Learn everything you need to know about Confess by Colleen Hoover in this full summary (with spoilers of the ending marked) and book review.
- New York Times bestseller
- Winner of the 2015 Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance
You probably already know that Colleen Hoover is the hottest author out there right now. You may have even read the most popular Colleen Hoover Books and are diving even further into Colleen Hoover’s back list.
As you’ll learn in more detail in this Confess by Colleen Hoover summary and review, this book has a lot of moving parts between the romance: the drug-addicted supporting character, the love triangle, and the custody battle. It also shows a lot of Hoover’s strengths: her fast-paced writing, her excellent character development, her “just enough” spicy romance, and some twists and turns that the reader never sees coming. It would be perfect for any fan of Hoover’s work or any fan of romances that have substance.
By the way, you should also know there was an under-the-radar adaptation of this novel! Watch the trailer below:
(This Confess by Colleen Hoover summary and review was prepared by my freelance writer, a Colleen Hoover super fan whose been devouring her catalog alongside me, and it was edited by me.)
Confess by Colleen Hoover: Summary and Review
Confess Age Rating
We recommend Colleen Hoover’s Confess for persons aged 18 and over in light of the following content:
- Genre: Contemporary Romance with a love triangle
- Trigger Warnings: addiction, terminal illness, physical assault, sexual assault, custody battle
- Spice Level: 1.5 out of 5
Related Post: Age Recommendations for Colleen Hoover’s Books
Full Confess by Colleen Hoover Summary
Part 1 of 2
Confess by Colleen Hoover starts out with a prologue in which we see a young couple in their mid-teens saying their final goodbye. Adam has a terminal illness and although he and Auburn, his girlfriend, lived and met in Portland, most of Adam’s family is from Dallas and he was transferred to a hospital there to live his final days.
The chapters that follow are five years after the prologue. Told in alternate narration between Auburn and Owen, the story begins from Auburn’s perspective. She has just moved to Dallas, lives with a quirky roommate, Emory, and she is a part-time hairstylist. She is looking to make some extra cash and stumbles upon an art gallery looking for extra help.
Owen, the artist who paints all the art in the studio and opens his doors only once a month to sell it, is having a showing that very night and Auburn agrees to help him with it. Owen’s apartment is just above the gallery. Within his narration, he implies that he knows Auburn from the past and that he cannot believe he is seeing “her” again.
The showing goes well and the two have a drink at a bar across the street, where their chemistry grows. Owen asks Auburn out the following night and she agrees. However, Owen gets arrested for possession of prescription pills and, therefore, never shows up for the date. Owen’s father, Callahan, an attorney, bails him out.
Auburn and Owen cross paths again after Auburn gets drunk at a bar and the bartender, a friend of Owen’s, phones him to rescue her. He informs Auburn that he is moving in two days (although to the reader it is clear that his “move” likely has something to do with his arrest).
They plan to spend the weekend together before he moves. When the two are at Auburn’s apartment, Lydia, Auburn’s late boyfriend’s mother, pops in for a visit with a small boy in tow. The boy is AJ, Auburn’s son with Adam, and it is clear Auburn loves him tremendously.
Once Lydia and AJ leave, Auburn tells Owen everything: She had AJ young, and her parents wanted nothing to do with her. Lydia offered to raise him but recently left Portland after her husband died. So, Auburn is on a mission to get custody of her son again.
Auburn and Owen enjoy their first kiss as Trey, Adam’s brother and local police officer, knocks on Auburn’s door. He and Owen seem to have some bad blood and Trey does not want Auburn near him.
Owen finally comes clean to Auburn about his arrest for possession and likely jail time. She now knows that she can have nothing to do with Owen or the courts will use it against her in the fight for her son.
Owen gets sentenced to three months in prison. The story now cuts to Owen’s arrest three weeks earlier and the reader finds out that Owen’s father, the highly regarded public defender, is the one with the addiction — not Owen.
Owen’s father called him while intoxicated one night and Owen came to his rescue but then got pulled over by Trey. Knowing what an arrest of a public offender would look like to the public, Owen took the blame for the pills found in the vehicle.
Part 2 of 2
With Owen in jail, Auburn and Trey are growing closer. Trey has made it clear that he has a romantic interest in Auburn, and Auburn knows that Trey is the easiest way to get access to AJ, but she just can’t seem to get herself to reciprocate feelings for Trey.
Owen is released from jail early, and he runs into Auburn while shopping. Their connection remains undeniable.
But, Trey is threatened by Owen’s and Auburn’s connection and begins to show his angry side.
