Review: Beautiful Burn by Jamie McGuire

beautiful burnReviewed by Joanna

Ellie is a rich, coke-snorting, shot-downing, art-destroying, party girl who makes one mistake too many, forcing her parents’ life-coach to get her cut-off from her wealth. She has to get a job in her little holiday town and shift for herself.

Tyler is the Maddox brother of the hour and the other half of the twins. (Taylor’s book was the previous one – this is the last.) He falls for Ellie. Well, he screws her at her last party and pursues her after. Mainly because she isn’t interested in him. He’s a hotshot firefighter, working on the frontline of forest fire protection – a pretty dangerous and heroic job. Manly.

Ellie starts working for a little magazine and they see something in her amateur photography (dream job for most people falls into her lap trope) and send her out with the hotshot crew to document their work. This is the best bit of this book and really interesting. The crew and Ellie get dropped into remote mountain locations and she takes shots of them at work, clearing scrub, digging trenches, putting out fires, and all that sort of thing. It’s atmospheric with the fires burning across hillsides, them all camping in the cold, the smell of smoke on their clothes.

The crew is pretty cool too. They like Ellie, and her work is an instrumental part of her transformation from substance-dependant brat to good person. She has to go on quite a journey, so the book leaps about a bit time-wise. Nearer the end this does detract from the continuity and the tension between the couple.

Tyler is pretty awesome. There’s a fair amount of the standard cocky Maddox brother behavior, but his character is a little more developed than his twin’s was. The scenes where he fights for his brother who‘s lost in a bad fire is touching. One point I did get annoyed at him was when he didn’t intervene in Ellie’s drinking earlier, but it was her thing to deal with, not his.

The addiction part felt a bit overdone at times. I wouldn’t have minded if she cleaned up her act a little easier. She’s really young, so addictions / bad lifestyles are much easier to give up at that age. It’s not like she’s twenty years drunk and needing a full intervention.

There was an ‘oh no, I kissed the wrong twin’ scene which was amusing. The author played this out in the previous book too but this one was better. I was annoyed at the twins on Ellie’s behalf. I mean, they’re identical in every way from their jobs to their tattoos. Surely if you were into a girl, you’d warn them just so you wouldn’t have to punch your brother for getting it on with her accidentally? Liked it, even so.

Overall, I didn’t much like the heroine but found her life interesting in a voyeuristic kind of way. I liked the hero and his job, and I really liked the hook-ins with the rest of the series and the other Maddoxes and their loves. The end culminates before the end of the previous book, but this couple get their HEA and it’s a satisfying end to the Maddox Brothers series.

Rating: B

Click to purchase: Amazon

Beautiful Burn
by Jamie McGuire
Release Date: January 31, 2016

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