Tate Collins goes to stay with her pilot brother and upon arrival meets his friend Miles Archer. They get off on the wrong foot, and Tate has no idea what to make of Miles. While they don't start off as friends or even liking each other, they both feel an attraction to the other that they can't deny. Miles doesn't do love or relationships, and the last person he should get involved with is his friend's sister. Yet he can't help but want to be around her and act on the chemistry between them. When Tate and Miles finally open up to each other about what is going on between them, they decide to just have sex with each other and nothing more. They decide their arrangement is perfect since Miles doesn't do love and Tate isn't looking for love with everything going on in her life. But the more they start to see each other, the more they start to realize that what is between them is more than just sex. Miles has a past that he has never been able to move past though, and he refuses to let Tate in or explain what happened. Tate knows that the more she grows attached to Miles the more her heart will break, and yet she finds herself unable to stop what is happening between them. As they continue to have sex and deny the connection developing between them, they both begin to wonder how they can possibly make it out without one or both of their lives being shattered.
I liked Miles, and I felt so badly for him. He had been through more than anyone should ever have to be put through, and he was surviving but not really living. He felt guilt and pain, and he couldn't forgive himself. I hated that he not only felt those things, but that those from his past had made things worse for him as far as moving on went. I was really glad that he made progress though, and that he had Tate to help him move forward even if he didn't let her in easily. I wish that he would have been able to open up to her more and that he would have really let her see everything that made him who he was without fighting it so much. I wanted to see them really lean on each other, and I think that they finally started to get there towards the end of the book. Tate was hard for me to personally relate to. I had never been in a situation like hers, so it was easy for me to judge her actions. I thought that she let Miles get away with far too much, and she stuck around no matter how much he walked all over her. It was clear that she couldn't keep her feelings out of their arrangement and you could see from the start that the writing was on the wall for her having her heart broken. But while I didn't understand her basically being a doormat for Miles, I did see her feelings for Miles and I understand that love has a way of making you do things that aren't the smartest or best choices. I really did feel like Miles and Tate had amazing chemistry though and it was so strong right from the start. I really felt the heat and steam between them, but I also thought that it would have been nice to see more of an emotional connection developing between them rather than just physical.
Beyond the issues I had as far as the characters and their connection though, I had some problems with the story itself. I thought that while it was nice to get both POVs, I would have like to have seen more of Miles in the present. It focused on his past, and I would have liked to have seen his thoughts and feelings while he was experiencing things in the present. I also felt like much of this story felt like a love triangle because of that. For the majority of this story, we see Miles and his love for Rachel. He never really made that move from the past to the present until after Rachel gave him permission. It just bothered me that he would have to go to her in order for him to really explore what was between him and Tate, and I felt like he really didn't choose to be with her because it was his decision. I wanted to read about Miles and Tate falling in love and not Miles beating himself up about his past and his love for Rachel. This story focused more on Miles and his growth and healing and the Rachel stuff than it did on Miles and Tate, which is why I felt this wasn't really a romance. I did like Cap, and I thought that he really brought some fun to this story. He was sweet and adorable and I loved his interactions with Tate. I also really enjoyed that despite their arrangement, they were never really able to just keep things stricly physical. Their feelings started to bleed through, and you could see that they were falling for one another even though they didn't want or expect to. I liked seeing them shop together and do things besides have sex, and I thought that they were fun and playful with one another. I would definitely recommend this book if you go into it knowing not to expect it to be a romance. I really think that the majority of this book would have felt so much different to me if that was the case from the start. I really love Colleen's writing style, and I am always sucked in from the start. I can never put her books down and that was still the case with Ugly Love. I just think that this story was more about growth and healing and the fact that horrible things happen and it is possible to move forward after them.
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