Book Review – Bad Things by R.K. Lilley

by Maryse on March 13, 2014 · 35 comments

in My Book Reviews

Bad Things (Tristan & Danika #1)
Bad things is deliciously loaded in all of the good things (er… good “bad” things) ;) that I love about books. So it was good? No. It was AWESOME!!!

OMG, you guys!!! Pheeeeewwww *fans self* This was pure “old-school” book-angst at it’s best! Steamy, sexy, jealousy, alpha-y and full-on hurty!

Old School? Yep! This story felt like one of my “old school” indie reads from about two years ago, when I first came upon all of the hidden indie-treasures, like Beautiful Disaster, ThoughtlessRock Me, and Love Unscripted, just to name a few.

I would devour one after the other and each one had me 5-star loving ‘em. They were so “realistically” angsty (things I could imagine happening to me, or maybe even HAD happened to me in my “new adult” days). They were so intense, making ME crush so hard. Making me feel as if I falling in love… and then… as if I was in the midst of a soul-shattering break up.

These books were emotionally uplifting and draining, and I loved experiencing both sides of that kind of “book-love” equally. The kind that would tease me, tempt me, give me butterflies, and make me pine during the “meeting” phase. The kind that would indulge me (slowly – sloooowwww burn) with scene upon scene of getting to know each other, cuddling and sleeping in the same bed “platonically”, hanging out as “friends”… and then tearing my heart out when the miscommunication or insecurities took control.

And this book? It’s one of those. That addictive immediate attraction (and something I could relate too, ’cause I too, have experienced that). A few times, even. LOL! What?!! lol Okay, yes… I was a bit boy-crush crazy back then. *giggle* Actually, just like I am now, except my crushes are on book-boys, so it’s all good (and heart-safe)! Sorta.

Ahhhh so good! That push and pull, the “honeymoon” phase and then… No. Way! It ripped my heart out! Again and again. Mended it, and tore it up some more. WOW!!!

And while I put it down once or twice in the first 35 to 40% (oh don’t get me wrong, I was IN!! But it wasn’t unputtdownable yet), by the time I hit 40%, that was it. I was HOOKED!

In fact, it was 3:30am and I was still reading feverishly, with only 15% left to go. My husband (the night owl) came to bed and remarked: “Wow! I haven’t seen you stay up this late to read in a long time. It must be good!!” My response? “Mmmmmhmmmm… now shhhhhhhhhh!!!” <— Yep. Momma was readin’ her stories and the stories were SO GOOD!!

So what’s it about?

Danika works as a live-in nanny for a band manager that has a new up and coming band that he is trying to represent. The singer of the band (hot, tattooed, bad ass and BAD BOY to the core, “Tristan”) is staying at the house for a week or so as his apartment is being readied, and of course, Tristan and Danika spark upon first site.

Lust, love, extreme infatuation, soul mates, or best friends in the making? Maybe all of it. I already pretty much know, right now (after this book!!), but I won’t know for sure until I get to book #3. But book #1 kept me on my toes with titillation.

“Where have you been all my life, Danika?”

“Not skanking it up in enough bars to find you, apparently. Silly me, spending all my time working or at school.”

“Silly you,” he said softly, touching my chin. “Didn’t you know I was out here, just waiting for a friend like you?”


Oh wow, YES!!

And —> they were HILARIOUS together.

“All I heard now was ‘blah, blah, blah Danika wins’.”

He stopped, shaking his head and laughing. “I like you,” he told me.

I wrinkled my nose at him. “I like you, too, platonic friend of mine.”

We were both grinning like fools as we rejoined the group.

Oh… foooools you are! :P

Awesome friends, clicking like crazy. They just “got” each other and while both acknowledging that they were extremely attracted to one another, they admitted “who” they were upfront. He isn’t into relationships (preferring “hookups”) and she’s not into “hookups”… preferring relationships. Sidenote —> I’m with her! ;) I’d have a hard time mixing that kind of intimacy, with “see ya!”… and in Danika’s case, she was bound for a world of hurt, if she didn’t keep Tristan at “best friends” arm-length.

But you know how that goes. Best friends that are incredibly attracted to one another, that become inseparable, that hold each other close? Protect each other. That find any possible way to always “hang out” together (under that “best friends guise”)? Well… the lines become blurred.

