The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend America, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.
Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the charming college co-ed. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his charms, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’ apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.
Beautiful Disaster is unputdownable! Watching two people fall in love can be fun. Watching two very headstrong people explore their feelings for each other is such an emotional, addictive ride with almost more ups and downs than a roller coaster. Travis is EXTREMELY intense. Whatever he puts his mind to, he does it with full on passion, including when he falls hard for someone. Abby is so stubborn and hard to read sometimes in can be frustrating. These two are so dysfunctional yet I couldn’t stop reading. When things are good they're fabulous. When things are bad, they're downright miserable and volatile. So many events happen in this book that I took to each page with one eye open dreading the next dramatic upheaval to be laid upon them.
Each one has their issues. Abby has a dad she's desperate to leave behind. He has managed to make a mess of her life up until now. Going to university affords her the chance to reinvent herself without her father’s shadow looming over her. Travis has a reason for being a ladies man and not allowing anyone to get close to him. Abby is different and he immediately zeroes in on her. Seeing how their friendship develops is bizarre. As much as I love those bad boys, and I do love them, Travis posed a bit of a dilemma for me. Sometimes I found him stifling and overbearing. Other times I found him so darn sweet and juvenile, almost naive. I personally would have been put off ages ago. For some reason, Abby is fascinated by him though she won’t readily admit that out loud. She sticks by him and learns to deal with his idiosyncrasies.
There were elements of this book that reminded me of Because I Love Him, a book I reviewed earlier this year. That was about a girl who stayed in an abusive relationship because the guy just couldn’t live without her. She believed she could change him just by loving and placating him. I was nervous that Beautiful Disaster would head in that direction. It never did thankfully, otherwise I would have just called it a day. Still, Travis’ intensity and Abby’s back story are a recipe for a tumultuous relationship.
Despite all the insanity, they are capable of behaving normally and cozy with each other. Their friends America and Shepley provide a decent counterbalance to all the nuttiness. America, especially as Abby's best friend who's familiar with her past, is an excellent sounding board and can see through Abby's bullshit.
Like I said, I couldn’t put this down regardless of the frequent trepidation I had. I wasn't necessarily comfortable with the ending at first. It took me a day to truly let it all sink in before I could accept that it all makes perfect sense for Abby and Travis. As my hubby says, "crazy likes crazy".
Can I tell you what's gotten me excited? Jamie McGuire has written a book from Travis' pov called Walking Disaster which will be released in April of next year! I cannot wait to read what was going on in that crazy head of his as he tried to woo Abby!
By the way, Jamie McGuire is also a girl after my own heart. She has created a soundtrack to Beautiful Disaster. Click here to check it out - it's FANtastic!