Friday, January 30, 2015

Review: Beautiful Redemption (Maddox Brothers #2) by Jamie McGuire

If A Maddox boy falls in love, he loves forever. But what if he didn't love you, first

No-nonsense Liis Lindy is an agent of the FBI. Deciding she is married only to her job, she breaks off her engagement and transfers from Chicago to the field office in San Diego. She loves her desk. She is committed to her laptop. She dreams of promotions and shaking hands with the director after cracking an impossible case.

Special Agent in Charge Thomas Maddox is arrogant, unforgiving, and ruthless. He is tasked with putting away some of the world’s toughest criminals, and he is one of the best the Bureau has to offer. Though, as many lives as he’s saved, there is one that is beyond his reach. Younger brother Travis is faced with prison time for his involvement in a basement fire that killed dozens of college students, and the media want a conviction. Travis’s only savior is his unusual tie to the mob. In a deal that will spare his brother, Thomas has agreed to recruit Travis into the FBI.

Liis is stubborn, defiant, and yet somehow softens Thomas’s rough edges, making her the perfect agent to accompany him to the ceremony. Posing as a couple, they must travel to Travis & Abby’s beach vow renewal and give him the news, but when the pretending ends, she finds herself wondering if they were pretending at all.

In the second installment of the Maddox Brothers books, experience firsthand the mysterious world of the elusive Thomas Maddox, and how good love can be when you’re not the first, but the last.
~My Review~

I absolutely loved the Beautiful Disaster books.  As in, I read them multiple times.  Both Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster were great.  When Beautiful Oblivion came out, I was a little disappointed and I have to admit that I was a little disappointed with Beautiful Redemption, too.  Good, yes, but not entirely what I was expecting.

Thomas Maddox is in the FBI.  He has climbed the ranks quickly and is now the Special Agent in Charge in the San Diego Office.  He is arrogant, unforgiving, and ruthless.  While he has put away some of the biggest criminals, he's currently faced with the dilemma of saving Travis, his youngest brother who is facing jail time as a result of the deaths in the fire on campus.  Since Travis has an in with the mob, a recruitment into the FBI is the only thing that will save him from jail time.  Liis Lindy is the one person who has been able to get under Thomas's skin since he had his heart broken by Cami (Trent's girlfriend:  See Beautiful Oblivion).  Liis is new to the San Diego office after transferring from Chicago and running from a past relationship.  She is completely married to her career and is instrumental in helping Thomas recruit Travis without any blow-back.  Liis is stubborn and defiant, and she challenges Thomas at every possible turn.

While Special Agent in Charge Thomas Maddox is feared by most of his co-workers, he is particularly ornery with Liis.  Their relationship is antagonistic and filled with sexual tension.  While Thomas comes across as a big bully, Liis has a no-nonsense personality that challenges Thomas, and fuels the dynamic between them.

Just like in Beautiful Oblivion, I felt like Beautiful Redemption focused to much on what happened in the previous stories instead of having it's own story-line. There was a lot of focus on the relationship circle of Thomas-Trent-Cami, and there was a lot of focus on Travis and the mob.  I almost felt like Thomas and Liis weren't given a chance on their own.

While working together, Thomas and Liis's relationship is very push and pull and at times it was just too much.  It was clear that Thomas was still hung up on Cami, but it was also clear that he was falling in love with Liis.  At the same time, Liis was too obsessed with his previous relationship with Cami.

While working through their personal relationship, Thomas and Liis are also working to not only bring down Benny and the mob (we learned about Benny in Beautiful Disaster), but they are also working to save Travis from jail time.  I felt like more explanation about this aspect of the story could have been expanded on.  Considering this connection had such a huge presence in the story, I didn't think it was well explained.  There were a lot of scenes that were rushed, and those scenes were the ones that would have really given Thomas and Liis their own story instead of just being the connection between stories.

The entire book had conflict, but I was confused as to the resolution.  A lot of the scenes seemed rushed, and those scenes were the ones that would have really given Thomas and Liis their own story.  Yes, there was resolution, but it felt rushed and ultimately I came away with a lot of unanswered questions.  I felt like things just came to a close without giving it the proper attention that it needed.  The epilogue was really surprising to me.  I can't give away the details, but it was totally surprising!!

At the end of the day, I liked Beautiful Redemption, but it lacked in a lot of areas.  I still love the Maddox brothers, and since we don't know much about Taylor and Tyler, I look forward to their stories!!

Link to Amazon
Link to Nook

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