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 older 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.
~ ~ Review ~ ~
Jamie McGuire once again brings us to the circle of the Maddox Family.The first installment of the Maddox Brothers Books, she tells the story of Trenton Maddox and Camille Camlin.
Trenton, like Travis is a bit of a bad boy himself, leaving school and working as a tattoo artist. Although described as an almost twin of Travis, I’d like to think that’s where the comparison ends. Trenton is sweeter, more caring and basically a happier guy than Trav. He has his issues, but he’s a lot less angsty about it, being more mature about most things.He is thoughtful, protective and worries about their father. Plus, he’s a great baby sitter. I also love how McGuire would describe that dimple of his whenever he grins. I just can’t help grinning every time I read about it.
Cami, on the other hand, is a more complex character than Abby, me thinks. She struggles to get away from a home that isn’t exactly nurturing while trying to make a relationship work with a guy who’s not exactly there. That relationship burdened with a heavy secret, there were moments my heart was breaking as she tried to make sense of it.
She’s also a sister to four brothers, which gives her the ability to actually have a face off with Trent without flinching. She is realistic in that she chooses not to ignore what is exactly happening and I admire her for that. She is confident and highly independent, which is one of her ways to rebel against a problematic family.
Trent has secretly (meaning everybody but Cami knew about it) loved Cami since they were children but while Travis’ approach to Abby was more of annoying her, Trent tried to win Cami by his acts of thoughtfulness. Of course, in that trademark Maddox way of bulldozing through everything. Finally coming together after so many years, I loved how he refused to give up on her and his unconditional acceptance of Cami’s decision to keep that little secret.
In this book, McGuire writes about a love that is defined by destiny, that age, time and third parties cannot prevent. She gives the book a great tug and pull, creating a nice tension around the characters that builds up until it burts into fulfillment. She writes with engaging descriptions that make me smile with Trent or make me just want to give Cami’s brothers a good punch on the face.
The book is also about knowing how to tell when a relationship isn’t working anymore, be it a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship or with your family. And the courage to admit it, no matter how hard.
Once in a while, the supporting character’s relationships frustrate me, but then it reflects on what kind of relationship Cami and Trent can end up with. It was nice to have Travis’ and Abby’s relationship unfold, supporting in the background, but I didn’t really pay much attention to it as I found myself wanting to focus more on Cami and Trent’s co-workers. Their support group around each other was refreshing. They treat each other like family, with a few characters who would “nudge” the relationship of our couple along with a nice challenge.
Of course there’s the usual Jamie McGuire alliteration with the names (Abby Abernathy, Camille Camlin) and she adds a sweet little character in the book that just blew me away. I think this little character is the best Maddox leading lady.Ever. Go read the book, if only for her.
Admittedly, there are a few significant issues I would have wanted better closure. It would have made given Trent and Cami better characterization. But I am hoping McGuire will eventually write a Walking Oblivion where all the other issues will come to full circle. I would also love to know what their mom told Trent before she died. In fact, I would want to know what she told ALL the boys (and Jim too) before she died. (I was expecting it in this book but then I realized the POV’s from Cami)
I have to say, I loved Travis, but I think I like Trenton’s personality better. If asked whom I’d like to spend the day with, Trent and Cami’s got my vote. Oh and by the way, please don’t DON’T (yes, bold shouty capitals) make the same mistake I did! Accidentally opening the last page of the book and instantly reading the last line. DON’T. JUST DON’T.
Overall, it was a good read. I don’t mind spin off books, specially if its a spin-off about characters I was already interested in reading about. This was one of the spin offs that I liked. (But that doesn’t mean I’m not waiting for a Walking Oblivion, Jamie 😀 )
I may be in “Big, disastrous Maddox trouble” but you don’t see me backing away.