Finally! I’ve found a book that targets the same audience as my novel – collegians. In Beautiful Disaster, a novel written and electronically published by Jamie McGuire, Abby Abernathy and Travis Maddox are college students at Eastern University who meet at an organized, albeit illegal, fighting match. Their story is a testiment to the egotism and indecisiveness of twenty-year-olds who finally figure out who they and what they want out of life and relationships.
Travis is known around campus for being a “player” as well as the most formidable bare-fisted fighting contender around. It’s how he pays his bills and how he fans his bad-boy reputation. Abby has moved from her home town out west to the east coast to escape a family reputation that threatens to destroy her. She has recreated a life for herself by cutting almost all ties to the past; her only link to her former life is her best friend, America.
The conflict between these two characters begins almost immediately as Abby is sprayed with Travis’s blood during a fight. Because she refuses to be baited by his bad boy reputation and chiseled good looks, Abby becomes something of a challenge for Travis to conquer. As he pursues her, he is intrigued by her ability to reject his advances and they become friends.
Like all romances, this friendly couple has numerous obstacles to overcome before they get their happily ever after. McGuire does an exceptional job creating two characters that have depth and are relatable; but the fact that the biggest obstacles for the friends are their own insecurities and their inability to get over them made me want to slam the book down a few times and not even finish it.
But I didn’t slam it down (because it was on my Nook) and I did finish it (because Travis is just so darn tempting as a bad boy trying to be good), and I’m glad I did. Even through the overused f-word and the seemingly inability of the characters to get past their personal demons, the storyline was original and interesting enough for me to finish it in two days.