The Perks of Being a Beauty by Manda Collins
Series: The Ugly Duckling series (# 3.5)
Release Date: June 18, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Source: book provided by NetGalley for review
The beautiful Miss Amelia Snowe is not accustomed to being snubbed by the gentlemen of the ton. But when her mother dies unexpectedly, forcing Amelia to take employment as companion to a wealthy cit’s daughter, she quickly learns to play down her looks or risk losing her position. When her employers, the Smithsons, decide to throw a country house party, she is determined to fade into the background. But how can she when the Smithson’s guest of honor is Lord Quentin Fortescue, the childhood friend who stole her heart?
Younger son, Lord Quentin Fortescue, is far more interested in his host’s cotton mills in the north than he is in courting the man’s dim-witted daughter. But it’s the girl’s companion who makes him look twice. Years ago, Miss Amelia Snowe rejected his proposal without a backward glance. Quentin has molded himself into just the sort of man she’d have wanted back then, but is Amelia still the smug beauty who broke his heart? And can either of them risk their newfound positions to indulge the fiery attraction that burns between them?
Review: The Perks of Being a Beauty is a novella spinoff from the Ugly Ducklings trilogy. Miss Amelia Snowe, mean-girl extraordinaire, has come down a notch or three from where she was in Society not too long ago. Upon the death of her mother, with not a penny to her name, she must go into service as a paid companion to earn a living.
While in service as companion to Miss Harriet Smithson, Amelia meets her former beau, Lord Quentin, the younger son of a duke. While she vows to stay away from her old flame, he sees how much she has changed and grown into the woman of his dreams.
I’ve not read the Ugly Duckling trilogy, but I can deduce enough to understand that she was not a very nice person. But the fact that she lost everything seems to be her salvation, one that put her on the path to earning forgiveness for her past transgressions, and becoming a beautiful person on the inside, not just the outside.
While this is a very short novella, it imparts some very wise golden rules, such as “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” In some ways I felt cheated because the romance did happen so quickly, but I was rooting for the heroine to find her happy every after, so I was fine with the fast pace.
The author’s voice is easy to read, one that keeps you immersed in the story, anxious to find out what will happen. I’m definitely going back to read the Ugly Duckling trilogy, as well as putting future books on my to-be-read list.