Mar 31, 2020

ARC Review--A Bad Day for Sunshine by Darynda Jones

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, its strong cups of coffee—and a nationwide manhunt? Del Sol native Sunshine Vicram has returned to town as the elected sheriff--an election her adorably meddlesome parents entered her in--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 it's reminding Sunny why she left Del Sol in the first place. Add to that trouble at her daughter’s new school and a kidnapped prized rooster named Puff Daddy, and Sunshine has her hands full.

Enter sexy almost-old-flame Levi Ravinder and a hunky US Marshall, both elevens on a scale of one to blazing inferno, and the normally savvy sheriff is quickly in over her head. Now it’s up to Sunshine to juggle a few good hunky men, a not-so-nice kidnapping miscreant, and Doug the ever-pesky flasher. And they said coming home would be drama-free.

I received this ARC from a fellow blogger in a fair trade. My review is completely honest and voluntary, I was in no way compensated for this review.
Darynda Jones begins a new series with A Bad Day for Sunshine which is much like her Charley Davidson series in terms of mystery, humor, and awesome cast of characters, the only difference here is that there is no paranormal elements. Yup, zip! But since this is Darynda Jones we’re talking about I knew I had to give it a try and I have to say it was just as awesome as Charley’s books minus the ghosts.
Sunshine Vicram learns that she is now the sheriff of her old hometown…though she never ran for the position. There’s more to that story I think that will eventually make it’s way onto the page. For not only is Sunshine handed a missing teenager case, there is also her own mystery to solve. When Sunshine was a teenager, she was kidnapped and held for ransom. She doesn’t remember much of those days and barely remembers when she woke up in the hospital sometime later. It’s heavy stuff, to be honest, but Darynda handles it very well. The case Sunshine is focused on involves a young girl going missing who predicted her own death when she was a child. Now that her timeline is coming up, her parents are frantic over her disappearance.
What I found very intriguing about this story is not only are we in third person point of view, whereas Charley’s series was first, but we get two points of view in this book; Sunshine and her daughter Auri. Auri is trying to adjust to her new school, but things don’t go quite well, especially when she learns the girl she met over winter break who would be her new best friend, is the girl who’s gone missing. Auri in turn decides to help her mom out with the investigation by trying to look into the girl’s life.
At times, this book felt a bit more serious than the Charley books, but it still had plenty of light-hearted moments. In fact, I could totally see Sunshine and Charley being the best of friends, they have the same kind of humor. In fact, if you catch it, you’ll see there’s a little nod to Charley in this book. Being as Charley and Sunshine both live in New Mexico I was wondering if there would be a bit of crossover. It’s too soon to tell of course, but you never know!
For a first in a new series, this one did very well! I liked how we had two mysteries going on. There’s the more present mystery and the one that Sunshine works on in secret. I’m actually developing my own theories about that one. I feel like Darynda might be giving us hints to some things, but as I said, it’s really too soon to tell!
As far as romance goes, well that one’s tricky. Sunshine’s old flame is naturally still in the picture. Only problem there is, they are kinda sorta enemies. It’s not a Romeo and Juliet thing for sure, but let’s just say Levi comes from a dangerous family and he’s a complicated guy himself. He’s not nearly as bad as his relatives, but he’s not a saint either. So complicated is pretty much the perfect summation. We do get to know bits and pieces of their past together and there’s some serious tension still brewing between them. Oh yeah, he’s this series’ Reyes for sure!
And there may or may not be competition there too. There’s another guy hanging around who may be a potential romance partner for Sunshine, but again, too soon to say! And let’s not forget little Auri! She’s got a boy she’s eyeing and who’s eyeing her in return! This is almost—emphasize ALMOST—a dual YA and adult book what with the side by side stories going on from their points of view. But this is MOST DEFINITELY an adult read!! So tread carefully teen readers as there’s some intensity to this one!
The outcome of the present mystery was pretty shocking! Due to life and a slow reading pace I might have missed this bad guy when we first saw him, so I feel ashamed for that. But the motives and reasons why were pretty shocking. Though Sunshine’s personal mystery is still under investigation. I’m truly eager for more on that front due to the few theories I’ve been developing!
All in all, A Bad Day for Sunshine was an excellent read! The mystery elements were enticing and the characters were absolutely wonderful! I loved every moment of this story. I was hooked into the world created by Darynda yet again, and I cannot wait to see what more she will write with these new characters. This is a must read for Charley Davidson and mystery fans alike!
Overall Rating 5/5 stars
A Bad Day for Sunshine releases April 7, 2020


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