Liis And Sawyer Are Friends Now For Some Reason: Beautiful Redemption Chapter 6

Hey, wanna hear something crazy? I’m flying to London later today! Ariel and I are gonna hang out and watch Bob’s Burgers! I mean, do London things. Like watch Bob’s Burgers.

Beautiful Redemption: Chapter 6

Liis is busily working on fanservice the Travis Maddox case, where she comes to totally sensible, very logical conclusions.

After studying Travis’s case file, I’d spent the rest of the evening looking for ways to get him out of prison time for the fire, but using him as an asset was not just the best idea. It was the only idea. Unluckily for Travis, his brother was so good at his job that the Bureau felt adding another Maddox would only be beneficial.

willy wonka really

I’m getting the sinking feeling that this isn’t just going to be a subplot for Beautiful Redemption, since it’s only been getting more and more important in the narrative in much the same way that it’s been making less and less sense.

Before Liis can think about this too much (to be fair, if anything deserves to be thought about a little more, it’s that “adding another Maddox would only be beneficial” bit), Sawyer shows up in her office, points out how late it is, then asks if she’d like to get dinner. Thomas Maddox shows up immediately and shoos him away. Because his Blando-senses are tingling, I guess.

Even Liis doesn’t understand why Sawyer’s in this book.

“You made me his boss. You’ve got to let him speak to me at some point.”
“I don’t see it that way.”

That argument apparently totally resolved by that, they then move onto why Liis is in the office so late on a Friday night. She makes a fairly valid point that, because of his stupid “you stood up to me, therefore you are promoted to everyone’s boss” practices, things could be better.

“Agent Davies is saying I fucked my way to the top. Do you have any idea how hard it is to get the agents to take me seriously when I walk in here and get a promotion on day one?”
“It was day two actually. And Agent Davies did fuck her way to the top – well, to her top. She won’t likely be promoted any further.”

That argument also apparently totally resolved by that – because nothing addresses “my reputation isn’t great!” like “you know whose reputation is worse?” – up next on Liis and Thomas’ subplot agenda is the Travis case. I think. They don’t really segue into it, and the conversation certainly doesn’t flow out of it as much as the book seems to think it does.

“Tell me the truth […] What is your objective? Taking Benny down or keeping Travis out of prison?”
“One is entangled with the other. […] I’d trade my life to save his. I would definitely walk away from this assignment. I’ve walked away before.”
“From the job?”
“No, and no, I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Understood,” I said. I didn’t want to talk about her either.

…how did we end up on Cami? I’m still not sure how “Tell me the truth” meant Travis either, really, but how did that segue work? How many other Maddoxverse novels’ main characters can we cram into this conversation? Not even the Marvel movies are this bad.


Liis reveals that she does have a social life after all, because Val is taking her to “the same bar from Top Gun” later. Thomas and Marx also get invited. McGuire describes a bar adorned with Top Gun memorabilia. Everyone’s happy.

Val and Marks were deep in conversation about the pros and cons for the solicitation notice of the 9mm pistols versus our standard issue Smith & Wesson.

You know the writing cliche, “write what you know”? This is why they say that.

Speaking of writing what you know, Thomas Maddox is definitely a Maddox.

Thomas was on the other side [of the bar playing darts], standing in the middle of a small herd of California girls and Beach Boy would be proud of.

Somehow I missed the absurd pop (?) culture reference the first time I read this. That’s what reading a Jamie McGuire novel is like – I stop picking up on lines like that.

Liis watches the girls “clapping and cheering every time Thomas hit a bull’s-eye” and quickly decides she’s had enough of the bar and leaves. Which, of course, is Thomas’s cue to leave as well.

“Let me drive you.”
“You look” – I leaned over to peek at his groupies through the window – “busy.”
“I’m not.” He shook his head as if I should have known better.
When he looked at me that way, I felt like the only person in the city.

jane lynch i am aroused

But when they get back, he doesn’t follow her into the elevator.

“Are you going all the way back [to the bar]?” […]
“Nah, I’ll probably go across the street.”
“To Cutter’s Pub?”
“If I go upstairs with you right now-” he said as the doors slid closed. He didn’t get to finish.

…I’m gonna be honest. I think some of the romantic tension in this book is way better than in McGuire’s previous outings. I actually think this is kinda cute.

Feeling ridiculous, I hurried to the window at the end of the hall and watched Thomas walk across the street with his hands in his pockets. A weird sadness came over me until he paused and looked up. When his eyes met mine, a gentle smile stretched across his face. I waved at him, and he waved back and then continued on.

Which, like any good rom com, is exactly when the heel shows up.

Three loud knocks on the door made me jump […]
“Hi,” I said, blinking.
“Don’t look so letdown,” Sawyer said, brushing past me into my living room.

