Beautiful Oblivion (The Maddox Brothers, #1) by Jamie McGuire
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.
So many romance books blend together. Few stand out with something original. This one is one of those few. Why? Because it dares to add something more to the mix besides the relationship. This one adds a secret. A secret that's being kept from the reader, the guy and most of the characters in the book. That secret brought a certain about of frustration as reasons for behavior weren't always completely clear but I loved the daring. I loved the hunt to find every clue and place it carefully in the right place as the pieces fell together.
In my journey to figure it out, I called my co-blogger Jess, and talked through clues. She hasn't read the book and didn't have an answer for me but as I sorted through them aloud with her, it hit me. I was about 2/3 of the way through the book. I knew the secret. And I smiled. Every frustrating decision and strange behavior from Cami fell into place. And I was content to read on and see how Trent would react when he inevitably learned the secret too. I wasn't disappointed one bit.
I was so thrilled when I realized that this book takes place parallel to Beautiful Disaster. Travis Maddox is the player before Abby at the beginning of the book. We see glimpses of him throughout the book as he talks to Cami at The Red, goes to get his "Abby" tat at Skin Deep and other important points. I loved seeing him outside of Abby's POV and their storyline. So much fun to see how others saw him as he fell for Abby. When I realized we would also experience the ending of Beautiful Disaster with Trenton's part in it, I whimpered. But at least I knew what would happen to him, unlike poor Cami.
Cami was hard for me. At first, I wanted to slap her. Then I understood her and I wanted to hug her. When she tried to protect Trent, I cried with her. She's so real to me. I think that has a lot to do with that daring secret the author used. A risk that paid off in character depth.
I adored Trent. He's loved Cami since they were young but he was scared to have her and lose her so he kept his distance. A Maddox brother trait. All the Maddox brothers have lost the first moment they loved, their mother. When they love, they love strongly and it can hurt. He definitely loves strongly just like his brother, Travis. He doesn't give up. He doesn't take "I've got a boyfriend" as an excuse. But don't worry about any cheating. It's handled in the "Jamie McGuire" way and I was cool with it.
If you loved Beautiful Disaster and haven't read this one yet, you need to. Don't let the mixed reviews scare you. This one is a strong, daring romance that satisfies.
About the Series...
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About the Series this one spun off from...
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