Review: Beautiful Oblivion

Bear with me, as I actually read this novel over a month ago during SolSat’s absence.

Jamie McGuire is back (and not soon enough, if you’re as thirsty as me when it comes to the Maddox boys) and she’s come with the love story of another Maddox boy and his girl. Because, if you’ve followed the series closely, you know that when a Maddox boy falls, he falls hard.

It's that good, I get teary just looking at this cover.

It’s that good, I get teary just looking at this cover.

Beautiful Oblivion by Jamie McGuire thrusts the reader into the perspective of Camille “Cami” Camlin, a bartender at the infamous Red Door club. Interesting note: Cami made brief appearances in the other Disaster books. She’s in a steady relationship with a man named TJ, and her love life is on the rocks when Travis’ older brother Trenton begins to court her, regardless of her long-distance relationship and constant declining of his advances. Can the troubled Cami tame this Maddox boy, and can Trenton win the girl of his dreams?

Okay. I’m going to say it. Jamie McGuire can do, like, no wrong in my eyes. Beautiful Oblivion had me hooked from cover to cover, and I’m not just saying that. I remember drinking a lot of energy drinks one day, and I was consuming one in the middle of my pole dancing class, and my instructor asks me “Are you going somewhere after?” to which I replied with “No, I just want to finish this book before I go to sleep tonight.” True story. Like most (if not all) romance novels, the destination is always easily predictable and “the same”, but you don’t read a romance novel for the destination: you read it for the travel, and boy, was this travel ever exciting! The interactions between Cami and Trenton were always amusing and entertaining to read, and it was just the cherry on top of an already perfect highly-stacked cake.

It must be a Maddox thing, but I found Trenton to be incredibly interesting as a character: he was charming, witty, funny, and all of the above, but he had that Maddox fault about him where he was desperate and troubled and tortured to an extent, and those imperfections are what make him and Travis so real. McGuire has done an excellent job in making these really outstanding men seem real and almost attainable. I found Cami to be more bearable than Abby – another book heroine who suffers from “my first name and my surname sound the same”-itis – and thought she was interesting to say the least. Her juggling of Trent and TJ did piss me off, however. It was made better by the fact that she is fiercely loyal to her family, even if they don’t deserve it.

McGuire writes Beautiful Oblivion with the same easily read vibe that made her other Disaster books so damn great. She writes with this hidden flavour of “OMG I need to know more now” and that’s what really makes an author great IMSAHO.

Oh, and don’t even get me started on that swerve on the end. I can’t even handle it.

Storyline: 8.5/10
Style of writing: 8/10

For anyone who’s read the Disaster books, or even if you haven’t, Beautiful Oblivion is definitely a book I can see myself reading again, and again, and again. Another top read by McGuire with only more to come hopefully.

– by The Black Widow

Review: Red Hill

As if surviving a zombiepocalypse wasn’t enough, I have another zombie related post for you!

Jamie McGuire, who is probably most well known for the Beautiful Disaster series, decided one day to venture out of her comfort zone and write a zombie apocalypse novel with several different concepts featured in it. The result? Red Hill. Will this measure up to the perfection that is Travis Maddox and his ungrateful lover?

photo 2 (1)

Instead of “Red Hill”, it should be called “Red Hill with kinda green grass”.

Red Hill is a post-apocalyptic novel which follows the lives of three characters: Scarlet, Nathan and Miranda. Scarlet is a divorced mother of two who dedicates her life to her children and her work. Nathan is an unhappily married man who soldiers on through his marriage and his unfulfilling job for his daughter. Miranda is a college student with a lanky boyfriend and some serious daddy issues. The three characters events and journeys to the deftly named hill are detailed in this novel along with how they survive and… romance! OMG! I didn’t know there was such thing in a zombiepocalypse!

I could not put this book down. Seriously. I think I finished it within 24 hours of purchasing it because I loved it that much. Maybe it’s because I’ve never read a zombiepocalypse novel before and this is my first time so I had no expectations – or Jamie McGuire is just that darn brilliant – but I actually loved Red Hill. The story was so captivating and the mix of survival, mateship and romance blended in together in this novel was pretty phenom.

