Book Review – Lovely Trigger by R.K. Lilley

by Maryse on March 17, 2014 · 35 comments

in My Book Reviews

Lovely Trigger (Tristan & Danika #3)
Kind of *spoiler* warning: I don’t say much by way of “info” in this review regarding THIS particular book, so I think anyone can read it, but I suggest you just go right to review #1 (my book review of Bad Things by R.K. Lilley (Tristan & Danika #1), and read this series from there. Come back to this review when you’ve finished this book. And then… let’s hold each other. ;) *giggle*

Come to think of it, now that I’m putting in the book-quotes, don’t read this review unless you’ve read book #2. ;)

ME <— such a happy reader right now. *sigh* :) Yah you guys… I’m in book-fog LOVE mode right now, and I’ve been craving this end-of-series bittersweet feeling for ages now!

I got it back. That book-loving feeling.

This truly is one of those “old-school” indie bad-boy series the likes of those we fell in love with way back when. I’ve been on a search ever since and have successfully found more, but believable angsty love-story treasures like this are kind of rare, ya know? And even more so, when the first book hooks you (and keeps you) from the start, the second book is even better (and turns your world upside down for hours on end) and the final book proves to be the best one of ‘em all.

As was the case (for me) with this one!

“Lovely Trigger” —> definitely 5-stars for this one. It was my favorite. I FELT it deep, and right from it’s start.

Maryse: 24% into Lovely Trigger and my heart is aching and I’ve got butterflies. Yep… I’m slow motion reading, seeing and feeling everything at this moment… ’cause it’s so goooood.

Lisa: This book tore me up, not like Rock Bottom, but pretty dark close!

Maryse’s Book Blog: Ahhhhhh Tristan. *swoooooooon* Right now he just feels so much like my beloved Travis in his sweet sadness. I just wanna cuddle him…

Marivett: I’m still in a book hangover after reading LT.

Tee: Ahhh!! You’re making me wanting to do a reread and I just read it like 3 days ago! lol

Sharon: I am about 65% into book one and I don’t want to finish it, because I don’t want to know what more is going to happen.

Vicki: I finished it!!! It was great! Everything you want in a great book. My emotions were all over the place. Sad, happy, mad, excited!! I loved it!!

Wendy: I did the same thing Maryse! Slow motion read because I wanted to read every single word and feel every single emotion. Plus, I didn’t want it to end Glad you’re loving it!!

Kimberly: Just finished!! Started this morning!! Right with you maryse! Now what??! Lol

Charlie: I was up until 3:30 this morning finishing it. *sighs* it was everything

Kim: I’m in a total book funk now. I’ve started 4 different books since finishing LT and can’t connect to anything. Loved this series!

Mairead: Maria!! Like Travis they said!!! Ermahgerd <— sidenote from Maryse: LOL!!!!!!

Maria: Ive read it Mairead Downey, just finished lovely trigger the other day

Mairead: Ooh get u lol – sneaky reading withot me! <—sidenote from Maryse: *giggle*

Maria: Lol thats the tristan and danika trilogy Mairead <— sidenote from Maryse: I love book friends. This happens to me all the time. *ahem* LORI!!!!

Catherine: I adored Lovely Trigger – that feeling of it not being over but not feeling safe enough for it to begin again. Both of them so scared of each other and yet unable to stay away. Tristan’s gentleness and sweetness………………SIGH!!!

Heidi: I read it in one sitting. It had me ugly crying, ugly laughing, just ugly everything really. PURE BOOK AWESOMENESS.

↑↑↑ What they said. “It was everything.” and “Now what?” and “PURE BOOK AWESOMENESS.” ↑↑↑

And as a whole? A five-star series, cause it took the time it needed to for me to LIVE them out completely.

It took the time to introduce that sweet, butterfly-inducing crush, and let me soak in it for days, weeks maybe even a month or two. Er… book-weeks/months. You now how that goes. No insta-love here. Insta-lust YES!!! But we got to play in it. Cuddle with it. Tease it and flirt with it. The oh so obvious… “But no! We’re just friends” stage. And the reader is allowed to indulge in it for a good long while. Oh you want it now (you crave it like crazy… as you get subtle nudges, lip brushes, finger touches), but you just LOVE the ride, anyway. That’s the best part!!!

