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The Ugly Duckling
     

The Ugly Duckling

4.5 68
by Iris Johansen
 

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If fate suddenly made you more beautiful that you ever dreamed possible, would it be the beginning of a fairy tale, or your worst nightmare?

The brutal attack should have killed anybody, but Nell Calder did more than survive. She emerged a woman transformed, with an exquisite beauty found only in fairy tales. Nell Calder deserved a happy ending. Instead, her

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Ugly Duckling 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 68 reviews.
TheKarenJones More than 1 year ago
This was unique. The heroine of the story has some serious psychological, mother-inflicted damage before the circumstances of her transformation ever arrive. She goes through what I can only imagine is the worst horror inflicted on someone, the loss of a child coupled with the loss of her spouse. Because of scars received during the attack on her family, she's transformed physically into a stunning woman. But her mind is conflicted by the internal vision she has of herself. So she goes on a violent spree bent on revenge. Uh, what? Although most people can understand the desire for revenge (especially in our heroine's case), I find the main character unbelievable. Am I really supposed to buy this timid, bent-low-from-an-overbearing-mother character suddenly becoming Lara Croft the Avenging Angel? Now if she went on a rampage because it had all been far too much for her delicate psyche and she snapped, then I could see it. So, why four stars? Because overall, it's an enjoyable, butt-kicking, fist-pumping, tear-jerking read. So you totally get hooked on the main character even if she's unbelievable.
Lisa_RR_H More than 1 year ago
Johansen, like Roberts and Coulter, is one of those that has made it onto the bestseller lists and can be found in other than the romance section--in this case, this novel was found in general fiction and works as a thriller and mystery, and it has a fairly clean style that can hold point of view. It fits in the standard revenge plot, as the titular heroine, Nell, works to avenge her family's death--plastic surgery upgrades her from ugly duckling to swan. Well-paced, often suspenseful, this story zipped along and I cared about the characters, including and especially Nell and her love Nicholas, who works with her against the villains of the story. Nice twist too at the end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was great. It's the second book I've read after Firestorm which is her other work. If it weren't for my delayed of days, I've would've finished it in a weekend. But anyways, yes, I gave it a four stars to recommend anyone who likes to read suspense books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been an Iris Johannsen fan from her first book and have read every book she has published. This one is by far her greatest work! The characters are believable and real, the plot suspenseful, and the book as a whole terrific! I couldn't put it down and have reread it several times. Go get this book!!
LisaDunckley 3 months ago
Iris Johansen is a romance author who actually puts a plot and developed characters into her stories. This book is about Nell, a mousy, plain, timid woman who marries a sophisticated and wealthy man. A hit man kills her husband and their daughter, and Nell is severely battered and almost killed trying to defend her daughter. The facial injuries are so severe that plastic surgeons have to piece her together, and she recovers, now with the face of an angel. And she gradually finds out that the killer is still after her, and she can either start a new anonymous safe life, or go after the killer to find out why her family was targeted, and to get revenge. The book was pretty suspenseful and exciting, even the supporting characters were developed. There were lots of twists and surprises. The only negatives were that the ending was kind of abrupt, and the main character Nell wasn't actually all that likable...she was a little too passive and whiny. However, it was very readable, held my attention, and was pretty exciting.
RikkaD More than 1 year ago
Nell Calder's life was forever changed the night she and her family were attacked by a madman. Plain looking and overweight, nobody really noticed Nell and she blended into the background, but no more. After an attack left her family dead and face broken and unrecognizable, a world renowned plastic surgeon takes on the challenge of transforming the ugly duckling into a beautiful swan. And she is pissed. Her attacker is determined to finish what he started, but he doesn't know what Nell looks like. Hell-bent on taking him down, Nell trains hard and transforms from a shy weakling into a trained assassin. She won't stop until her attacker is dead. This is my first book by Iris Johansen and I really enjoyed the storyline. It was fast paced without leaving out important details and I was fully engaged all the way up to the end. The book had a well developed plot, I never felt like it was rushed or thrown together. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes a good thriller and I plan to read more books by this author.
Helen Kim More than 1 year ago
One of my Top Ten This is
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Her mother was a meanie
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Lucyr1989 More than 1 year ago
Great book please read it
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Lindsay Thompson More than 1 year ago
Read the whole book in a day, great read!
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DoB77 More than 1 year ago
I was looking for a book to fill in a gap while I took a break from a series I was reading. This did the job and I enjoyed the story, but it wasn't the author's best that I've read.