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The Ugly Duckling Debutante (House of Renwick #1)

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  1,084 ratings  ·  84 reviews
Since childhood Sara has lived with the reality of being ugly. Something her awful family never ceased to remind her. After her sisters run off to Gretna Green, she's left with one choice--go to London and take their place for a Season. It's up to her to marry well and save her family from financial ruin.

A distant aunt decides it's in her best interest to sponsor Sara for
Nook, 247 pages
Published September 26th 2011 by Astraea Press
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The Devil Duke Takes a Bride by Rachel Van DykenThe Wolf's Pursuit by Rachel Van DykenTaming Wilde by Rachel Van DykenThe Seduction of Sebastion St. James by Rachel Van DykenWhispered Music by Rachel Van Dyken
Best Historical Romance Books
7th out of 70 books — 41 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,393)
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Nikki  Peterson
Apr 23, 2012 Nikki Peterson rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Historical Romance Lovers
Main Character Sara, has always been told by her demeaning parents and sisters that she is ugly. She has come to accept that she will be a spinster, who would marry her? Her parents have already made it well known of her worthlessness and haven't even settled a dowry on her.

Then her sisters elope with twin brothers "of no means" to Gretna Greene. It is then left up to Sara to go to London for her first (and only) season and land a husband. She is the only hope for her lousy family. Her Aunt, Lad
I would most likely have loved this book, had I read it when I was in elementary school. The Ugly Duckling Debutante is super simple, in every way that it is possible to be so. The characters are not bright (in neither description or intellect)...they were not well developed or evolved. The plot has been done so much better so many times before. It's unclear, but I think that this book was attempting to be a religious romance, but the only indication of it was the lack of sex, the characters som ...more
This is a DNF. First, this is a Christian romance. While there is a market for that, I'm not a member. I like my romances gritty and to have some sex in it. Otherwise, what is the point of reading??? Anyway, I am really upset that this was not marketed as having a Christian slant, because I don't think that historical dukes really gave a rat's ass about their immortal souls in that particularly Calvinistic way we have today. I also don't mind heroes looking for redemption/spirituality, but I'm p ...more
Overall, I thought this was a fun regency story. I liked our main characters Sara and Nicholas. I was sucked in from the beginning and really felt bad for poor Sara and the horrible childhood she had to endure with her awful parents. I also respected our reformed rake Nicholas. I loved that he was regretful of his past and made a very conscience effort to live a better, more moral life. I thought Sara and Nicholas had good chemistry together and that together they could help heal each other’s pa ...more
I couldn't in good conscience give this more that 2 stars due to content. I wouldn't call it a clean book by any stretch of the imagination. But it wasn't a Harlequin either.

Sara has been told her whole life she is ugly and strange. When in actuality she is beautiful. The whole book is Sara thinking she is ugly and "supposedly" this innocent girl, but turned into a bit of a skank to me.

Nicholas is a reformed rake. And when I say rake he didn't care if they were married or not, he "bedded" them
Emma L Smith
After I gushed like a soppy fangirl about Rachel yesterday in a review of Entice, I felt like this HAD to be the book I read today. I thought the magical spell cast on me might have been broken with an historical novel, I secretly had my fingers crossed for it a little bit as let's be honest, I'm getting embarrassing now. If I ever get in the same room with her, well, it'll be like when a twelve year old kid meets One Direction. There will be tears and uncontrollable shaking and possibly removal ...more
This book was beyond amazing! I laughed, cried and even yelled; and when i wasn’t doing any of these, I had a smile on my face. The characters and the story flowed and kept me hooked. (Ok, more than hooked. Ive already bugged Ms. Rachel for part two. I feel like an addict who needs more. lol) Once I started reading this, I couldn’t put it down. I stayed up all night just to finish it. lol This book is one of those perfect ones that make you feel every emotion. By far, one of my favorites this ye ...more
With Christmas readily approaching, we now turn to the fun (or not so fun) task of having to be around family for the holidays. While some of us love our families, some are less than thrilled at this prospect, hoping to be able to glide through without a snide remark uttered or awkward silence encountered. It is with this spirit that we turn to The Ugly Duckling Debutante, by Rachel Van Dyken. Sara, our heroine, has one of the latter previously mentioned families. To say that her sisters demean ...more
I've been reading period romances for 27 years, some great and some atrocious. I read all the reviews here before I began reading the book (just in case). This book was OK, not terrible but also not terrific. I did, however, like certain aspects of the story. The things I didn't like about the story were several and it is up to you whether you feel this is something you don't or do want to read.

