Lovely Trigger (Tristan and Danika 3) by R.K. Lilley
Adult Contemporary/Erotic. Does not stand alone.
“ Some of the sweetest moments in life come from second chances.”
R.K. Lilley has always been one of my favorite authors with her Up In The Air Series, but The Tristan and Danika Series takes my love to a whole new level. All three books in this series are 5 star reads. If you have not read the first two in the series, Bad Things and Rock Bottom, please do not read on. Lovely Trigger does not stand alone. This series does, however, cross with the Up In The Air Series. The first two books occur before In Flight, and Lovely Trigger occurs after Grounded. I fell in love with Tristan in the Up In The Air Books, in fact, he was one of my biggest book crushes ever, made even bigger in Bad Things. But Rock Bottom GUTTED me.
Seeing what addiction can do to a person and the people who love them is a scary thing, and reading how my big, gorgeous, tattooed, talented, dominant Tristan was broken by the partying lifestyle was not an easy read. Reading how Danika was affected was even harder. Their love was so explosive, so meant-to-be, so off the charts, it’s like they needed each other’s air to breathe. But sometimes that much intense love can turn bad, especially when outside factors are involved: fame, drugs and asshole ‘friends’.
In Lovely Trigger, all I wanted was to see the charming Tristan back to his sexy, flirty, funny, charming self. He was, to a point. But this time with regrets and in recovery. The first few chapters of Lovely Trigger take place during the intervening 6 years when Tristan and Danika are apart but run into each other occasionally at social and business functions. His sobriety was dicey at first.
“I needed my sobriety, I’m nothing without it, and you were a lovely trigger for me.
The way you looked at me like I was scum and knowing I deserved all of your antipathy.
I knew that if you looked at me like that again, I’d hit rock bottom and this time I wouldn’t come back from it .”
But as the years passed, he became a better, stronger Tristan in many ways.
“I’d been torn apart and put back together, and though I knew the end result was better now than who I’d been before, somedays it didn’t feel that way. Lots of days, it just felt like the world had lost it’s color, and the only things that defined my life were the things that I’d lost.”
He held out hope for a reconciliation with Danika for a long time before he knew he needed to focus on his recovery without her. But Danika, though she said she forgave him, she never let it go. How could she? Still, she kept tabs on him. She had another boyfriend, but he was just nice. He’d had other women, but they were just a release. Over the years, Tristan and Danika never truly fell out of love. Danika may have convinced herself she did, but Tristan knew things hadn’t changed at all for him.
“Because that’s how love works. It doesn’t die, even when you don’t feed it. That’s just the way it is. I wouldn’t change it, even if I could. Loving her has become a part of who I am.”
When we get to around the six year mark, Tristan and Danika are at an event where they can’t avoid each other. BAM. The old chemistry is back again in a BIG way!
That chemistry was all the opening Tristan needed.
“We needed to become best friends again. Yes, that was how I would do it. I needed to become so essential in her life that she couldn’t conceive walking away.
I meant to break her.
Needed to break her.”
Even though he wanted more, as long as she was in his life in some way, he could cope again.
“I longed to have her in my life. In any capacity. I’d literally take anything. I wouldn’t be happy with less than everything, but I’d take what I could get.”
What I really loved was that R.K. took her time with this story. There was no rush. While physically they still found it hard to keep hands, mouths and body parts away from each other, they still took it very slowly. There is a LOT of bad blood and past to get over. But Tristan is determined, now that they live in the same town again, he isn’t letting it go.
“Whatever you need me to be, I’ll be that. Whatever you want me to do, however we need to make this work, we will do it.”
As they get back to some type of relationship, slowly you can see each of them come alive again. It’s like they were just surviving for 6 years, and finally they are doing more than just existing, they are coming back to life. Watching this couple struggle with past regrets and hurts was realistic, and as they began to heal, so did I.
I loved how the humor, fun and banter between the two started to come back, there were several laugh out loud moments. But Tristan still didn’t know the extent of how much he broke Danika. Still had black spots in his memory of the days he was using. Plus, the intervening 6 years were hard for them each to swallow, especially when the people they each slept with turn up often. But still, there was no denying the amazing connection between the couple. They were meant for each other, and it was clear they would never feel that same passion for anyone else.
“I knew she still loved me. I could see it now, even if she was still in the throes of denial. She didn’t have to say it in words. She spoke to me in so many other ways. Her love spoke to me in every surrendering line of her body. It spilled out of her pure silver eyes every time she looked at me. She was mine again. And, even when she hadn’t wanted me, when I’d lost all faith, I’d always, always been hers”
- Could not have been a more well-done and complete ending to Tristan and Danika’s story.
- RK can write pretty awesome sex! Mmmmm…lots of wall sex.
- Though the characters had grown over their time apart, they never lost the essence of who they are.
- Lots of the humor that I loved so much about Tristan.
- RK took her time telling this story. There was no rush, there was way too much baggage for the couple, especially Danika, to just get over.
- Visiting with ALL of the characters from the Up In The Air Series and Lana.
- That all-consuming passion that Tristan and Danika had for each other was back in a big way, yet you couldn’t help but worry.
- The perfect amount of character growth without changing the essence of who they are.
- Told in dual POV.
- An AMAZING epilogue.
- There were a few details brought up that I just couldn’t remember, and I felt myself struggling with a few scenes because of the memory lapse.
Rating: 5 Stars, 4.5 Heat
RK Lilley is one of my favorite authors, and I have to say, this series is one of my favorite ever. The series is 5 stars all the way through, and had I remembered the small details of Rock Bottom better, this book would have been a 5+++++ star read for me. I laughed, I cried (good and bad tears), I jumped my husband, and I fell in love with the ‘new’ Tristan and Danika. This series makes you fall in love, then breaks you, then puts you back together in a different way, but a way that is stronger than ever.
BRAVO R.K. Lilley, for a 5 star series from start to finish.
“Love doesn’t let you walk away clean. Love is messy…. Love takes a fucking piece of you before it’s done.”
Purchase Lovely Trigger by R.K. Lilley