AKA how I learned not to trust raving Goodread reviews. Beautiful Disaster frequently shows up in “best of” romance lists and get’s 5 star reviews by many. Although contemporary romance is not my thing I decided to give it a try.
Mary Sue Abby is a pretty, quiet college student who, based on how often she goes shopping and/or is at the salon, has waaay more time and money than I did in college. Travis Maddox is a popular, muscular, sexpot who notoriously eschews any romantic entanglements. Also Travis pays for college by participating in an underground fight club. Because, of course he does.
Despite the bevvy of bikini-clad women available to Travis he is intrigued by Abby, because of course he is. Abby wisely steers clear of Travis until an ill-conceived bet results in Abby being forced to live with Travis for 30 days. Their mutual attraction blossoms but Abby fights it knowing that it will only end in heartbreak. Abby, however is, dating some hot rich dude (Parker but who cares) who is totally into her (because, of course he is) who amazingly is totally OK with the developing relationship between Abby and Travis because Abby repeatedly tells him that “Travis and I are just friends.” Which they are, until they have sex. So that’s a little awkward.
After that things get blurry – there are multiple break ups and make ups. Pretty forgettable and stupid until….
*SPOILER ALERT which you won’t care about because if you take my advice you’ll NEVER read this book*
Abby is a card shark. Her evil drunken gambler Dad shows up and will be KILLED BY A VEGAS MOB BOSS if Abby doesn’t fly to Vegas immediately and win enough at poker to pay off the Mob Boss. Abby comes up a few dollar short but after Travis BEATS THE MOB HENCHMEN TO BLOODY PULPS the Mob Boss hires Travis to fight in an underground Vegas match with a professional fighter in order to pay off save Abby’s Dad.
Luckily Travis is SOOO good that he has no issues dispatching the pro and he and Abby happily trundle back to college where they can bicker about if Abby’s latest fraternity formal dress shows too much skin.
Travis may be sexy but he’s also a caveman. He solves most of his problems by beating them to a pulp (in real life, Travis would be in prison.) If that doesn’t work, he gets drunk and has sex with strumpets.
Abby is a bore. Not only did the whole “card shark” angle come out of nowhere but it’s completely incongruous with everything we’ve learned about Abby up to this point, namely that she likes getting her nails done.
At one point Abby dumps Travis who is desperately heartsick for months. In the meantime Abby changes her mind and decides to get back together with Travis. Only because of stupidity decides to say nothing. Months later fates conspire for them to reunite and Abby finally admits that she decided to get back together months ago. Is Travis angry because he suffered needlessly for months? Does he recognize that his beloved has the emotional maturity of a four year old? Naaaahhhh….
They just fly to Vegas and get married.
I can’t lie – this was a compelling read that kept me up late. But let’s be honest, Beautiful Disaster is the book equivalent to Sharknado. It was horrible yet oddly compelling. After it was over I felt vaguely sick to my stomach and embarrassed that I had spent time on it.
(Phew…just squeaked in my quarter cannonball!)