Surprise, we’re doing a Maddox Bro book! I missed this terribly family so damn much.
Beautiful Sacrifice Chapter 1:
Too many people in a small room sounded a lot like the roar of a fire— the high and low inflections, the constant and familiar hum that only became louder the closer you got.
I am immediately confused and grateful to be reading this series again. Oh, how I missed it. (Things get louder when you get closer? Can you believe it?)
New generic love interest Falyn has been working as a waitress at The Bucksaw Cafe for five years, and today her life is about to change because today is the day she meets a Maddox Bro.
We get some early clues about Falyn’s past:
…the lunch crowd wasn’t what kept me coming back. It was the comforting drone of conversation, the heat of the kitchen, and the sweet freedom from the bridges I’d burned.
I love how completely inorganic this is. This passage is so strange. What waitresses out there are living for the lunch crowd? Not to mention, “I come back for the heat of the kitchen…AND BECAUSE I’M RUNNING FROM MY PAST!”
Eventually, after describing her coworkers and regulars in detail (sorry, you guys, after 5 1/2 years of this blog, I’m just going to skip this shit and tell you if it winds up being important later) four men are sat in Falyn’s section.
The men’s dusty boots and the three bright blue hard hats sitting on their laps, bearing the Department of Agriculture’s emblem, made their specialty easy to guess— a hotshot crew, likely the Alpine division out of Estes Park.
Cue Maddox Bro intro in 3…2…1…
I greeted the men with a polite expression. “What are we drinking?”
“You sure got pretty hair,” one of the men said.
I lowered my chin and cocked an eyebrow.
“Shut the fuck up and order, Zeke. We’ll probably get called back out soon.”
“Damn, Taylor,” Zeke said. His frown was then targeted in my direction. “Get him some food, will ya? He gets cranky when he’s hungry.”
“I can do that,” I said, annoyed with them already.
Girl, me too. At least the Maddox Bro is meant to be the less annoying one, I guess. Maybe McGuire is trying to make him look really good by putting him with bigger jerks like Zeke.
Taylor glanced up at me, and for just a moment, I was captured by a pair of warm brown irises. In less than a second, I found something familiar behind his eyes.
Wha? How? What does this mean? Can she somehow detect, in a Maddox Bro’s eyes, that this story has been told many times before?
Falyn tells us that even though he’s cute, there’s no way she’s going to date him! Because in this town all the seasonal workers are sexy, but they’ll just love you and leave you. This convinces me that they’re probably only a chapter away from exclusively dating and two chapters way from being madly in love.
…the Springs was a buffet of young girls just desperate enough to be fooled into loving someone they knew wouldn’t stay.
I wasn’t one of them even if, according to my parents, I was the most educated whore in Colorado Springs.
Oh my. We’re 3/4 on the protagonists having shitty parents, aren’t we? I think Lis’ parents were nice.
Falyn takes the drink orders from Taylor and his sexy pals.
“What do you want, Trex?” Zeke asked the clean one.
Trex looked at me from under his damp tendrils, all emotion absent from his eyes. “Just a water.”
This is my favorite part of the whole chapter, and some weird shit happens later. Why is Zeke deferring to Trex on his drink order? Is he some sort of incapabale man-baby who must be prompted to place his drink order? But by far my favorite thing is that it’s notable that he has no emotions in his eyes when he orders water opposed to normal folks who FEEL ALL THE FEELS when they order water.
There is a whole weird tangent where Taylor and the fourth member of their crew, Dalton, lament the lack of Cherry Cokes. Falyn says she’ll make one herself, but Dalton is a damn skeptic and he declines.
“It’s not the same.”
I took their menus and leaned in toward Dalton’s face. “You’re right. Mine is better.”
As I withdrew, I heard a couple of them giggling like boys.
One of them said, “Whoa.”
God, the bar must be so low for their human interaction if this warranted that kind of reaction.
Anyway, she indeed brings them her homemade Cherry Coke despite their refusal, and what do you know, she’s made a believer out of them!
