Friday, April 3, 2020

A Bad Day for Sunshine by Darynda Jones

New York Times bestselling author Darynda Jones is back with the first novel in the brand-new snarky, sassy, wickedly fun Sunshine Vicram series—A Bad Day for Sunshine!

Sheriff Sunshine Vicram finds her cup o’ joe more than half full when the small village of Del Sol, New Mexico, becomes the center of national attention for a kidnapper on the loose.

Del Sol, New Mexico is known for three things: its fry-an-egg-on-the-cement summers, strong cups of coffee—and, now, a nationwide manhunt? Del Sol native Sunshine Vicram has returned to town as the elected sheriff—thanks to her adorably meddlesome parents who nominated her—and she expects her biggest crime wave to involve an elderly flasher named Doug. But a teenage girl is missing, a kidnapper is on the loose, and all of this is reminding Sunshine why she left Del Sol in the first place. Add to that the trouble at her daughter’s new school, plus and a kidnapped prized rooster named Puff Daddy, and, well, the forecast looks anything but sunny.

But even clouds have their silver linings. This one's got Levi, Sunshine's sexy, almost-old-flame, and a fiery-hot US Marshal. With temperatures rising everywhere she turns, Del Sol's normally cool-minded sheriff is finding herself knee-deep in drama and danger. Can Sunshine face the call of duty—and find the kidnapper who's terrorizing her beloved hometown—without falling head over high heels in love... or worse?

Book 1
Buy Links

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is an absolutely brilliant start to a new series from Darynda Jones. Sunshine Vicram is a fabulous new leading lady and this eccentric small town crime thriller had me alternately terrified and laughing out loud.

Sunny is a badass crime fighter with a quick wit and a sharp sense of humour, but she also has a complicated past and more than one dark secret she’d rather keep hidden. Unfortunately, between the resentful mayor, her own meddling mother, and a daughter who has inherited Sunny’s enthusiasm for an investigation, there isn’t much room for secrets in Del Sol. I really love the mix of outrageous situations, gentle family drama, and a complicated blend of current and historic crime.

One thing I loved about the Charley Davidson books was Jones’ ability to write a good bad boy. Now, Levi might be completely human, but he is a delicious mix of danger with an attitude and possibly a touch of conscience. The story isn’t a traditional romance but the chemistry and banter between Sunny and Levi definitely makes for good reading.

While part of the investigation is tied up in this first book, the story actually leaves readers with more questions than answers. I loved this first book and I already can’t wait for the next one. I think I’m going to love this series.

A Bad Day for Sunshine is the first book in a new series and the first book I've read by this author. Sunshine Vicram returns with her teenage daughter, Auri, to the small town she grew up in to take up the position of sheriff.

There is a lot going on this in this town, some of it funny, some of it serious. A new friend of Auri's goes missing, presumed kidnapped. An escaped prisoner is believed to be somewhere in town, there are cursed muffins, neighbours fighting over a rooster, and the list goes on. But the biggest mystery relates to Sunshine's abduction when she was 17, which resulted in her pregnancy and how Levi, the guy she has been crazy in love with for years, is connected.

The story is told from the point of view of both Sunshine and Auri. I loved the way this was done. There were times when there were parallels between what mother and daughter were going through. Sunshine and Auri totally rock. They are smart, sassy, brave, and they are my new book heroes. Sunshine and Levi's interactions were sublime. It is clear that things between them are going to develop over this series and I really can't wait to see it. Auri is also experiencing young love and Cruz, the object of her affections, is the kind of guy every young girl would want.

I loved everything about this story. The mysteries, the crazy characters, the complicated relationships, the romance. It all worked perfectly together. I hope the wait for the next book in the series is not too far away because I'm dying to find out what happens next.

5 stars of absolute fabulousness – would award many more if I could!

There is only one thing wrong with this book... it ended 🙁. I could have just read and read and read – and have little doubt that once the series is complete, I will take great pleasure in doing exactly that! I adored the Charley Davidson series, so didn't even read the blurb before knowing I would love it too. It is completely different, but the same brilliant style of writing of somehow including us in the story, and the wonderful mix of fanciful and all too real. I both laughed and shed tears. I had to stop and shut off my Kindle for a second or two more than once, as I just knew what came next wasn't going to be good. Add in Levi... and well, what else does a reader need?

Sunshine and her daughter Auri (Aurora) are undoubtedly the stars of the book – and even though we see them as being close from the very beginning, when Auri admits to something deep between them, do expect to need plenty of tissues. I love that both of them have really important and meaningful relationships with a wide variety of people. And do expect to meet lots of them and get to understand how this is a book which may centre on Sunshine, but is much broader in its plots than just her.

I realise that I am possibly not doing a great job of describing this book, but to be fair, it is just one of those books which is full of so much goodness, that is difficult to know where to start and how to avoid giving something away. It is undoubtedly a mystery story, indeed multiple mysteries assail us. It is a story of second chances, as Sunshine has returned to live in her childhood town – elected unwittingly as the new sheriff – although she has been back for holidays, and Auri has spent summers there with her grandparents and making friends. Sunshine is now going to be able to work with her long-time best friend, Quincy, and has to keep seeing her biggest crush, Levi, and time hasn't changed that. I love that thread running through the story, although it has some dark undertones.

There are undercurrents of mafia, of a group of women who direct the town, of a muffin baker who foresees trouble, of a whacky, but wealthy book club, an escapologist rooster, school politics, and even legal moonshine gin!

I am so looking forward to the next book in the series being available, as I have the biggest book hangover... As you may have guessed from my somewhat disjointed review, my recommendation is READ, READ, READ!

I loved the Charley Davidson series, I honestly loved it. I had doubts about A Bad Day for Sunshine. I should never have doubted Darynda Jones and will not make that mistake again! I assumed Sunshine Vicram would be a carbon copy of Charley, how wrong I was. They have similarities in that they are both strong women who feel deeply, but never give up even when the world is against them, but that's about it.

Sunshine Vicram finds herself in a peculiar position as the elected sheriff of a town she doesn't reside in. Yes, it's her hometown but she left many years ago. She joins her best friend on the police force in Del Sol, NM and it's definitely NOT a quiet, peaceful town. Crazy, quirky, eccentric? YES, but also endearing.

While the town is a little hectic in and of itself, there is a lot going on for poor Sunshine to solve. Meaning there were no slow moments in the read. I never wanted to put this down. I needed to figure out each and every moment but especially the Levi dynamic. Levi, Sunshine's high school crush, is the epitome of alpha male. He's strong, he's capable, and he's mouth-watering attractive.

I loved the mystery, I seriously love Levi, and I am all about Sunshine's brand of sass. Add to that her daughter the super sleuth, Auri, and this never boring town of Del Sol, and I am ready to roll with this series to the end. I will mention that while the mystery is solved, I ended this book with more questions (and these ones NEED answers, like yesterday) than I started with or even developed throughout!

Overall, this was a strong four-star read and I am excited to see what's next.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author DARYNDA JONES won a Golden Heart and a RITA for her manuscript First Grave on the Right. A born storyteller, she grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast alike. Darynda lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.

Connect with Darynda

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of A Bad Day for Sunshine (Sunshine Vicram #1) by Darynda Jones to read and review.

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