UGLY DUCKLINGS FINISH FIRST

Author(s): 

A small town is often the setting for an uncomplicated romance, except in this case, it’s the backdrop to uncomfortable memories of an awkward high school experience. The female protagonist’s painful past that threatens to ruin her romantic possibilities is relatable for readers who remember their teenage years with equal parts horror and humor. Some suspense relating to the male character’s stalker seems very secondary to the romance. The underlying themes of forgiveness and change lead to a happy ending that’s steamy and sweet.

To graduate high school, popular jock Wiley needed tutoring from super-smart Payton, and she believed in him when everyone else was more impressed with his love-’em-and-leave-’em reputation. They meet again at their 10-year high school reunion; he’s back in Bitterthorn practicing law and she’s a doctor in Houston. They share some pent-up resentments about high school while exploring newfound feelings of attraction that lead them into unknown intimate territory. Wiley is being stalked by someone that seems very familiar with his past reputation. Can the past be forgotten or will Payton’s determination to act rationally cast Wiley in the role of the coyote? (CARINAPRESS.COM, dl $2.99)
Reviewed by: 
Anna Dougherty