A lot of people have said that this is Colleen Hoover's worst book. I actually didn't think it was (I reserve that special honor for NOVEMBER 9, followed by HOPELESS). That said, I also didn't think it was a particularly good book. I'm not a Colleen Hoover fan. I've enjoyed her thrillers, but her contemporary romances always rub me the wrong way. I think it's because she seems to enjoy writing about fuckboy heroes and not-like-other-girls heroines, and I'm just not really into that. Even in romance, which is about fantasy, the idea of getting some woman-hating skeaze to love me and only me has no appeal.
UGLY LOVE is about Tate and Miles. Tate is a nurse and Miles is a pilot. When Tate moves in with her brother (also a pilot) into an apartment complex that mostly houses pilots, she finds a man passed out outside her door. After freaking out, she finds out that he's actually the guy her brother arranged to show her the place. We're already off to a great start.
After an initial hate-hate relationship (hate-cute?), they decide they're attracted to each other. But Fifty Miles of Grey doesn't do relationships. He hasn't been in one for six years (or even slept with anyone). He's willing to sleep with Tate, but only if she doesn't ask questions about his past or talk about the future. Those are literally the terms he spells out for her. Tate eagerly and hornily agrees and they start fucking and basically after the first time, he's SO amazing that she falls in love with him basically instantly. Whoops.
The rest of the novel is told in two POVs. There's Miles, falling in love with another woman named Rachel in a past timeline. And there's Tate in the present, doing the relationship equivalent of begging for scraps at the table from this man who makes it clear he doesn't love her and has no intention to. I guess the only redeeming factor about Miles is that he's upfront about how their relationship stands and seems to understand, at least on some level, what an emotional fuckwit he is. Does that make it okay? Eh, not really. He's pretty emotionally manipulative, imo. The way he uses sex to sort of punish Tate and put her in her place (at least in my opinion) almost felt like gaslighting, because he could always fall back on his stupid little rules and be like, well, I told you how it's going to be and we can stop at any time.
I've never read a "romance" novel where half of the narrative is about the hero falling in love with someone else and I really didn't like that. Especially since it was so cheesy. The only thing I did like was that it was a stepbrother romance (I'm a sucker for those, HMMM), but the sort of quasi-poetical way it was written in REALLY didn't work for me, and the fact that the hero is literally laughing about the size of his newborn's genitals moments before a tragedy is just kind of ick. I had seen that quote about "we laughed at my son's big balls" floating around on social meads when everyone was trying to cancel Colleen Hoover as The Worst Writer in the World and it was pretty bad. Not sure what she was thinking but I guess in the hero's defense, he was still a teenager at the time and that's something a guy would do.
Now, I consider myself a pretty fair reviewer. I don't rate books highly just because I feel like I should and I don't deduct stars from authors who write trash human beings if I thought the story was okay. Look, I got this book for free on a cruise ship library and read most of it while I was drunk on tequila. I was in a rather questionably positive frame of mind when I read this stupid book and in its defense, some of the sex scenes are hot. I hated the romance and as a romance I give it a one star, and I give Miles one star as a human being, and Tate a one star for having no backbone. But as an entertaining book that whiled away the time and entertained me for a few hours while taking me on an emotional rollercoaster of a journey while my Goodreads friends watched from the wings, pointing and laughing, it was ok.
I would probably be more harsh if I had to pay money and didn't have any good tequila, tho.
2.5 out of 5 stars