Friday, October 17, 2014

Review: Bad Things (Tristan & Danika #1) by R.K. Lilley

Danika hasn't had an easy life.  The fact that she is always attracted to the bad boys hasn't made it any easier.  After just one look at Tristan, all logical thought flees her mind.  Tristan is trouble.  She knew better than to start a relationship with him, but she did it anyway.

While Danika has always been focused on the future with single-minded purpose, Tristan managed to teach her everything about letting go and living for the moment.  She falls hard and fast.

This isn't a typical love story, this is a train wreck. This is Tristan and Danika.

Both Tristan and Danika have small roles in the Up in the Air Series.  However, this can be read as a standalone book.
~My Review~

I bought this book right after I finished reading the Up in the Air Series.  Having been introduced to Tristan and Danika then, I honestly couldn't wait to hear their story.  I wasn't sure what to expect, whether their relationship was going to be a lot like James and Bianca's (would it have the BDSM aspect?) or if it would be totally different.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that their story was completely different.  Once again, just like the books in Up in the Air, I couldn't put this book down!!

Danika lives a very ordered and somewhat boring life.  She works as a nanny for a family in Las Vegas, she goes to school, and she dances.  Other than that, she doesn't seem to have many friends and she never goes out.  When Danika meets Tristan, he turns her world upside down.  Tristan is the complete opposite of Danika, living life for the moment, overindulging, and is just Trouble.  While Tristan has no qualms about starting a relationship with Danika, she pushes back, knowing that she's attracted to the bad boy and that Tristan is the epitome of bad boy.  They attempt to keep their relationship as uncomplicated as possible, but that really only works for a short time before they both give in to their feelings and make their relationship a real thing.

This book really defined the "opposites attract" theory.  Danika was serious about life, sometimes to the extreme, and only did relationships.  Tristan was sometimes not serious enough about life, and only did hookups.  These choices came from their pasts, where Danika came from an abusive home and craved the stability of a serious relationship, and Tristan, having fallen in love at a young age and then having his heart broken, never wanted to have his heart broken again and only wanted quick hookups.  The only thing they really had in common was trust issues and the fact that they really liked each other.  The characters were so well developed that I couldn't help but fall in love with them.

Their chemistry literally almost lit my kindle on fire.  I loved first how they created such an amazing friendship, and then how they skirted the lines of friendship, teased each other mercilessly, and eventually finally gave in.  Their relationship, once they dated, was crazy, as well.  The scenes (lots of sex!) were totally different than anything we read in Up in the Air, and they were totally original and fit into T&D's personalities.

The book flowed so well.  Never once did I feel bored, or feel like things were moving too slow, or even feel like things were moving too fast.  I loved how we got little glimpses of some of the characters from Up in the Air.  T&D's story takes place about 5 years before James and Bianca, so while we never once see Bianca, we do see a very promiscuous James, his swank pad (the pool in Vegas), and Frankie & Estella.  I also love to see the relationships.  We get to see how Tristan and Danika both meet James and how Frankie and Danika meet.

I do have to admit, that while it's easy to love Tristan (the fact that he could cook/bake, the body, the tattoos, the dimples, the rock band, and the Alpha Male possessiveness and 
protectiveness over Danika), there were a lot of times when I just wanted to strangle him.  Yes, he was charming, but he just needed to get his head in the game!  Danika brought out the good in him, the man that wanted to commit to a woman, but there were still so many times when I just wanted to shake my fist at him.  I honestly did not like his friends, at all, and while his friends help to define who Tristan is, they just had bad news and bad influence written all over them.

Once they finally gave into each other, their relationship was hard work.  At the end of the day, we are all shaped by our pasts, and Tristan and Danika are not exempt of this.  Tristan can't do commitment and Danika can do casual and when things go wrong, they really go wrong.  I could see both of their points of view, and while I was more inclined to side with Danika, I could still understand where they were both coming from.  Neither of Tristan or Danika's pasts stay in the past, and it's interesting to see how their pasts shape their current relationship.  Tristan's relationship with his brother and mother is beautiful, but it's not always happy.

The book runs about 360 pages (6008 Location Points for Kindle users), and as I mentioned before, it flows really well.  But it isn't all happy moments.  It's also intense, sometimes tragic, and difficult.  While the book doesn't end on a cliffhanger in Tristan & Danika's relationship, their story is definitely not over.  We're treated to Chapter 1 of Rock Bottom, so we get an idea of what may happen in Book 2.  And it won't be pretty.  We know, from Up in the Air, that Tristan and Danika's story, at least until we get to Bianca and James's timeline, doesn't end happily, so we can only guess that they won't find their Happily Ever After for a while, if at all.  I started reading this book once Rock Bottom had already been released, so I know that there's a book 3 for T&D....So it's going to take a while before they can work through everything..

Link to Amazon
Link to Nook

Other books in the series:
Rock Bottom (Tristan & Danika #2)
Lovely Trigger (Tristan & Danika #3)
In Flight (Up in the Air #1)
Mile High (Up in the Air #2)
Grounded (Up int he Air #3)
Lana (A Novella)

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