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Swann's Revenge by Shira Anthony
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really liked it

Ugly Duckling Makes Good

I’m coming to love Shira Anthony’s take on tropes, and Swann’s Revenge is another prime example of why. The chubby high school band member loner is falling hard for the tall, handsome, popular quarterback. But one moment of extreme mortification from the bullies that plague him is the last straw, and when quarterback Danny Parker does nothing but stand by, the spell is broken, as is the spirit of Jimmy Zebulon.

This is a beautiful and fairly low angst ugly duckling story taking place fifteen years after their last memorable meeting. Jimmy Zebulon moved away with his mom and new stepdad, and in taking the man’s name, became J. Graham Swann. A few significant changes in biology mean he no longer even remotely resembles the boy he left behind.

Dan Parker’s changes are fairly significant, as well. Now out and proud, he is the father of a four year old daughter. A desire to spend more time with her prompts a change of venue.

The way that Anthony built their original world leaves just enough blur to allow the reader to remember their own high school days. There isn’t much building around the pair’s current, instead focusing so intently on the duo that you can lose track of where you are and how much time is passing. This affects the pacing somewhat, as well, as weeks or months would pass with the turn of a page. However, each scene flowed into the next very smoothly.

Both MCs are dynamic and engaging, and even as Graham is reserved, you are drawn to him. The pain from his past is highlighted, but it serves as a jumping off point rather than something to hold him down and create unnecessary issues. Dan’s ability to roll with the flow was a great counterpoint to Graham’s occasional stiltedness.

As far as secondary characters, they are very few, but Graham’s best friend Terri plays an integral part for both characters, and then there is Lacey, Dan’s daughter. This character really drives the book forward, creating opportunity after opportunity for the two men to spend time together. She’s a delight, and didn’t detract from the love story at all, rather enhancing it.

This is a lovely addition to the Dreamspun Desires series. A solid four star rating means that I definitely recommend this lighthearted, sweet love story.

I voluntarily read an ARC copy of this book for Divine Magazine from Dreamspinner Press with hopes for but no obligation to provide a review.

**Same worded review will appear on Goodreads, and**

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 6, 2018 – Finished Reading
February 12, 2018 – Shelved

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