Walking Disaster (Beautiful Disaster Series #2)

Walking Disaster (Beautiful Disaster Series #2)

by Jamie McGuire


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How much is too much to love? Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.

Finally, the highly anticipated follow-up to the New York Times bestseller Beautiful Disaster.

Can you love someone too much?

Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.

In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. But just when he thinks he is invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.

Every story has two sides. In Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476712987
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: 04/02/2013
Series: Beautiful Disaster Series , #2
Edition description: Original
Pages: 438
Sales rank: 35,560
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Jamie McGuire is the New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Sacrifice, Beautiful Redemption, Beautiful Oblivion, A Beautiful Wedding, Red Hill, Walking Disaster, and Beautiful Disaster. She and her husband Jeff live with their children just outside Enid, Oklahoma, with three dogs, six horses, and a cat named Rooster. Please visit JamieMcGuire.com.

Read an Excerpt

Walking Disaster

  • EVEN WITH THE SWEAT ON HER FOREHEAD AND THE skip in her breath, she didn’t look sick. Her skin didn’t have the peachy glow I was used to, and her eyes weren’t as bright, but she was still beautiful. The most beautiful woman I would ever see.

    Her hand flopped off the bed, and her finger twitched. My eyes trailed from her brittle, yellowing nails, up her thin arm, to her bony shoulder, finally settling on her eyes. She was looking down at me, her lids two slits, just enough to let me know she knew I was there. That’s what I loved about her. When she looked at me, she really saw me. She didn’t look past me to the other dozens of things she needed to do with her day, or tune out my stupid stories. She listened, and it made her really happy. Everyone else seemed to nod without listening, but not her. Never her.

    “Travis,” she said, her voice raspy. She cleared her throat, and the corners of her mouth turned up. “Come here, baby. It’s okay. C’mere.”

    Dad put a few fingers on the base of my neck and pushed me forward while listening to the nurse. Dad called her Becky. She came to the house for the first time a few days ago. Her words were soft, and her eyes were kinda nice, but I didn’t like Becky. I couldn’t explain it, but her being there was scary. I knew she might have been there to help, but it wasn’t a good thing, even though Dad was okay with her.

    Dad’s nudge shoved me forward several steps, close enough to where Mommy could touch me. She stretched her long, elegant fingers, and brushed my arm. “It’s okay, Travis,” she whispered. “Mommy wants to tell you something.”

    I stuck my finger in my mouth, and pushed it around on my gums, fidgeting. Nodding made her small smile bigger, so I made sure to make big movements with my head as I stepped toward her face.

    She used what was left of her strength to scoot closer to me, and then she took a breath. “What I’m going to ask you will be very hard, son. I know you can do it, because you’re a big boy now.”

    I nodded again, mirroring her smile, even if I didn’t mean it. Smiling when she looked so tired and uncomfortable didn’t feel right, but being brave made her happy. So I was brave.

    “Travis, I need you to listen to what I’m going to say, and even more important, I need you to remember. This will be very hard. I’ve been trying to remember things from when I was three, and I . . . ” She trailed off, the pain too big for a bit.

    “Pain getting unmanageable, Diane?” Becky said, pushing a needle into Mom’s IV.

    After a few moments, Mommy relaxed. She took another breath, and tried again.

    “Can you do that for Mommy? Can you remember what I’m about to say?” I nodded again, and she raised a hand to my cheek. Her skin wasn’t very warm, and she could only keep her hand in place for a few seconds before it got shaky and fell to the bed. “First, it’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to feel things. Remember that. Second, be a kid for as long as you can. Play games, Travis. Be silly”—her eyes glossed over—“and you and your brothers take care of each other, and your father. Even when you grow up and move away, it’s important to come home. Okay?”

    My head bobbed up and down, desperate to please her.

    “One of these days you’re going to fall in love, son. Don’t settle for just anyone. Choose the girl that doesn’t come easy, the one you have to fight for, and then never stop fighting. Never”—she took a deep breath—“stop fighting for what you want. And never”—her eyebrows pulled in—“forget that Mommy loves you. Even if you can’t see me.” A tear fell down her cheek. “I will always, always love you.”