And the author drew that deliciousness long enough for me to start falling in book-love. She gave that to us, too. That intro-couple stage… the yummy honeymoon phase. Constant making out, inhaling each other. Attempting to absorb the other one into you. Or you into him. LOL!!! I love when that happens. *sigh*

But where there is love between two SEVERELY HOT (and somewhat emotionally damaged) people… there will be drama! That intensely awesome connection and the intensely destructive reactions (and monkey-wrenches) were just right, for me.

…the losses started piling up until I’m sure she’ll say we lost more than we ever had together. That’s not true. We had more than we ever lost, but either way, I screwed it up.

The drama, for the most part, all made sense, right to the last book loaded in more jealousy-inducing infuriation, misunderstandings, and tentative re-connections.

Oh I LOVE that!! When it comes to books? I love pining so hard and wondering if I’m ever going to get him. I LOVE falling in love, I LOVE being jealous, I LOVE thinking OH NO HE DIDN’T!!! I love wondering what’s going on, and pacing the floor. Texting, and backspacing my text. Calling, and then hanging up before the call goes through. Calling again, and not getting an answer. I LOVE going cold and numb right down to my toes… I love that lump in my throat. I LOVE crying. I love fighting. I love thinking NEVER CALL ME AGAIN (and throwing my book-cell phone out the window and watching it smash to the ground)! I LOVE breaking up!!!! I LOVE regretting that reaction, when I start “hearing” the truth via my friends. His friends. I love making up… and all of the strides it takes to get there.

I missed him dreadfully.

I convinced myself that it had all been passion, not true love. True love was a myth, a misdirection from the solid things in life. What I’d felt for Tristan had been big, and all consuming, but I told myself like a mantra in my head, that it had never been solid.

Even so, every little thing brought him to mind. We’d had too much together, been through too much, felt too much, and every feeling had a memory. So many songs, shows, and movies were locked away for me, never to be viewed again.

It was that kind of breakup.

The ruinous kind.

*sob* Oh GOD, yes it was.

Will they? Won’t they? My lips are sealed.

Yes. I’m a nut. A book-love nut. ;) I need that slow-burn that turns into a roaring fire. Intense, hard, and raw. And I need all of the mistakes that come with that kind of vigor.

It was only later, at night, as I lay in the dark that his words began to move in my head. To circle. In a crazy loop.

Here’s all you need to know about crazy: Crazy’s favorite shape is a circle.

Broken records, crazy urges on a loop. Any of this ring a bell? That’s how crazy works and why it keeps repeating itself.

And boy was it repeating itself now.

Oh yes!!! Yes. It. Was!

Mind you in real life? GAH!!!! I could NEVER handle all that. LOL!! I’m telling you right now, I throw up when I’m stressed. I’m like that girl on “Perfect Pitch”. You think I’m kidding? Just ask my husband. I’d be a barfy-mess. *blush* Nobody would wanna kiss me after that. Ick!

The consensus is that we read to escape. But it would seem my preferred “escape” is into full on “wtf-crazy-angst” mode. But the realistic “Yeah, I can see that” kind. I can “live” it… all that crazy emotion, experience those intense jealous feelings that I’m ashamed to admit… might TOTALLY be me, ’cause I could relate to this HEROINE BIG TIME!!!

But all that to say… wanna read three books in a row without stopping ’cause you just need to read them, they’re so good? Crush, pine, fall in love, and wanna throw up, cry and rock yourself back and forth in the corner for awhile? And then move onto book #3… for relief, BIG LOVE or at least.. some sort of closure? THIS SERIES!!!!!!

What’s this one about? I won’t say much. Let’s just say it is the continuation of Tristan & Danika’s journey. The last stage. They started young (full of “new adult” dreams of forever-love, family and rock stardom). What a life-lesson they learned.

