Author: Jamie McGuire
Published by: Atria Books
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
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 a 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 parlor 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 installment of the Maddox Brothers books, readers can experience the rush of reading Beautiful Disaster for the first time, all over again
Confession: I haven’t read any of the Beautiful Disaster books. Even though I haven’t, it felt like I knew Travis and Abby’s story just from listening to everyone else. So I didn’t really mind starting this companion series of The Maddox Brothers without reading Beautiful Disaster first. I had some issues with this book, but thought it was an okay read.
This book apparently coincides with the events in Beautiful Disaster, so we do see Travis and Abby from Trent and Cami’s perspective. It was interesting, but it still didn’t entice me into wanting to read their story.
I really liked Cami and Trent. The chemistry between them was good, especially when they joked around and teased each other.
Trenton frowned. “You’re missing your shirt,” he said.
I looked down at my leather vest. Yes, my tits were out to play, but I worked at a bar, not a day care. “Are you saying you don’t approve of my attire?” Trenton began to speak, but I put my finger against his lips. “Aw, that’s cute. You thought I was really asking.”
Trenton kissed my finger, and I pulled back my hand.
There were a couple of instances when Trent got on my nerves a little, but I understood where he was coming from and that he had good intentions. But overall, their friends to lovers relationship was pretty good.
There are quite a few secondary characters that were always entertaining. I loved Hazel! She needs her own novella or something. I totally fell for Reagan right from the first chapter! Her and Cami’s friendship was one of my favorite things about the book.
Raegan was a great friend, but I wouldn’t cross her. Growing up with so many boys in the house, I’d had enough fighting to last a lifetime. They didn’t baby me. If I didn’t fight back, they’d just fight dirtier until I did. And I always did.
Raegan didn’t have an excuse. She was just a scrappy bitch.
Okay, now, to my issue. It’s sort of a layered issue about the “secret” that is a big deal throughout the book. I figured out the secret in chapter two, or at least part of it. So I read it with ‘knowing eyes’. My issue is that there was no point to the secret. At least one layer, anyway.
Throughout the book (starting in ch. 2) Cami hid who her boyfriend is from Trent, and acts like people can’t find out they’re together. Yet, her friends, family, and co-workers know who he is. So then she makes it like she’s hiding a secret about him. Okay, that’s fine. But what does hiding their relationship have to do with his secret? Nothing! Did they think that if people knew he was dating Cami, that they would make the absurd leap to his secret? One does not equate the other. View Spoiler »When it finally all came out at the end who her boyfriend is, his stupid secret is still safe! So her going on and on about feeling guilty and stressing out about keeping “his secret” was pointless! Because guess what, she’s still keeping his secret! « Hide Spoiler
That brings me to the next layer: it never says in the book what exactly his secret is, so it left me feeling a little confused and wondering why all the secrecy at all. When I talked to a friend about it, she informed me of some pertinent information that made things so much more clear. However, it’s a spoiler to who he is, so I’ll hide it: View Spoiler »Apparently the people who have read A Beautiful Wedding will know his secret. Unfortunately, those who haven’t are shit out of luck and left confused and/or with questions. « Hide Spoiler I can’t even tell you how thankful I am that someone informed me (afterwards). I don’t know if the author meant for it to feel as though we were left hanging or if she assumed everyone would know.
So does that seem like a big issue? Well, it is to me, because it makes a good chunk of the drama in the book unnecessary. However, I still enjoyed aspects of it. I’m going to attribute any positive feelings for Beautiful Oblivion to the characters and their dynamics.
This was my first Jamie McGuire book, but I’m not sure if I’ll read another.