    She took a choppy breath, and then coughed.

    “Okay,” Becky said, sticking a funny-looking thing in her ears. She held the other end to Mommy’s chest. “Time to rest.”

    “No time,” Mommy whispered.

    Becky looked at my dad. “We’re getting close, Mr. Maddox. You should probably bring the rest of the boys in to say goodbye.”

    Dad’s lips made a hard line, and he shook his head. “I’m not ready,” he choked out.

    “You’ll never be ready to lose your wife, Jim. But you don’t want to let her go without the boys saying their goodbyes.”

    Dad thought for a minute, wiped his nose with his sleeve, and then nodded. He stomped out of the room, like he was mad.

    I watched Mommy, watched her try to breathe, and watched Becky checking the numbers on the box beside her. I touched Mommy’s wrist. Becky’s eyes seemed to know something I didn’t, and that made my stomach feel sick.

    “You know, Travis,” Becky said, leaning down so she could look me in the eyes, “the medicine I’m giving your mommy will make her sleep, but even though she’s sleeping, she can still hear you. You can still tell Mommy that you love her and that you’ll miss her, and she’ll hear everything you say.”

    I looked at Mommy but quickly shook my head. “I don’t want to miss her.”

    Becky put her soft, warm hand on my shoulder, just like Mommy used to when I was upset. “Your mom wants to be here with you. She wants that very much. But Jesus wants her with him right now.”

    I frowned. “I need her more than Jesus does.”

    Becky smiled, and then kissed the top of my hair.

    Dad knocked on the door, and then it opened. My brothers crowded around him in the hallway, and Becky led me by the hand to join them.

    Trenton’s eyes didn’t leave Mommy’s bed, and Taylor and Tyler looked everywhere but the bed. It made me feel better somehow that they all looked as scared as I felt.

    Thomas stood next to me, a little bit in front, like the time he protected me when we were playing in the front yard, and the neighbor boys tried to pick a fight with Tyler. “She doesn’t look good,” Thomas said.

    Dad cleared his throat. “Mom’s been real sick for a long time, boys, and it’s time for her . . . it’s time she . . . ” He trailed off.

    Becky offered a small, sympathetic smile. “Your mom hasn’t been eating or drinking. Her body is letting go. This is going to be very hard, but it’s a good time to tell your mom that you love her, and you’re going to miss her, and that it’s okay for her to go. She needs to know that it’s okay.”

    My brothers nodded their heads in unison. All of them but me. It wasn’t okay. I didn’t want her to leave. I didn’t care if Jesus wanted her or not. She was my mommy. He could take an old mommy. One that didn’t have little boys to take care of. I tried to remember everything she told me. I tried to glue it to the inside of my head: Play. Visit Dad. Fight for what I love. That last thing bothered me. I loved Mommy, but I didn’t know how to fight for her.

    Becky leaned into my dad’s ear. He shook his head, and then nodded to my brothers. “Okay, boys. Let’s go say goodbye, and then you need to get your brothers in bed, Thomas. They don’t need to be here for the rest.”

    “Yes, sir,” Thomas said. I knew he was faking a brave face. His eyes were as sad as mine.

    Thomas talked to her for a while, and then Taylor and Tyler whispered things in each of her ears. Trenton cried and hugged her for a long time. Everyone told her it was okay for her to leave us. Everyone but me. Mommy didn’t say anything back this time.

    Thomas pulled on my hand, leading me out of her bedroom. I walked backward until we were in the hall. I tried to pretend she was just going to sleep, but my head went fuzzy. Thomas picked me up and carried me up the stairs. His feet climbed faster when Dad’s wails carried through the walls.

    “What did she say to you?” Thomas asked, turning on the tub faucet.

    I didn’t answer. I heard him ask, and I remembered like she told me to, but my tears wouldn’t work, and my mouth didn’t either.