It was a bitter pill to swallow; how my own rock bottom had impacted her. I had always been the one to throw myself in front of a punch for my brother, my mother.

And my wife. My wife. I’d have done anything to take her pain, to bear her injuries myself. Instead though, I had caused them.

This series will take you through the lives of early twenty-something year olds (well, her at least) into this last book where they are adult-adults. Young-ish, still… but so much older (life experience-wise).

Maryse: “I figure I have a better chance of getting you to come back to my house, if I fill it with the things you love.” Awwwwwwwww!

Tee: That’s my boo!! Tristan


Wendy: Forget the like button, where’s the love button on Facebook ??? Tristan…*sigh*

Charlie: Swooooooon!

Melanie: Oh Tristan. Sigh.

Jennifer: Oh god!!!! Finished last night and I can’t move on!!

Deri: I still haven’t started a new book because I have a book hangover from this series. That only happens with my absolute faves….Usually I’m on to the next book immediately!

Angie: Started yesterday. Finishing today. Love love

Lila: I’m still in book hangover. Its been days…

Catherine: ^^^Me too Lila!! SIGH.

Maryse: Okay I’m done and this was my favorite of the three! Fantastic!!! *whooooooooo* that was intense. Tristan is to die for! Book #3 was absolutely my FAVORITE. Wow she had the emotions ALL done up right in that one.

Holy Moly I’ve never wanted to snuggle with a book-guy harder. Well, if we don’t count Travis, Kellan, Brian and Christian. Oh geeeez. But it’s been a LONG time since them, so this is BIG for me! Oh and Dex. Dex always makes me wanna cuddle him SO HARD!

But Tristan? You’re my newest #1! Oh boy are you ever!!!!!!!!

↑↑↑ Hehe. Those were my exact emotions… all of my barely containable exhilaration upon finishing this series. I was a delightful mess!

So yes… this one was my absolute favorite, and even though I gave the first two books 4.5 stars each, this series as a whole (especially due to this last book) is an easy 5-star series to me!

“You make me happy. You know that, right?”

5 stars!!!  —-> I LOVE YOU TRISTAN and R.K. Lilley. Oh and YOU absolutely, Danika!! We were one and the same, we were each other for 3 whole days, weren’t we? I’ll never forget how awesome you (we) are.

P.S. Song of the series, for me? “Say Something” <— careful. This video’ll make you cry. Fair warning. HIDE!!!!!

P.P.S This one, too —> Almost Lover. <— careful. I’m telling’ you now… Oh. And I’m gonna add this song to the list (the lyrics are exactly right!!!!! OMG it’s like this is THAT story) —> When I Was Your Man by Bruno Mars

P.P.P.S. Beware of book-tears. The girls say crying in #2. However, I was too furious to cry. But I choked up #3. TONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tears. THIS was that book for me.

P.P.P.P.S: I bought ‘em all, and totally worth every single penny!

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda March 17, 2014 at 10:38 PM

It’s because of amazing writing like this series that fuels my passion for reading. Love Tristan and Danika and will always hold their story close. <3<3

Nova March 17, 2014 at 10:47 PM

Loved it too Maryse! Oh Tristan!! And how strong was Danika, she was pretty amazing too! Am in a total book funk now though – very big book hangover from this one!!

Maryse March 17, 2014 at 10:47 PM

Agreed, Linda!

I’m going to be lonely without them…

Tessa March 17, 2014 at 10:53 PM

Yes! The wife quote sums this series up perfectly! Every second just wanting him to see the truth and not being able to get it all to stop. Omg, the beginning of two got me tear jerky, but I agree, most of it was me screaming (mentally) Talk to each other!!!

I’m so glad you loved it. It’s definitely one of my favorites ever.

Amy March 17, 2014 at 11:49 PM

Okay, so…I’m only about 40% through Rock Bottom, and I know this review is for book 3, but I had to come and get some empathetic “snuggles” from those who have already read about T&D and went through it and *get* it. Just from their interaction in Grounded, I already know the hurt is coming. No spoilers wanted so I didn’t even peek above but ohhhhh, this is delicious. ;)

Catherine DuMayne March 17, 2014 at 11:56 PM

I knew you would love this series Maryse. But what now??? I am so interested in your ‘after Lovely Trigger’ list because myself and the other ladies are in a most wonderful book hangover right now….Perfect review.

