Tristan Vega may just be my top book boyfriend this year. Sexy, swoonalicious, big, charming, dancing, cookie baking, bossy, fun, and he even has dimples! Oh, and wait, there is more…..tattoos, fiercely protective and and in a band. Hello??? Who wouldn’t fall in love?!
“I tried to pretend that I hadn’t even heard that sexy as hell laugh. I knew that we were going to be a dangerous combination. Bad things were going to happen if we spent too much time around each other”
I first fell for Tristan in Grounded by RK Lilley (See the Up In The Air Series). I fell hard for the charming, sexy, big, tattooed flirt. So when I saw RK Lilley was writing Tristan and Danika’s story, you have no idea how excited I was. But time had passed, and as much as I remembered crushing on him, I didn’t remember much else. Which is OK. Bad Things actually takes place before the Up In The Air Series, and though connected, can totally be read alone. In fact, you may even like it more if you don’t brush up on the characters first, since then you will know what happens in the future. Bad Things has no spoilers for the Up In The Air Series, so there is no problem reading this first either. There will, however, be at least one more book in this series. Though Bad Things doesn’t have a cliffhanger, there is still much more story to be told.
Danika is working as a nanny for her best friend Bev and her husband, Jerry. Jerry invited his friend Tristan to stay with them while he waits for his new apartment to be ready.
“And his arms. Jesus. His arms were huge, which was kind of a thing for me. I thought they might have been even bigger than my waist….. And the tattoos…God, the tattoos.”
The attraction between Tristan and Danika is so strong it jumps off the page. But Tristan only does random hookups, and Danika only does relationships. So they decide to be friends, despite their huge mutual attraction (Tristan has to continually “take showers” every few hours when he is around her (heehee)). Tristan is lead singer in a band, a magician, and a club promoter. He is out dancing and partying every night. Danika, who has never had a social life, is suddenly invited out, as friends, every night.
“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.”
If I didn’t think Tristan was perfect enough, because we get to see the story from Tristan’s POV as well as Danika’s, we know he is also a really good guy. He’s not doing the hookups because he’s a dick, but because he has been hurt badly in the past. And Danika has a rough, heartbreaking past as well. When Tristan and Danika get together under the guise of “friends with benefits”, with their awesome banter and huge amounts of sexual tension, you can not put this book down. Even the sexual tension is hot. So when they finally get together…BAM.
“Tell me not to kiss you.”
“Don’t kiss me.”
“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.”
Danika has not had a lot of experience, never even had an orgasm that wasn’t self-induced. Tristan loves a challenge, so he makes sure to change that. And boy oh boy…. *is it getting hot in here?* Tristan definitely has some Dom tendencies, though this is not really a BDSM story. He isn’t hard-core like James (who shows up numerous times in this in a mostly professional capacity. Bad Things takes place pre-Bianca), but he does make sure Danika gives up control to him, and he does use restraints.
“Please won’t help you right now, Miss Over-thinker. This isn’t about letting you stay in control. This is about making you lose your mind. I say when you’re ready, and I plan to take my time getting you there.”
“I want you to let go. I wan’t you to submit. I want to make you lose your mind. I want you to be so far gone that the only word left in your vocabulary is my name.”
Their fuck-buddy status was supposed to be casual. After all, Tristan didn’t do relationships. But Danika is falling hard. And has come almost to the point of obsession. But while she knew Tristan wanted her, it wasn’t the same way she wanted him.
“…watching him onstage made me see just how powerful he was, what a force of nature his very presence was. Part of me loved it, loved him like this, in his element, and part of me hated it. It was terrifying, because deep down I knew that you could never hold on to a man like this. He would become too big to live a normal life. It seemed inevitable.”
This is an interesting book to read, because you already know where they are in the future. But where did Danika get her limp? As much as I hope we get to see the couple get their happy ending, I just can’t see how RK Lilley can do it in 2 books. There is just so much more story to tell!
- OMG, did I say Tristan was amazing? A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.
- I really loved Danika’s smart, sassy, say what’s on your mind personality too.
- Though you wanted to punch Tristan a few times, you get him, and love him even more.
- The James Cavendish Cameos.
- I laughed, I cried (a lot), I jumped my husband, I was breathless…..
- The side characters were all great, even the ones you hate.
- Frankie, the lesbian tattoo artist, played a big part in this story and I really liked her.
- Though this is clearly the first in a series, it doesn’t leave you with a painful cliffhanger.