He pushed my face into his chest, hugging me. I melted against him, even pissed. I thought that was because I wasn’t really pissed. What I was was completely infatuated. I didn’t think I’d ever met a sweeter guy in my life.

And when you’re best friends with a gorgeous, self-professed man-whore, well… things are bound to get ugly.

Ugly? Let’s just say that their “relationship” is a train-wreck.

I knew it was coming. He’d given me more than fair warning.

Just like the author said! But one that I was THRILLED to be on, even knowing we were all headed for disaster.

I shut my eyes tightly, cursing the tears that bled down my cheeks.

It took me forever to get to sleep. I just lay there for a long time, calling myself every kind of fool.

Oh wow!!! I. Was. IN!!!!!

And you know what? Supposedly, this series just gets better (and more heartrendingly angsty) as it goes. I hear #2 will likely kill me. eek YAY ME!!!!!! :D

Curious? Just check out these reactions. You’ll see. You’ll ALL see. <— lol

Maryse’s Book Blog: Just gotta say… I’m loving “Bad Things”. Finishing it up soon, and this book just feeeeels like when I first started reading NA and rock star books from a year or two ago. Addicting. I’m connecting TONS through Danika, and wow… Tristan goes from sexy swoooony jealous alpha to arrogant player ass, in the blink of an eye! Tore my heart out. FUN!

Jill: Reading it too. At 63% and I am addicted.

Laura: Just wait for the next 2

Stephanie: Read this whole series in like 4 days! Addicted but I’m not looking for a cure lol! Loved Danika, one of my favorite book heroines

Triva: You will love the other books too. I just read all three yesterday and today. I cried a little, wanted to throw my iPad and scream, but my heart was left full by the time I was done.

Tarin: I’m on book 2 and have such a love hate thing going on with this relationship. They make my heart skip a beat at times and at other times just say Ugh… Really! Still can’t put these books down because their all over the place!

Erin: Really?!?! You got me with old school feels!!

Maryse: Old school Erin. Absolutely. This one fits in with my old favorites for sure…

Vicki: I just finished it and I absolutely loved it! I did get emotional at the end and I’m scared and excited about book 2!

Jessica: That’s exactly how I described this series… it reminded me of how I felt when I read Kellan Kyle the first time!!! That good!

Linda: Lovely Trigger about 30% in and it’s brilliant

Catherine: Oh Maryse – I am so glad you’re enjoying it but it’s the middle book, the next one which will lift you up and then drop you hard – hence the title, Rock Bottom……..Loved the last one though. And I am a HUGE Danika fan – loved that leading lady so hard!!!

Nikki: Maryse, you have NO idea what you are in store for. This series was unforgettable.

Lucy: I am reading Lovely Trigger right now and wondering why I put myself through this…..oh that’s right, I love it!

Wendy: …keep reading Maryse…you’re in for a bumpy ride…so glad you’re enjoying it!! I’m finishing Lovely Trigger tonight and I’m sad because I don’t want it to end!!! …. So I’m 87% into Lovely Trigger and I’m nervous! I have a feeling this is where R.k. Lilley is going to crush my heart…I better get the tissues!

Ann: Just finished whole series and feel like I’ve been through the wringer!! In a very very great way though. Total book hangover!!! Makes me want to reread the Up in the Air series again.

Melanie: Isn’t it amazing!! All the books are just incredible! So glad you are enjoying them!

Kentrina: Just wait until you read Rock Bottom, I’ve never been so emotionally distressed by a book.

Maryse’s Book Blog: I am SO excited to start #2 today. Bad Things lived up to everything I look for in an angsty modern “bad boy” romance read! If any of you haven’t read it yet, I’d say his intensity, and the angst/torment is along the lines of Beautiful Disaster and Thoughtless. NOT the storyline… the FEEL. Which is A+ for me!! Okay off I go to review so I can start #2. This is one of those series that has you dying to continue! !!!!

Wendy: Get the tissues ready for Rock Bottom!!!

Maryse’s Book Blog: Okay so you know the part where she broke down and sobbed on him? And he kind of made that sound of distress ’cause he realized he had hurt her so bad? TEARS!!!!! OMG!!!!! THAT TORE my heart out. Oh it got torn out multiple times, mind you, but THAT? GAH!!!

