Providence is also new adult romance with a hint of angelology thrown in. But other than the paranormal elements in the early work, there are a lot of similarities between McGuire's two series. They are each aimed at the new adult market and involve characters who are starting college and trying to grow into their own identities and find love in the process. Providence, however, doesn't give us the same high stakes as the later work. While we are told by the characters that there's a lot at stake for them, we hardly ever see it rendered on the page except for in the very final section of the book. We also never feel that the heroes are really going to fail - they just seem too infallible.
In the Beautiful Disaster books, on the other hand, there is a very real sense of loss and conflict and the heroine and hero having to overcome obstacles in their past and their present to make a future together that works for them. In Providence, the hero is also kind of two dimensional even though he is obviously "other" and that should add a dimension. But he seems kind of one note - good looking, strong, and the heroine's protector, but there's not much else to him. Other than that he's a replacement father figure for her, it's hard to understand what there is to the relationship. Again, this is a sharp contrast to Beautiful Disaster, where both the hero and heroine are multi-layered and have somewhere to grow into their relationship. It's obvious that McGuire is a good writer and she's deservedly hit the big time in the new adult romance genre with her later work. So it's extremely interesting to contrast how she writes now with how she wrote a few years back. Not that her earlier work isn't good, but that her later work is so much stronger. Watching her development might give heart to those aspiring young adult and new adult authors out there that even if the first project isn't the best book ever written, it's possible to grow quickly and move on to new strengths as a writer if you stick with it and follow your dream. (And I am finishing the Providence trilogy at the moment - but so far am only half way through book 2.)