Friday, August 1, 2014

[Blog Tour - Review] Colleen Hoover - Ugly Love

I am so excited to host a blog tour stop for the incomparable Colleen Hoover's new release, Ugly Love.  Trust me folks.  You don't want to miss this one.  Keep reading for a 5 star, highly recommended review!

Release Date: August 5, 2014
Author Links: | FB | Twitter 
Published by: Atria Books

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.

Colleen Hoover has done it again.  When I read Slammed, I thought it was a great book.  Then I was wowed by Hopeless.  I was knocked over by Maybe Someday.  But THIS book is the one that I have the greatest love for.  THIS book is the one I have been waiting for from Mrs. Hoover.  THIS book is the one I'll be thinking about for some time to come and comparing all future books to.  Ugly Love is a novel about love, forgiveness, redemption and new beginnings.  If you haven't grabbed a box of Kleenex, now's the time to do it.  Ugly Love will give you a case of the ugly cries and the broken hearts.  It will also leave you with happiness and hope.  

Tate Collins is a nurse who is attending college to obtain her Master's degree.  When she moves in with her pilot brother, Corbin, she almost immediately meets Miles, a pilot and friend of Corbin's, as well as her new neighbor.  Miles is an enigma.  He's handsome and a bit quiet.  He's obviously intelligent but tends to keep to himself.  After spending some time with Tate, he realizes that he is incredibly attracted to her.  One problem, though:  He only wants the sex.  No strings attached.  No emotional connection.  Tate willingly agrees to this without realizing the toll it will take on her psyche.  And Miles doesn't realize what exactly he's getting himself into.

We are treated to a story told through a series of flash backs.  I loved teen aged Miles.  I loved his loyalty, dedication and perserverance in his life.  He came across as charming and loveable.  Adult Miles, on the other hand, made me want to shake him.  There were so many times that I was like - get over it, dude.  Whatever happened back in high school is long gone.  Get a grip, stop being a baby and get on with your life!  But then...then....THEN.  THEN we finally learn the devastating truth that made Miles the adult that he is.  As an adult, he is vulnerable and closed off, yet doesn't want to be - he just doesn't know how to live any other way.  Miles deals with a range of issues from dealing with grief and his feeling of disappointing people.  Miles also suffers from abandonment issues - from all the important people in his life.

Tate is a very likeable heroine.  She knows what she has agreed to, and although she eventually feels used, she is unable to stop herself.  She has deep feelings for Miles and would rather play his game then be without him.  Tate also deals with a lot of abandonment.  She feels abandoned mentally and physically by Miles, and at some point realized the loss of herself.  Her passion, understanding and own vulnerability allowes Miles to deal with his issues.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how Ugly Love came full circle by the end.

The vivid supporting characters add texture to this story in different ways.  Cap was interestingly cast as Tate's best friend, which was much more fun that having the same old, same old girlfriend BFF.  He is an 80-year-old man that offers infinite wisdom when Tate needs it the most.  Corbin is Tate's overprotective big brother.   He may be a hypocrite when it comes to Tate, but he plays an important part in her world.  Ian is also a pilot and Miles' best friend.    Ian was sweet and loyal and the right person to give Miles the kick in the ass that he needed.  We know nothing of Ian outside of his relationship with Miles and I would love more of him and Corbin in the future.

This book is written in an interesting way, alternating point of view and time line with every chapter.  Tate's PoV deals with the present, while Miles' PoV deals with his past.  I love how Hoover writes in Miles' voice.  It's a puzzle to figure out how someone so care free, charming, thoughtful and warm as a teenager could turn into a closed off, introverted, vacant version of himself as an adult.  Not only can you feel the personality change in Miles, but the way it's written gives you the visual representation of his personality.  

One thing I really loved was how Hoover mirrors the feelings of a teenaged Miles to an adult Tate.  Tate feelings of lust and wonder are almost exactly the same as the feelings Miles experienced as a teenager.  Tate shows exuberance and joy in her discovery of Miles and the growing feelings she has for him, much like Miles felt for his high school love.  

The sexy times in this book were more intense than in previous Colleen Hoover books.  There is sweetness and love, but there is also some lovely smut.  This is NOT a book that anyone under 17 should read, but it is also not going to win an erotica awards.  Hoover pushed the envelope in this book and showed us exactly what she is capable of writing.

Hoover does a masterful job of incorporating water throughout this entire book.  From the gorgeous cover to the symbolism in the pages, water is very important.  Several times, we are told that Tate is liquid, conforming to whatever Miles wants.  This may make Tate sound like a weak character, but nothing is farther from the truth.  As you read, you will discover that water has also changed Miles' life and conformed his behavior as an adult.  

The themes of love, loss, recovery and second chances are woven throughout the pages of this book.  Hoover has grown as a writer and it is most obvious in Ugly Love.  The writing is beautiful - the alternating points of view along make this a lovely read.  I can easily say that this is my favorite CoHo book and that I am looking forward to much, much more.  I highly recommend this book to anyone over 17 who enjoys messy romances with a deeper meaning.

COLLEEN HOOVER is the New York Times bestselling author of Maybe Someday, Losing Hope, Slammed, Point of Retreat, This Girl and Hopeless. She has recently been featured on ABC’s Nightline, The Associated Press and CBS This Morning. She lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys.

Twitter: @ColleenHoover
Instagram: @ColleenHoover


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