“I can’t ever lose you, Danika. I’m not sure I’d survive it.”
What an emotional roller coaster!!!
R.K. Lilley has a way of drawing you right into each book she writes and Rock Bottom tugged at every one of my heart strings. Tristan and Danika’s journey was emotional, intense, and heart breaking but left me hopeful and eager for more. I absolutely adore this series and can’t wait for the next book!!
Even before I started this book, I knew it was going to be an intense ride. This book picks up right where Book #1, Bad Things, ended and given what we knew of Tristan and Danika’s relationship in the Up In The Air trilogy (see more info on the timeline below), we knew that they were going to go through some extreme heart ache. I had so many questions — Where did Danika get her limp? What could possibly have happened to come between them??
“I love you,” he rasped out. He said it all the time. He didn’t hold it back, now that he’d admitted it, but it still gave me butterflies, every single time.
“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.”
Well, all our questions were answered here. It was devastating to see a couple that was as powerfully in love with each other as Tristan and Danika facing so much pain but I loved the way the story was portrayed. It was told to us in alternating POVs and the thing I’ve always loved about both Tristan and Danika is that, while they each had their flaws once you got inside their heads, it was easy to at least understand where they were both coming from… even if at times I just wanted to shake them.
Danika’s POV especially gave a lot of foreshadowing because it was written as though she’d already experienced all the events of this book and was almost looking back warning us of which little elements would come into play in a bigger way later on and impact their future. This really set a powerful tone of anticipation and dread. Honestly, there were times when I had to just put the book down for a few minutes and go watch a fluffy YouTube video or something just to calm down.
Ohhhh Tristan. My heart just went out to him. He was this totally badass guy with a serious saviour complex and an overprotective side that was in a constant state of overdrive. A true Alpha caveman if there ever was one. But he was also just a very flawed and tortured individual who’d suffered an extreme amount of loss and bore too much guilt on his shoulders. (And just as a side note, I really liked how the author included him being a rock star into the story without actually making this a “rock star story”.)
I loved Danika too. She was sassy and feisty but also deeply caring and also damaged as well. But I loved how despite her insecurities, she relentlessly kept trying so hard to make things work.
My heart really broke for them both. They were so clearly in love with each other but life just kept throwing obstacle after obstacle at them. The more I read, the greater my dread grew. I knew something horrible was going to happen and my heart was already breaking. It was like a train wreck… I didn’t want the inevitable to happen but was powerless to stop it.
Now… the #1 question: Does this book end on a cliffhanger?
The answer is both yes and no. At the end of this book, Tristan and Danika have reached their breaking point. They’ve been crushed by the events in their lives and are collectively paying the price of various wrong decisions. They are not “together” as a couple at the end but this actually fits perfectly into the timeline of the Up In The Air trilogy in which they are estranged.
However!!!! Before you run away…. there is a Teaser for Book #3 at the end which will leave you in a much better place. It shows the beginning of their reunion and is full of emotion and hope. I have a strong feeling that Book #3 is going to be all kinds of epic 🙂
You should also know that this book isn’t only full of heartbreak. There’s so much more to it. We see Tristan and Danika fall even deeper in love and share some absolutely beautiful, joyful times together.
“This is forever for me, sweetheart. I want it all with you. You’re the thing that gets me up in the morning and lets me rest easy at night…”
Ooooooh!!! Also, there was one scene from Frankie’s POV in which we got to see James Cavendish five years before he met Bianca and all I have to say is OHHH. MY. GOD. !!!!!! *jaw drop* 😉
As an author, R.K. Lilley has really earned my trust. I love her writing style and I have consistently loved the direction that she’s taken all her stories in and I fully trust that even though Tristan and Danika are at a low point now, that it’ll make their reunion in the next book that much sweeter. After all, sometimes the lowest lows make the highs that much more powerful.
Tristan and Danika are the kind of couple who you just know are meant to be together. I can’t wait to see them get their happily ever after!!
Rating: 4.5 stars
The Tristan & Danika trilogy is a spin-off of the Up In The Air trilogy (in which we first met Tristan and Danika as side characters). Both trilogies can be read on their own though and you don’t need to read them both to understand the stories. However, their timelines are interconnected.
The first 2 books of this trilogy, Bad Things and Rock Bottom, take place 5 years before In Flight (the first book in the Up In The Air trilogy). Then, chronologically, come the three books of the Up In The Air trilogy…. and then finally comes Lovely Trigger (the last book in the Tristan & Danika trilogy).
Anyone who has read the Up In The Air trilogy will know that during the course of those books, Tristan and Danika had an estranged and strained relationship but what we didn’t know was why. We saw Tristan and Danika fall in love in Bad Things, then in Rock Bottom we learned the full reason for their estrangement, which then perfectly set up the final book, Lovely Trigger which is a second-chance romance.
So chronologically, this would be the order of the books:
- Bad Things (Tristan & Danika #1)
- Rock Bottom (Tristan & Danika #2) – starts right after Bad Things
- In Flight (Up In The Air #1) – starts 5 years after the end of Rock Bottom
- Mile High (Up In The Air #2)
- Grounded (Up In The Air #3)
- Lovely Trigger (Tristan & Danika #3) – starts 6 years after the end of Rock Bottom
However, the suggested reading order is to read all 3 Up In The Air books, and then the Tristan & Danika trilogy. Trust me, it all works out very clearly 🙂
TRISTAN & DANIKA SERIES READING ORDER