Review: Rock Bottom by R.K. Lilley


Rock Bottom (Tristan & Danika #2) by R.K. Lilley
R.K. Lilley (November 25, 2013)

Rating: B+
Heat: Hot

Heroine: Danika – Dancer, Nanny 
Hero: Tristan Vega – Rising Rock Star, Lead Singer





I have a love/hate relationship with this book. I loved the characters and the story, but I hated the characters and story at the same time. Sounds crazy, I know! I felt so discombobulated and emotionally strung out by the last page (which I predicted what would happen by the perfect title of the book). I just never expected to be punched in the gut over and over until I was left breathless.

Rock Bottom picks up where Bad Things ended. Tristan and Danika are trying to move on with their lives after the tragic loss of Tristan’s brother. They are crazy, madly, insanely in love with one another, but they are flawed and damaged characters with issues that go skin deep. Tristan’s band is moving to LA to record their first album and Danika has stayed in Las Vegas to attend school, dance, and stay on as her friend’s nanny. Tristan and Danika are living separate lives but miss each other like crazy. But they do get to see each other and, when they are together, they are inseparable. Still, the distance is taking an emotional toll on their relationship. Tristan’s band is beginning to rise to the top of stardom and Danika supports Tristan every step of the way, even though it’s hard on her. She’s afraid she might lose him if she doesn’t hold on to him tightly. As the story continues, their relationship is put through the wringer - and tested repeatedly - when drugs, alcohol, groupies, grief, distance, betrayal, and tragedy continues to get in the way of their happiness. Will they be able to persevere through it all? Will their powerful, all-consuming love be enough to save them?

Oh, Tristan… How I love thee. He’s one of my favorite tortured, possessive, wild, hard, utterly sexy, insatiable, and intense Alpha heroes. He loves Danika fiercely and would do anything, anything for her. But life has dealt him a bad hand when he lost his brother and the blows kept on coming. Slowly things get worse with Tristan as he continues down a dark path where he is drowning in his sorrow and guilt. He doesn’t know how to deal with his issues. With his savior complex, he wants to save and protect the ones he loves but, at the same time, he’s lost – so incredibly, undeniably lost, and can’t seem to save himself.

Danika loves Tristan immensely, but loving Tristan is not easy – and maybe she loves him too much. She has a hard time saying no to him, which enables Tristan when he begins to go down a destructive path. When he starts to change, she would forgive him time and again. Danika fears she would push him too far and feared of losing him. And honestly, I understood why she felt helpless to the point she didn’t know what to do. If someone doesn’t want your help, then there isn’t anything you can do. Danika is not without her own flaws and insecurities, but she does relentlessly try to make things work between them.

I’m addicted to messy, complicated relationships with imperfect love and deeply flawed characters, which is why I’m drawn to Tristan and Danika’s story. While I thought Bad Things was a whirlwind of crazy, it's mild compared to the emotional turmoil Rock Bottom put me through. This book shattered my heart. What Tristan and Danika experience was painful, sad… punishing. It was like watching a train wreck careening out control… in slow motion. The devastating mess that became Tristan and Danika in the aftermath left me feeling raw – which brings up the question: Does this book end in a cliffhanger? Sort of. You will be reeling from the series of events that happen to them. All of their bad choices finally catch up to them. Their lives will never be the same. But, before you stop reading on the final page, there is a little teaser for book 3, Lovely Trigger, which might console your broken heart. It also made me want the last book even more!

Though this book is painfully heartbreaking and soul-shattering, we still get to see Tristan and Danika happy as a couple. When they are good together, they are awesome. And the chemistry between them is loaded with frenzied passion, desire, and love. The sexy times are explosive and there are tons of them. TONS. I love how they can’t keep their hands off each other – they’re insatiable.

"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."

Tristan and Danika are one of my utmost favorite passionate, dysfunctional couples. I love how R.K. Lilley doesn’t pull any punches with them. There is nothing fluffy and light about their story. It’s dark and gritty. Miz Lilley took a couple that is madly in love with a future together and then broke them down, until they were stripped bare and broken. Rock Bottom left me with a bleeding heart with all the crazy highs and lows, intense drama, shocking twists, and raw emotions. So, even though I said I loved and hated this book at the same, I genuinely loved it when it’s all said and done.

P.S. This series can be read without having to read the Up in the Air series. I know this for a fact because I have yet to meet the delicious Mr. Cavendish and all his glory. With the little sneak peek of him in this book, I’m definitely intrigued and need to remedy that.


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