loose with the ladies and she's not willing to risk her heart. Wiley is dealing with his vandalizing stalker and he's not willing to risk Payton. Payton has a life outside of Bitterthorn that she's determined to get back to. Payton also might have a *few* issues with the way she views love and marriage after growing up with the ups and downs of her parents' marriage.
With the way the two of them light up around one another, falling into bed is easy. The hard part is deciding if what they have is worth going all in for. There's small town gossip and the fractured relationship between Payton and her mother to navigate. There's danger in unexpected places and the past keeps rearing up and poking at both Payton and Wiley.
As successful as they've both become, they still have to try to live down those pesky high school days when they were Baby Brain and the Coyote.
Stacy Gail delivers the sexy, small town fun and I'm in.
-Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal
I liked seeing this couple get together. Payton was a sweetheart and yet still haunted by her high school days. She has mother issues which I enjoyed seeing her actually attempt to work through, making a pretty darned good start by the end of the book. Wiley was (for me) hilarious, in how everyone who knew his high school reputation (which was pretty much everyone in Bitterthorn), thought he was waaaay too familiar with the ladies. Yet he rather liked Payton back when she tutored him in high school and of course, she had the hots for him, though she had to hide it. After all, she was the nerd tutor and he was the uber-popular football star.
When they first meet at their 10-year reunion, Wiley doesn't recognize her, but she recognizes him. She has a bit of fun with that, but ultimately, the truth comes out quickly. They work through some of their issues.
The one disappointing factor that stuck with me, even a week or so after reading this book, came toward the end when Wiley was trying to protect Payton. I felt he was a bit of an ass, and could have handled it a lot better/smarter than he did.
There was a side-plot which involved Wiley and someone who was clearly out to get him (spay-painting his house, etc.). That was another not-so-great-part of the book, which involved a couple of eye rolls on my part, but in the end didn't bother me enough to effect my rating/enjoyment of this book.
Ultimately, this was a great book and definitely worth reading. 5-star rating.
Thank you for letting me read this, Carina/Ms. Gail!