REVIEW: DARYNDA JONES – A BAD DAY FOR SUNSHINEA Bad Day for Sunshine by Darynda Jones
Series: Sunshine Vicram #1
Published by St. Martin's Press on April 7, 2020
Genres: Mystery
Tropes: Small-town Mystery, Abduction
Format: eARC
Source: St. Martin's Press, Netgalley
Buy on AmazonBuy on Audible
Narrator: Lorelei King
Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins


by Darynda Jones


I have an admission to make – I find it hard to focus in this new, weird world we live in. So if book can capture my attention and hold it, I cherish these moments. Darynda Jones’s skill with words is effortless and I completely forgot what a genius she is. I adored her Charley Davidson series, in fact, it is one of my top three paranormal/UF series forever and ever. I was thrilled and excited to start A BAD DAY FOR SUNSHINE, the first in this brand new series.

Thick clouds soaked up the vibrant colors of daybreak and splashed them across the heavens like a manic artist who’d scored a new bottle of Adderall.

In it we meet Sunshine Vicram who reminds me a lot of Charley with her snarky sense of humor. But she isn’t a carbon copy – Sun lacks the ADHD-like quality Charley has. She is rational, and loves her daughter with the fire of a thousand suns. Her relationships with Auri, her parents and bestie Quincy are something to aspire to. They are simple, easy, effortless and full of affection. After over a decade she moves back home as the new sheriff of Del Sol, New Mexico and not everyone is happy about that. While she’s there she is determined to find her assailant, who abducted her and held her for days when she was a teen. However, she doesn’t have access to her memories from that time so she’s completely in the dark.

Much more complicated is Sun’s relationship with Levi Ravinder, the man she fell in love with when they were kids. He and his family antagonized her so, admittedly, at first it’s a little hard to see why Sun is so fascinated with him. But in that regard he is like this author’s other hero Reyes. We get glimpses but haven’t even scratched the surface, yet we see already the potential of him becoming just as beloved as Reyes is. He is enigmatic, charismatic, mysterious and a little dangerous. He screams bad boy with a heart of gold.

He was everything she’d ever craved. Every fantasy. Every lascivious thought. All wrapped up into one, powerful predator.

I love that we get a second point of view, which is not of the hero – no, it’s Sun’s daughter Auri’s who is her mini-me, a super-smart cookie with so much kindness and love in her, she’s simply amazing. Watching her fall in love with her schoolmate Cruz was one of my highlights in this first book – this wonderful guy who is a bit of a loner, deserves a sweet girl like Auri.

“How bad was it?”
“The teasing.”
Auri wilted. “Not bad. I’ll probably never live it down, and I’ll need a lot of therapy, but all in all, not bad.”
Sun nodded, wondering how she of all people raised such a horrible liar.

The superbly done and I was pretty surprised in the end. There are several different story arcs running parallel but I was never overwhelmed or confused – that’s how clever Darynda Jones’s writing is. After finishing A BAD DAY FOR SUNSHINE we’ll all have theories about the tragedy that happened to Sun, and Levi’s role in it. The author steers us in this direction but I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t get whiplash from the twist, once it’s revealed.

Don’t make the mistake of comparing the Sunshine Vicram series with Charley Davidson and expecting the same all over again. They are fundamentally different (although there is an Easter egg hidden in there that totally made my day) and you will have a much better reading experience if you read this without this particular expectation.

This book took me out of my head and gave me reprieve from the craziness we experience at the moment. I can’t wait for the next installment – I’m already deeply in love wit these characters and completely invested. This series is a breath of fresh air, full of wit, suspense and light angst. Definitely an auto-read.

“The mayor would like you to call her with an update.”
“Oh, okay, can you take down a message for when she calls back?”
“Yes, ma’am.”
She made sure her badge was securely fastened to her belt, then said, “Okay, it’s three sentences.”
Anita nodded, pen at the ready.
“Bite. My. Ass.” The poor girl actually wrote down all three words before looking at her questioningly. “I know it’s a bit cryptic, but she’ll figure it out.”


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