I couldn’t help but notice how f*cking perfect he looked – masculine, elegant, handsome as hell, and freshly shaved, yet still with a black shadow across his square jaw – and I wanted to punch him in the nose for it. Then punch myself for noticing how damned hot he was. – Fugly, Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
While I am completely sold on Mimi Jean Pamfiloff’s writing style, she still manages to surprise me with each story she turns out – there really is no set pattern with this lady. Mimi has quite an eclectic writing repertoire under her belt with invisible vampiric unicorns, sexy homicidal phantoms with multiple personalities, murderous (and studly) mermen…and stories like this contemporary romance with such grit and emotion. Fugly is yet another win for this Mimi fangirl. I will admit that despite being a huge Mimi fan, the synopsis of the story and the title itself made me hesitant. In the aftermath of the first reading, though, I am still wondering over the depths that she managed to plumb in 330 pages. I made over 30 highlights in this book, and for a girl who sometimes has to go back and actively search for review quotes, that number should speak for itself.
“Can I offer you some water?” With spit? Or some sweat wrung from my underwear? – Fugly
Lily Snow is a take-charge woman who is ready to seize life, despite being less fortunate in the looks department. Okay she might rate as “tragic” in the looks department, but that is not going to stop her from succeeding in life. In fact, she has managed to advance according to plan right up until the point that she meets cosmetics god Maxwell Cole, who turns out to be beautiful on the outside, but tragically ugly on the inside…at least at first glance. When Max’s cold dismissal completely wrecks her carefully laid plans, it ignites a fury within Lily that draws Cole closer instead of burning him away. Despite Lily’s attempts to rationalize what is happening between her and Max, life becomes infinitely more complex as obstacle after obstacle appears before the unlikely couple. Enemies both seen and unseen threaten their livelihoods as well as the livelihoods of the entire company and the stakes just keep getting higher and higher. In the end permanent decisions must be made…but which decision is the right one for them, and who will make it?
How is it possible that the only person in the world who really sees me, can’t stand to look at me? – Fugly
If you like contemporary romance, buy this book. If you are a fan of Mimi’s work, buy this book. If you are reading this review and the day of the week ends with a Y, buy this book. I can almost guarantee that this will not be a regret purchase for fans of romances that dig beneath the surface while meeting all the romance criteria (sex, action, conflict, amazing characters). I think Mimi really outdid herself with this story, and she fired up some rarely evaluated feelings and memories in this reader. More than anything, I feel like the story resonated with me as a woman who tries not to allow society’s fickle judgements impact my own judgement of who I really am…some days I win, and some days society wins, but I want to win every day. I am not a huge re-reader of books, but I could make an exception for this piece – it might even be my favorite by this author. Too bad I can only give it five stars.