Beautiful Sacrifice, by Jamie McGuire


Grade: A-

Doing it at: 62%

Catnip: Maddox Brothers; Firemen; Deep Dark Secret; Friends to Lovers

Shame Scale: Beautiful Sacrifice is only mildly dirty, and you could probably read most of it out loud without blushing. Low shame

Fantasy Cast: A Tattooed Josh Bowman, Emma Watson

Book Description:

Falyn Fairchild can walk away from anything. Already leaving behind her car, her education, and even her parents, the daughter of the next governor of Colorado is back in her hometown, broke and waiting tables for the Bucksaw Café. After every shift, Falyn adds to her shoebox of cash, hoping to one day save enough to buy her a plane ticket to the only place she can find forgiveness: Eakins, Illinois.

The moment Taylor Maddox is seated in Falyn’s section at the Bucksaw, she knows he’s trouble. Taylor is charming, breaks promises, and gorgeous even when covered in filth—making him everything Falyn believes a hotshot firefighter to be. Falyn isn’t interested in becoming another statistic, and for a Maddox boy, a disinterested girl is the ultimate challenge.

Once Falyn learns where Taylor calls home, everything changes. In the end, Maddox persistence is met with Falyn’s talent for leaving, and for the first time, Taylor may be the one to get burned.

Cleone: Beautiful Disaster, the book that introduced us to the Maddox brothers, was my ruining. I was already on the slippery slope, but Travis pushed me into full time romance reading. I inhaled that book, came up for air, and looked to see what Goodreads suggested I try next.

Mary: It was also the book that told me I could open up to Cleone about my reading habits. We had been tossing back and forth fairly tame book recommendations for a few weeks – A little Rainbow Rowell, some John Green, maybe some Diana Gabaldon, safe things like that. And then I remember texting her, “Well, there’s this one book I liked…. it’s a romance and a little bit trashy but…. Beautiful Disaster?” and I was met with an immediate “OH THAT ONE I HAVE READ!” That was the exact moment it changed for us. Reading soul mates.

C: Since then I’ve read all of McGuire’s books the very second that they’re released. I’m very attached to the boys and even though the writing isn’t setting the world on fire these books are addictive.

Taylor is in the middle of the Maddox birth order, and we’ve been introduced to him, and Falyn briefly in the previous books where a lot of plot lines seem to converge and blow up at Travis and Abby’s vow-renewal wedding. We are going to assume that all our romance fan girls have at least read Travis and Abby’s book. If you haven’t please stop reading this review and get on it! This is mandatory new adult shame spiral reading. Falyn and Taylor meet when he comes in to the restaurant where she waitresses with his hotshot crew; the boys are dirty and cute and love her “special cherry coke.” (do they really not have cherry soda in Colorado?) Taylor tries to run some game on Falyn, but fails because she doesn’t date. Falyn has a Deep Dark Secret that is often alluded to, we guessed it pretty quickly, but weren’t mad about it being so easy to decipher.

M: We did guess it pretty much instantly. But that’s fine. It’s hard to surprise us anymore because we’re so clever.

C: We aren’t reading these books for any plot outside of the romance, lets be honest.

When Taylor comes back after Falyn’s shift to try to convince her to go out with him, because he’s not used to hearing no and the Maddox boys love a challenge, she shuts him down again. That is until her parents show up and she makes it very clear to them, to Taylor, and to the other employees – who are basically her family – that her parents aren’t welcome in the restaurant or in Falyn’s life. When Taylor stands up for Falyn, and makes her parents sneer at him, Falyn is appreciative (and thinks he is really cute) and agrees to go on just one date with him.

M: Their date is really cute. He teaches her to two-step! In my dreams, I go back to being twenty three, and I two-step with a gorgeous tattooed boy at a country bar. She has amazing self control though, because she doesn’t even make out with him. She flounces on out of the bar, all, “No sir, you can not walk me home. Here’s a peck on the cheek though.”

C: But we know no girl goes on just one date with a Maddox boy. The brothers all fall for girls and become O to the B to the S to the E to the S to the SESSED.

He slowly starts to charm his way into her affections, but the real breakthrough happens when Falyn finds out Taylor is from Eakins, IL, which is a super big giant deal and has to do with her secret. So now Falyn has to play it just right to get him to take her home with him while not giving in too easily and having him lose the thrill of the chase.

I was a little skeptical on Falyn not being able to save up enough to get to Illinois from Colorado in FIVE years of putting her tips away, but McGuire gave us some dialog about how she was constantly getting set back in her savings so I decided to just go with Taylor being her only ticket home. A hot, six pack ab’d, smart mouthed ticket to redemption. Sign. Me. Up.

M: Right? We’re talking a few hundred dollars? Why not take a bus if it’s that important to you? It just seemed like a bit of a reach to me.

C: There’s lots of cute flirting, and banter, and failing to be friends because they want to do each other and Falyn is dead set on denying herself.

M: I felt like they had the most self control out of any couple in these books. Falyn friend-zones him pretty hard, and he basically accepts it for the summer. I want to call bullshit on it, but the whole book was really cute. It didn’t have the emotion of Beautiful Disaster or the heat of Beautiful Redemption, but it was sweeter I think.

C: Falyn lives a bare bones life with all her saving up and she has an actual VCR which Taylor hooks up for her so they can hang out in her apartment and watch classic 80’s movie on tape and be adorable.

I want to watch Aliens with a Maddox boy.

M: You don’t even want to know what I want to do with a Maddox boy.

C: Eventually Falyn clues Taylor in that she needs him to take her to IL, and that she has a secret, but its not related to his baby brother like he originally feared (Travis is in hot water, remember). Taylor wants to help her — and bone her — so he is all “sure, I’ll take you home with me and introduce you to my tight knit family without knowing your ulterior motives.”

It made me worry that Taylor was a little dumb with how long it took him to figure out what was going on with Falyn’s secret. To be honest, TBH as the young folk say.

Once they’re in Eakins they finally get to driving Miss Daisy** and admit their love.

C: I wanted way more sex. We like our Maddox’s with at least 60% more thrusting. Thomas had more sex, right, Mary?

M: Girl, Thomas had doing it at 4%. He walked down the hallway, carrying Liis while still inside of her, because he couldn’t get deep enough on the couch. Thomas is my favorite Maddox. He’s all stern and gainfully employed. Can I call Thomas?

C: I’ll give you Thomas, because you gave me Tom Hardy (04/24/15).

C: Taylor does a BAD THING after he and Falyn hit a rough patch. If you’ve read Beautiful Redemption, you probably know what it is going into this book, and you don’t know if you can forgive him. We could. Maybe because we are just crazy about this band of fictional brothers with their muscles and tattoos.

M: What it is about the Maddox brothers? They do ridiculously dumb things, they wrestle and behave like teenagers, and most of them chain smoke. And meanwhile, I’m an adult lady, all

heart eyes

C: Maybe we need a Maddox exception to go with our CoHo exception.

Who is ready for our last Maddox boy? Maybe twin brother Tyler can give us a wee bit more doin’ it? What say you, Jamie McGuire?

** I’m pretty sure Taylor completely neglected the condom. Very bad form, New Adult romances tend to be stellar in their representation of safe sex and slip ups are generally used as plot points to get babies all up in our book ladies.

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