Review: Lovely Trigger (Tristan & Danika #3) by R.K. Lilley


Title: Lovely Trigger
Author:  R.K. Lilley
Publisher/Year:  R.K. Lilley  3/12/14
Length: 356 Pages
Series: Tristan & Danika Trilogy #3


Tristan hit rock bottom, and no one felt the impact harder than Danika. She was forced to see, in the most brutal of ways, that love does not conquer all. Bruised, bloody, and broken she had to walk away.
Picking up the pieces of your life after a tragedy is a daunting prospect, and that’s considering you still own all of the pieces. But what if you don’t? What if someone else owns those pieces, and those pieces are a part of your soul?
You dig deep and work with what you’ve got.
That’s what Danika told herself and believed, every single day, for years.
Tristan and Danika’s love had failed every test that life had thrown at them. She couldn’t forget that, not for one second. And if those tests had been overly harsh, well, she wasn’t one to wallow in self-pity. The failure was the thing she had to focus on. The failure was the lesson. She had no intention of working so hard to make it out of hell without learning that lesson well.
Over six years after the night that changed everything, Danika finds herself forced to spend the weekend constantly in Tristan’s company, as they attend the wedding of two of their dearest friends. It’s been long enough that she feels they can be friendly again without it destroying her peace of mind, but just a small amount of time in his presence has her remembering something she had forced herself to forget: There’d been a reason she’d gone through hell with this man, for this man, some true good to precede the bad.
She shocks herself by quickly giving in to a hunger that she never imagined could still consume her.
Even the best intentioned denial has a breaking point.
After everything that’s happened, the rise and the fall, the pain and the aftermath, can these two navigate the waters of acute regret, survive the trials of coming face to face with all that they have lost, and find the strength to try again?

My Thoughts

After being so invested in this couple’s roller coaster of a relationship, I was really happy to see where things could go with them.  You knew that it wasn’t going to be easy, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure how they were going to get closure, and if it was going to happen…and what that ending would look like.

From the teaser that we got from Lana’s story, we knew that being together at the wedding was going to stir things up again, and we knew that Tristan needed to make another attempt after getting out of rehab which is what he tries.

If you’ll remember from the 2nd installment in the series, we had just come off of Danika’s accident – at the hands of Dean, who had tried to rape her while driving her home, after Tristan was too high to have a conversation with Danika.  She had gone to his house to let him know that she was pregnant again in the hopes that they could reconcile, and things went drastically wrong.  Fast forward to where they are again in this third and final installment, when they are trying to put their lives back together, but being still broken and in pieces from the aftermath of their relationship.

The POV that this story took was a nice one.  We’re taken on a slower fast forward of sorts, when we get to see how their lives changed and went on over a period of 6 years until we’re finally placed in their present day.  Danika has tried to go about her life – repairing things, trying to be normal when her life is anything but.  James Cavendish (who we know from his own story) – the owner of the Cavendish Casino and empire has given her an opportunity to run his Gallery in Vegas, and then LA and then even across the world.  This is something that gives Danika purpose when she’s without it since she can no longer dance because of her knee.

This also puts her in indirect contact with Tristan once again as he now has his magic show in the casino in Vegas.  This is something that he’s revelling in given that he’s not in the same mindset as he was as a rocker – while he’s still with the band and they are recording an album, there’s no more touring as that’s too much of a trigger for his addictions.

So this story takes us on the journey of Tristan trying to get Danika back since she’s his everything (such a romantic notion) and Danika’s fear that there’s nothing left of her now, let along when things crash and burn again as she expects them too.  She’s tried to have relationships through the 6 years apart and even during the present, and Tristan some how comes between everyone.  Either subconsciously or even by warning some of the guys off.

The really nice thing about this story is that we get to pick back up on the romantic that Tristan is – we saw a bit of that in previous books – seeing that he tries to be the nice guy by cooking for Danika and always looking to do things for her that she loves.  She’s skeptical and fights it, but he’s persistent in a nice way.  We also get to see the intense heat and passion and chemistry between these 2, and i’m glad that it’s something that we don’t lose even though they are not together for this book.  Their dynamic is really amazing in the sense that they know that they have this attraction that can not compare to anything else, yet the way that the interact otherwise is great.  Their level of comfort with one another is really engaging to watch – the humor and fun that they have with each other really keeps you wanting to read more.

