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15 Captivating Books Like Ugly Love

Last Updated on November 28, 2023 by Louisa

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover is one of my favorite romance books because it captures how raw and complicated love can be.

If you’re looking for other books like Ugly Love, then you need to be sure your heart is ready for another whirlwind story!

One of the main themes in Ugly Love is the idea that true love isn’t always pretty or perfect. The main characters, Miles and Tate, begin a “no strings attached” relationship, which we all know doesn’t always go as planned.

While romance is at the forefront, behind closed doors both struggle with their own personal demons and past traumas, which affect their ability to fully commit to a relationship.

In short, Ugly Love balances pain and pleasure and is an overall emotional, yet still sizzling, read.

If you are looking for books similar to Ugly Love, you have come to the right place.

In this guide, I’ve listed books that are just as captivating as Hoover’s novel. So if you are in the mood for a good read, be sure to keep reading…

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through any of these links. 

Quick Answer: Top 3 Picks!

If you need a book recommendation but you don’t have much time, don’t worry – these are my top three favorites!

Our Favourites!

The Love Hypothesis

#1 Best Highly Acclaimed Novel

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

  • A tik-tok sensation!
  • The love story of two doctors entering a fake relationship
  • Winner of Amazon’s Best Romance Novel, 2021, and Goodreads Choice Award nominee.

The Unhoneymooners

#2 Best in Romance Comedy

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

  • An enemies to lovers story about two wedding guests who end up taking the honeymoon together.
  • Full of hilarious moments.
  • A sweet, slow burning romance story

The Deal (Off-Campus, 1)

#3 Best Series Like Ugly Love

The Deal by Elle Kennedy

  • New York Times best seller
  • Good girl tutors college hockey player and they begin a fake relationship
  • Angsty romance novel

Summary of Ugly Love

Before I go into the best books similar to Ugly Love, let’s just quickly recap the story. Don’t worry, I won’t reveal any spoilers if you haven’t finished reading it yet.

Ugly Love is a dual POV romance book that tells the story of Miles and Tate. The pair meet when Tate visits her brother’s apartment and discovers Miles there.

Despite initially hating each other, they find mutual attraction and eventually develop a physical relationship.

However, Miles is unable to commit to a real relationship due to deep emotional scars from his past and Tate doesn’t have time for a relationship, due to her stressful nursing job.

They enter a “no strings attached” physical relationship. But of course, with all “friends with benefits” relationships, it’s never that simple.

Ugly Love is an enemies to lovers, brother’s best friend romance book with some smutty scenes and some thought-provoking elements too.

It makes you realize love is complicated and relationships are hard work – though some are worth the effort, even if you do fall for your brother’s best friend.

Top 15 Books Like Ugly Love

Now you know what themes and storylines to look for in books like Ugly Love, it’s time to introduce to you my favorite similar books!

1. The Deal – Elle Kennedy

The Deal is part of the ‘Off Campus’ series by Elle Kennedy but can be read as a standalone novel. Like Ugly Love, it falls into the enemies to lovers, fake dating romance trope, yet it follows two college students.

Meet good girl Hannah Wells, who has finally met a boy who sparks an interest in her. There’s only one thing though, she’s not confident in the bedroom.

To make him notice her, she steps out of her comfort zone, even if it means tutoring the cocky captain of the Hockey Team so she can set up a pretend date.

Garrett Graham has only ever wanted to play hockey in a professional league but his GPA is threatening his future prospects. When he meets the sarcastic Hannah Wells, he’s only interested in improving his GPA and making it to the professional league.

However, one kiss between them leads to a night in the bedroom they will never forget. Is a deal of a date to seduce another going to cut it for Garett?

Though the story moves quickly, readers will be able to savor each moment as they become engrossed in yet another hurdle faced by the couple who don’t realize they have found their ultimate love.

Read my complete review of The Deal by Elle Kennedy here or check out these similar books to The Deal here.

2. Regretting You – Colleen Hoover

If you liked Ugly Love then you might want to pick up another book by Colleen Hoover. One of my favs of hers is Regretting You, though this is less about a romance story and more about a mother and daughter fixing their relationship.

It follows Morgan and her daughter Clara who are still reeling from the sudden death of their husband/father.

Amidst the grief, Morgan reconnects with an old flame, Chris.

As they grow closer, Morgan struggles with feelings of guilt and betrayal toward her late husband.

Eventually, she must make a decision between moving on with Chris or remaining loyal to her past love.

At the same time, the relationship between mother and daughter is hanging on a knife’s edge. Clara is forbidden to see a boy she adores, but teenagers never listen to the rules set by their parents.

The novel explores themes of grief, love, and forgiveness. The storyline is very different from Ugly Love but the writing style is the same, as you might expect from the same author.

3. Shatter Me – Tahereh Mafi

If you would prefer to read something a little different but with a similar writing style to Colleen Hoover’s Ugly Love, then Shatter Me is a good option. It’s a fantasy, sci-fi novel with lots of action and suspense.

Juliette discovers peculiar power in her touch. She hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

She accidentally touched someone who died. Later she was sent to the Reestablishment center in the case of murder. No one knows what happened to Juliette or why her touch is fatal. 

