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Ugly Ducklings Finish First (Bitterthorn, Texas) by [Gail, Stacy]
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Ugly Ducklings Finish First (Bitterthorn, Texas) Kindle Edition

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Product details

  • 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
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #618,596 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x99b67df8) out of 5 stars 10 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x996378c4) out of 5 stars A Reading the Paranormal Review 11 Aug. 2013
By Kelly Rubidoux - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I sat down to read this on a day when I needed something light and playful and I can say -- with confidence -- that I got just that. Wiley and Payton are SO DAMN CUTE together that it worked.

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
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99637918) out of 5 stars Sweet, quick romance 14 Aug. 2013
By ToryMichaels - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
As with most Carina books, this is a quick, easy read. As I gave it a 5-star rating when I rated it on Goodreads, clearly I didn't have any major issues that took away from my appreciation of it. This featured a couple of classic tropes (nerd-girl turned sexy and reformed rake) and didn't particularly do anything original with them. But the way Ms. Gail presented them, I got plenty of giggles.

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!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99c386fc) out of 5 stars A fun, sweet and light reading 28 Aug. 2013
By Yazmin Rangel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
4.5 Stars

In Ugly Ducklings Finish First by Stacy Gail, Dr. Payton Pruitt used to be the ugly duckling with the most horrible nicknames, metal mouth, queen geek, baby brain, all because she was so smart she skipped a couple of grades and she was younger then everyone else in high school. She preferred to have her head in a book than to hear all the names they gave her. Until she was assigned as Wiley (Coyote) Sharpe's tutor to help him get passing grades so he could graduate. She lived to help him and for her studies, but the fact that Wiley was one of the popular kids did not help her be closer to him.

Wiley is now a respected lawyer, and he has worked hard to be where he is. But now his ten year high school reunion invitation has arrived and he is not sure if he wants to go. Not only does he does not want to hear again how he was voted the label Most Likely to Be Slapped with a Paternity Suit, which he has not been able to live down. But he also has some acts of vandalism that suggest they are from someone that knew him back then, which means he has to go if he wants to be able to find the culprit.

Payton convinced herself to go to the reunion only because she had a conference the following day in another city close by her hometown Bitterthorn, Texas. Now being faced with so many people that did not like her and only made her high school years miserable she believes that she made a mistake and wants to leave. But she will stay for a little while and then leave only if to vindicate herself and her old self-esteem with the woman she is now.

As much as Wiley is hating the reunion he wants to see if anyone looks like the culprit of the vandalism against him, but so far nothing and he wants to leave, until he sees a gorgeous woman all by herself and he knows that he is going to approach her. Payton can recognize the Wiley immediately, what surprises her is that he recognized her, but they were really close back then so it stands to reason that he would recognize some habits she has not gotten fully rid off.

The way that the sparks fly off when they are together, and even more on their first kiss, falling into bed will be easy. But convincing Payton to give him and the town a chance and to stay will not. She has been moving to bigger and better things in the past ten years, now Wiley will have to find a way to convince her that staying in a small town is not going back but better for her and everyone, especially them.

The intrigue of the vandalisms, the smarts of Payton and the determination of Wiley to protect her and fight for what they are feeling kept me going without being able to put the book down. Payton has a lot of issues she has to resolve if she is to be truly happy, but she will have to face and hear the other side of things and not just the one she believes that she knows. Wiley will have his work cutout for him on this one, but the love that he has grown to have for her is definitely worth it.

For a fun, sweet and light reading, don't miss Ugly Ducklings Finish First by Stacy Gail.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99637ba0) out of 5 stars Loved this book 1 Nov. 2014
By ~Nichole Hart ~ Sizzling Pages Romance Reviews - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Loved this book ..even when it made me cry buckets. I'm a sap I know it and Stacy Gail has a way with tearing you down or rather her characters have a way with knowing just what to do to break your heart. Then she puts you back together and you just aren't the same afterwards.
Didn't think I'd ever read a book with the hero named Wiley and like him. You proved me wrong Stacy.
Really sweet and sexy book with some angst thrown in that will make you want to throw your Kindle. But the sexy sizzling and spicy romantic interludes will make you forgive her..I did.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99637de0) out of 5 stars Small-town, Sexy-times Romance 5 Sept. 2013
By Jenny Schwartz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There's always a worry when you review a friend's book -- what if I don't like it? But I never have that worry with Stacy. She writes wonderful characters in the friendly, funny style that is just her.

"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.
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