because my to-be-read pile is ridiculous, i often don't remember why i picked a book up when i finally have the time to read it. which is why blurbs matter. because the way beautiful mess is pitched, it sounds like jami and jackson first reconnect in a board room. years after jackson abruptly dumped jami and ghosted out of her life before ghosting was a thing.
that scene does happen, but before that jami first encounters jackson at the tattoo parlor where he works, where's she's gone to confront her brother about his life choices. and this opening should have been cut entirely from the book. the whole scene makes jami look terrible. and two seconds later she's totally fine and supportive of her brother's life choices so it doesn't make any sense.
jackson is also a total jerk throughout that whole scene, he's super judgmental even though, he's the one who disappeared! sure we find out later that jami's parents had something to do with it. but even that explanation doesn't really work. the whole reason he leaves jami behind is because he thinks that she wouldn't be supportive of his leaving law school. but the truth is he does a terrible job of telling her why he doesn't want to be a lawyer. and maybe if he communicated instead of disappearing then she would have understood.
i mean then there'd be no story. so i get it. so when they meet up again it's pretty clear that neither of them is truly over the other person. and one thing leads to another and they fall back into each other's arms. they still manage to keep some pretty big secrets from each other, which is a habit i find incredibly annoying.
i know that it is a thing that happens in romance novels, that character's who behave somewhat normally lose the ability to express themselves rationally when in a relationship. i understand that there is story in misunderstandings and how they are resolved. i just wish that more care was taken in making sure that these behaviors make sense for the characters. for me it didn't always work. once jami and jackson restart their relationship the book starts to flow a little better. but in the end, i just didn't connect with either jami or jackson in a way that made me want to root for them to figure it all out. i'm glad they did, i just didn't feel strongly about it one way or another.
**beautiful mess will publish on march 7, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/sourcebooks casablanca in exchange for my honest review.