On the other hand, the world is dealing with a survival crisis. Diseases spread all across the globe, destroying the large population, food crisis, birds don’t fly anymore, and clouds in the wrong colors.

The global emergency took the life of a large population. Survival is whispering war to get the necessary items for their well-being.

The government was left with no other option than to use Juliette’s power to prevent the war. Now, Juliette has to make a choice. Choose to be a weapon or be a warrior.

4. Addicted To You – Krista Richie

Are you looking for novels like Ugly Love that put a different twist on arranged set-ups? If so, you’ll want to grab a copy of Addicted To You by Krista Richie.

Both Lily and Loren have addictions. Loren is addicted to bourbon, while Lily is addicted to one-night stands. Both keep their addictions a secret, only confiding in each other.

As addicts that want to keep their secrets hidden both come to an arrangement. Together, they share an apartment and pretend to be a real-life couple so nobody catches on.

As their addictions begin to take over their lives, both question if the idea of being really together could be better than the fake lifestyle they have been leading. 

This poignant romance story will keep you captivated with its rich and heartfelt characters throughout.

5. Love and Other Words – Christina Lauren

Would you prefer something a little more young adult to Ugly Love? Then you may enjoy Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren.

Pediatric resident Macy Sorensen is on the verge of marrying a wealthy older man, but her world is turned upside down by a chance encounter with her long-lost love.

Elliot Petropoulos, Macy’s childhood friend and first love, was always there for her after her mother’s passing during their weekend trips to San Francisco.

However, after they finally admitted their romantic feelings, he crushed her heart.

This second chance romance novel is one of my favorites because it is an emotional journey told through a mix of past and present timelines, chronicling two young lovers’ emotional battle.

Will Elliot and Macy be able to overcome their past as adults?

6. The Fine Print (Dreamland Billionaires Series, Book 1) – Lauren Asher

This is a grumpy sunshine romance book about a boss who meets a ray of sunshine employee and starts an interracial romance novel that really captures you from the get-go.

Rowan, the billionaire grandson was exiled to the family amusement park where he meets Zahra, a talented and beautiful employee whose ideas may just save him some money, whilst also stealing his heart.

It is a refreshing read with a female billionaire lead who has a backbone and is not afraid to speak up for herself. And a man whose character develops into something we can all desire.

The characters are incredibly vibrant, with each one having their own unique personalities that grow and develop as the story moves forward.

If you love CEO romance books, or billionaire romance books, be sure to check this out.

View it on:

7. The Love Hypothesis – Ali Hazelwood

One of my favorite feel-good novels like Ugly Love is The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood. While the story isn’t as dark as Ugly Love, it has a fake relationship romance that shows how complicated romance can be.

Olive Smith, a third-year PHD candidate has always prioritized her career over any romantic entanglements – or so she thinks.

Her best friend is a hopeless romantic who won’t stop harping on her about relationships and this leads to Olive making an impulsive decision – she kisses the first man she sees.

The unsuspecting recipient of her affection? None other than Adam Carlson, a notorious professor and hotshot in their circles.

But despite his reputation for being difficult, he agrees to go along with Olive’s idea of them faking a relationship.

Unexpectedly, Adam is incredibly supportive when Olive finds herself in need of someone in her corner, which leaves her second guessing everything she knows about romance.

This is a heartwarming medical romance novel that will have the reader drawn into its gripping storyline as they follow Olive and Adam’s unlikely journey.

Will they discover the truth behind their budding feelings for each other?

There is a stunning balance of angst and heat, making this book an alluring journey through love, heartache, and hope.

Related Reading: Books Like The Love Hypothesis

8. The Unhoneymooners – Christina Lauren

The Unhoneymooners is a romantic comedy about unlikely twins Olive and Ethan, who find themselves attending the same wedding.

But disaster strikes when the entire wedding party comes down with food poisoning and there’s a honeymoon arranged with no one to go on it.

Ethan jumps at the chance for the trip to paradise, but Olive won’t let him go alone. This sets them off on an unpredictable ten-day vacation, where they are forced to step into the roles of newlyweds in order to keep up appearances.

However, what started off as a simple plan becomes increasingly complicated as they slowly come to terms with their growing feelings for each other.

It’s a rollercoaster ride of emotions that keeps readers hooked until the final destination – love?

It’s a fast-paced narrative that grips you right away but also has moments of slow burning that allow readers to savor every moment of the couple’s journey.

Read my complete review of The Unhoneymooners here or check out some similar books to The Unhoneymooners here.

9. The Spanish Love Deception – Elena Armas

The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas ticks all the boxes if you’re looking for a sizzling romance story with more young adult themes.

Playful and funny, the story follows Catalina Martín’s desperate attempts to find someone who’ll pretend to be her boyfriend for a transatlantic journey to a wedding in Spain. 

Although she cannot tolerate him, her colleague Aaron Blackford seems like the unlikely best choice—rather, the only choice Catalina has—and they embark on a trip that will change their relationship forever. 

