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.
It’s been a long time since I read a novel in a single night, but this one kept me enthralled enough to keep my eyes on the page and completely off the clock. All of Colleen Hoover’s novels have that little something more to set them apart: slam poetry, original music with a soundtrack, confessions from the masses accompanying original art; this story is not without its little something more either.
In Ugly Love, the ‘little bit more’ from Colleen is woven into the chapters told from Miles’ point of view. The text appears different, deliberately and tellingly so, the narrative both high and low, explicitly childlike yet cuttingly clear. But it’s not until the very end of the novel that, if we’ve been paying enough close attention, we really ‘get’ what Colleen’s intention was. It’s one of those moments when you find yourself gasping, hands flying to your mouth in an effort to suppress your shock: the picture is finally complete with every terrible piece at last in its place and you did not see it coming at all. That’s when you realise you’ve been Colleen Hoovered again.
Miles is without doubt Colleen’s most heartbreaking male creation to date and his story is a deeply moving one. This novel is loaded with tension, both emotional and sexual, and Miles himself is often not a very nice man. The way he treats Tate is deliberately hurtful, excusing himself on the basis of his hidden pain. Yet, as readers, we are privy to a side of Miles that Tate is not, so we’re able to forgive these transgressions on his part, while still maintaining sympathy for the trap Tate has gotten herself caught up in.
Colleen Hoover is definitely a writer who just keeps on getting better with each novel. Her words pack an emotionally powerful punch and she’s not afraid to push the boundaries a bit. There was a desperation evident within this story that was at times uncomfortable to behold. Yet being human is sometimes like that: desperate, despairing, angry, and ugly. Human angst in all its glory and I loved every single bit of it.