By Jamie McGuire
4 out of 5 STARS
The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University's Walking One-Night Stand.
Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.
ARC provided by Netgalley
On the outside Abby is a good girl, a good student, a real square. But on the inside? She's running from a past that she does not want to repeat.
Travis is a bad boy through and through. Unapologetically so... But at least he's honest. Well, most of the time. Travis is roomates with his cousin Shep, who happens to being dating Abby's friend America. So we know they will be running into each other on a normal basis... Once they break the ice.
Abby and Travis first meet at one of his fights. She gets a little too close for comfort and is saved from the crowd by Travis. Immediately, Travis is trying to woo her, for whatever reason, we can only guess. He is a ladies man after all. But usually he does not have to try this hard.
"I'm not a Barbie twin or one of your little groupies up there," I said, glancing at the girls behind us. "I'm not impressed with your tattoos or your boyish charm or your forced indifference, so you can stop the antics, okay?"
That doesn't stop Travis. He somehow gets her to agree to going out to eat. Casual, platonic. Not a date.
"It's not a ploy. I just don't like you."
"You wouldn't be here if you didn't like me."
My frown involuntarily smoothed and I sighed. "I didn't say you're a bad person. I just don't like being a forgone conclusion for the sole reason of having a vagina." I focused on the grains of salt on the table until I heard a choking noise from Travis's direction.
His eyes widened and he quivered with howling laughter. "Oh my God! You're killing me! That's it. We have to be friends. I won't take no for an answer."
This seems to work out well for the most part. A bet takes place and the result has her with him almost 24/7 for a month. I adore Travis, even as messed up as he is. He's misunderstood is all. But you know? Life just isn't easy. These two are inseparable as friends and the rumors start to fly. Jealousy rears its ugly head. But through all this, they realize they might mean more to each other than they both originally thought. But just coming to that realization doesn't equal instant happiness. There is a huge amount of trial and error as this books takes us to many dark places.
A pained look shadowed his face. "You know why I want you? I didn't know I was lost until you found me. I didn't know what alone was until the first night I spent without you in my bed. You're the one thing I've got right. You're what I've been waiting for, Pigeon."
This book was hard for me to read. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed it but it's so intense. A roller coaster that seems to have no breaks as all. The title for this book is perfect. This relationship really is a beautiful disaster in the making. This relationship is very unstable, volatile at times with a huge co-dependency. That's not a bad thing necessarily, just unhealthy in my opinion. But the beautiful thing? Love never gives up when it gets too hard. Love can find a way.