Ugly. Freak. Fatty. I had been called those things and more for as long as I could remember. I didn’t mind it, though, because to the outside world, those words described me perfectly. But it was all a charade, a façade to keep people away. Never let anyone get too close. It had worked for twelve years of my life, ever since I caused my father’s death.
And then Carter Anderson pushed his way into my world. Gorgeous, of course, charming, naturally, and cocky, a given—he called himself my friend and broke through every one of my carefully constructed walls.
Cue the “happily ever after,” right? Wrong.
This isn’t some fairy tale where the ugly duckling turns into a beautiful swan, and once the beauty beneath is revealed, all is right in the world. This is real life. When things seem too good to be true, it’s because they usually are. And when people say your past will come back to bite you, they mean it. And trust me, it does.
Review by Jen Hagen
Review by Jen Hagen
Guilt transformed me from a beautiful swan to an ugly duckling.
Emerson is 12-years-old when she undergoes a transformation that hides her natural beauty under hideous garments and wigs. A tragic accident is what merits Emerson’s actions and this is her self-appointed punishment – a sentence she has carried out for 12 years. Emerson begins each day with her mother popping in to greet Emerson as Emerson begins her process of covering up her blonde wavy hair and dressing in ill-fitting clothes. Emerson’s mom has begged her to stop this self-tortuous act. Emerson remains persistent in her thought process.
I didn’t deserve to be beautiful. I deserved to be as ugly on the outside as I was on the inside.
One evening Emerson meets the presence of Carter – who initially comes up to Emerson as a bet between his buddies. Carter sees beyond the superficial ugliness and a deep friendship is made. They are so cute together!! They laugh, joke, hang out together, and his friends take an immediate liking to her personality. Something is amiss though…Carter is able to see beyond Emerson’s fashion misfits and into her eyes…the same ones she covers up with large glasses.
“If anyone were to look closely, they’d see the beauty beneath.”
Emerson and Carter each have an obligation to each other – they both have fulfillments that will be called upon in due time. In the meantime all this playfulness they have going on between them is going to make it difficult to say goodbye.
“We weren’t supposed to fall for each other,” I mumbled.
“But I did,” Carter hissed, his words full of anger and hurt. “I fell for you…”
Well now we have a problem because if Emerson doesn’t think she’s worthy of being beautiful then she certainly won’t feel love is in her deck of cards. Carter is very persuasive as he should be as he’s an attorney and when he gets a glimpse of the real Emerson, he wants to get help her live in the here and now. But in the quest for his success, he stumbles upon a horrible fact…one that will knock the wind right out of Emerson’s sails just as it did mine.
“I don’t want to leave you, Em. I want to fight for you, I want to get you to forgive me…”
Surprisingly Emerson found it very easy to forgive Carter – almost cathartic if you will because as she searched for forgiveness she discovered a truth from her past that was never disclosed. Something that I felt strange happening in the prologue truly did have merit. DC Renee always throws a curve ball at the reader and you would think by this time I would learn to catch it! Hopefully next time around…
DC Renee has been writing all her life, from cheesy poems in elementary school
(i'll share an example just so you know how cheesy: Flowers are my favorite
thing; they usually bloom during spring. Pink, blue, yellow and green, so many
colors that I have seen...etc.) to short stories and monologues, and eventually
fan fictions for Days of Our Lives.
It was thanks to that superbly encouraging fan fiction community that DC found
the courage to publish her first book - Let Me Go. It held fast in the top 100
Best Selling Contemporary Romance Fiction Novels on Amazon for over a month,
going as low as the top 20's. Naturally, she loves to read, but she also likes
watching hockey, dancing for fun, and loves her family.