The question about where this story will go is one that’s expected, yet I’m always interested to see how R.K. Lilley will take us there.  You have hopes and expectations of how things will end, which i fully anticipated, but the journey wasn’t diluted at all even with this.

The epilogue was a nice approach as well – not just giving us a final chapter, but segmenting it so that you’re taken on yet another journey.  Honestly, i couldn’t have been more pleased with the way that this series played out and how the finale gave closure to some less than savory experiences.

I saw that there’s going to be a 4th installment in Bianca and James’ story when i finished this book, so that makes me even happier given that i love the dynamic of this group of friends, and i can’t wait to see what comes next.  I hope you guys enjoy this finale though to Tristan and Danika’s specific tale.


Review: Rock Bottom (Tristan & Danika #2) by R K Lilley


Title:  Rock Bottom
Author: R K Lilley
Publisher/Year:  R K Lilley 11/12/12
Length:  292 pages
Series: Tristan & Danika #2



Their love had the power of a runaway freight train, and the potential to be just as destructive.
The tempestuous sequel to Bad Things picks up where the first book left off. Reeling from a profound loss, Tristan and Danika struggle to pick up the pieces and build a life together, but the hard habits of a lifetime are not so easy to escape.
Rock Bottom takes us on a dual point of view journey through addiction and desire, through love and agony, and answers the question we’ve been asking since these characters were introduced in Grounded: “What happened between Tristan and Danika?”

Even love couldn’t cushion a fall like ours. My love for Tristan was so big that I felt consumed by it, and even so, it was not enough to overpower our combined demons.
I struggled. I yelled and screamed. I scratched and kicked.
I fought like hell, but even the most determined fighters have to stop before they break.
No one could say I didn’t fight for him.
“I love you,” I spoke softly into his ear.
He gripped me harder. “I can’t ever lose you, Danika. I’m not sure I’d survive it.”
“You’ve got me. And I’m not going anywhere. Not ever.”
I meant the words when I said them, but life had other plans for us.
I’d have given my life for that fight. In fact, I very nearly did.

She was the one.
If I’d ever had a doubt, I didn’t now. She was the one I’d be thinking about, longing for, until I took my last breath. If I lost her tomorrow, I’d pine for her like a lovesick fool.
This was the kind of love that only hit you once in your life.

My Thoughts

From what we know of the couple based on the In the Air series, you know that things can’t end well right?  Especially given how book 1 in the spin-off of Tristan and Danika ended.  we know that their relationship is volatile.  it’s passionate, explosive, and potentially detrimental to both since they are so dependent on one another.  We also see the foreshadowing of a downward spiral since things just didn’t go smoothly for the couple as Tristan’s brother died, and the jealousy and control that both seem to need and have.

We start this 2nd installment of their story in a happier place – it seems like the couple is trying to make things work, although it’s not easy.  The band that Tristan’s in has gotten a record deal, but this means that it’ll be a long distance relationship for the two for a bit since they are recording in LA and Danika has a life in Vegas.

What i liked about this though, is that we see the development of another couple and the friendship growth between Frankie and Danika.  You get to know a bit more about how their friendship really started and why it seemed to be so strong in the other series.  R. K Lilley does a great job of showing us how the Frankie Estella relationship began and started to take shape and it makes you have an entirely different opinion of things which is nice.

In this story too though, we see a lot of things unravel.  The trust between Danika and Tristan is tested over and over again.  There are forces much larger than themselves at play here.  Dean, Distance, Dahlia (Danika’s sister)….all things going against them.  But…it makes you wonder when the shoe’s going to drop and what the end result is.

What’s also really nice about this story is that you get a few unexpected twists throughout that weren’t even on my radar as things to ponder since we knew to expect an accident.  There are pregnancies, injuries, scheming, and lies….all the while though, we see that the duo has a bond that they aren’t willing to give up on.  that’s what heat and great chemistry will do for you.

Similar to what we’ve gotten in other stories by this author, there’s no shortage of steam and heat.  you know what you’re going to get and it won’t be boring or short lived at all.  you know that the passionate couple will be drawn to one another regardless of what is going on outside of them, and their emotions cannot be controlled.

I’m really looking forward to the 3rd and final installment in their story since i think that it’s going to take us deeper into their lives since it’s further in the future than we were even taken with the other series.  I hope that we see conflicts that aren’t necessarily predictable, and i think that  we won’t be let down given the journey that we’ve been on already..