The Ugly Duckling: A Novel by Iris JohansenThe Ugly Duckling: A Novel by Iris Johansen

The Ugly Duckling: A Novel

byIris Johansen

Mass Market Paperback | December 1, 1996

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If fate suddenly made you more beautiful that you ever dreamed possible, would it be the beginning of a fairy tale, or your worst nightmare?

The brutal attack should have killed anybody, but Nell Calder did more than survive. She emerged a woman transformed, with an exquisite beauty found only in fairy tales. Nell Calder deserved a happy ending. Instead, her descent into terror has just begun.

Her attacker is still on the hunt, determined to finish what he's started. And Nell, protected by a new face, is just as determined to fight back and take her revenge. But to catch her prey, she will have to expose herself—even if it makes her a killer's prime target.
Iris Johansen is the New York Times bestselling author of many novels, including Killer Dreams, On the Run, Countdown, Firestorm, Fatal Tide, Dead Aim, and No One to Trust. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia.
Title:The Ugly Duckling: A NovelFormat:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:432 pages, 6.82 × 4.2 × 1.11 inPublished:December 1, 1996Publisher:Random House Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0553569910

ISBN - 13:9780553569919

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from A favorite book Love to read this book I have gone through several paperback copies because I have read it so many times.
Date published: 2013-09-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Ugly Duckling This is the first book that I've read by Iris Johansen. I felt that it was an ok read. It wasn't the type of book that had me being unable to put down, and I really didn't find the first third of the book that interesting. For the most part I could see most of the twists coming.
Date published: 2011-10-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A swan of a book This was the first book written by Iris Johansen that I read. I loved it and it got me hooked on her books. I lost the book and put it on my Christmas wish list. I was delighted to receive it and enjoyed rereading it immensely. It is generally typical of her books but this one had a great twist that I really wasn't expecting. Not an Ugly Duckling at all!
Date published: 2008-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic! Well, I've only ever read two of Iris Johansons books, but I have to say that The Ugly Duckling is by far one of the best books I have ever read. This book is full of suspense, actrion and romance. Because of this book I assume I will continue to read and thouroughly enjoy her books. -Satisfied reader (Ellen
Date published: 2008-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book This is a great novel. Very interesting with an original plot. I liked how there was something for everyone. A little romance, some violence a touch of conspiracy...
Date published: 2006-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Honest I really enjoyed reading this story because it made me cry, laugh, and smile even at the most horrible moments in the story. I felt like I could relate to Nell in more ways than one because of the way she felt in most situations. I understood her mixture of emotions, but what I loved most about this book is her relationship with Nicholas. There was suspense and awkwardness, but they told each other what they honestly felt and didn't hide anything. They said things outloud you wouldn't normally hear people say, and I found that wierd and funny at the same time. I like Iris Johansen's novel because it was about something serious (murder), but it was written in a humourous and real-life like manner. I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys reading a good book once in a while or everyday. This story will truly make you laugh and force you think about yourself, your life, and your dreams.
Date published: 2001-03-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Ugly Duckling I liked it! It had more body to it than "The Killing Game" which is newer but not as interesting or captivating to the reader, this is far more realistic. It gives you a more true to life experience that could really happen to any of us. Although it contains some sadness and poor luck, it has a promising ending - (but not soapy and melodramatic.) Not a great deal of romance and outside activities to it, just plain story and content. I enjoyed the book and would read another of the same author. Is it one of my all time favourties? no, but good just the same, and kept me interested. I thought it had just enough bite to keep it clean and on target!
Date published: 2000-11-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Looks Can Be Decieving A crafty story, with exceptional imagination but very beleivable. Johansen definately will be on my favoutite list. Love, murder, twist, What more do you want? Let me know what you think. Debs.
Date published: 2000-06-17

Read from the Book

He had come for nothing, Nicholas thought in disgust as he gazed down at the surf crashing on the rocks below. No one would want to kill Nell Calder. She was no more likely to be connected with Gardeaux than that big-eyed elf she was now lavishing with french pastry and adoration.If there was a target here, it was probably Kavinski. As head of an emerging Russian state, he had the power to be either a cash cow or extremely troublesome to Gardeaux. Nell Calder couldn't be considered troublesome to anyone. He had known the answers to all the questions he had asked her, but he had wanted to see her reactions. He had been watching her all evening, and it was clear she was a nice, shy woman, totally out of her depth even with those fairly innocuous sharks downstairs. He couldn't imagine her having enough influence to warrant bribery, and she would never have been able to deal one on one with Gardeaux.Unless she was more than she appeared. Possibly. She seemed as meek as a lamb, but she'd had the guts to toss him out of her daughter's room.Everyone fought back if the battle was important enough. And it was important for Nell Calder not to share her daughter with him. No, the list must mean something else. When he went back downstairs, he would stay close to Kavinski."Here we go up, up, up High in the sky so blue. Here we go down, down, down Touching the rose so red."She was singing to the kid. He had always liked lullabies. There was a reassuring continuity about them that had been missing in his own life. Since the dawn of time, mothers had sung to their children, and they would probably still be singing to them a thousand years from now.The song ended with a low chuckle and a murmur he couldn't hear.She came out of the bedroom and closed the door a few minutes later. She was flushed and glowing with an expression as soft as melted butter."I've never heard that lullaby before," he said.She looked startled, as if she'd forgotten he was still there. "It's very old. My grandmother used to sing it to me.""Is your daughter asleep?""No, but she will be soon. I started the music box for her again. By the time it finishes, she usually nods off.""She's a beautiful child.""Yes." A luminous smile turned her plain face radiant once more. "Yes, she is."He stared at her, intrigued. He found he wanted to keep that smile on her face. "And bright?""Sometimes too bright. Her imagination can be troublesome. But she's always reasonable and you can talk to—" She broke off and her eagerness faded. "But this can't interest you. I forgot the tray. I'll go back for it.""Don't bother. You'll disturb Jill. The maid can pick it up in the morning."She gave him a level glance. "That's what I told you."He smiled. "But then I didn't want to listen. Now it makes perfect sense to me.""Because it's what you want to do.""Exactly.""I have to go back too. I haven't met Kavinski yet." She moved toward the door."Wait. I think you'll want to remove that chocolate from your gown first.""Damn." She frowned as she looked down at the stain on the skirt. "I forgot." She turned toward the bathroom and said dryly, "Go on. I assure you I don't need your help with this problem."He hesitated.She glanced at him pointedly over her shoulder.He had no excuse for staying, not that that small fact would have deterred him.But he also had no reason. He had lived by his wits too long not to trust his instincts, and this woman wasn't a target of any sort. He should be watching Kavinski.He turned toward the door. "I'll tell the maid you're ready for her to come back.""Thank you, that's very kind of you," she said automatically as she disappeared into the bathroom.Good manners obviously instilled from childhood. Loyalty. Gentleness. A nice woman whose world was centered on that sweet kid. He had definitely drawn a blank.The maid wasn't waiting in the hallway. He'd have to send up one of the servants from downstairs.He moved quickly through the corridors and started down the staircase.Shots.Coming from the ballroom.Christ.He tore down the stairs.

From Our Editors

The Ugly Duckling is the story of an ordinary woman who, after tragedy strikes, becomes a moving target--and a stunning beauty entangled in a precarious world of sinister intrigue and desperate desire

Editorial Reviews

"A spectacular tale of revenge, betrayal and survival." —Publishers Weekly

"A real knockout...[an] intense thriller...bravo!"—Atlanta Journal