Review From User :
**** FULL REVIEW NOW POSTED ****
What a beautiful ending to Tristan & Danika's story!!
If you love second chance romance, this is a must-read series! In this final instalment of the Tristan & Danika trilogy, R.K. Lilley truly brought this love story full circle. From the first time I met Tristan and Danika's characters in the Up In The Air trilogy, I've loved them and been intrigued by their story. What could have happened to make two people who so clearly loved each other become so estranged And, would they ever find their way back to each other after hitting rock bottom ... In this trilogy, all our questions were answered as we were taken through the highs and lows of Tristan and Danika's tumultuous, heart wrenching, and passionate relationship.
"I'm Tristan. I am an alcoholic and a drug addict. I'm here because using cost me the love of my life."
I won't go into too much detail about the plot but there is some of it that isn't a secret because, when we saw Tristan and Danika in the Up In The Air books, we knew that they spent years apart. In the first book of this series, we saw the love and passion that brought them together, in the second book, we found out the cause of their tragic separation, and in this last book, we discovered what took place during those six years apart and what finally happened to bring them back together.
"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."
Taking us year by year throughout their separation, we got to see how they coped, how they dealt with the pain, what they felt, what they did, and where their hearts still lay. I loved how, despite all the bad that happened to them, and despite everything that came between them (even if those things were sometimes their own actions), neither of them every truly stopped loving the other.
"How can you still love her so much..."
"Because that's how love works. It doesn't die, even when you don't feed it. That's just the way it is... Loving her has become a part of who I am."
Even though their separation was painful, I also understood it and I loved how they never truly lost their connection... and when the healing finally began, I just couldn't stop smiling.
"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."
Everything was realistically paced -- never rushed -- and throughout it all were these undercurrents of the kind of passion that only comes from true once-in-a-life time love tempered with the reluctance that only comes after immense heartbreak. Their was not an easy path and my heart went out to them as they slowly rebuilt everything that had been broken. They were both fighting their respective battles and it was both painful and heartwarming to see Tristan work so hard to regain Danika's trust and to see her want to trust him but be understandably wary of putting her heart out on the line again.
"Love doesn't let you walk away clean. Love is messy. Love takes a fucking piece of you before it's done."
At the end of the day though, despite all the pain and heartache, there was no doubt that they really were perfect for each other and seeing them happy just had me smiling for pages on end. I loved their teasing, their banter, their games and private jokes, their passion, their love... everything.
Tristan and Danika were just one of those couple who you knew were meant to be together. I was proud of them honestly. I'd seen them at their best and at their worst, I'd seen them both mature and heal and finally find their way back together. I was wiping happy tears by the end. It really was a beautiful, heart-melting end to their story.
"Oh sweetheart. You haven't been paying attention. I am the guy who has been in love with you for over six fucking years. I am the guy who has thought about you every day. I miss you every day. What happened -- what we lost together -- breaks my heart, but it doesn't change anything."
I think that second chance romances are some of the most powerful ones because not only do you have an epic love but you also have the first hand knowledge of what it's like to have lost that love... so when it's found again, you can't help but treasure it.
"You were not responsible for making me worse. But I'll tell you one thing, it's a fact that you were responsible for making me better."
I absolutely adore RK Lilley's writing. I've loved every single book I've read from her. Her characters and their stories just draw you in and you can't help but be feel invested in their lives. She's one of my favorite authors and I highly recommend all her books for anyone who loves hot, passionate, addictive romance.
The Tristan & Danika trilogy is a spin-off of the Up In The Air trilogy (in which we first met Tristan and Danika as side characters). Both trilogies can be read on their own though and you don't need to read them both to understand the stories. However, their timelines are interconnected.
The first 2 books of this trilogy, Bad Things and Rock Bottom take place 5 years before In Flight (the first book in the Up In The Air trilogy). Then, chronologically, come the three books of the Up In The Air trilogy.... and then finally comes Lovely Trigger (the last book in the Tristan & Danika trilogy).
So chronologically, this would be the order of the books:
Bad Things (Tristan & Danika #1)
Rock Bottom (Tristan & Danika #2) - starts right after Bad Things
In Flight (Up In The Air #1) - starts 5 years after the end of Rock Bottom
Mile High (Up In The Air #2)
Grounded (Up In The Air #3)
Lovely Trigger (Tristan & Danika #3) - starts 6 years after the end of Rock Bottom
However, the suggested reading order is to read all 3 Up In The Air books, and then the Tristan & Danika trilogy. Trust me, it all works out very clearly :)
Here's my casting for Tristan & Danika:
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Tristan hit rock bottom, and no one felt the impact harder than Danika. She was forced to see, in the most brutal of ways, that love does not conquer all. Bruised, bloody, and broken she had to walk away.
Picking up the pieces of your life after a tragedy is a daunting prospect, and that’s considering you still own all of the pieces. But what if you don’t? What if someone else owns those pieces, and those pieces are a part of your soul?
You dig deep and work with what you’ve got.
That’s what Danika told herself and believed, every single day, for years.
Tristan and Danika’s love had failed every test that life had thrown at them. She couldn’t forget that, not for one second. And if those tests had been overly harsh, well, she wasn’t one to wallow in self-pity. The failure was the thing she had to focus on. The failure was the lesson. She had no intention of working so hard to make it out of hell without learning that lesson well.