I wouldn’t say that Sawyer is well-written, but goddamn if Jamie McGuire isn’t going all in making the most irritating person imaginable.

He say on my couch, leaning back into the cushions and stretching hi arms out over the top. […] “I’ve been trying to speak with you all week. I live in the next building over. I was outside, smoking my e-cig”


molly ringwald middle finger flip off, beautiful redemption chapter 6

Like, I can’t even choose one gif for this moment.

the office hate so much, beautiful redemption

Sawyer finally gets a chance to talk about what he’s wanted to this whole time, and turns out – surprise! – it’s about the Travis case!

“The S.A.C. ordered Maddox to make his brother an asset. […]”
“I know this already.” […]
“Did you also know that it’s a shit idea? Abby Abernathy is the way to go.”

…yo, it’s hard to say that Sawyer is wrong, per se. Given that the reader’s perception of Travis and Abby as reliable, useful people might vary quite wildly from the book’s…

Liis argues that Abby’s no good because Travis has such an unstable temperament that if he “finds out we’ve coerced his wife, the operation will implode.”

“So, the better option is to bring him, the unstable one, on as an asset?” He said, deadpan.


Sawyer realizes that he’s not having much luck getting through to Liis and instead takes note of her apartment and offers to help her unpack. Intriguingly, he immediately admits that he knows he has a reputation around the office as a womanizer.

“I’ll help you and go home. I swear. […] Although I find you extremely attractive – I won’t deny that in the real world, I’d try my damnedest to take you home from the bar – you should know that, even though I am a jerk and a man-whore at times, I’m not stupid. I wouldn’t sleep with my boss.”

Somehow that speech results in Liis thinking this:

Kept at arm’s length, Sawyer could actually be an asset and maybe even a friend.


So even if we ignore the distinct possibility that Sawyer is nothing but repulsive to the reader (He vapes. Seriously, how is that not enough said?), Beautiful Redemption seems to be forgetting that this is a character whom Liis described as “a mangy dog” and a “joker trying to piss in my court” two chapters ago, and all he’s done since then is irritate her further. I feel like it’s a bit of a stretch about how a speech where he still mostly just objectifying her is suddenly her “aaaaand now we’re friends!” turning point.

i can tell that we are gonna be friends


  1. Francesca Reply

    McGuire is really trying hard this time. Hard as a Maddox bro.
    Even though I have to say he is the most tolerable, by now…Can’t wait to read you reading about the twins.

  2. wordswithhannah Reply

    Silly, she has to trust him now so he can assault/betray/cast aspersions upon Liis and she will realize that the Maddoxes are always right and she should have listened to the big, strong man in her life!

    *I haven’t actually read these books, but I’m preeeeetty sure I’m not wrong on this one

    Does it strike anyone else as a bad idea that the FBI lets all their “top agents” live within a city block of each other? One good sniper and there’s a power vacuum that’s potentially disastrous for homeland security.

    • Francesca Reply

      What bugs me the most is that just because Thomas is an incredibly exceptional agent (never expected that…) then automatically his brother will be exceptional too and let’s go recruiting him, why not??

      Also, I read the summary on Internet (I love spoilers) and I really expected more from Sawyer. I’m very much disappointed by your character.

  3. Quinn Reply

    What the fucking hell is a “solicitation notice of the 9mm pistols versus our standard issue Smith & Wesson?” I imagine that the FBI/whoever probably changes the requirements and/or recommendations for agents’ service weapons every so often and that would probably be a topic of conversation, but the wording is weird imo.

    Also this book in general; is continuing to be Beautiful Garbage like everything else McGuire has written. (I will agree with Matthew that that one scene actually had legit UST present, though. Every once in a while she does do something tolerably, it just isn’t enough to balance out the Maddox factor.)

    And I hate the fact that Thomas is all “oh, obviously YOU didn’t but this other woman agent slept her way up and her end point wasn’t even that high”. Because to me it’s massive sex shaming and one more point in favor of Thomas being just another Maddox asshole (I have to scroll up every time to make sure this is Thomas we’re talking about they’re that interchangeable for me).

    And yeah, Travis in a high-pressure situation (either by direct recruitment or recruiting Abby as an asset and dragging him in that way) sounds like a great way to have a lot of dead bodies and a completely fucked up case on the legal side. Dual Glocks all the way, baby!

  4. E.H.Taylor Reply

    Sawyer may not sleep with his boss, but apparently he has no problems barging into her apartment unannounced after knowing her for all of two days. Does McGuire actually think people do this in real life?

  5. bookbaron Reply

    I get the feeling Liis has just accepted Sawyer now because TJ doesn’t. Which would be interesting if Liis would just admit that was what she was doing. Rather than this nonsensical, he violated my privacy. I like that in a new best friend.


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