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Our Imperfections Make Us Interesting | A Review of An Ugly Love by Maya Alden

I got this book from Booksiren and this is my first time reading the author Maya Alden. The book has a very beautiful fairytale kind of vibe. I started this book a little late but I read it in the first sitting which tells that this book was surprisingly good. Here is the GoodReads description of the book;

Once upon a time, there was an ugly duckling named Hansa Raj, hidden in the shadows of the dazzling lights of Everwood's vineyards, overshadowed by her radiant sister Naina, an ex-supermodel turned media empress. Hansa harbors dreams as fragrant and deep as the wines of Everwood, of crafting her own signature wine with an Indian touch, paying homage to her heritage.
Orion Callahan, who once tried to woo the brilliant Naina, has now risen as the wine prince of Everwood. But this festive season, amidst the cascading golden lights and melodies of Christmas carols, his eyes aren’t on Naina. Instead, they are captivated by the unexpected charm and genuine passion of Hansa, the girl in his tasting room, the duckling that no one noticed.
As Everwood sparkles under the festive lights, a complex dance of past affections, silent dreams, and family expectations ensues. Orion, enchanted by both the powerful allure of Naina's world and the genuine dreams of Hansa, finds himself at life's crossroads.
I am Seraphina Vine, the fairy godmother of Everwood and against the backdrop of frost-kissed vineyards and yuletide celebrations I sprinkle some fairy dust so a prince can learn that some ducklings are perfect as they are and don't need to become swans to be loved. Step into the fairytale town of Everwood and dive deep into a story that talks of ambition, love, and the enchanting magic when two contrasting worlds collide.
Publisher's An Ugly Love is the second book in the Once Upon A Time series and is based on the H.C. Andersen fairytale, The Ugly Duckling . This is a standalone book with a very happy fairytale ending.

Genre
Contemporary Romance, Hate to Love

Tropes
Hate to Love
Disability Rep
Hero Falls First
Boss/Employee Romance
Unworthy by Parents
Forbidden Love (sister is dating the guy)

My Rating
Overall: ★★★| 4 Stars
Plot: ★★★★ | 5 Stars
Characters: ★★★★| 4 Stars
Ending: ★★★★★| 5 Stars
Fun: ★★ | 4 Stars
Spice Level: nah...it was not spicy...it was cute, light and romantic 

My Review
So I was not expecting the story to be this good. The concept of the story is awesome. It was not heavy on the plot. If you are looking for a lightweight romantic read to cheer up your mood this is the book for you. It has an ugly duckling trope.  

The FMC's name is Hansa Raj which means Swan and she has a slightly dark complexion. which is not a big deal for Western people but if you are from the subcontinent you know how that defines your personality. Everybody will say you are ugly, your complexion is dark blah blah. The same happens to Hansa. She is from an Indian family although they spent their whole life in the USA some ingrained cultural habits never change. 

Hansa's parents treat her as a second citizen in their household. They love the elder daughter who is successful and beautiful. She worked as a model and now I don't know what she was doing besides targeting her younger sister. She was such an annoying person. She was also going out with Hansa's boss Orion who is the total package.  Hansa has a crush on him and everybody in the town in the family knows about it. that's how nosy and observing people of this town are. 

There is also disability arc as Hansa is Dyslexic and she has to work twice as hard to keep up with her job. Orion did not know about it and he belittled her at every opportunity. He thought Hansa was incompetent but in actuality, she was dealing with her demons and her disability. Hansa's parents are so insensitive that they do not consider this a problem always targeting her that she s the problem that she doesn't work hard. When parents do that to their child it produces scars on the child's mind and this is what happened to Hansa.

The book threw light on Hansa's struggle of accepting herself as she is and this is the best part of the book. Like author did not try to change Hansa into something else. Hansa is beautiful in her own way which was the message of the book and at the end she gets everything. She becomes successful in her field and she gets the love of her life. I love the message of the book 
Some duckling never become swans..
because they are beautiful and perfect as they are. The right person will always see them.

The Best Part:
  1. Hansa Stands up for herself in front of her mother; epic scene.
  2. Hansa and Orion's interactions
  3. Orion Falling for Hansa 
  4. Orion Getting Jealous
  5. Orion fights with Hansa's parents for her
The Worst Part:
  1. Naina's character was exhausting to read about. Hansa kept mentioning that Naina is successful she does this she does that blah blah blah.
  2. All the interactions between Hansa and her mother were the worst. She was the worst of all. Mothers protect their children even from their own harshness and here was Hansa's mother. Evil
Best Character
Orion, Liesel, Seraphina, Atlas

Worst Character
Naina(later she becomes okay), Mr and Mrs Raaj

Best Quotes:
And his eyes , a clear sky blue, reflected a horizon I coud never reach--open,free, with a depth that hed stories untold, laughter unreleased, and a warmeth that I longed to bask in.


 

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