New Release Review | It’s a Bad Day for Sunshine by Darynda Jones

Bad Day SunshineA Bad Day for Sunshine by Darynda Jones
Sunshine Vicram #1
Romantic Suspense
Dutton Books | March 31, 2020

About the Book:

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.


Alright, so let’s cut right to the chase. The truth is, this is not a perfect book. A Bad Day for Sunshine borrowed a lot of ideas from First Grave on the Right. Sunshine is as witty and fiery as Charley, and Levi is as dark, brooding, and dangerous as Reyes. It went deeper than that though, Levi and Reyes had different issues, but still there was a similar character profile.

In addition, I find it hard to believe that every man Sunshine comes across is sexy, and of course wants to sleep with her. I’m definitely over it. Been there, read that…

Basically the similarities were there…

and they were obvious.

In any good suspenseful series there are generally two plots. There’s the main plot, which will spread out over multiple books (or the entire series), but there is also a minor plot that’s solved in each individual installment. We all know how this works, right?

So, the small subplot in A Bad Day for Sunshine was decent. I wasn’t blown away by the cleverness of it, but I felt interest. So, decent. The series plot, however, I saw that coming from a mile away. This is only the first book, so nothing was truly revealed but it still felt too obvious. If I could see it, why couldn’t Sunshine? I would have preferred she be in the know, and to shake up the plot a bit.

There is always a chance I’m wrong.
I just don’t think so.

In spite of my little voice telling me reasons why I shouldn’t like this book, in the end it didn’t matter. I was addicted.

I guess there’s just something about Darynda Jones’s writing style, her go to playbook, that seems to really sink its hooks into me. I’ve always loved a series I could lose myself in. For me, in this period of my life, Darynda Jones does it for me. Not only was this story similar to Charley Davidson, but A Bad Day for Sunshine also kept me reading with that same vigor.

Charley Davidson was the first series I binge read since I was a teenager. If Sunshine Vicram were 10 books in, I’m positive I’d be reading them back to back like the addict I am.

Clearly I like the Damaged Dark Soul anti-hero hero.

Clearly I love the smart mouthed heroine.

Whatever it was, I really did love Sunshine Vicram & Co. Frankly, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them. My brain is still yelling at Sun, because how can she not see what’s right in front of her eyes! Also, because damn if I didn’t feel the chemistry between Sunny and Levi. They’re going to be explosive!

Plus, as much as I liked Sun and Levi, I almost enjoyed reading about Sun’s daughter Auri more. I’d say through most of the book I was eager to be back in the perspective of Sunshine’s daughter. I’m thinking maybe Ms Darynda should try her hand at a YA book. I think she’d blow me away. She’s guaranteed at least one sale, that’s for sure.

So yeah, I liked it.

I’m a sucker sucker for Darynda Jones.

Thank you to NetGalley and Dutton Books for providing an advance copy, in exchange for an honest review.

About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

11 Responses

  1. thebrowneyedbookworm

    I really struggled getting into the book, I felt there was too much going on, and I just didn’t connect with any of the characters, but then I really got hooked thanks to the relationships, between Sunshine and her daughter, Quincy and of course Levi. I only read a couple of her First Grave on the Right books, and what I remember the most is that she teased the love interest but they never really got together, and I’m worried she is going to do the same with Levi and Sunshine – and at that point I’ll be walking away.


      1. thebrowneyedbookworm

        I wouldn’t be surprised that I stopped before they actually became a couple, I think I only read three books. But that makes me hopeful 😀


      2. thebrowneyedbookworm

        yeah, some series are like that – I still remember the first time I read Kate Daniels – OMG I didn’t appreciate the first three books at all, and now I have re-read them multiple times and loving them. 🙈


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