Maryse’s Book Blog: So the fact that you guys say I haven’t seen nothing yet? Prepare to hold me, my friends. That was already hard enough. The author mentions “trainwreck” and she wasn’t kidding…

Wendy: Ok. Now I have to go back to Bad Things and read that part on my lunch break! It’s been so long since I’ve read it! What % is that at?? All I can say is oh boy Maryse…hold on…it’s a bumpy ride but oh so worth every minute!! I’ll be here for moral support and to help you through the angst

Ann: All I can say Maryse is brace yourself. Hard. For the love of God.

Melanie: sure! If you loved Bad Things, Rock Bottom is going to blow you away!! It’s is so well written!!! Just awesome!

Argie: Book 2 gutted me!! Book 3 rocked my freaking world!! #teamtristan

Eeeeeep!! Okay so I’m heading into book #2 and… let’s just say I’ve been thoroughly warned! Let’s recap, the above discussion, shall we?

“the next one which will lift you up and then drop you hard – hence the title, Rock Bottom…….”

“you have NO idea what you are in store for”

“you’re in for a bumpy ride … Get the tissues ready for Rock Bottom!!!”

“Just wait until you read Rock Bottom, I’ve never been so emotionally distressed by a book.”

“All I can say Maryse is brace yourself. Hard. For the love of God.”

“Book 2 gutted me!!”

“May the force be with you.’” <— LOL!!! This one JUST came my way from Aimee… ;)

GAH!!!!! OMG you guys, I am SO freakin’ excited right now!!! After #1 rocking my world, I can’t imagine where I’m headed next. This author is a girl after my own heart!!!

I just felt… lost. Life was a maze that I’d  never be able to navigate, like everyone else had been born with a map, and mine had been forgotten, and I was destined to keep repeating the same painful mistakes, again and again.

Oh wow! YES. ↑↑↑↑ I am SO in for it. Downward spiral, HERE I COME!!!

4.5 stars!!!! Maybe even 5 stars, but I’m gonna hold off and see where #2 takes me. ;)

P.S. Here is the Tristan & Danika Series Reading Order



Okay now… let’s play “my personal notes”. Of course, do NOT read these below if you haven’t yet read this book. Not exactly spoilers, but my reactions make things pretty obvious… so SPOILER ALERT!!!

My notes:

I’m grinning.

I LOVE the rules!!!

Whoooooo CRA-ZYYYY!!!!




So sad.

Yep. He truly destroyed her. Forever he will have the upper hand and she’ll always be insecure in “them”. Relief for his love but constantly worried he has one foot out the door. Yep. This is gonna hurt.

Yep. This fear… this insecurity will be the death of them. I know it.

Yep. She’s losing herself.

Obsessive love headed for a crash and burn!!

These two are volatile together.


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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda March 13, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Maryse I just finished this series today. Absolutely brilliant. Hang on tight girl it is quite a ride. Can’t let it go. Not sure what reading direction to take for the weekend.

Sharon F. March 13, 2014 at 7:12 PM

Oooh! You had me at Thoughtless! I’m in!

Mary Fay March 13, 2014 at 7:24 PM

Hi maryse: I luv luv luv this series. Book 1 is good, book 2 is better and book 3 is the best!! You will be impressed with Danika’s strong positivity. And Tristan , my boo, he is sweet , loyal, and sexy as hell! You are gonna luv them!

By the way, my sister and I are crazy about you. We always check your site before starting a book. Keep it up and thanks so much!

Dara March 13, 2014 at 7:35 PM

This is one of my all-time favorite series. RK Lilley is a great writer! I am so excited for you to just be starting it! :)

Tessa March 13, 2014 at 7:40 PM

Wonderful, right? And, you think the first was sad, oh boy! Two will totally destroy you. Rock Bottom is well named. I was in pure tears through it. Have fun!

Maryse March 13, 2014 at 7:45 PM

(I am grinning like a fool, right now!!!!) :P

Lindsay March 13, 2014 at 7:51 PM

OMG, I’m with Sharon F. Twist my arm. I’m in!

tatiana March 13, 2014 at 7:53 PM

Keep on reading the series, its is soooo good!!! Just finished lovely trigger yesterday and it did not disappoint. My only regret is that it is over :( .

Stella March 13, 2014 at 8:00 PM

I just finished the third book 2 days ago…Tristan now lives side by side with Kellan in my heart!
Book 2 is hard to swallow…prepare yourself for some crying!
Enjoy the ride!

