UGLY DUCKLINGS FINISH FIRST
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.