Published by Atria Books on 5th August 2014
Genres: Issues, New Adult, Romance
Buy on Amazon US • Buy on Amazon UK
When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.
Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.
They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.
Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.
Reviewed by Kay
*I received an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review*
In my opinion, Ugly Love is Colleen Hoover’s best book to date. I was instantly drawn to the characters, wanted to find out more of their story and share their emotions with them as I turned every page of this incredible book. It is an utterly beautiful story. Let me try to explain why I love it so much…
We already know from the book’s blurb that Miles Archer is not your typical Hoover lead character. Not looking for love, with a ban on questions regarding his past and promising no future HEA, he’s hardly Prince Charming material and could, in all honesty, come across as cold, clinical and somewhat heartless. The genius of the book is the balance you get with the alternating chapters. We skip effortlessly between present day, told from our female lead Tate’s POV, to chapters written from an eighteen year old Miles, some six years previously. It is in these flashback chapters that we meet the real Miles. This warm, open, loveable, heart-on-his-sleeve eighteen year old, who is so ready to give and receive love, shows us that deep down, present day Miles is not the cold, emotionless character we have been led to believe. Given that Miles was once such an incredibly warm and loving guy, we can only speculate that something unbearably painful must have happened for him to close down emotionally in the way he has. It is this fact that draws you to the character, and keeps us with him throughout the book. I found myself reading the present day chapters, hoping against hope that glimpses of the old Miles would shine through, and of course, every now and then they did, before he would catch himself and reign himself in. As much as I loved the flashback chapters and the joy of seeing such a loveable, poetic side to Miles, I must confess, I read them with a growing sense of dread as I waited to find out just what could have happened in his life to change him so drastically.
I loved Miles, I truly did, but there were also times when I was so mad at him for the, albeit unintentional, pain he put Tate through. Tate Collins is a fantastic character. Independent, kind, warm and fun, we get to see all sides of her via her various relationships, be it her good humoured, sibling bickering with Corbin or her hilarious and touching interactions with Cap (seriously, who writes the BFF for their female lead as an 80 year old male lift attendant?! Genius!!) to her intense attraction to the dark and moody Miles. Tate is an every girl and I think this is why we love her. From the moment the connection is made with Miles and the ground rules are laid out, you hope that she will be able to follow them without getting emotionally attached and hurt but you fear that may prove impossible. I think sometimes we try to kid ourselves. Hold an internal chat that says “this is going to be fine, we can do this” whereas deep down, we know we are lying to ourselves. This is why Tate is so real to me and where I think Colleen’s writing excels. The hurt, embarrassment and anguish you feel for Tate during this book is so brilliantly observed and wonderfully written, that your heart breaks for her again and again. I fully expect some readers will criticise Tate’s character for being weak, but I think she’s far from that. I just find her reactions so true to life. Now I agree, in real life, if Tate were my best friend, and she told me all about her relationship with Miles, I would be advising her to run for the hills, to find someone more deserving of her love and to move on. However, come on, we’ve all been there, haven’t we? When you are the person in the relationship, it is not so easy to just detach your emotions and follow the cold, logical path, is it? We would be robots if that were the case. People make their own decisions, right or wrong, based on emotion and feelings, and that’s the type of character I want to read about in my novels, not someone who behaves as though they live their life following The Optimum Relationship Guide for Dummies manual.
I really do not want to give away much of the actual storyline, so I’ll say no more about how the book unfolds. I will just say this story has a different feel to it from other Colleen Hoover books. It’s a little darker, not containing quite the amount of humour we’ve seen in her other books although there are light moments, particularly involving the brilliant Cap. It’s certainly sexier without being unnecessarily graphic. Even in her sex scenes, there’s a wonderful truth to how she writes. I mean honestly, how often in other stories have you read that the hero “rips off” the girl’s panties and though “Really? What were they made of, paper? I’m quite sure mine wouldn’t give way so easily without first doing an impression of a cheese cutter slicing through a lump of Cheddar”, so I love her for injecting some humour into that scene.
Ugly Love is a gorgeous book that both broke my heart and had me crying with joy. Emotional, poetic, gut-wrenching, beautiful and oh so real, it goes to the very top of my favourite books of 2014 list. As it is somewhat different to her other work, the author may be nervous of how it will be received on release. My message to her? There’s absolutely no need to worry. You’ve got this Colleen.
He brings his hands up and slides them through my hair, brushing his thumbs across my cheeks. He inhales a shaky breath while looking down at my mouth. “You make it so hard to breathe.”
He nudges my shoulder with his and looks down at his feet. “You look pretty, Tate.” I want to plaster those four words on a billboard and require myself to pass it on my drive to work every day. I would never take another day off work again.
“Love isn’t always pretty, Tate. Sometimes you spend all your time hoping it’ll eventually be something different. Something better. Then before you know it, you’re back to square one and you lost your heart somewhere along the way.”