“It wasn’t just me, and it wasn’t just him, it was what we were together that was the exception.”- Beautiful Disaster
Do you ever come across a writer’s book and after reading it, you want to read every single book the author has ever written? That’s what happened to me after I read Jamie McGuire’s “Beautiful Disaster.” I had seen a few of my Twitter followers talk about how in love and addicted to her books they were, and I couldn’t resist seeing what all the hoopla was about. McGuire’s “Beautiful Series” is rather big, consisting of ten books total (one coming on August 15 and another that was published on WattPad but was recently taken down). In the series, readers will lose themselves in the Maddox brothers’ love stories.
At least, that’s what happened to me with just the first three books that revolve around Abby Abernathy and Travis Maddox. Some may believe that the story is unorthodox and glorifies some dangerous characteristics, and while that is a bit true, you cannot hate on the book when there are movies, television shows, and other books that do the same thing, but worse. The story, characters, the love, and the words are addicting. As Jamie’s tagline on her website says this is “not your mother’s romance.”
*Spoiler Alert: The following review may contain spoilers of the books. *
“You know why I want you? I didn’t know I was lost until you found me. I didn’t know what alone was until the first night I spent without you in my bed. You’re the one thing I’ve got right. You’re what I’ve been waiting for, Pigeon.” – Beautiful Disaster
The first book, “Beautiful Disaster,” introduces readers to Abby Abernathy, who is trying to start a new life for herself at college away from home with her best friend, and Travis Maddox, a no holds bar bad boy who earns his money in “secret” fight rings and charms his way into nothing but one-night-stands. When Travis meets Abby, a seemingly good girl with cardigans to boot, he’s instantly drawn to her resistance towards him. Little does he realize that he’s met the one girl who can drive him to change his ways.
After growing a bit closer, Travis tricks Abby into placing a bet against each other. If Abby wins, Travis must remain abstinent for an entire month. If Travis wins, Abby must live with him and his cousin for an entire month. I’m sure you can guess who wins.
Throughout the book, the two are faced with a number of obstacles. Abby tries to restrain herself from falling for him considering he is too much like the past she is trying to escape. Travis has some major jealousy and rage issues, but it all stems from his love for Abby and not wanting her hurt, which causes him to unintentionally break her heart a few times. Abby’s past shows up just when things are going well for the two and throws another heartbreak their way. When tragedy strikes the college, it results in a life changing decision.
“When you’re around, I don’t need booze or money or the fighting or the one-night stands… all I need is you. You’re all I think about. You’re all I dream about. You’re all I want.” – Walking Disaster
Travis Maddox isn’t just your resident one-night-stand and bad boy. He’s a guy who has dealt with the loss of love and doesn’t want to experience that again. When he loves, he loves hard, and he has no problem fighting for that love… no matter what. He learned that from his mother.
“Beautiful Disaster” gave us Abby’s point of view of her love story with Travis. The companion novel, “Walking Disaster” gives us Travis’ side of the story. Every bad boy has their reasons. They have their pasts that makes them who they are. In “Walking Disaster,” we get a deeper look into why Travis is the way he is, why he does the things he does, and why he loves the way he loves. We get to see his point of view of how things happened between him and Abby and even scenes that weren’t in Abby’s story.
“A Beautiful Wedding”
“We were best friends first, and we tried not to fall in love, and we did anyway. If you’re not with me, it’s not where I want to be. I’m in this. I’m with you.” – A Beautiful Wedding
In this short novella, we get to learn the details of that life-changing decision that was made at the end of “Beautiful Disaster.” Like why the question was really asked. Details of their wedding night. What happened before they went home? Who else knew, but was sworn not to tell? It also takes us to a year later for a very special event.
“This whole thing might play out to be a completely wonderful, beautiful disaster, but I want that if it’s with you.” – A Beautiful Wedding
I ultimately fell in love with Travis and Abby’s story in “Beautiful Disaster.” I was weirdly addicted to their relationship that was indeed a beautiful disaster. Their relationship may have been a bit volatile at times (or as Travis’ cousin, Shepley, called it, a tornado), but I believe it showed how strong their connection and love was… no matter how hard they tried to fight it. They ultimately prove the theory that people change people. Abby turned Travis into a one-woman man, and Travis helped Abby realize that she didn’t have to change who she was entirely to escape a painful past. It was a book that I didn’t want to put down and was constantly on my mind. I was always left wanting to know what would be the next breaking point, what Travis would do to win her back, and when Abby would realize that you can’t run from love… no matter how much it reminds you of the past you’re trying to escape.
I thought I couldn’t love the story more, but then I read Travis’ point of view in “Walking Disaster,” and fell in love with it even more. I’m not sure why, but I always love to read the guys’ side of things. I guess it’s something that we don’t get all that often in love stories. I was also really intrigued by Travis’ character more than any other character. I wanted to know more about his past and why he did the things he did, and when I found those things out, I was able to understand him more. I think readers will find that uplifting more than dysfunctional because it’s not about him being a player, it’s about him finding the right girl… the one worth more than a one-night-stand.
“A Beautiful Wedding” was a refreshing insight to what we didn’t get much of in the first two books and how the characters developed after a year of being married. I’m glad Jamie gave us that inside look.
Ultimately, by the end of their love story, I was weirdly left wanting someone who loved me unapologetically like Travis loves Abby and called me “pigeon.”
I can’t wait to read the stories of the rest of the Maddox brothers.