- Great sex scenes (RK never disappoints)
- There was angst, and you know there will be more, but you just can’t look away!
- Knowing the outcome, yet hoping that there will be a book beyond the Grounded timeframe.
Rating 5 stars 4.5 Heat
I absolutely loved this book from the first page on. I love a book with banter, and there was plenty. I love when roommates/BFFs try to stay away but can’t. There was angst, excruciating heartbreak, jealousy, protectiveness, love, great sex, and that question that lingers….are they good or bad for each other?
“For the first time in my life, I trusted someone enough to take that control from me, I gave him that control willingly, and that trust healed something raw and aching deep inside me.”
Purchase Bad Things by RK Lilley
Come back on Monday, June 24th for a character bios of Tristan & Danika!
“I have an idea,” Tristan said, moving around the kitchen counter, and into the dining room.
He opened up a drawer of the desk that ran along the far wall.
“That sounds ominous,” I said, following him.
“On a scale of one to ten, how much do you like the last guy that you slept with?” Tristan asked me with an arched brow and a crooked smile, flashing those dimples at me. He used those things like a weapon.
“My ex? Negative five, since I’m feeling mellow right now,” I said instantly.
He nodded. “Exactly. The last girl I hooked up with threw a drink at another chick for smiling at me, and the one before that started nagging me about my drinking after we’d hooked up one time. Sex turns women into nagging psychos, and it turns men into straight-up assholes. Now, how much do you like me?”
I wrinkled my nose at him. “Right this second? Well, this little speech is kind of annoying but I do kind of like you most of the time. I’ll give you a solid five.”
He just grinned, not at all offended. I don’t think he would have known what to do with me if I wasn’t giving him shit. “Well, I give you a ten, which averages our friendship out to a solid seven, making you one of my favorite people of all time. I’d like to maintain our average, so I say we make a list.”
He had actually gotten a pen and paper out, and I made sure he saw me roll my eyes.
His grin just widened. “That’s what I love most about you. I never have to wonder what you’re thinking. It’s all right there on your lovely face.”
My scowl just deepened as I saw what he was writing.
‘THE FRIENDS DON’T LIST’ –
Because I like you too much to sleep with you
I sighed loudly. “What is the point of this? We don’t need to write it down.”
He straightened, giving me a look that made things low in my body clench in the most delicious way. His gaze was borderline obscene as he eyed me, top to bottom.
He swallowed hard. “I need to. God, Danika, even your feet are fucking sexy to me, and I like you too fucking much to screw it up. I want to be around you. I’d be sad if you we didn’t see each other anymore, and I’m batting zero at the relationship thing. I’m a good friend, though, so yeah, I need a real clear ‘don’t’ list, so I don’t screw it up.”
I smirked at him. “My feet, huh? My feet are really that sexy? You crazy horn-dog.”
I didn’t want a relationship with him, either. I knew that it would mean the end of us as friends, but knowing that he found me that sexy made me warm all over. It didn’t make me feel dirty to have him look at me like that, it made me feel special. It was a novelty for me, to be sure.
He laughed and nodded, giving me really good eye contact. “Yes. It’s a problem. I’m a man-whore, and you would tempt a saint. Let’s find a way to keep our friendship safe.”
I liked that, liked that he valued my company more than my body. I nodded, finally giving him smile for smile. “Yes. That makes sense. Sex isn’t worth it anyway. It never leaves me with anything but a need for a date with my vibrator, and that’s if I’m lucky.”
He groaned and slapped his forehead. “I need to get that image out of my head. That was cruel. Do you mean that your last boyfriend didn’t make sure you got off?” He asked the question like he just couldn’t help himself. I knew him well enough to know that he couldn’t.
I laughed, trying not to make it sound as bitter as it actually was. “No. I’m saying that none of them did. They couldn’t find a clit with a map. Selfish pricks.”
He ran a hand over his face, and it went a little slack before he looked at me again. “That hurts me deep in my soul, Danika. I wouldn’t do that to you. I’d make sure you came, first and last. I’d go down on you every time, if that’s what you like. I’d lick—“
I held up a hand, giving him an arch look, though I was far from unaffected by his little speech. I wanted badly to see if he was really that good, but I shook myself out of it.
He grimaced. “Sorry, sorry. That was out of line. You can’t tell me stuff like that. It makes me want to punch somebody and, well, do things to you that do not need to be spoken out loud. But it does prove my point about me needing a ‘don’t’ list.”
