Often, we fall into a story that isn’t love at first sight but one that we hope, in the end, will lead us there. Colleen Hoover’s Ugly Love gives us just that; it provides the perfect amount of drama, passion and romance. And lucky for us, there are authors like Hoover who understand our need for a bit of anticipation on the journey to love. As you continue to read and re-read Ugly Love, dive into these stories that’ll tease you every step of the way.

After Perfect by Maan Gabriel

Gabriella Stevens is recently divorced at 36—a shock to her since she’s spent the last sixteen years being a devoted wife to her husband Simon. Now determined to make a new life as a single woman in New York City, she must go back to school, find a real job, and face a life on her own for the first time. Now Gabby’s life might be looking up after she falls in love with her creative writing professor, Colt. As a man who is seven years younger than she is, and one with a past, Colt might be incapable of love. Gabby is in for a rollercoaster ride of emotions as she navigates Colt’s past and her new future. If you like the mystery of Miles’ past in Hoover’s Ugly Love, then this will be an enjoyable read.

Fake It Till You Bake It by Jamie Wesley

The unexpected but expected surprise of romance in Ugly Love is what you’ll find here. When Jada Townsend-Matthews turned down a marriage proposal on a reality dating show, she became one of the most disliked women in the world. The only place she can return is home, in San Diego, and with a job at a cupcake bakery. Her boss and owner at Sugar Blitz, Donovan Dell, also happens to be a professional football player and a bit uptight. It only takes one reporter to mistake the two as a couple for Jada to realize that she could use this for her image. Donovan agrees on the basis of it helping his struggling store—but they’ll both realize that faking it can and will lead to the real thing.

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

Olive Smith, a third-year Ph.D. candidate, doesn’t believe in relationships or happily ever after. Her best friend Anh, on the other hand, does. Olive grew up as an orphan, which turned her into a hardworking, smart biologist who spends most of her time in the lab conducting her research. Since Olive believes in science more than anything, she’ll need firsthand proof.  And when Anh starts to like Olive’s ex a bit too much, Olive kisses the first guy she meets, Adam Carlsen, in the halls to prove her lack of care. Once she realizes her random guy isn’t so random, Adam and Olive enter into an arrangement of ruse. Their arrangement works all too well until Olive realizes her feelings go deeper than what they both agreed.

The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas

Catalina Martín gets stuck in a lie. Her sister’s wedding is on the horizon, and she needs a date fast to play her faux boyfriend. Now everyone, especially her ex, is expecting an American boyfriend when she arrives in Spain. With four weeks left to leave New York and fool her family, Catalina’s options are limited. Her colleague, Aaron Blackford, just might do the trick if she actually liked his handsome, condescending face. When he offers to be her date, she’d love nothing more than to refuse; only Aaron looks like her best chance, and there might be more to him than Catalina guessed.

Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan

Bree Prescott is desperately seeking peace. When she arrives in Pelion, Maine, the Sleepy Lakeside Town is the place she’s been looking for all along. The first person she encounters, Archer Hale, is an isolated man who no one really sees and keeps secrets of his own. When Archer was seven years old, a traumatic accident left his voice box damaged. Now as a man he lives a life of solitude. He enters town rarely and the day he does, he meets Bree. After their initial meeting, a determined Bree becomes friends with Archer until the two grow fond of each other, and Bree starts to fall in love. But can Archer truly open with the secrets he’s kept hidden in his past? This story of transformation, fate and a man with secrets resembles Hoover’s Ugly Love.

Things We Never Got Over By Lucy Score 

The familiar sense of agreements made and broken in Ugly Love will rear a similar head with Score’s main characters. There are two things in life bad-boy Knox enjoys the most: his solitude and his basset hound Waylon. The things he likes the least are drama, especially in the form of a runaway bride named Naomi. When Naomi left her wedding without a husband, she told herself it was also to come to the rescue of her long-lost twin sister, Tina. In the rough town of Knockemout, Virginia, Naomi’s twin, it turns out, doesn’t need rescuing at all—in fact, she hasn’t changed her evil ways. This time when Naomi arrives, Tina steals her car and cash and leaves her with an 11 year old. As the chain of events that leave Naomi jobless, homeless and without cash unfold in front of Knox, he feels compelled to help. What starts out as his agreement to aid her turns into much more than he bargained.

The Fine Print by Lauren Asher

The chemistry in Ugly Love matches the heat between Zahra and Rowans. Zahra Gulian is an employee of Dreamland, a faux Disneyland. Zahra is one who lights up the room when she walks in and wants nothing more than to be a Creator at the park. Her boss, Rowan Kane, became the Director of Dreamland after his grandfather left him the company. When Zahra gets promoted after an incident she thought would get her fired, her position allows her to work closely with Rowan. At first, the two bicker, but soon they become friends and ultimately, they fall in love.

I Think I Love You by Auriane Desombre

Emma is a romantic—a hardcore one at that. She goes crazy for the love scenes on Netflix or the meet-cute moment in a film. She’s also about to enter into a film festival competition so her brain can only focus on gay rom coms and the ideas she’ll create with her friends. Winning this competition could mean a college scholarship and an internship in the film industry, a major dream of Emma’s. All her ideas though are short-lived once Sophia returns from living with her mother in Paris. Sophia is practical. If she could, she’d boycott all relationships, teen boys and Emma’s ideas for the film. Sophia thinks an artsy, introspective film would win over the judges rather than something cheesy. Deciding to make two films, Emma and Sophia break off to see who can make the best film. But as tension between them arise, they’ll see they have more in common than they realized. The sparks that fly in Ugly Love soar in this tale that’ll make any rom-com fans gush.

I’m So (Not) Over You by Kosoko Jackson

Kian Andrews and Hudson Rivers broke up months ago, and Kian hasn’t heard from his ex-boyfriend at all. When the aspiring journalist gets a text to meet at a cafe, Kian shows up, hoping Hudson will offer an apology or a confession that brings them back together. What he gets instead is a request from Hudson to fake their previous relationship for Hudson’s parent’s sake. What was meant to be a ruse for one night turns into Kian being a plus one to a wedding. Attending this wedding filled with big names could mean a lot for Kian’s career, but agreeing to all of Hudson’s rules for their fabricated relationship starts to feel risky, and more and more lines are blurred between the two.

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Ami’s and Olive’s luck differs heavily. Olive’s luck isn’t always the best. Not in love, her career or anything really. Ami’s luck is superb. From the romantic way she meets her fiancé to how well she manages her life, Ami gets it all. She even gets to pay off her wedding by winning an internet contest. Giving her sister what she desires, Olive agrees to spend the day going through the wedding planning, which includes spending time with Ethan, the best man and her enemy. Olive’s luck soon turns around when the wedding party ends up sick, leaving her and Ethan with a free vacation to Hawaii. But as quickly as her luck comes it leaves, because she now has to play the ruse of a newlywed couple to save her pride in front of her future boss.