My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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. (via Goodreads)
I was really excited when it was my turn to check this out from the library because I’ve been wanting to read it since I discovered Nick Bateman. Haha Okay, I’m sorry, I know that sounds really shallow but look at it this way: he lead me to read this really good book! I’ve also been wanting to read one of Colleen’s books for a while now, so I figured why not start with this one? Oh, and if you read my previous book review I just really needed a pick-me-up because that last book just left me feeling really down. What better way to help forget those feelings than reading a book in a different genre with a friends-with-benefits situation in it? Obviously I made the right call because by the time I got halfway through I was hooked and could not stop reading Ugly Love!
It was a fairly quick and easy read; took me about three days to finish. By the third day I was itching to read during what ever spare moments I had throughout the day, just to find out how it all ended, and I think the main thing that kept me entranced was Miles’ mystery. He’s very different from other NA book boyfriends I’ve previously read because he’s a very tortured soul who doesn’t necessarily like who he has become, but also cannot find a way to change. Right from the moment Tate first met him in front of her brother’s apartment door, it was clear that something very tragic and heartbreaking happened to this man and it was just the beginning of our journey to discovering what it was that caused him to become who he is now: distant, cold, and unable to love.
In Ugly Love the perspectives constantly switch; Tate’s chapters were the odd ones and Miles’ were the even numbered ones. Miles’ perspective described events that occurred in the past (six years prior to meeting Tate) and was also written in a different style than Tate’s, so that was interesting to see but it did take some getting used to. It was a little strange reading about how crazy he was about Rachel, his high school sweetheart, while simultaneously reading about how Tate was slowly falling for him. Though the juxtaposition of these two contrasting perspectives did help emphasize how much Miles has changed, as well as slowly reveal what exactly happened six years ago that traumatized him so much.
Overall, I really liked Miles as a character. Even if he constantly distanced himself, the short glimpses we got of his true personality really endeared him to me. He’s really hardworking (he’s a young and successful pilot), passionate, loyal (even if he and Tate weren’t speaking to each other or hadn’t seen each other in days, even if they weren’t committed to each other, not once did he go look for another woman to sleep with just to fulfill his needs), and a gentleman. He’d always wait for Tate’s consent (that’s a big deal, okay guys?) before doing anything, and the one (I think it was once?) time he did something out of conflicting raw emotions, he’d was quick to regret and sincerely apologize for it. I really felt for Miles once the mystery of what happened to him in the past was revealed. The way Colleen conveyed Miles’ emotions and thoughts really affected me and made me sympathize with him. It didn’t excuse those few inconsiderate asshole moments he had, but I could better understand why he was so damaged and afraid of letting anyone in after such an ordeal. Once the weight was finally lifted off his shoulders near the end of the book, and we got to see the real Miles Archer, he was even more wonderful. **SLIGHT SPOILER** I mean, how romantic is it watching the sunrise inside his plane? **END OF SPOILER**
As great of a guy Miles is, there were some scenes where I honestly wanted to slap him though, especially when he kept giving Tate mixed signals. Yes, he was perfectly clear when they first started their sex-only relationship, and Tate was aware of his rules, too (well, acknowledging the rules and following them are two different things), but whenever he asked her to spend time with him to do normal things, like choosing curtains for his apartment, I got more than a little frustrated with him. He wasn’t intentionally leading her on, but seriously… If you’re just using each other for sex and you’ve made it clear that you’re not friends with each other, why should you spend time together doing normal things? It’ll just complicate the relationship even more. Then I wanted to slap some sense into Tate because she was allowing herself to be mislead, and she kept telling herself that maybe being with her would eventually cause Miles to change his mind about love and miraculously fall in love with her and everything would be right in the world! (Okay, that sounded a little more rant-y than I intended, but I swear I actually didn’t hate her or Miles and these were the only moments when I didn’t like them so much. Haha)
Tate is as hardworking and passionate about her career as Miles is about his. She is always so busy; I applaud her for being able to juggle her hectic schedule and still have time to have sex with Miles. Haha She lives with her brother Corbin in his San Francisco apartment while going to school trying to get her Master’s degree, studies for hours on the weekends as well as work in a hospital. I have no idea how this woman manages to stay sane with that kind of schedule, but more power to her and women like her. My favorite relationship (other than the one she has with Miles) is the one she has with her older brother Corbin because I find his overprotective attitude adorable. Corbin’s been scaring off guys away from Tate since she was in high school, after he witnessed her first major heartbreak, and ever since then he hasn’t met a single guy who he deems worthy, much less reaches the high standards he’s set, for his little sister. It’s just adorable. Frustrating for Tate because she feels like Corbin’s treating her like a child and acting as if he really does have a say in who she dates, but I think it’s adorable how much he cares and wants to protect her from harm. Probably because I don’t have a real older sibling of my own so I don’t really know how it would actually feel. But, yes, Corbin is an awesome older brother.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book, as evidenced by how quickly I went through it. I would recommend Ugly Love to anyone interested in a unique romance with a realistic portrayal of human emotions, and some sexy but tasteful adult scenes. I can’t wait to read another one of Colleen’s books!