Review: Beautiful Funeral (The Maddox Brothers #5) by Jamie McGuire

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Title: Beautiful Funeral
Author: Jamie McGuire
Publisher/Year:  CreateSpace  8/2/16
Length:   242 Pages
Series:  The Maddox Brothers #5

Overview

Losing has never been easy for a Maddox, but death always wins.

Eleven years to the day after eloping in Vegas with Abby, Special Agent Travis Maddox delivers his own brand of vigilante justice to mob boss Benny Carlisi. Vegas’s oldest and most violent crime family is now preparing for vengeance, and the entire Maddox family is a target.

The secret Thomas and Travis have kept for a decade will be revealed to the rest of the family, and for the first time the Maddoxes will be at odds. While none of them are strangers to loss, the family has grown, and the risk is higher than ever. With brothers against brothers and wives taking sides, each member will make a choice—let the fear tear them apart, or make them stronger.

My Thoughts

I love this series and i’m really impressed how Ms Mcguire brought us to somewhat of a conclusion.  Where this story differs from the others is that we have each chapter in a different characters POV – all trying to match us up to the point in time that we’re at while maintaining the flow of the underlying plot line.

Thomas and Liis are the foundation for this story – as we know, they are FBI and have been working to take down one of the biggest crime families in Vegas.  With the help of Travis and Abby, they’ve made more headway than ever, however it’s put their families in so much direct danger.  That’s really where this story takes us.

Now that they are out for blood – the Maddox’s are on their guard, and we see that the crime family has a few tricks up their sleeves still, resulting in the death of Thomas.  Where we go from there as the family copes is an interesting journey.

Throughout this series, we have seen the fairly unbreakable bond that there is between the brothers and that’s something that comes into question in this final installment.  They are taking sides as new information is revealed, and it becomes quite messy.  IF that weren’t enough, their wives are also getting at each other’s throats – taking it out in ways that one never imagined.

In addition to that, there are their personal lives at play – some great and some less than cozy and we get to see how all that plays out as the family copes with death.

What throws us for a loop is that while we have one funeral, that’s not all that we get here.  There’s still more to come and it’s shocking, surprising and all the same the ending that we all kind of wanted to have given the nature of the characters.  I don’t know how Ms Mcguire was able to keep it all straight and especially keep it interesting in this last book, but she did it was amazing ability.  I’m bummed to say goodbye to them, but i’m glad that we at least get to meet some of the other characters that we’ve read about in previous installments.  the series won’t totally end i think – just take a new path.

Review: Beautiful Sacrifice (The Maddox Brothers #3) by Jamie McGuire

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Title:  Beautiful Sacrifice
Author: Jamie McGuire
Publisher/Year: CreateSpace Publishing 5/31/15
Length: 270 pages
Series: The Maddox Brothers #3

Overview

Falyn Fairchild can walk away from anything. Having already left 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.

My Thoughts

I don’t know how everyone else feels about this spin off series but i love what our author is doing for us here.  We don’t just get stories for each of the brothers – we get them happening all at the same time – so there are bits that were teased in each up to this point that we get but don’t know the back story and in each installment, we get the full picture.  i LOVE that.

It’s about time that we got to Taylor’s story since we knew that he was having a rough go at things for a bit from Thomas’s story line.  We saw him arrive in San Diego, get wasted and have a one night stand with one of the agents that worked with Thomas, all because he was having his own troubles with his girlfriend.  Well, we finally get to meet the girlfriend – since this is Taylor and Falyn’s story and it’s a good one.

Throughout the beginning set up, we see that there’s a great dynamic between them.  We see that there’s a lot of chemistry and that comes out in the form of mean banter between the 2.  We know Falyn’s guarded but not why exactly.  We know that she’s going through quite a bit in the sense that she hates her parents for reasons to be revealed at some point.  We also know that she’s saving up for a trip to Eakins which is ironically where Taylor is from.  Coincidence?  Well that’s something that you’ll have to read on to figure out.  It’s not until the day that Taylor and his hotshot crew walk into the diner that she works at, that things turn upside down.

