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Beautiful Sacrifice: A Novel (The Maddox Brothers Book 3) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 271 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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I had mixed feelings on Falyn. I disliked her initially, but she did grow somewhat grow on me throughout the book once I found out her secret. In the beginning of the book, I did not like how rude she was, especially to Taylor. She is the typical Jamie McGuire female protagonist: rude to men, harsh, reluctant to give a second chance, and closed off. She lumps all of the "hotshot" fire fighters into one category, and is automatically rude to Taylor because he is a "hotshot". She calls him a "c*** rag" after he told her he would double tip her, and later asked her out to dinner. She proceeds to call him a c*** rag several times throughout the book. I hate that term, and Falyn using it did not make me think she was "cool" or "tough". It made me think she was low-class and crass. Falyn hates Taylor for no reason, and is consistently mean to him when all he is doing is light flirting. Falyn is quick to judge others, when she has no room to talk. I just don't like when a character (and people in real life!) have to be rude to others for no justified reason. Especially someone she just met and is trying to genuinely be nice to her. But, Taylor is somehow attracted to that trait.
I knew from the very beginning what Taylor was going to be like. Jamie McGuire has a formula, and Taylor was true to the mold. He was tall, muscular, covered with tattoos, slept around in the past, extremely good looking, enjoyed pursuing a girl who was rude and not interested, etc. He was, essentially, a carbon copy to the love interest in all of the author's other books in this series. I know that they are all brothers, but like I said in my last review of a Maddox book, I find it hard to believe they are all so identical, and I would like some differences. Part of the appeal of reading a series about brothers is that they would all have different stories and experiences, while still staying true to their family. In this series, however, it reads like a copy and paste. I was happy that Taylor was not as hot-headed as Travis, but disappointed that he cheated on Falyn and got another girl pregnant. He is on a break (still in a relationship!) and after only a couple days, sleeps with the first girl who blinks at him? Why can none of these Maddox brothers ever keep it in their pants? But getting away from the negatives, I did think that Taylor had some redeeming qualities and several "nice guy" moments. He seemed like he would be fun to hang out with.
Again with the alliteration of the protagonist's name. Falyn Fairchild, vomit. It's a common occurrence in Jamie McGuire books, and a little too cheesy. I also thought the name "Kirby" was stupid for Falyn's best friend. I would name a cute little dog Kirby, and I would name a hunting or working dog "Gunnar". Not name a couple that. I also know a leopard gecko named Kirby, and kept thinking of him eating crickets whenever Kirby was mentioned in the book. Just an odd choice for a character's name.
Speaking of Kirby, she was again the typical best friend. I wish Jamie McGuire would think of some new character types, instead of that same repeated bubbly best friend. I really see no differences between America, Reagan, Valerie, and Kirby except for age and location. I would just like a change and some different personalities.
Falyn has a bad relationship with her parents. After understanding that they forced her to give up her child after birth, I can see why Falyn harbors such ill feelings toward them. I just wish there was one book that showed a healthy relationship with the main character's parents instead of one filled with such hate and heartache. I also wish that Falyn gave more insight into why she hated her parents earlier in the book. By the time we understood why, we already had to read through pages and pages of her being disgusted by them, which before knowing why, seemed excessive. On the subject of parents, Jim Maddox is kind of an idiot. Like another reviewer said, how can he be an ex-cop and not know that all of his sons are lying to him about what they do for a living? I know he is meant to be a loving father to the boys, but he comes off as a bumbling idiot. He is completely clueless to what goes on in his sons' lives. He is still likable, just dumb as a bag of rocks.
I thought some scenes were a little too convenient. For example, Taylor is there to escort drunken Dwayne from the Bucksaw and come to Falyn's rescue (even though she claimed she didn't need it). While reading through that scene, I thought to myself, "I bet Taylor is going to turn up any second now." And sure enough, there he was.
I did like that Falyn doesn't drink. It was really nice to see a lead character in a Jamie McGuire book not being an alcoholic. Every other book involves them drinking their problems away, and always getting drunk. Even though I don't mind drinking, for some reason it made Falyn seem more mature. I respected that about her, and it was very refreshing.
Of course Falyn would somehow be connected to Eakins. For such a small town, it seems to have a lot of drama associated with it. When I first read she had a connection there, I was hoping it didn't have anything to do with that stupid fire that has been overplayed in every single Maddox brothers book. I was relieved to find out that that was not the case in this book, although the fire was mentioned once.