I nodded. It was becoming apparent that we both needed one. “Yes. Don’t you worry about poor old me. I like my vibrator just fine. Better than any cock that’s ever come near me, in fact.”
He closed his eyes, lowered his head, and held up one finger as though he needed a moment.
I giggled, because I had been trying to torment him, and I saw by the oversized bulge in his jeans that I’d succeeded.
I snapped my fingers at him. “Okay, okay, let’s get on with it. Get started with your list.”
1. No sex, no making out, no kissing.
“No getting off and thinking about you?” I asked. Yes, I was trying to torment him.
He held up that finger that made me giggle again. He looked like he was thinking hard for a long moment, finally shaking his head. “Nope. Can’t do that. Sorry. It’s like saying I won’t get hard when I see you wearing a bikini. It would just be a lie. But I won’t torture you with the details, I swear.”
I nodded, still smiling. Teasing just never got old with him. He made it so much fun. He made absolutely everything fun. “The same,” I told him. “I’ll try not to be too loud when I cry out your name as I get myself off.”
He shook his head, looking pained. “So jacked up,” he muttered under his breath.
After a long pause, he started writing again without another word.
2. No getting jealous or complaining about who the other one is dating or hooking up with.
“That goes for you too, right?” I asked archly. “No hitting guys in bars for looking at me funny.”
“I didn’t hit him. I just choked him a little.”
“Um, yeah, that sounds worse than punching. Not helping your argument.”
He completely ignored that, writing.
3. We can hang out whenever we want, but we won’t call it a date, even if we’re doing date-like things
“Would oral be considered date-like?” I asked, just messing with him, as usual. I’d never been able to have sexual banter with a man that didn’t end up making me feel like shit. It was just the opposite with Tristan. For some reason, it made me feel warm and fuzzy every time.
He sent me a twisted grin. “I’m pretty sure that would be breaking the no kissing rule.”
“Pretty sure leaves wiggle room.”
He gave me a look that could only be described as longing. “I do love the way you wiggle.”
He went back to writing.
4. No nagging.
“That counts for you, too. No telling me when I’ve had too many shots. That’s for me to decide.”
He sent me an exasperated look. “Well, if you drink enough shots that you climb on the bar to dance, and some guy grabs you, don’t nag me for beating the shit out of him.”
“That sounds like a clear violation of rule number,” I pointed out.
“That’s not jealousy. That’s me being protective of my buddy.”
I rolled my eyes. It was a fine line.
He started writing again.
5. Always remember that we like each other too much to sleep together, and that sleeping together will ruin EVERYTHING.
6. If the words ‘I love you’ are ever mentioned, it will be assumed that it is in a friendship type context.
7. No talking dirty, or talking about dates with your vibrator.
He sighed, immediately crossing #7 out.
7. No talking dirty, or talking about dates with your vibrator.
“That one is just no fun at all,” he explained.
I giggled. Only Tristan could make me giggle.
He sent me a warm smile.
“I named my vibrator after you,” I told him with a smirk. “He’s small, but he makes up for it by working hard.”
He straightened, moving a little close to show me just how small he wasn’t. I backed up to the edge of the table, and he followed.
He gave me his sinful smile. “I’m big like this everywhere. Don’t make me prove it to you.”
I rolled my eyes. “Every guy says that. It would be refreshing to meet a guy that just admitted to being average-sized, or God forbid, small.”
He shook his head. “You want me to do something crazy. I see your game now. Not falling for it.”
I couldn’t hold back a smile, because I had been egging him on. The man was so outrageous, he’d do anything on a dare. I shrugged. “I’ll never know, but in my imagination it’s very clearly average, bordering on small. No way to change it.”
He pursed his lips, his fingers going to the button on his jeans.
I slapped my hands over my eyes, running away and giggling like a kid.
He overtook me in seconds, picking me up easily. He flung me over his shoulder, heading to the back door.
I knew where this was leading.
“Put me down!” I screeched between giggles. “I just washed my hair!”
“Every time you make me want to pull my dick out for you, for any reason, I’m throwing you in the pool. This is for the sake of our friendship, Danika.”
I was already flying through the air before he’d finished talking. I heard him say Danika right before my head went under.
The bastard. A quote from Danika not long after…
“It wasn’t a don’t list, you douche bag! It may as well have been a fucking to-do list!”