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Discover what happens in Colleen Hoover’s Ugly Love, an emotionally raw and gut-wrenching romance novel that’s a favorite of her readers. This Ugly Love summary delves deep into the plot synopsis, including the ending, to help you answer any questions you may have about it.

You’ll learn all the heartfelt details you need to know, so get ready to explore the intricate dynamics of a “no strings attached” love story that stays with you long after the last page.

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover held in front of a bookshelf with other Colleen Hoover books.

New York Times bestseller

Quick Details

  • Age Rating: Mature Adults aged 17 and over (contains adult themes, including both tragedy and sexual content)
  • Trigger Warnings for Ugly Love: death, grief, car accident, and many more
  • Tropes: friends with benefits; no strings attached; second-chance romance

Ugly Love by author Colleen Hoover is a popular contemporary romance book by #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, and it is ranked as the most spicy Hoover novel. It’s one of Colleen Hoover’s top books overall.

It’s an emotional novel about the difficulties of a “no strings attached” relationship between a busy nursing student named Tate and a standoffish pilot named Miles. As their connection deepens, his traumatic past and her future desires come to the surface, exploring heartwrenching themes of healing and human connection.

Ugly Love Summary

Tate Collins is a 23-year-old nurse, studying to become a registered nurse and working at a hospital. She moves from San Diego to San Francisco to save money by rooming in a high-rise apartment building with her overprotective brother, Corbin, a successful pilot.

Learn more about the Ugly Love characters.

Upon her arrival, she first meets Cap, the charming 80-year-old elevator attendant who immediately befriends her.

Then, at her brother’s apartment, she meets airline pilot Miles Archer, who is drunk and moaning, “Rachel.” It’s not exactly love at first sight, as Miles acts rudely towards Tate, but they try to start fresh with each other thereafter.

Tate is focused on her work and her studies, while Miles is very guarded about his personal life and his past.

But, after spending Thanksgiving together with the Collins family, where Tate nurses an injured Miles back to health, he kisses her. It’s now clear that Tate and Miles have an undeniable mutual attraction. The problem? She doesn’t have time for love, and he doesn’t want love.

They end up agreeing to a “friends with benefits” / “no strings attached” arrangement that’s intended to be purely physical. Miles sets the ground rules that Tate cannot ask about his past nor seek a future with him, but Tate struggles to set her own rules for the arrangement.

As they become very physical with each other, the narration alternates between the perspective of Tate in the present and the perspective of Miles from six years earlier, when he was in high school.

That’s where he met and fell in love with the new girl, Rachel, only to learn that she was actually the daughter of his father’s new girlfriend, whom Miles believed to be his father’s mistress while his mother was dying.

When Rachel gets pregnant, they tell their parents, only to learn their parents have secretly gotten married and they are now step-siblings. Their parents are unhappy with them, but as Rachel’s due date approaches, they graduate from high school and move into college housing for families, while also mending their family strife.

Meanwhile, in the present, Tate is falling hard for Miles and wants to be the one to “change him,” but he continues to follow the rules he set, keeping Tate at an arm’s length distance at all times other than those that are physical.

Tate continues to believe there’s something deeper that’s nagging at Miles and that he’s a good person beneath it all. She seeks Cap’s advice as she navigates her growing feelings.

Additionally, Corbin finds out about their relationship and, despite being overprotective and mad at first, he accepts it.

When Miles shows jealousy that Tate is studying with a fellow male student, she thinks it may be a sign he’s taking down his walls. But, when she confesses her feelings, he reminds her of his rules.

Eventually, Tate moves into her own apartment, and she and Miles stop communicating.

Corbin and a friend named Ian then encourage Miles to deal with his past by visiting Rachel.


Ending

Warning: There are major plot spoilers of the ending in this section.

Back in the past, love gets ugly. Rachel has given birth to a son, Clayton, and, on the way home from the hospital, the car crashes into a lake. Miles saves Rachel, but he cannot save their baby, who dies. Stricken with grief, Rachel leaves Miles.

This sequence of events was what left Miles a broken man in the present.

Miles visits Rachel in the present day. She is now married and has a daughter, and she explains that she found happiness again.

Miles shows up at Tate’s new apartment. Finally, he tells her the whole truth about his past. He takes Tate and Cap up in an airplane, where he proposes to Tate. They get married, and they have a daughter, whom they name after Cap. Both Tate and Miles are happy and in love with a beautiful family.

Ugly Love shows that you can find happiness again after tragedy and loss and that humans need to both cope with the bad moments in life and enjoy the good.

Is it worth reading? Check out my Ugly Love book review.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Ugly Love have a happy ending?

Yes. After Miles visits his ex Rachel, who helps him process the past, he shows up at Tate’s new apartment. Finally, he tells her the whole truth about his past. He takes Tate and Cap up in an airplane, where he proposes to Tate. They get married, and they have a daughter, whom they name after Cap. Both Tate and Miles are happy and in love with a family.

What is the moral of Ugly Love?

The moral of Ugly Love is that you can find happiness again after tragedy and loss and that humans need to both cope with the bad moments in life and enjoy the good.

What is the summary of the book Ugly Love?

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover is an emotional novel about the difficulties of a “no strings attached” relationship between a busy nursing student named Tate and a standoffish pilot named Miles. As their connection deepens, his traumatic past and her future desires come to the surface, exploring heartwrenching themes of healing and human connection.

Conclusion

This Ugly Love summary detailed a spicy and emotionally raw romance for fans of the “no strings attached” and second chance romance tropes. It’s one of the most popular books from Colleen Hoover’s catalog of books.


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