The one negative that I would have to attach to this novel are the characters. I found it difficult to really connect to some of the characters (with Nathan and Miranda, to an extent being the exceptions). I found Scarlet to be somewhat unrealistic as she went from a panicky single mother who works as an X-ray technician to this total survivalist badass babe who rivalled Oliver Queen when it came to long-distance aiming. She was also really annoying. I thought Nathan’s character was definitely relatable and his dedication to his daughter would’ve made me cry if I had a heart. Miranda was a hit or miss. I liked her and kind of related to her with what she was going through (spoilers!) but at the same time, I don’t understand the purpose of going in her perspective. If I read the book solely from Scarlet and Nathan’s perspectives, the story would’ve been the exact same and I wouldn’t have missed out on anything.

Let it be known that my favourite character was Joey. ♥

McGuire wrote this true to her own writing style and it made it very easy. The descriptions used in the novel were easy to follow and the language used was easy to understand so the novel was open to the casual reader and also the extreme novelist.  If there was one thing to criticise about the writing – or the storyline, not really sure where to fit this – was Scarlet and Nathan’s interactions with each other. So not to spoil it for anyone, I found it to be unrealistic and a bit how ya goin’.

Storyline: 8.5/10
Style of writing: 8/10
Overall: 8/10

Overall, I highly recommend the purchasing of this book as it appeals to the romance reader but also to the extreme action reader. And to those who are just as obsessed with zombiepocalypses like I am. Not that I ever want it to happen.

– by The Black Widow

Review: A Beautiful Wedding

Here’s a little short story to lead into this book review.

I hate reading books on my iPhone or any other electronic device. I was fine growing up reading books with the tangible book in my hand and I will always be fine with the real deal, so when I found out that Jamie McGuire had released a Beautiful Disaster series novella, I was chomping at the bits to get it. With my luck, however, I could not find the paperback version, so I resorted to buying the book on my iPhone. I finished the book after several tears shed… nekk minnit, I see the paperback version everywhere. That’s just my luck.

Solstice Satisfaction reviews Beautiful Disaster
Solstice Satisfaction reviews Walking Disaster

Enough about me, onwards to SS in Review! Travis Maddox and Abby Abernathy/Maddox are back! Jamie McGuire must’ve heard me whining for more TrAbby interaction, so A Beautiful Wedding was released!

NOTE: If you haven’t read Beautiful Disaster and/or Walking Disaster yet, there will be some spoilers in here. I totally suggest you read these before continuing, also because they’re phenom.


I'm so glad I bought this copy after I finished the digital version... not.

I’m so glad I bought this copy after I finished the digital version… not.

In case Walking Disaster didn’t fill in all the gaps for you in Travis and Abby’s love story, A Beautiful Wedding will fill in the rest. Why did Abby and Travis run off and get married in the first place? How was the wedding? Who was there to witness the two lovebirds get married? Well, all your questions will be answered in this novella that fills in the gaps of Travis and Abby’s wedding day (and night) in a way only Jamie McGuire can describe. A Beautiful Wedding details the events of the infamous Maddox wedding, the “second wedding” and their respective bachelor/bachelorette parties, and all the fun stuff in between.

The first thing I’m going to say is this… I still feel as if Travis and Abby’s story isn’t complete yet. I mean, without trying to spoil too much, Abby’s true motivation for wanting to marry Travis still hasn’t been revealed to the tattooed hunk and if I were him, I’d be royally pissed if I found out. That one fact alone just makes me feel as if there is still more to the story that needs to be told. If Travis ever finds out, how will he react? What will that mean for Pidge and Maddox? I’m sure they’d still be as rocksolid as ever, however.

Travis and Abby’s relationship is magical. I feel as if I’m a part of it; I felt it when I read Beautiful Disaster, I felt as I read Walking Disasterand all those months later, I felt it with this novella. Jamie McGuire has done superb work with the Beautiful Disaster series in capturing the true love between these two damaged young adults. I was dying to get some more Travis and Abby and I’m glad I found it with this one. A Beautiful Wedding‘s purpose was to fill in gaps that readers were wondering… there was no real other point to this book, so it serves its purpose well.

Style of writing: 8/10
Overall: 7.5/10

A Beautiful Wedding was short and sweet and, as stated before, served its purpose well. I’m just sad that I felt all those feelings reading it just to have it cut off at the best part! HOW CUTE IS AMERICA’S DAD. That’s all for now, but Jamie McGuire, if you’re reading this… feel free to release another in this series. I’m not finished with Travis and Abby yet.

– by The Black Widow

The Bachelors of the Books

Since women (and men alike) were introduced to the devilishly handsome vampire Edward Cullen and “shutup you’re not really 18” heartthrob Jacob Black from the Twilight series, there has been a noticeable influx of paperback princes in romance novels with authors trying to create that perfect man for readers to swoon over. Insert GPOY here.