    Thomas pulled my dirt-soiled shirt over my head, and my shorts and Thomas the Train Underoos down to the floor. “Time to get in the tub, bubby.” He lifted me off the floor and sat me in the warm water, soaking the rag, and squeezing it over my head. I didn’t blink. I didn’t even try to get the water off of my face, even though I hated it.

    “Yesterday, Mom told me to take care of you and the twins, and to take care of Dad.” Thomas folded his hands on the rim of the tub and rested his chin on them, looking at me. “So that’s what I’m gonna do, Trav, okay? I’m going to take care of you. So don’t you worry. We’re going to miss Mom together, but don’t be scared. I’m going to make sure everything’s okay. I promise.”

    I wanted to nod, or hug him, but nothing worked. Even though I should have been fighting for her, I was upstairs, in a tub full of water, still as a statue. I had already let her down. I promised her in the very back of my head that I would do all the things she had told me as soon as my body worked again. When the sad went away, I would always play, and I would always fight. Hard.

  • Customer Reviews

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    Walking Disaster 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 831 reviews.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Did I really just pay $7.99 to read the same story but told by Travis? Even worse, did it really take this author a year to come up with the same story? Don't waste your money!!!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I cannot say I don't like this book because I really loved Beautiful Disaster. Unfortunately, I make the mistake of re-reading BD the day before this book's release, and it is as if the author simply went through her manuscript and changed the expository writing from Abby's view to Travis' and all of the dialogue is the exact same, with the exception of a few new scenes involving Travis in which Abby was not a part. This being said, the book is as good as the first...because it is the same story, but it will be far more entertaining if you don't refresh yourself on the original...
    Laurab68 More than 1 year ago
    Walking Disaster is Jamie McGuire's follow up to her wildly successful self-published novel Beautiful Disaster. Only this time we get into Travis "Mad Dog" Maddox's head. This book is so anticipated that we who got early copies were lip-locked. Embargoed if you will. I think Jamie had a good idea, but the I feel the construction failed. We know the story. We know what happens and seeing it from Travis' point of view doesn't give us insight into him at all. Yeah, we get a few bit of his interaction with his mom, but really how many three year old's remember vividly what happened? Losing a mom is momentous, but when you're three you don't quite understand the significance of it all. So I found the prologue, first chapter a bit weird. I wanted more Travis-centric scenes with people other than Abby. I know what happens, I know they fall in love, fight, break up, are a beautiful disaster of a couple. But I wanted to see more of what was making Travis tick. There were a few scenes with him and Shepley that were nice. One scene with his dad that I wish there were more of. I really would've liked to have seen more interaction with his dad and brothers. The saving grace of this book for me was the last chapter and the epilogue. Jamie could've written a book on that alone and I would've been extremely happy because she went into uncharted territories that is brought up in BD, but skimmed over. It was a very interesting twist and I thoroughly enjoyed that. Makes me wonder if she'll continue on with that story line? I think it would work. For me, 3/4 of the book didn't work. I was bored, wondering when I was going to learn something new. But alas, it never came. People will gobble it up and love it. I know that I'll be in the minority on this. I just wish there was more fresh material.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I couldn't wait for this book. I was so excited when it became available earlier than I had expected. I wanted to love it since I loved the first book. But it was a complete and total let down. Travis was completely lukewarm in this book. The story skipped over/igonored some pivotal parts in the first book and gave zero of Travis' intensity and passion. I am sooooo disappointed. It was as if there was a deadline and the writing was put off until the day before and something needed to be written. I've read lots of her/his perspective books and this was among the bottom of quality of those books.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    It was the same story all over again. But it also seemed rush. I couldn't even finish the book, cause it was too perdeicatble, I knew exactly what scenes were to come next!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Omg i loved the first one and cant wait to read this one!!!!ekkkkkkkkkkkk!!travis is so hotttttttt!!!!!! It should be intresting hearing it from his side. Aleady counting down the days.
    stacy3232 More than 1 year ago
