Friday, August 15, 2014

Title: Ugly Love
Author: Colleen Hoover
Narrator: Grace Grant & Deacon Lee, featuring Elizabeth Louise
Series: stand-alone
Length: 9 hrs 14 mins
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication Date: August 5, 2014
Source: from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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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.

Man, Colleen loves her tortured love interests, doesn't she? I kept wondering why she said Miles was the first of her leads to make her cry, and now I know why...because after finishing this audiobook yesterday, I still feel like bawling like a baby. Saddest. Hoover. Book. Yet. Also? Maybe the steamiest.

I think the aspect of this novel that I enjoyed the most is probably the aspect that will annoy most readers: because of the technique used by the author to slowly but surely reveal the cause of Miles' strife, the reader only gets Tate's perspective in the here and now. Don't get me wrong, I wanted to reach into the story myself and discover what terrible tragedy befell Miles' love life to make him so against even the possibility of love -- if not for Tate's sake, then for my own -- but patience definitely pays off. I had my theories, and I was THIS close, but when I got to the thick of things, I was overcome with flashbacks to my own past -- oddly enough, also about six years ago.

And that's the thing: Miles' point-of-view is told by six years ago Miles, not present-day Miles. Miles who wasn't having casual sex with his best friend's sister. Miles who wasn't an airline pilot. (YUM.) Just the Miles who was a genuinely good guy with a bright future ahead of him. I actually just finished reading another book where one character's perspective is told in the present, and the other's is three or four years in the past, and I have to say, I really like this manner of storytelling, how it all has to come full circle until both characters are in the present and all the truths are out in the open. If I didn't know that I'd eventually get tired of this method, I'd wish that all stories could be told in this format.

Tate is a grown woman with a good head on her shoulders. She realizes that with her career and continuing her education, she doesn't have time for a relationship. So, this mutually beneficial agreement she and Miles reach will set her up nicely to have a little fun and take care of her own needs while remaining no strings attached. Except that Tate sees glimpses of six years ago Miles and can't help but fall in love with him. By continuing their relationship agreement, she's setting herself up for failure and she knows it.

Miles knows it, too, but still, they continue to pretend that what they have is only casual. The push and pull between these two is hard to read, especially seeing how it affects them both, but the entire book ended up being a really cathartic experience, as is usually the case with a Colleen Hoover novel. She's very good at that, though this one may have been the hardest to read yet. At least after she rips your heart to shred for most of the story, she never leaves you entirely heartbroken. I will say that for her, even if she does love subjecting us to cruel and unusual punishment in the form of a tortured love interest.

Colleen's books are always beautiful on audio, too. I haven't found one yet that I didn't enjoy. And I just loved the choice of narrators for Ugly Love. I don't know that I've actually heard an audiobook performed by Grace Grant before this, but she fully encompassed Tate's passion and strength while also hitting the mark on those brilliant asides that had me in fits of giggles...or welling up with tears depending on the situation. And I'm getting more familiar with Deacon Lee's narration style with every new adult novel I listen to, and I have to say, he's going on the favorites list. He didn't use that Southern drawl this time around, but he was the epitome of the heartbroken Miles.

I don't know if I have a favorite novel from Colleen Hoover because they're all so great, but if I did, it might just be Ugly Love. This novel felt a bit more adult in nature than her previous books, with plenty of naughty times, though you won't hear me complaining. And the author excellently balanced the emotional parts with humorous bits so that I never felt overwhelmed one way or the other. I wasn't sure about that cover or that title when I first heard about this book, but they are completely fitting and entirely perfect. I recommend you try this book so you can see for yourself.

GIF it to me straight:
*le [big, fat, happy] sigh*

About the author:

Colleen Hoover is the New York Times bestselling author of Slammed, Point of Retreat, Hopeless, and This Girl. Colleen lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys.

Find Colleen:

WebsiteTwitter | Facebook | Goodreads


  1. So happy you loved this! I loved the Miles chapters. I loved how intense his feelings were for Rachel. I loved seeing the contrast between the old Miles and the new Miles and his struggle to find his way back. It was ugly but beautiful.
    Tate is a big girl and she knew what she was getting into. People saw her as weak for staying with Miles when it was clear that he didn't want to love her, but I thought she was strong for staying with him. It would have been so easy to give up and move on. But with each glimpse of the old Miles, she knew that he just had to love her even if he didnt want to admit it. And she refused to give up. That right there is not the cowards way out.
    Grace Grant was really good, although Elizabeth Louise is still my favorite NA narrator. Her performances are so flawless.
    Deacon Lee! Holy shit, I was upset that Zachary Webber wasn't doing this one but Deacon kicked ass! I loved how lyrical he made everything sound. I just loved hearing him say 'I'm gonna make you fall in love with me Rachel' and then the pain in is voice when he said 'you can't love me anymore after this Rachel.' I felt the pain!
    So happy you loved this! Fabulous review :)

  2. Saddest AND steamiest? Wow I clearly need to read this. I've heard so many people say this is their favorite Hoover book and somehow it wasn't on my radar at all until I started seeing all these fantastic reviews! I'm so glad you enjoyed it, and that the audio narration worked well for you because I'm going to buy it on audible. Lovely review!

  3. This book was fantastic. So much more steamy than any of her other books. But it had to be given the subject. And I know a lot of people were not happy with Tate's character, but I thought she was done right given the circumstances. Great review!

  4. So now I see your reaction! And of course you loved it :). I'm so afraid to read this because I'm not sure how I'll react to Tate sticking around with this guy who hurts her over and over again. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Though another reviewer said not to think of this as their love story but Mile's story of redemption and hope. Still not sure that will help. But CoHo is a master at working your emotions! Great review!


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