[Matthew adds: READING about it, however…]
Beautiful Oblivion Chapter 19
We open with a scene that makes me confident that Jamie McGuire desperately wants this to be made into a film:
Raegan and I were buzzing behind the bar at full speed, in metallic dresses and high heels. Our tip jars were overflowing, and the live band was busting out a decent rendition of “Hungry Like the Wolf”.
I’m surprised she didn’t end this scene with a million asterisks and a note at the bottom of the page saying, “Look! I even picked out what song you can play during this scene. I’m making it so easy for you! PLZ MAKE MY DREAMZ COME TRU!!!!”
It’s New Year’s Eve and the Red Door is even more packed then usual, which is super important to the plot. And by super I mean not at all.
Trenton, Travis and Shepley show up, and this leads to a wacky misunderstanding!
I looked over at Trenton’s table, seeing the redhead’s lips on his. My stomach felt sick, and for half a second, I wanted to jump over the bar and pull her off of him. Suddenly, Trenton’s face appeared in front of me. He noticed me staring at his table and smiled.
“She had it bad for Travis before he even got here.”
“They all do,” I said, breathing a sigh of relief. Damn the Maddox boys and their identical DNA.
Not only did McGuire not have to create an entirely new personality for Trenton, she didn’t even have to change his physical description. She’s trying to make it even easier for the movie studios by basically saying, “Not only do I pick the music out for you and slow-mo walking scenes, but you can just hire one actor for the role of two. Hell, you could probably get away with one dude playing all the Maddox brothers! In fact, even though you’re not supposed to know that T.J. is a Maddox, you can just put a moustache on him or something and no one will be able to figure the twist out!” [Matthew says: Also, anyone who didn’t read the comments on last week’s post where we caved and spoiled the plot twist, uh, surprise! ENJOY BEING PERPLEXED.]
Otherwise, I’m not sure what the purpose of this little mix-up is. Cami quickly realizes her mistake and doesn’t bring it up, so what exactly is it supposed to tell us beyond the fact that the Maddox bros are completely interchangeable even to their girlfriends? Believe me, I was already aware.[Matthew says: The purpose all of these books have: fanservice. Because don’t you remember this delightful scene from Travis’s perspective, and now want to see it from everyone else’s? You don’t remember? Oh, well, he was whining a lot. That doesn’t narrow it down much, huh? Well, it was Chapter 24 of Walking Disaster, which as an added bonus contains the only FIFTY-TWO WORDS where Trenton-Cami drama is mentioned previously in this series. Thus necessitating a spin-off, obviously. I look forward to the spin-off book about Shepley based on the fifty-two words he ate Chinese food one time.]
At the end of the night, Trenton meets Cami by her car to remind us that women shouldn’t drive:
“Why don’t you let me drive you home?”
I looked past him to the Intrepid. “You want to leave your car here?”
“I want to drive you home.”
“Okay. Care to explain why?”
He shook his head. “I don’t know. I just have a bad feeling about you driving home. It’s been bugging me every time I see you get into the car.”
I don’t know about you, but that’s all the explanation I need. I think this would be an exceptional time for Cami to flip the script and point out that Trent should stop with this nonsense because she gets a bad feeling every time he goes to a fight/gets in a fight/wears a stupid hat/talks about watching Spaceballs/sneaks into her bed/emotionally manipulates her/emotional manipulates her using a child (speaking of which, I guess Plot!Child has no use anymore and thus has completely disappeared from the book?).
Cami instead points out that maybe Trenton should talk to someone professionally about his anxiety and about what happened to his girlfriend who died in the accident years ago. Instead of listening to Cami’s shockingly excellent suggestion [Matthew says: Seriously! I didn’t know the concept of mental health existed in this universe.], he blows her off, and she immediately lets him drive her home. Trying one time to convince Trenton to get help for this does not mean Cami made a real effort, because as far as I can remember, she never tries again.
To distract us from this brief moment of almost-sanity, the book immediately shifts gears (#drivingjoke) to go into stupid overdrive.
“Travis asked me about you tonight.”
“I told him you were still with your California boyfriend. Damn near made me sick to say it.” [Matthew says: And, lo, the fifty-two words that were our only information about Cami-Trenton prior to this book were total bullshit. Much like these books.]
I leaned over and kissed his lips, and he pulled me closer. “I’m sorry you had to lie to him. I know it’s stupid, but it would start a conversation I’m not really ready to get into just yet. If we had just a little more time . . .”
