I have a confession. I started reading Captivated by You the other day, and I can’t wait to blog about it here in the future. Because, guys, part of it is in Gideon’s point of view, and it’s just as misogynistic and ridiculous as you’d expect. [Matthew says: Since someone’s going to ask, yes, I’ll be reading the next Crossfire book with Ariel, because if there’s one good thing that ever happened to Western literature, it’s that there’s no Pamela 2.]
I sort of forget what happened in Beautiful Oblivion last week, but I’m almost positive T.J. and Cami clearly broke up, but then Cami was kind of like, “OR DID WE?” And we were all like, “Yes, yes you fucking did.”
Cami shows up at Trent’s house, and Trent’s attire distracts me from anything else that’s supposed to be going on in the scene. Like I’m sure I’m supposed to be filled with anticipation about Cami’s conversation with Trent, but…but what the fuck is he wearing:
He was wearing fuzzy slippers and royal-blue basketball shorts, his arms crossed over his bare torso. Inch-thick, black tribal tattoos crawled over his shoulders and across his chest, and colorful, various tattoos overlapped one another as they traveled down both of his arms, cutting off abruptly at his wrists.
Trenton stopped next to my window, waiting for me to crank the window down. He readjusted his white ball cap and sat his hands on his hips, waiting for me to speak.
Fuzzy slippers. Basketball shorts. No shirt. Baseball cap. Mind you, it’s very very cold at the moment. Cami informed us that “The roads were thick with sleet and ice.” If you had time to throw on your baseball cap, Trent, you had time to grab a jacket.
Now, Ariel, you say, maybe he was just lounging around the house in this. But I bring you evidence that he was not!
“Did I wake you?” I asked.
He shook his head. “Just got out of the tub.”
This raises the important question, was he wearing the baseball cap in the tub? Or did he grab it before heading outside but not grab a jacket or at least a fucking shirt. [Matthew says: Somehow Beautiful Oblivion is very representative of 2010s post-Fifty Shades culture, except in terms of fashion, where it’s in the 90s.]
Anyway, Trent admits that it’s cold outside (duh) and gets in Cami’s car. Apropos of nothing, he starts explaining why he’s been hooking up with so many girls.
“You’re right. I did go home with girls,” Trenton said, raising his voice over the noise of the sleet. “More than just the ones you saw at the Red.”
“You don’t have to tell me.”
“I needed to get my mind off of you.” When I didn’t respond, he turned to me. “I would let a girl rescue me from that torture every night of the week, but even when I was with someone else, all I thought about was you.”
“That’s not really… a compliment,” I said.
And yet it’s somehow the most logical, concise explanation we could expect from a Maddox bro. Not that he really owes Cami an explanation at all – he did tell her he loved her, and she never let him know she ended things with T.J. and wanted to be with him. It was also surprisingly calm and reasonable –
Trenton hit the steering wheel with the heel of his hand, and then blew out another puff of smoke. “I’m not trying to compliment you! I thought I was going to go out of my damn mind thinking about you being in California. I swore to myself that I wouldn’t call you, and when you got back, I was going to accept your choice. But you drove to my house. You’re here. I don’t know what to do with that.”
Cami confesses that she wants to be with Trent but things are sooo complicated and that she can’t be with him under “false pretenses.”
“But there is more to it than that, Trenton. I wish I could tell you so it’s out there, but I can’t.”
“You don’t have to tell me. If you need me to say that I’m okay with whatever I don’t know, I’m okay with it. I don’t give a single fuck,” he said, shaking his head.
“You can’t say that. You wouldn’t if you knew . . .”
“I know there’s something you want to tell me but can’t. If it comes out later, no matter what it is, I made the choice to move forward without knowing. That’s on me.”
“For anything else, that would be enough.”
Trenton flicked his cigarette out the window. “That makes zero fucking sense. None.”
You know there is something severely wrong with a scene when Trent is saying the same thing as me. Remember, everyone, I know this big secret, and like Cami and Jamie McGuire, I’m not going to fucking tell you what it is. But let me be clear. It makes no sense that Cami doesn’t tell Trenton here. It doesn’t make sense she didn’t tell him earlier either. [Matthew says: It also doesn’t make sense that Trenton didn’t already know the secret, just in case you were worried an important plot detail ever made sense. We’ll get there later.]
Cami halfheartedly tries to get Trent to be the one to walk away, except that’s clearly not what she wants because that’s what he’s been doing and she showed up here or did she forget everything that happened until this point?
“Hey Trent, you’re someone who didn’t listen when I told him I wasn’t interested, so you’ll definitely stop trying to date me if I tell you I’m super into you but I have this big secret I can’t tell you. Best plan ever.” [Matthew says: “So you should walk away from me. Anyway, that’s why I drove to your house in the middle of the night.”]
So they make out furiously in Cami’s car because fucking duh. To make a long story short, Trent’s erection is very obvious through his basketball shorts (because fucking duh) and Cami panties are “instantly soaked” but Trent refuses to treat her like crap by fucking her in her car. So he insists on driving her home in his car because remember his fear about women driving. [Matthew says: This book is all about not treating le females like crap.] This fear serves no other purpose in the book than for Trent to never let Cami drive. No other character-defining moments happen because of this traumatic thing in Trent’s past except he can’t let Cami drive.
He drives Cami home, gets another erection, but still won’t sleep with Cami yet even though he invites her inside.
Cami reminds Trent of her Super Secret Big Important Secret That Could Destroy Them All.
“No. You deserve to know. Certain things in our lives are so fragile… and you and me, Trent? We could ruin it all.” Trent insists he doesn’t care, except realistically anyone would be like “Just tell me the secret, please.” I know I couldn’t resist knowing. [Matthew says: Mostly just to get Cami to shut up about it already, though.]
Then a horrifying thing happens when Cami wakes up the next morning:
I blinked a few times, and then focused, seeing a shadowed figure lying next to me. […]
“Why are you in my bed, Ray?” I asked.
“Huh?” Trenton said, his voice deep and raspy.
A jolt ran through my body, and I squealed as I fell off the bed.
I get the impression we’re supposed to be rollin’ on the floor, simply laughing our asses off, but I’m pretty freaked out by this. Get the hell out of her bed, Trenton. Sleep on her living room couch if the roads were too bad for you to get home, or wake her up before you crawl in there and ask permission, idiot.
But wait, let’s allow Trent to explain himself, I’m sure it’ll clear everything up:
Trenton winced. “I brought the Jeep back about an hour ago. Brazil happened to be dropping off Raegan, and she let me in.”
“So you just . . . crawled into bed with me?” My voice was high-pitched and bordering on a screech.
“I said I wasn’t going to come in, and then I did. And then I told myself I’d sleep on the floor, but then I didn’t. I just . . . had to be next to you. I was just lying there awake at Dad’s.”
So so much worse. [Matthew says: I’m like 100% certain this is how sexual predators explain their actions.]
The wacky misunderstanding is forgiven, and instead Cami ends the chapter telling herself that she only has herself to blame moving forward with this. Truer words, Cami, truer words.
My question for the day is, what are your New Year’s plans this year?