Kirby, the new sassy best friend who is notable only because she shares a name with an absolute legend, tries to convince Falyn that she should start dating one of the guys at the table. I mean, how could you even choose? They’re all so great. Falyn says no, but what she means is, “I’ll be dating Taylor in a chapter.” I speak fluent Maddox Bro book at this point.
I carried the final Cherry Coke to the hotshot crew, but as I walked away, one of them grabbed my wrist. I looked over my shoulder, glaring at the man with the offending hand.
Taylor winced at my reaction. “A straw?” He loosened his grip. “Please?” he asked.
For the life of me, I can’t figure out why this detail was included in this chapter unless it’s a way of signalling to me that Taylor is just as shitty as all of his bros. Hint taken, book.
Falyn is furious after his table leaves because they don’t tip her. Maybe if she hadn’t gone rogue and brought them those damn Cherry Cokes without permission. No good deed goes unpunished and all that.
BUT! Taylor shows back up later, apologising that they were called out to work and forgot to tip, so he’s come to belatedly give her the tip. It’s super obvious he’s also going to ask her out, but if he really is intending to give her the tip regardless of her answer, that’s really nice actually.
Falyn makes a massive deal about them forgetting to tip her…which…honestly, shut the fuck up Falyn. His explanation made sense, and he came back mere hours later to bring you the money? The tipping economy is a mess, and it sucks royally that they messed up, but she’s actually being an idiot just for the sake of…banter? I don’t know. McGuire always loves to have these antagonistic relationships between the love interests.
He puffed out a laugh. “You’re acting like I’m a weapons-grade asshole here. I mean, I might be— a little. But you… you’re… distracting.”
“Oh, so it’s my fault you didn’t leave a tip?” I asked, touching my chest.
“Well… kind of,” he said.
I glared at him. “You’re not an asshole. You’re a cunt rag.”
Taylor’s mouth slowly turned up into a broad grin, and he pressed both palms against the glass. “You’ve gotta go out with me now.”
Oh dear god.
So Taylor finally gives up, and Falyn goes back to cleaning. When suddenly her parents show up! But she won’t just say outright that they’re her parents, so it makes for a very weird and unnecessarily confusing scene.
Dr. William Fairchild, the former mayor of Colorado Springs, was standing on the sidewalk, tapping his knuckles again even though I was looking right at him.
“I see him… and her,” I said, narrowing my eyes at the petite blonde nearly hidden behind the portly doctor.
Her parents try to talk to her, and are immediately horrible and won’t leave.
Chuck arrived from the kitchen, his hands and forearms still wet and covered in suds. “Dr. Fairchild,” he said. “Blaire.”
Blaire wasn’t pleased. “Also Dr. Fairchild,” she said, attempting to sound casual but failing.
I’m with Dr. Fairchild on this one. Chuck’s sexist as fuck!
Anyway, they won’t leave, and Falyn’s dad is like, “Hey, there’s a Maddox Bro loitering outside, does he belong to you?” Because of course if there is a young man lurking creepily in the shadows, there’s no other explanation than your daughter dating him.
Taylor steps out of the shadows to valiantly resist punching Falyn’s dad, which intrigues Falyn.She pretends to be dating him in an effort to infuriate her parents further. Could this be the sexy hero of her dreams?
He barely knew me, yet there he was, in a protective stance in front of me, glowering at my father, daring him to take another step. I hadn’t felt that safe in a long time.
Sure, why not! It’s sexy times all around!
Her parents obviously just want to make nice because her father is planning on running for mayor again. HIS POLITICAL CAREER IS ON THE LINE!
Finally, accepting defeat (for now), the parents fade into the night, and Taylor delivers the dumbest line:
Taylor looked down at me even though I could claim all of five feet nine inches. “You did that just to piss off your parents, didn’t you?”
Firstly. What a fucking dumbass. Secondly, what a weird way to tell us how tall she is.
Anyway, for some reason Falyn agrees to actually go on a date with Taylor. DUDE! I TOLD YOU THEY WOULD BE DATING NEXT CHAPTER!