So right. Okay. T.J.=Thomas, Trenton and Travis don’t know that T.J. = Thomas. Thomas knows about Cami and Trenton. How would telling Travis they’re together affect anything? Thomas would still continue to know Cami is dating Trenton even if Travis casually mentioned them in conversation. Everyone else in the town who knows that T.J. = Thomas would continue to make vague statements that keep Travis and Trenton in the dark for inexplicable reasons. Again I ask, why do they have to tell Travis she’s still with her ex-boyfriend? In fact, even if I believed she had a good reason for keeping their relationship secret, why not just say she’s single but he’s giving her space to get over the breakup until she’s ready to date? Oh, I’m sorry, I’m making too much sense for this book. My bad.
Trenton goes on to say that lying to Travis was so terrible, but it was even worse saying Cami was with someone else (so why did he pick that lie?) because now he knows what it would be like to lose her (even though she was with her boyfriend until like a week ago anyway…and how does this stupid lie make him feel like he actually lost her?).
Also, because it’s too hard to write an entirely new male protagonist, Trenton starts to push things forward way too quickly:
“When I get up enough money saved, I thought maybe you could help me find a place.”
I smiled. “I can do that.”
“Maybe you might like it enough to move in.”
Cami points out that it’s too soon for that, so Trenton seems to let it go, but you should all be eyeing him warily. [Matthew says: At least he hasn’t already bought an engagement ring. In comparison to Travis, Trenton almost seems downright reasonable!]
Raegan and Brazil continue to have their subplot occur offscreen:
“Ray’s not coming home?”
I shook my head. “She’s staying with Brazil.”
“I thought they broke up?”
“She did, too. But when she got a huge bouquet of flowers the next day, she decided they didn’t.”
This is obviously a perfect time for the first sex scene. I know Matt was really happy not to write about this [Matthew says: Puh-raise!], but I have to be honest, it is really not terrible. We have a really low bar at BBGT because we read Fifty Shades and Bared to You, but it’s very normal.
This part leading up to the sex confused me, though:
We were looking into each other’s eyes with that serious and sleepy stare that made my thighs ache. The look that meant something amazing was about to happen.
A serious and sleepy stare to me translates into: I’m about to get my deep sleep, happy dreaming on, goodnight! Which yes, amazing, but doesn’t make my thighs ache. Also, is that a way we women are supposed to express arousal and not a post-squat workout? This passage raises a lot of unanswered questions. [Matthew says: Wait, I’m getting the sense that feeling horny is NOT like the feeling you get when you take NyQuil?]
Anyway, again, I have to defend this sex scene. Take this moment for example:
My head bobbed back and forth, and I looked up at him. He was watching me, with that same amazing, serious look in his eyes. My fingers and palm slid nicely over his tender skin, and the deeper I took him into the back of my throat, the louder he groaned and the more he swore.
If this were a scene from Fifty Shades or Bared to You, you can bet your bottom dollar that Gideon or Christian would have been filling this scene with creepy dialogue, awful pet names, and disgusting references to their cum. Thank you, Trenton Maddox, for not talking about your “creamy cum.” I salute you.
Also, please note how Cami describes her orgasm in believable, appealing terms:
My entire body was overwhelmed by the most wonderful intensity. It enveloped me, and I cried out as it traveled like electricity throughout my body.
She doesn’t need to “detonate” or talk about her “greedy cunt.” For once, Jamie McGuire, I sincerely thank and applaud you. [Matthew says: Same here! I’d also like to express gratitude that Cami didn’t have to wait for Trenton to tell her to climax before she had an orgasm, which is amazingly a thing that happens in both Fifty Shades and Crossfire.]
Lest you were worried I was going to praise the book for too long, the chapter ends on this dumb note:
“You’re fucking amazing.”
“Maybe. But I’m definitely in love with you.”
I like how this implies that being amazing and in love with Trenton are mutually exclusive. I’m not sure if it’s meant to come off that way or not, but that’s how I’m going to interpret it.
Trenton laughed once. “It’s crazy feeling this happy . . . are you as happy as I am?”
I smiled. “The happiest.”
And that’s when it all came crashing down.
Hahaha it really doesn’t even come crashing down after this at all! Like doesn’t this line make it sound like in this exact moment, Cami’s crazy dad busted in and started wreaking havoc? Or that Trenton gets a text from T.J. being like “THOMAS = T.J.”
My question is, which book do you think has the worst sex scene in it? Does not have to have been a book featured on BBGT, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was.