Holy hotness, guys!! You HAVE to meet Tristan Vega!!
“I’m going to fuck you hard on the hood of this car, in the pouring rain. And. You. Are. Not. Going. To. Forget. It.”
I loved this book!! It made me swoon, squee, and swear which pretty much is the perfect mix, right?
I couldn’t put it down. Another winner from R.K. Lilley!
When Tristan unexpectedly becomes a fixed part of Danika’s world, he throws her whole life out of whack. Fun, flirty, and bossy with a devilish charming that could get just about anyone to do just about anything, he was Trouble with a capital T and just what Danika was trying to avoid. He was ripped, tattooed and baked the hell of chocolate chip cookies. Oh, and did I mention the dimples yet? ‘cuz, SWOON!! They quickly worked out a “friends-only” rule but guess how long that lasted?
“I’m bad… when it comes to relationships, which is why I don’t do them.”
I couldn’t help it. I had to ask. “So what do you do?”
“Hookups. Brief, casual hookups. How about you?”
I shook my head, pursing my lips at him… “I do relationships. No exceptions. Never had a casual hookup in my life.”
He sighed… “Well I guess that makes things less complicated. We’ll be friends, then.”
Try as they might to keep things platonic, their feelings just could not be ignored.
Let me tell you guys, Tristan and Danika had CHEMISTY!! Off the charts, scorching chemisty! Their banter had me smiling almost non-stop. Danika was sassy and sarcastic and Tristan was bossy and charmingly charismatic and their combination made for some absolutely brilliant scenes!
“You making a move on me?” I called out to him, but I wasn’t pushing him away…
His smile was innocent enough, but i thought there was a hint of something else in his eyes.
“Just dancing, sweetheart.”
The whole book just flowed. From start to finish it kept my attention and made me steadily fall deeper and deeper in love with the story and the characters.
They were opposites in so many ways. Danika only did relationships and Tristan only did hook ups. On the surface that might just seem like personality traits but in reality it was the heart breaking events from their past that had shaped them into people who needed that. Danika came from an abusive home and craved the commitment and stability of a loving relationship. Tristan had fallen in love young and had thrown himself wholeheartedly into a relationship only to have his heart broken and trodden on by the one person he was committed to. They both had trust issues and deep hurts but at the end of the day they both cared deeply for each other… it was just a question of admitting it to themselves.
“Tell me not to kiss you.”
“Don’t kiss me.”
I have to admit, I didn’t expect how strongly and completely I was going to fall for Tristan. But guys, I fell HARD. Oh my Lord! This guy baked, had tats and dimples. That alone would melt my heart but he was also the lead singer in a rock band, was insanely protective of Danika and took “charming” to a whole new level. The things he said just made me SWOOOOON. He cared SO much her. You could feel it in every action he made.
There were times when I wanted to shake him but my heart also broke for him. You could just tell that he was one of THE good guys. You know? The one’s who’ll put their everything on the line for their girl. But after having his heart broken before, he had become guarded – determined never to put himself in that position again. Ever. But something about Danika was different and brought out the part of him that wanted to commit… he just couldn’t. Not at first. It was so hard for him to give his heart over again. But what that meant was that when he did, it was that much more meaningful because it showed not only the depth of his feelings but also the depth of his trust.
And seriously, have I mentioned how protective he was? There is just something about an Alpha who is willing to do ANYTHING for his girl that just makes my heart race.
Danika was a strong-willed yet very sweet heroine. I took a strong liking to her and felt very sympathetic to the things she went through. It was nice to have a heroine I didn’t get frustrated with. Her back story was just plain horrible. Seriously, the poor girl!! Life had really screwed her over but I absolutely adored that Tristan not only wanted to hear about it but also wanted to talk with her about it, openly, honestly.
They built a wonderful friendship filled to the very brim with scorching sexual tension… no joke, we’re talking off the charts hotness here! No kink, but Tristan was definitely Dominant in the bedroom and trust me, you will be fanning yourself …
“Danika, sweetheart?” He rasped.
“I’m done being sweet, if you don’t mind. I’d like to fuck you really hard if that’s okay.”
But all good things must come to an end. At the end of the day, they were both just so strongly shaped by their past. Tristan couldn’t do commitment and Danika couldn’t do casual and when the hurt came, it HURT. I understood where both of them were coming from but it didn’t stop it from being oh so painful.
But I loved seeing them work through it. And, as with every other part of their relationship, it was with openness and honesty. Yes, there were some pretty painful, gut-wrenching mistakes made but because of how much I felt I understood what led up to it and because of the way they worked their way back together, I never found myself frustrated with the story. Yes, I swore (out-loud) and I might have face-palmed once or twice but at the same time, I loved it! A lot of it was really about Tristan figuring out what his heart wanted. Everyone makes mistakes and everything about him was just so genuine and sincere that I couldn’t help but forgive everything he did that hurt my heart and Danika’s especially given his profuse and sincere apology. And, to be fair to him, his mistakes were never stupid, they were understandable given his past… they just hurt like fucking hell.
The ending built in intensity. There were ohhhhhhh FUCK moments, tragic moments and finally happiness.
There is no relationship cliffhanger at the end but their story is far from over. We are treated to the first chapter of the next book at the end of this one which gives a solid idea of where their story will go. Also, given some of the things we know about their future from Up In The Air, we know they have a rocky road ahead of them but I am so looking forward to seeing them work through it.
The author has confirmed that she will be making this a trilogy and she has a whole series of FAQs that I’ve linked at the bottom of the page here. I have come to really trust this author’s writing and I can’t wait to see where she takes their story next.
Timeline-wise, this book took place before In Flight and we actually get several awesome cameos from James Cavendish (the hero of the Up In The Air series) but in his pre-Bianca days. But it was cool to get to see him in a whole new light because we knew him as the kinky fuckhot lover, but in this book we actually get to see him at work.
There are no spoilers in this book for the Up In The Air series. I’d really call this a spin-off series. Many of the characters in from the UITA series not only make an appearance, but are main supporting characters in this book but at the same time, you could easily read this as a stand alone. My personal recommendation though would be to read the UITA series in full first. I think you’d get the most complete picture that way but it’s not absolutely necessary.
R.K. Lilley’s writing is addictive, her stories are captivating and you are guaranteed to fall in love with her characters. There is a reason she’s one of my favorite authors! I highly recommend this book! It was an absolutely wonderful read!
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 will be 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 🙂