Amy March 13, 2014 at 9:33 PM

This is one of those books that I would love to go back and read for the first time again !! It literally grabbed me and didn’t let go , I LOVED Tristan , like up there with Travis & Kellan loved him ;-) I picked this one up not really knowing what to expect ….but I was Blown Away !! This series is better than her Up In The Air series ( though it was good too) .This is one book where I really related to the heroine and she never annoyed me or got on my nerves lol ..Book one was amazing , Rock Bottom knocked me on my ass , it destroyed me in a really good way) Lovely Trigger slowly put me back together & has an Amazing Epilouge !! …I just finished Lovely Trigger and am so sad to see the end of Tristan & Danika’s story but this is one series I will more than likely re read down the road it affected me that much !! 5 SEXY AS HELL STARS ;-) <2 TRISTAN <3

Jill March 13, 2014 at 9:47 PM

I really enjoyed her Up in the Air series and figured I’d eventually get to Danika and Tristan’s story… well, looks like eventually is now! Thanks for your review! You sold me. :D

Cat DuMayne March 14, 2014 at 12:29 AM

Hi Maryse, (as you know) I adored these books. I think Danika will resonate with most girls, that first real terrifying love that you recognise has the power to destroy you but hanging on with everything when the cracks start showing. She is such a strong character, to a point. Tristan hadn’t quite found himself yet. Their love was so true but so fragile and I wanted to stand in front of them both when outside influences started battering them. <3 and :) and :(

Liz March 14, 2014 at 1:24 AM

Had it on my TBR list for some time after reading In Flight series, but started it after you mentioned it for the first time some time ago. Starting book 3 now. I nearly died reading book 2 – hard, but really good.

Lila March 14, 2014 at 4:25 AM

It only gets better. The drops in Rock Bottom just even out what’s to come in Lovely Trigger. And I’m with Amy, the epilogue was amazing!

Nicole March 14, 2014 at 5:39 AM

Hi Maryse, wait till you get to book 2. Once you start, you will probably read straight through and wont even sleep. It was 10 stars.

Teri March 14, 2014 at 6:58 AM

You had me at paragraph 3 of your review. Those old school indie favorites totally changed my reading world! Anything with that feeling I’m going to love. Thanks Maryse.

Maryse March 14, 2014 at 7:43 AM

Okay so I started #2 late last night (knowing I would purposely have to stop early – before it “got” into the crazy”) ’cause I had to get up early this morning… and it was HARD to stop.

But I did. Mind you, I was already FURIOUS, this early in the game. You don’t wanna see what my “note” was at that part. :x

I can imagine my reading world is gonna HURT tonight!!! And this time I CAN stay up all night. :D

Cat DuMayne March 14, 2014 at 7:49 AM

Maryse, I am so jealous of you right now. I wish I could experience it all for the first time again…. even though, well……..keep on reading……..!

Maryse March 14, 2014 at 8:04 AM

You guys need to all stay up with me so I can scream and cry on your shoulders. :P Tee hee!!

P.S. I bet I won’t be “tee-heeing” for long….

Ana Ribeiro March 14, 2014 at 8:22 AM

Yesssss! These feelings, when you fall in love together and when you suffer every part of the way and you like the feeling because you really believe they desever a happy end…. That’s what I’m talking about! I’m sure you’re going to love book 2, Maryse! Can’t wait to hear your reaction hehehe And what about ‘an old school’ list? I’m totally in! :D

Cat DuMayne March 14, 2014 at 8:23 AM

For those who have FINISHED and for when you need us Maryse, we are going over a chapter a day of Lovely Trigger with graphics/music and discussion on a fanclub run by hardcore fans!! We’re waiting for you Maryse – you just may need us!!

Maryse March 14, 2014 at 8:36 AM

OLD SCHOOL list!!! YES!! Great idea Ana!

The true “old school ones” from days of old, and the latest ones that give us THAT feel. We’ll have to vet them carefully, though, to make sure they fit the list. :) This series is a DEFINITE one to add to it.

Maryse March 14, 2014 at 8:36 AM

Thanks Cat!! Support groups are fun. :D

Jean March 14, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Oh Maryse, I am so happy you are loving this series! Hate to say “I told you so”, but…….hahahaha;) Hold on tight, the rollercoaster has just started! Love, love, love this series so much!!!!!!!