I also wondered why everyone in her town cared so much about Falyn's personal life and about her not finishing school. I understand that her parents are prominent social figures, but who really cares? Who cares that she didn't finish school, and about who she is dating? I think Falyn must have a big ego to assume that all of these people in her town care so much about every little thing she does. And for such a little cafe, it sure does get a lot of people who come in.
Another example of Falyn being rude to Taylor was when he came over to do laundry at her loft. She makes a lot of unnecessary comments to Taylor, but instead of being insulted, he leans in and puts his lips close to her. He says he likes that she is a "raging bitch". I don't know how that is attractive, but apparently to Taylor it is.
I did like when they were watching that "Alien" movie and Taylor was quoting, "They mostly come at night...mostly." I started laughing out loud, because I just kept repeating it to myself in Eric Cartman's voice. That line was a gem, and including that part alone made me add a half star to my review. If a book can remind me of Eric Cartman, my favorite South Park character, then that is a good thing.
Travis and Abby are first mentioned, on page 72, talking about their wedding. I knew we wouldn't have to wait long to get a mention of them. And BOOM. Mention of the Eastern State University fire on page 85. Now we're getting back into boring territory again...
I also find it hard to believe that Falyn does not have a cell phone in this day and age. I understand her reasons for not having one once she somewhat explains, but her safety should trump all of that. She is a young woman living alone in a loft above a cafe, on a street filled with bars and hotshots. She should have a cell phone--or even a land line--for safety purposes. You never know when you're going to need 911. Even senior citizens have a Jitterbug cell phone, so I think that Falyn should have gotten one before Taylor bought her one. I also think it is unrealistic how bad Falyn is with phones, texting, and technology in general. Does she live under a rock?
Don was a nice character. He was very sweet, and his death was sad. It was a well written scene, and a shame he passed away.
When Kirby and Gunnar had their fight and came to Falyn, I thought it was again rude of Falyn to laugh at them. Even though their fight was stupid, I just thought, "Some friend Falyn is". There is no need to laugh at her friends' problems. When my friends have problems, I listen to them and don't laugh if they are being serious. If I were Falyn's friend in the book, I would not want to confide in her again, that's for sure. Show some support, Falyn, and get off that high horse.
When Falyn meets Travis and Abby for the first time, it is odd that Travis is the one who is happy to meet Falyn. Usually Travis is pretty hostile and doesn't care for anyone (except Abby) initially. Abby started studying Falyn, leading our h to wonder, "what was special about me to bring me home". Abby was interrogating Falyn, and just seemed very out of character. The more I read about Abby in these subsequent books, the less I feel I know her. She went from being an immature college freshman to being this cool, calculating, sophisticated woman, while it is all supposed to be around the same timeline. I think the author tries to make Abby look better with each book, to make up for her behavior in Beautiful Disaster.
Olive being revealed as Falyn's daughter was a definite twist to the story. I thought it was going to be revealed that Falyn was drinking and driving and killed the son. That would have explained her not drinking and her ties to the family next door. I think having Olive be her daughter was a last minute plot twist that Jamie McGuire knew would get readers talking. I didn't mind this revelation, I just thought it was a little too convenient that Taylor's father lived right next door to Falyn's daughter she gave up.
Taylor said he loved Falyn on page 160 of the novel, and it was pretty early on in their relationship. I don't get why the Maddox boys always have to rush into everything and never take their time getting to truly know the other person.
Falyn having endometriosis and not being able to have kids was certainly a lot to take in. But she pretty much forced Taylor away, and didn't really give him a choice about the relationship. He said it didn't matter to him and that he chose her anyway, but Falyn still forced him away and ignored his calls and texts. Taylor, on the other hand, assumes that their break is permanent and immediately goes to San Diego to see Thomas and sleeps with the first girl to pay him the slightest bit of attention. Lo and behold, he knocks that girl up. Clearly, protection was not important to him. He still technically cheated on Falyn too, and I don't like that his method of coping was to sleep with someone else so soon after their fight. I expected better from Taylor, and was surprised that he would do that. I do not condone cheating, and it made me lose respect for him. Granted, Falyn still was at fault as well, but it does not excuse Taylor's cheating. I just did not care for the whole situation especially when Alyssa got pregnant.
