Saturday, 18 August 2012

Beautiful Disaster

Level: Adult
Genre: Romance
Obtained: Online Bookseller
Reviewed by: Maggie W. 

About the Book:

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.
Rating: 6/10
While reading some reviews on another book site I just happened to glance at some of the ads on their side bar and noticed the cover for this books and thought it looked a bit interesting. Since most of the other books I've either seen reviewed or advertised on their site have been pretty good choices for me I decided to look this one up, and though it's not really my usual fare, I'm glad I did. 
The story opens with Abby, her best friend America, and America's boyfriend Shepley, attending a fight that Shepley's cousin Travis is fighting in. Think Fight Club meets college frat. I was actually ready to maybe give up the book at that. This is the first interaction we get between Travis and Abby, or as Travis decides to call her, Pigeon. Side note here, if you're trying to decide on a cute nickname to go with for the girl you eventually fall in love with, go with something that's not basically a rat with wings. 

Not to long after the night of the fight, the hot water goes out for the whole of the dorm building that Abby and America live in, so they decide to go to Shepley and Travis' apartment to stay until it's fixed. I had to suspend my disbelief that a large college would 1) have only a single hot water heater for a whole dorm building, and 2) Not have it fixed within a day to prevent the risk of angry students, not to mention parents demanding something be done with all the tuition they pay. Somehow during their short stay there, Abby and Travis make a bet, which causes Abby to have to live with Travis for a month. 

During this time, Abby starts seeing a guy named Spencer. Spencer is pretty much the stereotype of white bread, college republican, exactly the type of guy Abby thinks she should date in order to completely distance herself from events and people in her past. Travis and Abby become literally inseparable, and everyone around them know they're crazy about each other, but they insist they're only best friends, and Abby continues to date Spencer.

By continuing to date Spencer, Abby pretty much drives Travis crazy. While the normal person might think, hmm, maybe my he's acting like such an insanely jealous crazy person because he has more than just friendly feelings for me, but not Abby. Someone literally could have run up to her with a giant sign that said, "He's in love with you and wants to carry you off cave man style" and beat her repeatedly about the face with it and she'd still insist that they're just friends. 

Thankfully both Abby and Travis manage to pull their heads out of their asses and get their feelings out in the open, though not soon enough for my sanity I fear, and that was only the first half of the book. Thankfully the second half was a bit better in that respect, though there was still a bit of the, no we can't be together, it's a disaster, but I love you so much, going back and forth. 

Travis eventually takes Abby home with him to meet his family, during their poker night. All of Travis' brothers and his father love poker and even follow the goings on in the pro circuit. It's during this game, after Abby cleans out every member of the family including Travis, that they find out what Abby has been hiding from everyone except America(who she's known since childhood.). Her father is a world famous poker player, who is convinced that Abby stole his luck when she was 13. He hasn't won a game since that point, and she hasn't lost. 

Soon after returning to school Abby's estranged father shows up, demanding something like $50,000 because he's fallen in deep debt with some Vegas mobsters. Not wanting him to die, but still despising her father, Abby agrees to pay off his debt in exchange for her father promising to never contact her ever again. So the whole gang heads off to Vegas for the weekend in order for Abby's awesome luck to win the money to save her father from getting whacked. 

Though she managed to make the majority of the money owed, she wasn't able to get all of it before she goes to meet with the mob loan shark. While there the his guards attack and Travis takes both of them out. The Boss, whose name I can't remember, so I'll call him Fat Tony, because that's mob sounding and I'm too lazy to look it up, decides that Travis will take the place of his star fighter(one of the guards Travis beat the shit out of), in the MMA style fight he was supposed to fight in. If he agrees and wins, the debt is clear. 

To no one's surprise, Travis wins, and they're able to go home, with an offer from Fat Tony to Travis to be his new prize fighter, which begins another spiral of angsty, we shouldn't be together from Travis and Abby. Honestly by the time I got to the end of this book I was ready to strangle the both of them, and the author. Thankfully things work out in the end...eventually. 

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