    I could not wait for this book to come out only to be very disappointed! It's like reading Beautiful Disaster all over again!! This isn't really a follow up to the first book. It's the same story told by Travis! Way to go Jamie McGuire, great way to make more money off the same story! Don't waste your money buying this book like I did! Just read Beautiful Disasteragain!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    If you loved beautiful disaster keep it that way and dont read this. First off 8 bucks for the book was a little much especially for most of it being a retelling of a book i already purchased. I loved the first book but this one found me skipping pages, it also made me hate abby. The epilogue was nice and the few additional scenes were ok but it was nowhere near the experience i had reading beautiful disaster. Use your 8 bucks to buy 2 or 3 abbi glines or kristen ashley books instead, trust me.o
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Why? Why would she write 300 pages of a story we already know but was actually worse? Why write this lackluster story when there could have been something so much bigger with the epilogue? What a shame and lost oportunity! The main body was not good. I didnt get thier connection here. I didnt like Travis and i down righted hated Abby. It felt like the magic elwas gone. This should have been a longer epilouge and not the same story that literaly felt no different, or really it was worse.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Just a re-telling....boring!!!!! I thought we would get a whole new insight into Travis, but nothing..... I can't figure out what the author thought she was giving the readers.  I know what happened, I read and re-read the first book a hundred times, I had hoped to hear first hand how intense Travis' feelings were.  Sadly, I felt like I wasted my time and money.   
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I never write reviews. I have read some really good books but never think to review it; however, this one was exceptional. I read Beautiful Distaster and enjoyed it so I was curious about Walking Disaster. I read the some of the reviews about it being basically the same book but still made the decision to read it. I'm glad I did. Let me just say this, I usually don't like books told in the "First Person" - don't read them & amke a point of not buying them. I feel like the story is stilted and I don't get enough information. But Beautiful Distaster moved quickly and I found that I was sucked in just a few pages into the story. I liked Abby and Travis and was frustrated, sad, angry and finally happy with them. Moving onto Walking Distaster & reading the story from a "Guy's" point of view was different & I applaud the author for thinking of it. But more than that I think the story was deeper, more emotional - better from Travis's side of things. He made me want to cry - Abby didn't - but Travis did. That's the sign of a REALLY good story in my book. If I get pulled under - can't put it down - and feel for the characters - even written in the 1st person..... that is the sign of an excellent story teller. Job Well Done Jamie McGuire!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Didn't like this book. I know it was his pov, but still it was the same. Loved the first one, just a little let down with this one. Several typos! Making myself finish it!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    She has become one of my favorite authors!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I really enjoyed both books. I was reading several of these reviews and I totally understand why some people were frustrated feeling like they read the exact same book. I read the first book when it originally came out so when Walking Disaster came out, I didn't even totally remember what happened in the first book.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    So i really had high hopes for this pov sequal. I loved BD but this just wasnt up to the first books standard. It was less of the same story, i didnt like any of the characters as well in this book as i did bd, xcpt for america that is. There where scenes that i was hoping to get more out of that were not even covered in this book.it seemed a little like lets wring as much $ as we can outta this book by putting out travis's pov w/o writting a new book. Certainly not as well written as bd and characters lacked character. Though the mattox fam did get more insight the mom scene was too drawn out. Hoping the brothers book will be better than wd and as good as bd
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Meh.... It was just ok. I love, love, loved Beautiful Disaster.  This, however was a disappointment. I was hoping to see such insight into Travis' mind and why he acted the way he did in BD. e author didn't deliver any depth of characters here. In act, I liked Travis LESS. He seemed like a wimp and not at all like the conflicted "Mad Dog" described in Beautiful Disaster.   The redeeming part of this book is the epilogue and view into their future.  Loved that. 
    JodiN More than 1 year ago