One of the issues I had with the book is that I was unclear what period it was supposed to be in, they
A rake reformed by finding god and a beautiful debutant who has been raised to think she's ugly but doesn't have any complexes. I don't think a longer book who have saved this. I found myself going WHAT?? And then WTF?
This is my first book by this author, to tell the truth it was god but not that great.

In here I liked the Heroine more than the Hero, she was like a solid pillar that can't be tipple, she might get bruised and scratch but she will never fall or crumble. But the Hero was a different matter, throughout the book he sounded like a hypocrite: he wants he, but says he doesn't. He demands her trust, but doesn't give his. He was so afraid of pain, rejection and humiliation, and never gave a second thoug
The Ugly duckling by Rachel van Dyken

Highly enjoyable and entertaining. A very fast read and lots of twists and suspicions.

Sara Ames born under unusual circumstances and given away at birth was constantly told by her family that she was ugly and unwanted by anyone.

Nicholas Devons, Earl of Renwick, man of means and wealth, looks and a few secrets he hoped stayed hidden. She has secrets to that she only just found out that she wished would stay hidden, if only for a little while longer.

They get m
Novel Grounds
5 Stars|Amazon|Goodreads

*This is a backlog review* I read this a few years ago, so this book is hard to get at this time.

Favorite Quote: He took a steady breath " I don't want regretsforselfishly trying to keep you when you weren't mine to take."
I am not a huge fan of HR books, but it was really great. It doesn't read like most historical romances. It reads more like a NA. But it isn't, just FYI. Leave it to Rachel Van Dyken to write the only HR in its existence that I fell head over heels f
Stacy Sties
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ruth Hartman
Sara has been told all her life she's ugly. She doesn't realize until she's grown and away from her family that they'd branded her with that term because of jealousy.

I loved the interaction between the hero and heroine. Their conversations sound real, and human. Something I could definitely identify with.

We should all be so lucky to be ugly ducklings turned into beautiful swans!
I really enjoyed this book, it was a good twist on an original story, I found I loved both of the main characters and I wanted them to get their happily ever after. The final parts of the book feel slightly rushed but I am also glad the author did not keep us in suspence or expectation of the finalie. I am looking forward to reading the next one in this series.
I liked the premise of the book and most of the story, but by the end I was sick of hearing again and again how unworthy Nicholas was, how ugly Sara thought she was, and how many times/ways Nicholas could be misunderstood as saying Sara was ugly when he really meant she was beautiful. WE GOT IT, you don't need to beat it into us.
I enjoyed Sara and Nicholas, good couple. Liked the ups and downs and how they played out. I think this story needed a little more details in the sex area, could have added more depth to the story and characters. Sad that Sara was treated they way she was but luckily she became a beautiful, caring woman.
Vampress Bathory
4.5 Stars!!! Good, beautiful story! I've enjoyed it a lot and imagine my surprise when at the end of the book another rake makes his appearance and I'm like: Wait!!! Is this a series?!?!!! Omygosh! So Goodreads confirmed the fact that yes, this is a series and yes, the second book it's about Sebastian ( the rake I was talking about)!!!! *happy dance*
As for this story I must say I wasn't expecting much, but after the first pages I was hooked knowing this is a one sitting read.
The hero and the he
Angela Mitchell
Oh my goodness Rachel made a masterpiece with this one. I fell in love with this book at the very beginning and could not put it down.