Swoon-worthy and steamy, The Spanish Love Deception is a story about the rambunctious wedding that brings Catalina and Aaron together.

10. Things We Never Got Over – Lucy Score

Things We Never Got Over is a bad boy romance book about a bearded barber called Know who prefers to fly solo. That is, until a runaway bride comes along.

Naomi wasn’t just running from her wedding but trying to rescue her twin from the rough town of Knockemout, Virginia, where disputes are settled in bar brawls.

But Naomi’s evil twin hasn’t changed and stole her car and cash. She also leaves her with something unexpected, her niece, who she didn’t know she had.

Now she’s stuck with no car, no money, no job, and no home, with an 11-year-old to take care of.

Knox doesn’t do high-maintenance women, but as Naomi’s life imploded right in front of him, he decides to help her out. So much for living a solitary life…

This is a single parent romance book with a romance that goes from lust to love.

The storyline is very different from Ugly Love, but I found similarities between the characters of Virginia and Tate in Ugly Love – they are both strong women who want to prove themselves.

View it on:

11. Book Lovers – Emily Henry

Book Lovers is another lighthearted rom-com that tells the story of a literary agent, Nora, and a book editor, Charlie, who both share a love of literature.

Whilst working tirelessly on their jobs, they find themselves coincidentally meeting time and time again, which would be fine if they didn’t hate each other.

As they meet more and more, their relationship changes and they start to form a bond, which moves into something more.

This is a light angst romance book, and just like Ugly Love, it has a fast-paced storyline and a romance that can be believed. Though it’s cuter and witty.

12. Archer’s Voice – Mia Sheridan

If you want another sizzling read like Ugly Love, then you’re going to swoon over Archers Voice.

The story begins when Bree arrives in the small, sleepy town of Pelion, Maine, she just wants to find peace and solace after escaping a terrifying ordeal with an ex.

But she immediately meets Archer, an isolated man with demons of his own.

Archer doesn’t talk to anyone. He needs a woman to help heal his wounds and find his voice, and she needs a man to help her learn to love again.

This is a story of passion, the transformative power of love, and resilience.

13. A Not So Meet Cute – Meghan Quinn

Meghan Quinn is a USA Today bestselling author, and A Not So Meet Cute is one of my favorite pieces of hers. It’s a romantic comedy about a desperate billionaire looking to find a fiancée.

Often described as a modern-day Pretty Woman, this hilarious billionaire romance novel will have you howling throughout.

It starts when Lottie, a good girl who was just fired, decides to stroll around a wealthy neighborhood in Beverly Hills to search for a husband.

That’s when she bumps into Huxley, a man she takes an instant dislike to…but agrees to marry him anyway. What? There’s only one way to find out why…

Although this is more lighthearted and fun than Ugly Love, it has a similar theme of fake relationships and finding love in a complicated scenario.

View it on:

14. The Wall of Winnipeg and Me – Mariana Zapata

If you want to read another fake relationship, forced proximity romance story, then you may enjoy The Wall of Winnipeg and Me.

Vanessa Mazur is an assistant and housekeeper to the top defensive end in the National Football Organization, but one day she plans to leave.

When Aiden Graves shows up at her door asking her to come back, she’s shocked.

The NFL star Aiden, also known as ‘The Wall of Winnipeg,’ would not speak to Vanessa for two years, but after she’s gone, finds he needs her more than he thought he did.

This is a tale of a budding romance, as their chemistry aligns and their feelings for each other blossom. It’s a slow burn romance read, but it’s beautiful.

15. Fake It ‘Til You Break It – Meagan Brandy

Finally, another fake relationship book to add to your reading list is Fake It ‘Til You Break It, which has a storyline similar to Ugly Love but with younger characters.

Demi and Nico agreed to a fake relationship. It was meant to convince everyone at school that the star receiver was taken, and they play their parts well.

The problem is, as lines began to blur, one of them ends up falling for the other. But the other doesn’t return the feelings. By the time they realize their mistake, it’s too late. 

The relationship falls apart and hearts get broken. Who wins in this fake relationship game?

This book is similar to Ugly Love in the messages you learn about love and the challenges of entering complicated relationship deals.

View it on:

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books like ugly love

Final Word on Books Like Ugly Love

So there you have it, those are my favorite books like Ugly Love and as you can see, there’s a lot of variety on this list.

Whether you’re looking for other books with complicated relationship deals, budding romance books, or books with smutty scenes – you’ll find something for everyone on this list.

If you have another book to recommend to read after Ugly Love, then let me know in the comments!

Headshot of Louisa

About Louisa Smith

Editor/Founder - Epic Book Society

Louisa is the Founder, Editor, and Head Honcho of Epic Book Society. She was born and raised in the United Kingdom and graduated from the University for the Creative Arts with a degree in Journalism. Louisa began her writing career at the age of 7 when her poetry was published in an anthology of poems to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee. Upon graduating university, she spent several years working as a journalist writing about books before transitioning to become a Primary School Teacher. Louisa loves all genres of books, but her favorites are Sci-Fi, Romance, Fantasy, and Young Adult Fiction. Read more Louisa's story here.

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