Rachele March 18, 2014 at 12:08 AM

Ok so this may be a repeat question…idk but is it recommended to read the “Up In the Air” series before starting this? I have heard there was some connection there, but I haven’t read it. Just don’t want to miss anything;)

Rachele March 18, 2014 at 12:11 AM

PS. I didn’t read this review yet. (I didnt want to cheat myself;) just FYI. I love love your reviews. And I love that you warn us if it has a “spoiler”

Maryse March 18, 2014 at 12:13 AM

I only read book 1 in the Up In The Air series. It was good, but this spinoff certainly stands alone. I will be backtracking tho, and catching up as I enjoyed the cameos!

Helen March 18, 2014 at 5:32 AM

Maryse,do u know just how lucky you are that you read T&D after all 3 books came out? Saved yourself a lot of heartache waiting for the next one to come out.I’m still high on this book that no new book seems to hold my interest for more than a few minutes.

Charity March 18, 2014 at 5:55 AM

I agree with you. This series made me fall in love with reading again!! Tristan was the ultimate book boyfriend and sigh … I am in a book hangover!!!

Wendy March 18, 2014 at 7:43 AM

So glad you enjoyed this series Maryse! Thank you for the wonderful reviews of all three books…your reviews made me want to read the entire series over again just so I could experience every single emotion that I had the first time reading them. Boy was I on a rollercoaster of emotions :) and I loved every single minute of it!!

I’m still in book hangover mode…missing Tristan…he’s one of my favorites and if not my #1 book boyfriend <3

PS-Thanks too for using my Facebook post in your review…I feel like a celebrity and yes, I was squeeing like a fan girl again :-)

Jean March 18, 2014 at 8:04 AM

Great review! So glad you “LOVED” this one and I miss them both so much too….they feel like a part of my family! Moving onto Songs of Submission and hoping for the best! (Oh, and everyone should really read the Up In the Air series. I loved it, not as much as T&D, but R.K. Lilley rocks as an author!)

Lila March 18, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Someone find me a book to get over Tristan and Danika?


Jean March 18, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Haha Lila! We are all feeling the same way!

Tara March 18, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Rachele – I read the entire Up In the Air series first, which is where I first met T&D….loved that series and knew I had to read this series and learn more of their story. I enjoyed this series a whole lot more, but if you liked James & Bianca in this series, you will really enjoy reading their story in Up in the Air. I don’t think you have to read that series to get this one, but I think the two compliment each other (along with a novella about Lana).

I was so sad to finish this but glad I finally know how they ended up!!

Rachele March 18, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Thank you!

Patty R. March 18, 2014 at 12:57 PM

ALL OF ME by John legend is my song for the series !!! LISTEN

Linda March 18, 2014 at 8:06 PM

I had the luxury of waiting and reading all Tristan&Danika series one after the other as Maryse did. Can’t imagine reading the first two without LT waiting right there. Massive hangover. Highly recommend Up in the Air series and Driven trilogy with Colton and Rylee might help. Both are brilliant:-)

Marcia March 18, 2014 at 10:24 PM

You hit the nail on the head Maryse! You are so right about the feeling of these books. I’ve been missing it and it was refreshing to get it back. I loved this series. Thanks for your reviews!

Cat DuMayne March 19, 2014 at 6:11 AM

Still in major book hangover – will it ever end? If it wasn’t for my friends at Lilley’s ladies I would go mad, they’re keeping the love for these books alive!!

