Beautiful Disaster

Beautiful Disaster - Jamie McGuire This book is a hard one to review. I enjoyed it when I know I should have found it horrifying, and I did find much of it horrifying. Too, a big plot point caused enough eye-rolling that I found myself skimming nearly the entire middle of the book.

The biggest problem/best part of this book is hero Travis. Travis is seriously messed up, with anger management issues and a borderline-stalker personality. Once he falls in love with heroine Abby, his behaviour becomes beyond obsessive and controlling. In reality, a guy like this would be someone to avoid at all costs. But in fiction-land, Travis's over-the-top devotion to the woman he loves seems romantic and intense. Travis and Abby have one dysfunctional relationship, but it's compelling and tragically perfect. The title "Beautiful Disaster" truly does apply.

Too, Travis and Abby both come across as Marty Stu/Mary Sue perfections. Travis is a hot stud who happens to be a fight club champion without lifting a weight, spending a second training, and all while consuming copious amounts of booze. Abby is so stunningly beautiful and desirable that every guy she meets hits on her or tries to assault her, mostly so that Travis can react possessively. Add in her ability to hustle poker like a professional gambler and she's beyond unrealistic.

The entire Las Vegas plotline is very unbelievable and unnecessary. Much of the plot serves simply as a series of reasons Abby and Travis can't be together, none of them making any sense at all. And I won't spoil the ending, but any last attempt at realism flies right out the window.

All of this complaining makes it seem like this book is horrible. The problem is that it's not. I did skim the middle and found myself skipping to the end just to get past Round #33 of Abby breaking Travis's heart. But like I said, Travis is a romantic figure in the vein of Heathcliff and this saved the book from being unreadable.