Jamie McGuire blew the romance world off its socks with the Beautiful series (read my reviews of Beautiful Disaster, Walking Disaster, and the novella A Beautiful Wedding) featuring sexy underground fighter Travis and aloof card shark Abby. She has continued the series with book 4, Beautiful Oblivion, this time featuring Travis’s brother Trenton and the object of his affection, Cami, the bartender who is Travis’s sounding board while he tries to figure out how to handle his feelings for Abby.
Cami is happily tending bar at the Red Door, the popular hangout of nearby college students and locals, when Trent starts spending more time there. As they grow closer, Cami is torn between her feelings for Trent, who she’s known since grade school and is aware of his reputation with girls, and her boyfriend TJ, who lives in California and never has time for her due to his job. Cami also has to deal with her family — her abusive father and three younger brothers who don’t know what a boundary is — and her roommate who has her own romantic problems.
Beautiful Oblivion takes place alongside the events of Beautiful Disaster, so we’re on the periphery of Travis and Abby’s highs and lows. The story is told from Cami’s point of view, and I liked her way more than Abby, who I found wishy-washy and toyed with Trav’s emotions. Cami is strong, independent, and loyal to TJ, even though he doesn’t return her texts and repeatedly cancels trips to see her. She feels guilty about even spending time with Trent and even fills TJ in on their friendship.
Like the other Beautiful books, there is a lot of swearing and drinking, but the fighting and sex scenes have been toned down, though there is one pretty detailed description of Cami and Trent’s first time together.
Fans of the Beautiful series will enjoy this latest installment, and I would even say you don’t need to have read those to enjoy it if you like romance novels with well-drawn characters and a good plot.
Notes on the audiobook: I enjoyed listening to this book’s narrator, she kept my attention and wasn’t annoying, two things that are important in an audiobook reader.
You can hear an excerpt and watch a video of the author at the Simon & Schuster audio page.