Also, after they were broken up, why did Taylor have to keep coming into the Bucksaw just about every day? I get that the author was trying to make it Taylor's way of proving that he wanted her back, but I didn't feel it. When Travis was trying to win Abby back, he would do anything and everything to make it up to her, including buying her a hairdryer and all of her favorite foods. Taylor just shows up at her place of work all the time. I think Phaedra was right in wanting to ban him.
I think the fire storyline was just a little too cheesy. I knew there was no way Taylor was going to die, and I felt there was no real danger. It was written to be climactic and suspenseful, but I knew what was going to happen. It read as very predictable and cliché. Although, I do like how Falyn keeps mistaking Tyler for Taylor. It makes Falyn not too perfect.
I thought it was funny that Ellison assumed Falyn was pregnant but then had a miscarriage, not understanding that it wasn't Falyn that Taylor impregnated.
At least Falyn was (initially) reasonable when Taylor asked her to marry him when she says she can't. I think her quote was something along the lines of, "give him an inch and he goes balls out." That is absolutely correct. They just got back together, Taylor needs to take a step back and not follow in Travis's footprints right away. However, just when I think Falyn might be a mature young woman, it's a "just kidding!" moment. She says yes and marries Taylor.
The icing on the cake was when Falyn miraculously gets pregnant. After the fact of her not being able to have children being the source of their breaking up in the novel, she can suddenly get pregnant right after Alyssa gets pregnant. They raise Hollis and Hadley (two dumb names) together, and are the perfect parents. And that is where the story wraps up with a nice little bow on top.
Overall, it was an okay read. I still think that Jamie McGuire peaked with Beautiful Disaster, and is slowly going downhill trying to recreate that success. I have gotten this far, so I might as well see this series to the end. I think these books have a lot of potential, but Jamie McGuire needs to learn to break away from the "tried and true" formula, and do something new. That would keep the readers interested, instead of feeling like we spent our hard-earned money on different versions of the same rehashed story. I don't like having to keep reliving scenes through other character's minds. I've already been to Abby and Travis's wedding, I don't need to attend it again. This story gets a 2.5 star rating from me.
I adored the characters in this book. I think Falyn is one of those heroines you either hate or you love and I freaking LOVED her. She was almost as stubborn as the Maddox boys, which seems to be right up their alley as far as women they're attracted to. But there's more to Fallyn than possibly any other girl in the Maddox family. Fallyn has been through a lot - and I do mean A LOT. As if her past wasn't complicated, she has to face many of the same experiences that have scarred her before in a completely new way with the man she loves in this novel. It's difficult to read at times, but Jamie McGuire makes it beautiful by the end (the title is literally so fitting).
What I love most about Jamie's books is her innate ability to make me care about ALL the characters. I really wish I could go to the Bucksaw Cafe. I want to eat Phaedra's pies, have late night conversations with Pete, and kick it at Cowboys with all the hot shots, Kirby, and her man. We even got to see a little of Travis, Thomas, Tyler, and Trenton in Beautiful Sacrifice along with all their girls. It's interesting to see the wedding (Travis and Abby) from different POVs. So much drama going on during that beautiful ceremony!
As always, this book is very well-written and Jamie does not disappoint in the area of twists and surprises. I will give this warning: if you are a stickler reader, meaning you have no room in your heart to open your mind and look at complicated situations from someone else's view, then I don't recommend reading this. Why? Because I feel you might misjudge the characters and slander the book. I hope that only those with open minds and hearts read this book. Not everything in life is an easy decision. Nothing is black and white. Nothing can simply be or not be. Sometimes, sacrifices have to be made.
And that's what this book is all about. <3
Beautiful Sacrifice is a thrilling love story with a beautiful message. Five stars!
Jamie McGuire did an amazing job with this book.
There is no way to top Travis in Beautiful Disaster, but Taylor is a close second to me.
Taylor has a dangerous job and a soft heart. He's sweet and reliable but a Maddox brother through and through.
I would have given this book 5 stars but Falyn really got on my nerves.
She was so stand offish. She was bull headed and sometimes just rude. Most of the time I found her attitude with Taylor humorous because he was used to girls falling at his feet.
When they finally decided it was time to make things official Falyn had to be stubborn and keep pushing him away.
Which ends up changing their world drastically.
If you have read the whole series as I have, you will see that the time line in Taylor's story falls during the year after Travis and Abby eloped and during the time of their vow renewal.
I really enjoyed this book and cannot wait for Tyler's story.
I really don't want to see this series end. Please Jamie keep it going even if it follows all the young Maddox kids years later.