Review: Lovely Trigger (#3, Tristan and Danika) by R.K. Lilley

My Thoughts

The perfect conclusion to a fiery romance that was as addictive
as it was sexy and so heartfelt that it brought me to tears!
This series is a must read!

5stars

Synopsis

lovely trigger  right sizeTHE IMPACT

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.

THE AFTERMATH

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. 

THE REUNION

Over six years after the night that changed everything, Danika finds herself forced to spend the weekend constantly in Tristan’s company, as they attend the wedding of two of their dearest friends. It’s been long enough that she feels they can be friendly again without it destroying her peace of mind, but just a small amount of time in his presence has her remembering something she had forced herself to forget: There’d been a reason she’d gone through hell with this man, for this man, some true good to precede the bad. 

She shocks herself by quickly giving in to a hunger that she never imagined could still consume her.

Even the best intentioned denial has a breaking point. 

THE HARSH REALITY

After everything that’s happened, the rise and the fall, the pain and the aftermath, can these two navigate the waters of acute regret, survive the trials of coming face to face with all that they have lost, and find the strength to try again?

My Review

“Love is not about want.
Love is not about good.
Love doesn’t let you walk away clean.
Love is messy.
Love takes a fucking piece of you before it’s done.”

I absolutely loved this series. And I absolutely loved the ending. This final installment packs an emotional punch, one that delivers heart, angst, sexual tension, and a happily ever after that left my heart brimming with fullness and happiness. It’s a bittersweet feeling to finish the series, particularly after going through such a gut-wrenching journey with these two characters. Despite everything they’ve endured — both together and apart — their love is not forgotten. It’s always there. Palpable. Passionate. Longing. The end of Rock Bottom completely shattered me. That book was all pain… a gradual decent towards a darkness that would dictate Tristan and Danika’s journey for years to come. And so that is where we start Lovely Trigger… 6 years after the emotional, heartbreaking end of Rock Bottom.

“I’m Tristan. I am an alcoholic and a drug addict. I’m here because using cost me the love of my life.”

Tristan lives with a consuming guilt. So much was lost during his downward spiral. He feels responsible for the demise of his family… for what happened to Danika. I could feel the immense pain that this man carried. My heart ached for him. Tristan made some awful choices. He didn’t realize just how much Jared’s death had affected him and the grief swallowed him whole. That grief, coupled with his volatility, led to some bad things happening. Bad things he couldn’t take back. Danika suffered greatly, both emotionally and physically, and the stark reality of what they both went through was staggering. Months… years after their tumultous split, they each endeavor to get on with life, but we see their thoughts are never far from the other. It’s almost as if they lived parallel lives that circled around the other, never quite converging, but always so close.

“What we’d had together; it was beautiful. Nothing else had ever come close, and a day didn’t go by that I’d forgotten that.”

For Danika, she continued to keep secrets from Tristan and her friends of everything she did go through and the brutal consequences of it all. She had suffered and continued to suffer the loss of so many things. It seemed as if the joy had left her and she was merely existing day after day, focused solely on her job. Romantically, nothing came close to the feelings she had for Tristan. Despite those feelings, she knew they were bad for each other. She was determined to find healthy and happy away from his arms no matter how fresh their separation still felt. Trouble was, Tristan wasn’t ready to let it all go.

“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.”

With alternating POVs, we really get to see and feel their struggles. Year by year, we see how they’re doing, how much they miss each other and how they continue to work through their separation. This is a couple that has lived through the unbearable, but you just knew that they belonged together. The passion they felt was entirely too right to be permanently forgotten. They both needed to come to terms with what had happened first before they could find their way back to each other. There is so much turmoil, indecision and fear, particularly for Danika. Could they find the good kind of happiness with each other? Had too much happened in their past that they would never be able to surpass? Could she trust him again?

“How could one person, who’d proven to be so inherently bad for me, so wrong, still be so utterly necessary for my happiness? It wasn’t fair.”

I loved how relentless Tristan was. He fought so hard to show Danika how much he had changed. How much he loved her still. How a life apart was simply no life at all. Their sexual chemistry continued to blaze and there were some amazingly steamy scenes that reminded us why they were so perfect for each other on every level.

Ultimately, this was a story of resilience, transformation, passion and love. Both Tristan and Danika needed to work through everything that had happened to be able to come back together. Tristan had to earn Danika’s trust and Danika needed to overcome her fears in order to let herself love again. Their relationship is perfectly imperfect and the way their story concluded was every bit as heart wrenching as before, but in the most beautiful, heartwarming way. I was once again in tears by the story’s end. I have honestly felt so attached to these characters and I’m so sad to be done with the series. It’s incredibly well written and I can’t wait to read more from the talented R.K. Lilley!

“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.”

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Reading Order and Purchase Links

Click on the cover to purchase from Amazon U.S.

bad things.jpg rock bottom cover lovely trigger  right size

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