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.
I want to start by saying I love Tristan and Danika, book 1 Bad Things, which you must read before reading this review or the book, was a 5 star read for me. These were two characters that stuck with me when I first read about them and two who are still running around in my heart as I write this review and attempt to do this book justice without sharing too many plot details.
Rock Bottom opens were Bad Things left off with Tristan and Danika dealing with the loss of Jared; Tristan’s brother, who I know I adored and so hoped would find a path without destructive consequences.
This book is a powerful and gut wrenching portrayal of a man who goes through so much in his life; so many negative events while the one thing he cherishes most, Danika, is pushed to her limits as she watches Tristan swirl into addiction.
I have said it before and I will say it again….Its not what life gives you, it’s what you do with it; sadly for an addict like Tristan, heartache and tragedy become more of a reason to crawl into a bottle or turn to drugs. It fuels the cycle of destruction, one made even harder for Tristan as he is surrounded by many who enable his problems and sees Danika as a problem not a solution to these issues.
I do not want to tell you what Tristan and Danika encounter in this story though I will say it was wild ride that I am certain any two people might have a hard time dealing with. The events felt true to the characters developed and truly pulled at my heart.
I love the dual point of views in this book; it was wonderful to hear from Tristan and Danika. Both dealing with unbearable events throughout this book. you do get a third POV as a small portion of this book the reader gets to hear from Frankie, the tattoo artist seen in Bad Things and in the Up in the Air Series. Yes, I love Frankie!
This sequence of scenes is so well done, it will have you understanding Frankie and bit more and likely if you have not meet James Cavendish from the Up in the Air series, this scene will have you wanting to read this story!
Ok I feel like I should pause and address the Up in the Air Series; if you have not read this series already now is a good time to read it as Rock Bottom leaves off before the start of that series and the author warns that book 3 of Tristan and Danika, Lovely Trigger, will have spoilers from the Up in the Air series in it. This will give you James Cavendish’s story!
If you have already read the Up in the Air series as I did then you will be happy to know Rock Bottom does provide the backstory to what happened to Tristan and Danika something many readers have wondered about.
If you hated Dean, Tristan’s friend and bandmate in Bad Things, trust me you will despise him by the end of Rock Bottom. He plays a critical role in this book and truly shows how addicts really need to control their environment if they ever truly want to find a way out.
This book for me provided a range of emotions as started this review, I will repeat, I loved Tristan and Danika, I managed to fall in love with them all over again; Ms. Lilly made me feel their love; she also made my heart ache for them; and made me hope against hope these two would find a way to make it work.
Though Rock Bottom will provide you with the what happened, it will not provide you with a forward timeline to the one you are left with at the end of Grounded… so please please make sure to read the teaser for Lovely Trigger than Ms. Lilly provides at the end of the book. For me that provided enough that I am not holding my breath until early 2014.
As for Lovely Trigger I hope will be the second chance romance; Tristan and Danika finding their way back together after Tristan sobers up and Danika learns to process all that happens to her.
I am very much anxiously awaiting Lovely Trigger (Tristan and Danika 3)
Teaser posted on our blog
WARNING: This teaser contains spoilers for those who haven’t read Bad Things.
The Record Deal
We tracked Tristan down in a crowd of people laughing by the pool. He was talking to Kenny, with Cory and Dean just a few feet away. The band was back together. I could tell at a glance. And the man in a suit that seemed to be kissing their ass made my gut twist.
I was about to lose him. The thought was swift and hard to shake. But something was happening here, some big move for the band that was bound to take him away from me, be it in time or distance.
He smiled huge when he saw me. I hadn’t seen him so happy since Jared died.
I wanted to throw up I was so worried about what he was going to tell me as he left the group, grabbing my hand and tugging me away.
“I need to talk to you about something,” he explained.
I followed on leaden feet, wanting to stall, or run, whatever it took to stop this thing in its tracks. I was being ridiculous, I knew, but knowing that didn’t stop the horrible feeling in my gut. “That sounds ominous,” I told him, keeping my voice steady.
“It’s nothing bad. It’s good, I think, actually.”
He pulled me until we found a private little corner on the side of the house. He moved close, touching his forehead to mine and smiling before he began.
“We just got a record deal.”
I’d known it, known by the happy reunion of the band, who hadn’t been together since the funeral, that this was happening. It had always been heading in this direction.
He swallowed, his eyes suddenly downcast. “It was what Jared always wanted. It’s not right that he’s not here to see it.”
I melted, stroking a hand over his cheek, trying to offer him whatever comfort I could.
“The rest of the guys are all over it, and I’m happy for them, especially Kenny, but I’m not sure I’m up for it. The band…the entire thing is not the same for me without Jared. It won’t be at all hard for them to find a new lead singer. They’re a dime a dozen.”
He was delusional if he thought the band would fare as well without him. Hell, I didn’t think they’d still have a record deal if he backed out, but that wasn’t for me to say.
It was a touchy question, and hard for me to ask, but… “What about Jared’s spot? Don’t you need another guitarist?”
He grimaced, running a hand through his hair. “We had enough guys that we don’t technically need another member, but the record company has someone that they wanted us to use. I haven’t met him, but I hear he’s good. I’m happy for the guys, but like I said, I’m not sure I’m up for it. None of it would be the same for me without Jared. Just the thought of someone else taking his spot makes me feel sick.”
I saw what he wanted from me, even if he didn’t.
He tried so hard to hide all of his pent-up frustration at life, his malcontent with the hand he’d been dealt; a talented man who was good at everything, of sound mind and exceptional body, and yet had nothing to do with it, nowhere to put it to its proper use.
He’d been raised in a world where his potential had been valued at so much less than its worth. He was ambitious. He’d never admit it, because it was a pipe dream where he came from, but his ambitions were a hot burning thing, beyond his control, and he needed this.
I buried my hands in his hair, touching my forehead back to his. It wasn’t easy, but when I spoke, I made my voice sure. “I think you should do it. Opportunities like these don’t come often, and when they do, you have to grab them. This is what Jared would have wanted.”
“It’s just not the same without him. It never will be.”
“No, it won’t. It will be completely different, but that doesn’t mean it won’t still be good. For the guys and for you. And for Jared. It was his dream for the band to make it, and he was not selfish. He’d be just as happy if you made it without him. But you’re never really without him. He’ll always be a part of you, right? And that part of you needs to do this, baby.”
He hugged me to him, his face burrowing into my neck, breathing me in, making my eyes flutter closed in pleasure. “Thank you. You’re my rock, sweetheart. I don’t know what I’d do without you. You make everything better.”
I melted into a messy little puddle at his feet. Having this man love me like he did had become my whole world.
Though he’d put up a token protest, I knew he wanted this bad, and I couldn’t blame him. I understood his need for this. I desperately wanted to amount to something too, and so I didn’t ever even consider holding him back.
About the Author
R.K. Lilley lives in Colorado with her husband and their two beautiful sons. She’s had a lot of interesting jobs, from being a first class flight attendant, to being a stablehand, but swears she never knew what hard work was until she had children. She’s been addicted to both reading and writing fiction since she can remember. She loves to travel, read, hike, paint, game, watch anime, and make the most of every single day. She is the author of the erotic romance novels In Flight, Mile High, Grounded, and the novella, Lana.
Book 1 – Bad Things – read Denise’s 5 STAR review here
Book 2 – Rock Bottom