True to Maddox form, Taylor is uber attractive, exuding this raw sexuality that no one can keep away from – lease of all Falyn, as much as she tries.  He’s persistent, and incredibly sweet which is yet another set of traits of the brothers that i LOVE.  It’s only a matter of time before he gets his way, and when he does, well the walls have no choice but to come tumbling down for Falyn.

The best part of this story – like the one that we got with Trenton, is that you see a great friendship develop first and that’s because there’s insane chemistry that folks are afraid to act on.  You know that it’s inevitable, but i think that there’s something to be said about just waiting it out a bit before you actually get into being more.

But….when they get to the ‘more’ part – it’s great.  There’s a bond here that’s amazing and real, and that’s something that our author is great at writing into a story.  She makes things real, and believable, even if the situations are at times contrived.  It’s when secrets come out on all sides – when Falyn has no choice but to deal with her demons and bring Taylor along for the ride that we see things getting even more complex.

We see things culminate at the wedding of course – and coming off of book 2, we know that it’s going to be a tough bit for Travis for a while, but we’ll have to wait to see how that one pans out.  Then we get a nice epilogue to see the resolution of all of the things that Taylor and Falyn are going through – and while it’s not totally expected, i think that you’ll be interested to see where their story ended up.

It’s onto the next now, i’m guessing Tyler and Ellie since we were intro’d to them in book 2 and then even more so here in book 3.  I can’t wait.  Happy Monday all and have a great week!

Review: Beautiful Redemption (The Maddox Brothers #2) by Jamie Mcguire

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Title:  Beautiful Redemption
Author: Jamie McGuire
Publisher/Year: CreateSpace Publishing 1/21/15
Length: 222 pages
Series: The Maddox Brothers #2

Overview

If A Maddox boy falls in love, he loves forever. But what if he didn’t love you, first?

No-nonsense Liis Lindy is an agent of the FBI. Deciding she is married only to her job, she breaks off her engagement and transfers from Chicago to the field office in San Diego. She loves her desk. She is committed to her laptop. She dreams of promotions and shaking hands with the director after cracking an impossible case.

Special Agent in Charge Thomas Maddox is arrogant, unforgiving, and ruthless. He is tasked with putting away some of the world’s toughest criminals, and he is one of the best the Bureau has to offer. Though, as many lives as he’s saved, there is one that is beyond his reach. Younger brother Travis is faced with prison time for his involvement in a basement fire that killed dozens of college students, and the media want a conviction. Travis’s only savior is his unusual tie to the mob. In a deal that will spare his brother, Thomas has agreed to recruit Travis into the FBI.

Liis is stubborn, defiant, and yet somehow softens Thomas’s rough edges, making her the perfect agent to accompany him to the ceremony. Posing as a couple, they must travel to Travis & Abby’s beach vow renewal and give him the news, but when the pretending ends, she finds herself wondering if they were pretending at all.

In the second installment of the Maddox Brothers books, experience firsthand the mysterious world of the elusive Thomas Maddox, and how good love can be when you’re not the first, but the last.

My Thoughts

i LOVE the Maddox brothers – i’ve said this before and this next installment with Thomas’s story just solidifies the fact that they are not just sexy but amazing too.  We were introduced to Thomas in the first book of the series, knowing him just as TJ who was in a weird relationship with Camille who was also in a weird relationship with Trent (the brother) who had loved her since he was a kid.  When that all panned out as it did, Thomas was left broken hearted and back at work in San Diego at the FBI.

Liis is also an agent who’s moved to SD in the hopes of both furthering her career and getting away from her ex fiance who she knew for quite some time wasn’t right for her but didn’t want to break his heart.  So you know that it means that we’re going to see 2 very damaged people go around and around in circles while they try to decide what’s right for them.

The amazing thing that Ms. Mcguire does is that she gives us a continuation of the story that started in the big series, with all the mob stuff from Abby and Travis, and that’s the focal point here.  we get to see things come to a head with some of the investigation, and see all the good ground work that Abby laid to keep Travis safe from being prosecuted from the fire go to shit.  I think we all knew that the other shoe was going to drop in that sense, but it’s really amazing to see how far Thomas will go to protect his brother, which brings Liis into the mix even deeper.

Throughout this story, we see that there’s AMAZING chemistry between Thomas and Liis, and it’s not just amazing sexual chemistry – they are both firey, feisty and they both seem to push and be stubborn at the exact same time.  You know that you’re going to get a heated fight no matter when they are together, and their anonymous one night stand w/o names at the very beginning should have told us that it was going to get VERY tricky.

