Author: Jamie McGuire
Series: Beautiful #1
Publication date: May 26th, 2011
Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn't drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, 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 spent his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby's resistance to his appeal, 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's apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.
This is one of those books where you hear so much good buzz about it you have to read it. But since I am a blogger with copious amounts of review books to read, I never really get to read for pleasure. So this delight was pushed to the back burner until Book Bash 2014 caused it to resurface. I have a determination to read as many books by authors attending as I can so I don't end up asking them to sign a book I haven't even looked at past the cover. I had never read anything by Jamie McGuire so I was anxious to do so before BB14.
Within the first pages we are introduced to Abby Abernathy. Externally she is the girl-next-door, but on the inside she has a dark past full of danger and pain. She has moved away from Wichita to attend Eastern University hoping for a fresh start where nobody knows of her or her infamous father. She has been raised around unpredicible, reckless people her entire life so when she first lays eyes on Travis Maddox she knows to stay well and truly far away from him. Problem is he is intrigued by her keeping this casanova at arm's length. Abby refuses to allow herself to notice the way Travis makes her feel because she knows if she gives in and sleeps with him she will just be another notch on his bedpost. Unable to keep him away she settles for a friendship. But what starts as nothing but best buddies turns into anything but.
Travis has had his share of women. He is the campus stud who has never dated and only ever had one-night-stands. Unfortunately, the one girl he wants now doesn't want him. The unusual "Pidgeon", as he calls her, is the only girl who has ever held his attention longer than it takes to get them naked. He demands to have her in any way possible. That even includes a reluctant friendship. But all the while this unfeeling cad starts to wonder if love is not such a impossible thing for him. Maybe Abby is the one who can soothe his hurt and tame the beast.
Abby and Travis have a lot of healing to do and perhaps with the help of each other they can allow themselves to trust what is developing between them. Maybe they can allow themselves to feel loved without fear for the first time in their lives.
I absolutely loved Abby and Travis as a couple, he was a smug player in the beginning and through Abby not taking any of his nonsense and calling him on everything he did she didn't agree with, he grew in a man. Abby also learned to eventually not let her past rule her life. I loved watching their feelings for each other grow. I cried for them and that is the best part of a book. When I feel so emotionally invested in a book that I feel joy and sorrow right along with them, that is the markings of a truly superior book.
Jamie McGuire reached the status of one of my favorite authors in leaps and bounds with Beautiful Disaster. It is a New Adult book that will make you fall in love with the genre and idolize the world of adorable Abby and tantalizing Travis.