Series: Beautiful #3
Published by Simon & Schuster on July 1st 2014
The Beautiful Disaster phenomenon continues in the first heart-pounding new adult romance in The Maddox Brothers series.
Fiercely independent Camille "Cami" Camlin gladly moved on from her childhood before it was over. She has held down a job since before she could drive, and moved into her own apartment after her freshman year of college. Now tending bar at The Red Door, Cami doesn't have time for much else besides work and classes, until a trip to see her boyfriend is cancelled, leaving her with her first weekend off in almost a year.
Trenton Maddox was the king of Eastern State University, dating co-eds before he even graduated high school. His friends wanted to be him, and women wanted to tame him, but after a tragic accident turned his world upside down, Trenton leaves campus to come to grips with the crushing guilt.
Eighteen months later, Trenton is living at home with his widower father, and works full-time at a local tattoo parlour to help with the bills. Just when he thinks his life is returning to normal, he notices Cami sitting alone at a table at The Red.
As the baby sister of four rowdy brothers, Cami believes she'll have no problem keeping her new friendship with Trenton Maddox strictly platonic. But when a Maddox boy falls in love, he loves forever - even if she is the only reason their already broken family could fall apart.
In the first instalment of The Maddox Brothers series, readers can experience the rush of reading Beautiful Disaster for the first time, all over again.
Okay…let me just get this first part/rant out of the way and then I can talk about what I actually liked about the book –
If you were one of the lucky people who didn’t guess the “twist” within the first two chapters then BEAUTIFUL OBLIVION was probably a great romance with scorching chemistry and an OMG ending. If you were like me however then you’re probably feeling a bit like “…eh yeah it was alright but what was the point again?”
Despite the ups and downs of its predecessor, I enjoyed BEAUTIFUL DISASTER so I was actually looking forward to BEAUTIFUL OBLIVION. Unfortunately I read a couple of reviews that said this book was mind-blowing because of the ending so my inner blood-hound perked up her ears and when I settled down to get lost in the romance, I couldn’t help but examine the book with forensic efficiency and within an embarrassingly few amount of pages I had ruined the plot for myself.
Even if I hadn’t however, if I got to that ending, my opinion of Cami would have plummeted to hellish depths. I was already dubious about her throughout the book because of the fact she was playing with fire which wasn’t very impressive but if I had been totally invested in her and Trent’s relationship it would have disgusted me greatly and no way am I shipping that shit! So I allowed myself a few eye -rolls every time the GLARINGLY OBVIOUS TWIST (ahem) came up and sat back and enjoyed the fun although slightly tedious ride.
Cami is the bartender at the Red Door, the famous bar where Abby and Travis’s courtship played out many of its dramas. When plans for a rare weekend off go awry, Cami finds herself under the attention of the charming Maddox brother Trenton. Determined to keep their relationship platonic, Cami agrees to hang out due to their similar interests however as time passes, Cami realises the connection with Trent is more than she could ever have imagined and that friendship with a Maddox may be harder than she thought possible.
Cami and Trent was definitely a more likeable couple than Abby and Travis for me. Cami’s background beggared belief at times and I really felt sympathetic towards her and the difficulties she faced dealing with four utterly moronic brothers and an abusive father. When it came to her family and friends she was admiringly compassionate and I loved her work ethic and her determination which made her behaviour regarding the “twist” even more frustrating.
I can definitely see the attraction of Trenton, mirroring Cami with his solid approach to work and home life not to mention his smooth lines; I’ll admit there were times I definitely swooned. Jamie McGuire knows how to write chemistry and these two had it in spades. I loved their flirtatious conversations and the fact it was clear how much they really felt for each other. If this had been a straight up love story I would have been in heaven but McGuire’s determination to be “clever” took the shine off that.
Another perplexing issue was the fact that it took place at the exact same time as Beautiful Disaster. At times this was cool how little moments intersected although a conversation towards the end between Trent and Abby pretty much ruined Beautiful Disaster for me and made me lose faith in Abby and Travis’s love. Apparently it’s broached in Beautiful Wedding too so if you’ve read that you’ll have an idea of what I’m talking about…
There was also about a million side characters, each with their own story which I’m sure is because McGuire is setting up the future Maddox books and wants to establish some familiar faces but it was just plain confusing at times especially when you have entire families with names starting with the same letter, it was impossible to keep track of whose drama was whose!
Overall this could have been great, and as a straight romance it is! However the side plots and the build-up to nothingness let the book down and my final opinion is pretty much summed up as “So what?” If you’re truly invested in this ‘verse, go for it, if not, do yourself a favour and read RED HILL for a great Jamie McGuire experience.