I can’t wait to see which brother we get to see more of next – i’m guessing Taylor.  Hopefully his story won’t end like the others have, with car accidents, gun battles, lots of stress and aggravation.  You always want to root for things to happen one way but they never ever do, so it’ll be up to our talented author to find another way to make it very anxiety filled at the end.  Have a great weekend all!

Review: Beautiful Oblivion (The Maddox Brothers #1) by Jamie McGuire

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Title:  Beautiful Oblivion
Author: Jamie McGuire
Publisher/Year: Atria Book 7/1/14
Length: 336 pages
Series: The Maddox Brothers #1

Overview

The Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster phenomenon continues in the first heart-pounding new adult romance in The Maddox Brothers series.

Fiercely independent Camille “Cami” Camlin gladly moved on from her childhood before it was over. She has held down a job since before she could drive, and moved into her own apartment after her freshman year of college. Now tending bar at The Red Door, Cami doesn’t have time for much else besides work and classes, until a trip to see her boyfriend is cancelled, leaving her with a first weekend off in almost a year.

Trenton Maddox was the king of Eastern State University, dating co-eds before he even graduated high school. His friends wanted to be him, and women wanted to tame him, but after a tragic accident turned his world upside down, Trenton leaves campus to come to grips with the crushing guilt.

Eighteen months later, Trenton is living at home with his widower father, and works full-time at a local tattoo parlor to help with the bills. Just when he thinks his life is returning to normal, he notices Cami sitting alone at a table at The Red.

As the baby sister of four rowdy brothers, Cami believes she’ll have no problem keeping her new friendship with Trenton Maddox strictly platonic. But when a Maddox boy falls in love, he loves forever—even if she is the only reason their already broken family could fall apart.

In the first installment of the Maddox Brothers books, readers can experience the rush they felt reading Beautiful Disaster for the first time, all over again.

My Thoughts

I’m a sucker for a happy ending and this is a series that i’m definitely finding myself invested in.  I loved Beautiful disaster which was Travis and Abby’s story and it’s nice that we get to see the other brothers get their own story.  In this one too, it’s not just about Trenton, one of the brothers but about Cami who’s got her own complication – which i figured out early on, yet it’s not until the final pages that it’s revealed in full.

Cami is our leading lady who’s in a position where she’s dating a guy named TJ who’s amazing and wonderful yet who has this job that keeps him out of state, and not uber available for her when she needs and wants him.  She’s surprisingly understanding about it all but the question is – is it enough?

Then there’s Trenton, one of the Maddox brothers who comes with a reputation to boot and while there’s an attraction there, it’s one of those things that’s so hard to choose to act on.  We learn early on that he’s been ‘in love’ with Cami for ages, even if neither knew it or admitted it.  What that means for them?  nothing, because there’s TJ and they are in the ‘friend zone’.

Where this story takes us though is one of compassion, a growing relationship that’s not based on sex (which is something that we’ve really come to appreciate from Ms Mcquire since Travis and Abby weren’t ALL about sex even if Travis has a reputation of his own).  Cami is the oldest of 4, her brothers really don’t make it any easier for her since they are often over protective and get in to their own trouble.  All of the Maddox brothers come with their share of touble as well, and 2 families that have trouble aren’t going to mix well.  We get to see that play out from time to time in this first installment of the series.

What i really appreciate here though is that we get to see a happier side for both of these leads.  We get to see that they know that things don’t come easy in life yet they are willing to put in the effort.  They fight like a real couple and they rekindle what they have as a real couple, yet they aren’t….cause there’s TJ.

How it all plays out – well that’s interesting.  I have yet another appreciation for the fact that this story is actually parallel to Beautiful Disaster – we get to see some of the unfurling of Travis and Abby in this one and that means that it’s not ahead or behind that other series.  It’s nice when you see things interwoven and that we get to see how things can actually happy in parallel for each of the characters.  That makes me more excited to see what happens for the rest of the Maddox brothers since there’s still 2 more i believe.  And on that note – i have another installment of this series in my library and i should get to reading it.  Happy Monday all!