Linda March 14, 2014 at 9:51 AM

Oh Maryse don’t you just hate when you’re in that dilemma of knowing you must close your reader because you know it’s about to get crazy good but life also throws other obligations on you and must get some semblance of sleep for the next day??!! My problem though is I cannot shut off my mind. I toss and turn going over every scenario I’ve read and trying to piece together where it’s going when I can finally get back to my precious. Do I need therapy? I read Driven series and Tristan/Danika series back to back with no interruptions!! I’m “pudding” right now.

Maryse March 14, 2014 at 9:55 AM

PUDDING!!!!! Awwww you guys are killing me!! LOL

I get you… and yes, that happens to me, too.

Ashley March 14, 2014 at 10:21 AM

Maryse ~ I have added this to my wish list as I just started the Kathleen Turner series and so far am loving it! I check your blog every day to see what you are recommending because I think we are separated at birth “book twins”. Everything you recommend I end up LOVING! Keep up the great work :)

Maryse March 14, 2014 at 10:30 AM

I love having book twins, Ashley!!! :D *big squeeeeezy hug*

Patty R. March 14, 2014 at 10:51 AM

OMG…..I’m re-reading book 2 ….did you HEAR that.. I am RE-READNG so I can be caught up when I start book 3 tonight…and I am hooked like I’m reading it for the first time. I’m at work…….trying to sneak some pages on my phone kindle app…lol Boss called out….I sure hope no one I work with is on here..lmfao. This is an amazing story…anyway…I was just listening to ” ALL OF ME” by John Legend while reading and it is so appropriate… “smart mouth..beautiful mind…crazy ..out of my mind….All of me loves all of you …love your curves and edges..all your perfect imperfections”…your my muse…..Oh My God this song is the anthem for this book….I URGE YOU ALL TO LISTEN TO THIS SONG AND RELATE DANIKA AND TRISTAN’S STORY….If this song was released prior to the books it would have been something Tristan sang to her…

PLEASE google and listen……

Patty R. March 14, 2014 at 10:54 AM

Sorry listened again..there is even a card reference….my cards are on the table…….his card tricks.. please listen and tell me what you think

Jean March 14, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Love it Patty! And love that so many others love this series as much as I do!!! I re-read 1st and 2nd books too before 3rd book and was really glad I did…..just put me right back into their world again with all that emotion!!

Catherine DuMayne March 14, 2014 at 11:53 PM

Lilley’s ladies have a playlist for these books created by 100′s of fans and over 7 hours long………please enjoy.

Michelle March 15, 2014 at 11:54 AM

OH FINE! I read your review, and I guess 4.5 stars is going to have to be good enough for me. Up in the Air would probably be 3 stars for me, so I better not regret this Maryse. I trust you….
BTW, I just finished the Bronze Horseman Trilogy (finally) – so I am not sure I am in the mood for any heartache and pain. What a gut-wrencher that was, but oh so worth it. I’m a wee little bit disappointed that Fae Chronicles fell off your radar. Someday….. (you’re not even a little curious?)….. you loved the hot alpha men in the paranormals once – and they haven’t changed… so if that’s what you want, then GO FOR IT. If it’s young person angst and heartache, well…. keep on truckin…. and please find us all a 5 star read soon….

Nadia S March 15, 2014 at 3:01 PM

I am really going to trust you if I even attempt to read book 2. I absolutely loved the beginning of this book and their friendship and insane chemistry but the second their relationship changed the book changed for me. I’m not even sure I really liked Tristan anymore after all the things he said everytime he was mad. Danika was a complete doormat and forgave him way too quickly. I think I rolled my eyes through at least 40% of this book. You guys have me super curious for rock bottom but if it’s more of the same then ughh :(

Michelle March 16, 2014 at 1:44 PM

So I’m almost done with Book 1 in the Tristan and Danika Trilogy. I hate it when there is so much POTENTIAL but it doesn’t get used. Secondary characters not developed enough. Some interesting ideas (like at weekly get togethers with the girls) that could have been really good. I’m not done yet, but does this story need the hand-cuffs? And the oh-so-obvious eluding to his nature by his friend (going to remain anonymous my @$$). There’s also some weird dialogue that gets too philosophical. Show me, don’t tell me. Maybe I’m disappointed because I just finished Bronze Horseman Trilogy and THAT was some good writing. So far it’s a 3.5 star book for me. I’ll keep on truckin’….

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