    This book deserves 100 stars!  Amazing and total Hotness!!!  Jamie blew this story out of the park with Travis's POV.  It really helped to understand a lot of the story through Travis's eyes and fill in some blanks!  I loved loved loved it!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Yet another great story from Jamie McGuire. I have read all her books and looked forward to this one. Several people have posted negative reviews for this book and I don't understand. The author made it perfectly clear that this is male point of view for Beautiful Disaster. There is still some great new material in here and it is very interesting to get inside Travis Maddox's head.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Pretty much the same
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Im a romance addict! This version of Travis was phenonmena!!! If you loved Beautiful Diaster like I did, you'll love this book too. Im in love with Travis evdn more now!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Waste of money. Either read Beautiful Disaster or Walking Disaster but not both. Different point of view... SAME story
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I really loved BD, but this just wasn't in the same league. It's not that it's the same story again, I think Jamie was pretty up front about that. It was because the insight I did receive, made me like the characters less. Abby came off as down right mean. Maybe that was just lost on me in the first book, but I didn't see that in BD. I didn't get what Travis saw in her, and since I just read a whole book from his POV, you would think I would understand a bit better. Travis seemed more of a jerk with a hot head. His motives are very self-serving and I always thought it was more about what he could do for Abby, not himself. I also found his thought pattern dis-jointed, and sometimes difficult to follow. Overall, it was a good read, but not what I expexted. I don't regret buying it. It was worth it for the rare moments of sweetness, and the epilogue.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Travis's POV added nothing to the over all story. Nothing about why travis zeroed in on abby and the story about doves was weird. The writing was disjointed and the left out parts where some of my favs. The epiloge was trite and i think it ruined BD for me. I feel ripped off.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    not good. he is a pretty unlikable guy - and she lets a lot more go than a woman should.
    SBDLiteraryManiaReviews More than 1 year ago
    Awesome POV Sequel! I loved every word, every page! LOVED LOVED LOVED Walking Disaster! Is it even possible to love Travis Maddox more than before? Yes!!! Absolutely!!! Let me start by saying that when I read Beautiful Disaster... I loved it. I loved Travis, Abby/Pidge, America, Shepley, Travis's Dad & Brothers... There was NOT one thing/character that I didn't love... (Well, Parker... But there has to be an interloper  in every story right? And besides that Jamie McGuire wrote Parker very well, I really hated him in the way she intended). So to say that I've been dying for months for Walking Disaster to be released is a vast understatement...  On to my review:  ....I freaking loved this book!!!  Walking Disaster was amazing! Yes, it's Beautiful Disaster's story told in Travis's POV, so the same plot & main/major events are there... BUT it doesn't repeat the scenes with Travis & Pidge together verbatim... The words spoken are the same, as any POV book would be, but the thoughts and feelings from Travis's POV are so awesome to experience. Some scenes aren't even in there, instead referencing what happened in a scene that was in Beautiful Disaster.  Walking Disaster was so much more than just a POV book, it has a huge amount of different, yet parallel storyline to it. And there's so much of Travis (& his dad and brothers & Shelpley) that we didn't see in Beautiful Disaster, not to mention, and I know I just said it above, but really experiencing Travis's thoughts and feelings was so amazing! It was an experience too, not just reading words on a page, I laughed, and I cried... Just like I did when I read Beautiful Disaster, it touched my heart and my funny bone... OMG, Shepley? Funny and insightful, if I didn't already think that he was perfect for Mare, I would now for sure. Travis's relationship with his Dad & Brothers, awesome to see that side and have more insight into the Maddox family dynamic. This is a story about 2 broken people...  Travis, a tattooed, underground fighter who is a incredibly sexy, no-strings attached, one-night stander & Abby, a strong willed young woman, running/hiding from her past, determined to start fresh and not to fall into things like what she left behind. In each other they find an unlikely, yet undeniable, healing and intense love.  With the odds stacked against them, can their friendship and love survive it?  If it were me, in Abby's shoes? I'd definitely say....yes, Travis, I'll take that bet :-) bring it on! I never thought it would be possible to love these characters & this story more than I did, but I'm telling you... Walking Disaster double sealed the deal for me. My keeper shelf will be patiently and hopefully waiting for the hardback version to sit next to the signed hardback version of Beautiful Disaster... (Hint Hint Jamie McGuire & Atria Books) And something else that is amazeballs that I'm not saying anything else about... Review by: Stacy Bailey Darnell/Literary Mania Reviews