Maryse March 19, 2014 at 8:15 AM

YAY Marcia!! Thank you so much, and thank goodness for R.K. Lilley and her very detailed, not rushed but not slow, emotional “exactly-what-we-love” series. It definitely gives us the old school “feels”. :D

Jessica March 19, 2014 at 9:09 AM

This review says everything I want to say!!!! I just finished and I can’t even handle suing goodbye to Tristan and Danika. I devoured this serious and read everywhere I could. I stayed up late, I even hid in my work bathroom so no one could interrupt me while reading the ending of lovely trigger. It was absolutely amazing! I loved the feels and the slow start of the roller coaster even the dangerous turns it took. Sigh I’m going to be thinking about this one for a looooong time. I can’t wait to see r.k lilley at book bash!! I might totally muppet arm flail and fan girl all over her.

LilaP March 20, 2014 at 7:13 AM


I have been reading your recommendations for ages but never commented. This morning I finished book 3 . Reading all 3 in less than 3 days. Up late, hiding and thinking I must read again. Such an emotional roller coaster and wonderful passionate story.

Katie March 20, 2014 at 9:59 PM

Oh this series…DEVOURED it in three days. Raged, steamed, melted and cried. Still not sure how to feel – maybe it hit too close to home in too many respects. So great in fiction, but watching loved ones go through a relationship like this is truly devastating. It helped me to see love when trapped in addiction is just not black and white, but so much grey too. “Say Something” makes me tear up every time. Thanks for sharing, Maryse!

Abby March 21, 2014 at 12:16 AM

5+++ stars. The whole series is amazing!

Thank you, R.K. Lilley. :)

melinda March 26, 2014 at 12:51 AM

What can i say!!! Is there anything left to say. If you never read another book in your whole life. I would be happy to recommend this series. It is so beautifully written and intense and emotionally draining and uplifting. It made me laugh, Cry and angry sad. every emotion possible. The best book i have read this year and i have probably read 50 or 60. Maybe the best ever.

Lisa M March 26, 2014 at 12:40 PM

All 3 books were 5 star for me!! Just finished the series!!! Major book hangover!! Wow wow wow amazing story!! Love it when the whole series is out and you don’t have to wait for the next one. Next up new release Play by Kylie Scott, just loved Lick!! Synopsis sounds soooo good!! Also the 3rd installment in AC Bextor series Toxic will be after Play. Holding On Series was a 5 star read for me. Such an emotional series.

Melinda March 27, 2014 at 5:42 PM

hey Maryse, what book is Brian out of ? don’t seem to remember that name. Just the best recommendation. Have you another like that? Can anyone recommend one like that?

Maryse March 27, 2014 at 7:02 PM

This is Brian’s book: < — my very first TRUE book love… and for awhile Travis and him were neck and neck. ;)

eileen April 15, 2014 at 9:10 AM

I read the tristan and danika books and loved them. Great. Story and love your site maryse you are mine and my daughter’s go to site fir great books

Maryse April 15, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Thank you Eileen!! :D Let me know if you come across anything awesome, and I’ll add them to a list. *hug* to both of you!

Nicole June 4, 2014 at 9:35 PM

I just flew through this series! I couldn’t seem to put any of the books down they were that good. Although, I am extremely sad and feel as if I have just lost my best friends. Looking for recommendations on what to read next. Love your blog!!

Eira September 11, 2014 at 6:48 PM

Hi Maryse,
I always be a silent reader on your blog. When i don’t know what to read i usually surf your blog for ideas. I read R.K. LILLEY 1st time with up in the air series last year. Love those books. But T&D series, just no words to say. I hold this series until now because i can feel what a train wreck would come with tristan n danika. Mind you, i just 10% into rock bottom n i need your review for LT just to make sure there’s some light in the end of the tunnel. I can’t express my feeling right now. Total chaos for tristan n danika. Feeling like i want to skip RB n jump to LT. Unfortunately my nook need charging so i will talk myself into going through with RB n then continue with LT (with lots of tears n soak hanky)

P/S: i always love your blog n your book reviews. Thank you for being you.

Tara March 20, 2015 at 1:40 AM

Hi Maryse,

I just finished T&D series and I LOVED IT BIG TIME!! And now, I don’t know how to move on… Damn it!! Can anyone please tell me what to read after this? Help ME!!!

And THANK you for your wonderful blog!!!

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