When Trey is out of town for the weekend, Auburn visits Owen and they make love for the first time. Auburn knows that it’s wrong and that her commitment lies with Trey, but the connection she feels with Owen is undeniable.
Upon returning to town, Trey confronts Auburn over her relationship with Owen and sexually assaults her. Her roommate, Emory, threatens Trey with his gun until he leaves.
Owen comes clean to Auburn about everything: that the pills were never his and that his father is an addict.
The following day at Owen’s apartment, Trey restrains Auburn and Owen punches him. Trey arrests Owen for assault of an officer and Owen goes back to jail.
(The ending of Part 2 is continued below WITH spoilers. If you do no want to see any spoilers of the ending, skip ahead to the Review section.)
Confess Ending WITH SPOILERS
Auburn, determined to help Owen out of jail and have the truth revealed about Trey, goes to Callahan with a plan. They call Lydia into his office and ask her to sign custody papers. She, with Trey in tow, laughs in their face until Auburn reveals that she has an audio recording of Trey’s abusive behavior that could end his career as a cop.
Lydia has no choice but to sign the custody papers and Auburn also demands that Trey release Owen from jail in exchange for her not sharing the audio file. Owen is released, and Auburn and Owen are finally together with AJ.
The last chapter is narrated by Owen, and it is a flashback to five years prior. Owen’s father was in the hospital in a coma after a car accident. In the room next door was Adam, and Owen watched Auburn visit Adam frequently. He describes in detail their last day together and their last goodbye, which was outlined in the prologue.
When Trey went in to get Auburn and tell her that her time with Adam was up, she wanted to say one last goodbye to him. Owen had then confronted Trey about this and punched him, asking that Trey let Auburn say her final goodbye, which is what had resulted in their bad blood all these years.
Owen then went on to use Adam’s discarded paint supplies to paint his very first painting, which he gifted to Adam. Upon seeing the painting, Adam asked Owen to mail it to Auburn. It still adorns her apartment wall, although she never knew Owen painted it.
Book Review of Confess
Confess by Colleen Hoover is a great book! Like many of her novels, this is a quick read with some romance and unexpected twists and turns. This book has minimal spice.
The connection between Auburn and Owen is palpable, and I found myself rooting for them the entire time. Hoover has a great ability to paint her characters with such depth while, at the same time, using minimal description and just letting the reader absorb her words and form their own opinion.
A great example of this was Trey: I immediately didn’t like him despite the fact that he did not reveal his true colors until later in the book. The subtle descriptors and the way the character was laid out were done so perfectly that I found myself never rooting for Trey and Auburn even before I knew what a monster Trey was.
This book has a lot of moving parts between the romance: the drug-addicted supporting character, the love triangle, and the custody battle. It held my attention but may be a bit busy for some readers.
Overall, I think this was a great book. It shows a lot of Hoover’s strengths: her fast-paced writing, her excellent character development, her ‘just enough’ spicy romance, and some twists and turns that the reader never sees coming.
Colleen Hoover remains one of my favorite authors for the aforementioned reasons and I think one of my favorite qualities of hers is that she is able to write romance, yet always brings some unexpected depth to both the story and the characters.
I think this book would be perfect for any fan of Hoover’s work or any fan of romances that have substance.
Frequently Asked Questions
The main characters in Confess by Colleen Hoover are Auburn, a 20-year-old woman who just moved to Dallas determined to get custody of her son, and Owen, a local artist.
Confess by Colleen Hoover is about a love triangle between Auburn, a young mother determined to get custody of her son; Owen, a local artist with a long secret history with Auburn; and Trey, Auburn’s dead ex-boyfriend’s brother, who plays a key role in her custody battle.
No. Confess by Colleen Hoover is a dramatic modern romance book with some unexpected twists and turns.
Confess by Colleen Hoover is recommended for readers age 18+ due to some adult content and themes including addiction, terminal illness, physical assault, sexual assault, and a custody battle.
Confess by Colleen Hoover has a couple of spicy scenes, but they are not very graphic.
In Confess by Colleen Hoover, Auburn ends up with Owen Gentry.
No. Confess by Colleen Hoover is a standalone novel.
To summarize, this Confess by Colleen Hoover summary and review, this book has a lot of moving parts between the romance: the drug-addicted supporting character, the love triangle, and the custody battle.
It also shows a lot of Hoover’s strengths: her fast-paced writing, her excellent character development, her “just enough” spicy romance, and some twists and turns that the reader never sees coming.
It would be perfect for any fan of Hoover’s work or any fan of romances that have substance.
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