4.5 super hot, rollicking stars!
Considering how I disliked R.K. Lilley's Up in the Series, I wasn't expecting much of anything going into this book. But color me surprised, I actually ended up loving it.
Yes, it was angsty, both the MCs annoyed at me at some point, some of the drama were a bit juvenile, and yet, I really enjoyed the whole thing. To me this has an entirely different feel than Up in the Air series and I find Danika and Tristan's story more relatable, more gritty and more raw than Up in the Air. In other, I was totally engrossed and invested in their story.
Tristan was a super-hot, tattooed, bad boy, club promoter/rock star with a wicked sense of humor. I loved his sense of humor especially when he was with Danika. But beneath all that was a troubled young man. I felt that in this book, we barely scratched the surface of who Tristan truly is. And as we have seen from Grounded, he definitely went to hell and back.
I loved the fact that he was flawed. I felt it added to the complexity of his character. I mean, he did some things that were just terrible. TERRIBLE. And he hurt Danika real bad. But the readers also get to see his vulnerable side especially when it comes to his relationship with Danika and his family.
Danika hasn't had an easy life. She had a shitty childhood and because of this, she has some self-esteem issues, not to mention she seemed to be attracted to guys who are totally wrong for her. When she met Tristan, she can't deny her attraction to him but she knows he could be very bad for her. She knows it but she can't seem to help herself anyway.
At the onset, Tristan was attracted to Danika and vice versa. I was glad this wasn't some case of insta-lust or inta-love. Yes, the attraction was there but they didn't immediately act on it, which is probably why I liked this book in the first place. See, Tristan doesn't do relationships. He's content with casual hook-ups. On the other hand, Danika doesn't do hook-ups or anything casual. She's a relationship kind of girl. See the dilemma there?
“I know. Just too old to be dating eighteen-year olds, or even twenty-one year olds. Frankly, though, I’m bad with women my own age, too, when it comes to relationships, which is why I don’t do them.”
I couldn’t help it. I had to ask. “So what do you do?”
“Hookups. Brief, casual hookups. How about you?”
I shook my head, pursing my lips at him. I couldn’t quite believe that we had jumped to this already. He was a man to be careful of, to be sure. “I do relationships. No exceptions. Never had a casual hookup in my life.”
He sighed, measuring some flour into the mixing bowl. “Well, I guess that makes things less complicated. We’ll be friends, then.”
Easier said than done. They fought their attraction to each other, ignored their chemistry, all for the sake of their friendship. They even made a "Friends Don't List" to protect themselves from each other. Yeah, like that would work.
To make the long story short, the Friends Don't List was an epic failure. Of course, they just had to get to together. As a reader, I was happy when they finally got together. I mean, it was inevitable but this is when bad things really started to happen. Bad, bad things.
Halfway through, I was crying ugly tears, I was mad at Tristan, I wanted to strangle Dean and throw my Kindle across the room at the same time. OTT, I know but this book had seriously put me through the ringer. And just when I thought, all the drama is finally over, the rug got pulled under my feet. Something bad happened to Tristan's family member, which was really, really sad and really, really made me cry. I wasn't expecting that, which made it all the more sad.
Anyway, I can't wait for the next book. There wasn't really any cliffhanger here. The book did end with Danika and Tristan together. But for those of you who have read Grounded, you know some very bad things are in store for these two. So yeah, can't wait for more angst the second time around.
Before I forget. I know you're all dying to know. Well, this book...