As a romance novel enthusiast, I’ve decided to list my top 6 “Bachelors of the Books”. These men, commonly referred to as “book boyfriends”, not only steal your heart but make you feel that love – because everyone deserves to be loved, even if it’s within the confinement of a novel. Brace yourself and get ready to swooooooooon.

NOTE: The images provided are pictures of men who I believe represent the character exceptionally or actors who have been cast as the character in movie adaptations of this book.

#6 Dean Holder (Hopeless by Colleen Hoover)
“Dean Holder? Messy brown hair? Smoldering blue eyes? A temper straight out of Fight Club?” This quote represents Mr. Dean Holder perfectly. Dean Holder has this captivating aura of confident swag about him – “You probably faked passing out the other day, just so you could be carried in my hot, sweaty, manly arms.” However, like most bad boys, he’s troubled. Women loooooove their troubled men. Here’s to thinking that Sky is one lucky, lucky gal.

#5 Daniel “Monty” Montgomery (Outback Dreams by Rachael Johns)
One of the best things about Outback Dreams was how close to home it was (on the other side of the country, but still). The best thing about it, however – and other readers could attest for this as well – was the character Monty. A true man’s man, this outback handyman knows what he wants and goes for it, regardless of the consequences, whether it be for his dream farm or for Faith Forrester’s heart. A couple of dick moves here and there, but hey, nobody’s perfect. He sure comes close to it though. What confuses me is this: how Faith could overlook Monty for so long is beyond me.

#4 Christian Grey (Fifty Shades Trilogy by EL James)
Everybody’s favourite bajillionaire BDSM dom enthusiast Christian Grey has won over a lot of hearts since Fifty Shades of Grey. The word “damaged” doesn’t even begin to describe how royally fucked Christian is: he’s cold, distant, controlling and unnecessarily possessive. Underneath all of that is a caring, gentle soul that is just in need of some tender lovin’ care. He’s got to be incredible for putting up with Anastasia for so long. He’s also totally baben, but that’s beside the point. I dare you to listen to Prelude in E Minor by Frédéric Chopin (a song he plays on the piano in the first book) and not feel how much pain he’s in. Jamie Dornan might be the new Christian Grey, but I still think Jessie Pavelka is my Christian.

#3 Bennett Ryan (Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren)
The title Beautiful Bastard describes Bennett Ryan to a tee – he’s beautiful, and he’s a deadset asshat bastard. Although, much like Chloe Mills, you couldn’t help but find the young CEO intriguing. Also a gajillionaire so early in his life, Bennett is the type of man that can irritate you one moment and have you wrapped around his little finger the next. His charm is almost outweighed by his arrogance. He’s spontaneous, he’s handsome, and he’s a horny prick. Stock up on underwear and avoid being alone with him in the stairwell… just kidding. Women would jump at the chance of a stairwell encounter with Bennett.

#2 Michael (Sundays at Tiffany’s by James Patterson)
Michael (only referred to as simply Michael) is a dream man – literally. Why? Because he’s imaginary. 9-year-old Jane Margaux (Claremont, if you watch the movie adaptation) needed a friend. Enter Michael, the handsome imaginary friend who knows everything about Jane – her hopes, her fears, her favourite dessert… you name it. Several years later and this imaginary heartthrob is back. Who doesn’t want a big, masculine man to walk you to and from work after giving you flowers? Michael is also willing to punch out his friend for disrespecting women – yeah, that happened. A little spoiler alert: Michael becomes real, so at least you can say you’ve fallen for a real book character, not an imaginary one.

#1 Travis Maddox (Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire)
Travis Maddox is the right balance of sweet charm and rough badass. A panty-droppin’ player turned one-woman man, Travis is the whole package: he’s big, he’s strong, he’s got killer tatts, he rides a motorcycle and can also fight with the best of them. He’s also motivated and cunning and romantic and knows how to make a woman feel as if she’s the only one. Only Travis can make a nickname “Pidgeon” totally adorable. His never-give-up attitude is infectious and his need for cuddling makes him seem the ultimate gentle giant. If you want a man who is that dedicated to you that he gets your name tattooed on his arm, well, Travis is your man!

If you’re still alive after all that epic swoonage, I suggest you purchase all of these books from your nearest bookstore (preferably Dymocks because I love that place) and join the world in falling in love with fictitious men. It’s not as insane as it sounds.

The storylines aren’t bad either.

– by The Black Widow