Poor Sara is ugly(or so she's been told all her life). Go with Sara on her adventures to London as a distant Aunt sponsors her for the season to help her snag a husband.

In comes Nicholas Devons, Earl of Renwick who has sworn off beautiful women and is ready to marry and share his fortune with the first country girl he sees.Unfortunately Nicholas is to tutor her i
Jennifer (random jendsmit)
This was ok... not my preferred genre but it was ok. Not bad just not my thing
Monique James
This was my first Regency romance novel. I have to tell you that I smiled almost the entire time I read this book. The characters were well developed and both of the main characters Nicholas and Sara were completely lovable. Having never read a regency romance before, I thought that the descriptions were wonderful; not so long that they bore you, but not so short that you have no idea what this bygone era was like.

Sara is a poor girl from the country and Nicholas a rich man of the world knee de
Jewels ♥ My Devastating Reads
Originally reviewed at
I wasn't able to resist the premise of this book. It sounded too sweet, and sexy. An ugly duckling heroine? A reformed rake? These are characters I can never resist. I'm such a sucker for outrageous premises. Anyway, I just had to read this book. It was a quick read, I found, light and easy to read and less than 300 pages long.

I think I'll begin with the writing got on my nerves. Van Dyken's writing varied from polished and clea
This was my first time reading this author. This was an ineresting read. I felt bad for the heroine concerning the life that her mother had left her with. The simple fact that she gave her daughter away to a family that mentally abused her and knew it, was appalling to say the least. I felt bad for Sara and the life that she wa delt, but it also made her a strong woman and she was able to deal with and handle very sensitive situations that was dealt her way. Nicholas was an interesting person. T ...more
Got this off of the Nook store as a free ebook. I liked the twist of Nicholas wanting more of the country and Sara curious about the ton though not endeared to it.

Amazon Book Description:
Since childhood Sara has lived with the reality of being ugly. Something her awful family never ceased to remind her. After her sisters run off to Gretna Green, she's left with one choice—go to London and take their place for a Season. It's up to her to marry well and save her family from financial ruin. A dista
Brandee Price
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
So this book had a very flimsy plot. There where way to many flower, dewy descriptions of looks. I love a good explanation of a smexy look but on every page and taking up at least 3 paragraphs each of just LOOKS, it actually ruined the sweetness if it. Plus, it moved to fast, I bearly got to know the characters and practically saw nothing of a loving romance develop, it went from super intense physical attraction to oh i just know i love you because we had picnics. Not much getting to know you t ...more
The story did not resonate with me as much as it should have. Maybe because the quality of writing and continuity left much to be desired. For example the vicious and unforgivable actions of Sara's family did tug at my heart but weren't as gut-wrenching as they should've been.
The hero was an ass most of the time and did not redeem himself even till the end. Sara forgave him for so much, helping him get over his deserved guilt over some offences he had committed in the past. In return, he desert
The plot had amazing potential, but i found that the timeline was rushed.
The story progresses through their romancing and misunderstandings in only a few chapters. There was very little character development.
Sara, was very insecure due to her "parents" always calling her ugly, but she keeps bringing it up and taking offence at everything Nicholas said or did, which really annoyed me.

the ending was very sweet though, even if it was rushed.
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Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances.

Hey guys I'm rarely on Goodreads, if you need to reach me feel free to email!

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Other Books in the Series

House of Renwick (6 books)
  • The Seduction of Sebastian St. James (The House of Renwick, #2)
  • An Unlikely Alliance (The House of Renwick, #2.5)
  • The Redemption of Lord Rawlings (The House of Renwick, #3)
  • The Devil Duke Takes a Bride (The House of Renwick, #4)
  • Two Turtledoves (The House of Renwick)
Ruin (Ruin, #1) The Bet (The Bet, #1) Elite (Eagle Elite, #1) Toxic (Ruin, #2) Tear (Seaside, #1)

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