Monday, January 9, 2023

A Hard Day for a Hangover - Review

A Hard Day for a Hangover (Sunshine Vicram, # 3)

By: Darynda Jones

Publication: December 6, 2022

352 pages

Genre: Adult, Mystery, Humor

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

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Goodreads description--Some people greet the day with open arms. Sheriff Sunshine Vicram would rather give it a hearty shove and get back into bed, because there’s just too much going on right now. There’s a series of women going missing, and Sunny feels powerless to stop it. There’s her persistent and awesomely-rebellious daughter Auri, who’s out to singlehandedly become Del Sol’s youngest and fiercest investigator. And then there’s drama with Levi Ravinder—the guy she’s loved and lusted after for years. The guy who might just be her one and only. The guy who comes from a family of disingenuous vipers looking to oust him—and Sunshine—for good.

Like we said, the new day can take a hike.

The previous bookA Good Day for Chardonnay left off with Sunshine telling Levi that he's Auri's father, and then he basically disappears. Cruz is recovering from being stabbed while saving Auri's life. The events between these two books seemingly pick up almost immediately and span a week or two if I remember correctly. That's always challenging for me. When two books each carry some extreme events, like Cruz getting stabbed, Auri almost getting killed, several mysteries solved, and now we're picking up almost immediately with another series of major events and more multiple mysteries to be solved. It's unbelievable that the characters can experience such dramatic events so frequently. But I don't necessarily read these books for believability.

Darynda Jones writes insanely likeable characters. I love all of them. Sunshine is similar to the other leading women she's written before, and I can't complain about it. I like her so much. Of course, Sunshine is extremely different from myself. Even though she often seems like she doesn't exactly have everything together, she's extremely smart, perceptive, and pulls so much together to solve all these puzzles.

If anyone annoys me out of the character set, it's Auri. Okay, okay, don't jump on me just yet. I love Auri. But sheesh, she can't seem to obey her mother for anything. I mean Sunshine doesn't really discourage her from her disobedience. But as a mother myself, this is a pet peeve. Sometimes we need to understand the why of our parent's instructions, and sometimes we need to obey for obedience's sake. But also, Auri is following in her mother's footsteps and learning the ropes of investigating. She has a knack for following the right strings. Finding out that Levi is Auri's father was a big revelation, and now Sunshine, Levi, and Auri have to work through the fallout of this information. Auri goes from believing that she's the product of an assault on her mother to finding out that a man she loves separately from her mother is actually her biological father. This makes my heart so happy for her.

Levi already had me. Granted, he's so stoic in the past two books that it's hard to read him at times. A Hard Day for a Hangover revealed more about where Levi's head is and what he wants for Sunshine, for himself, for Auri, for all of their futures. If Reyes didn't set the bar as high as he did in the Charley Davidson series, Levi would definitely rank up there right under Reyes. I have a special place reserved for him. Regardless, Levi is pretty stellar, and I can't wait to read more of their story in the upcoming books.

Auri and Cruz didn't have as much of a leading part of this story. They had moments enough to connect and keep us interested and wanting more, but the focus of this story was elsewhere. Auri did have such a large part in the entire book, but her relationship with Cruz just wasn't as present because of Cruz's recovery. He did have some progress, so he wasn't completely absent.

I never want to discuss the mysteries in too much detail because too much can be spoiled for the next reader. Darynda Jones never fails me. I don't usually figure everything out, even if I figure out pieces. There are too many pieces overall to know exactly what's going on.

Favorite quotes:

-Sadly, she didn't do nonchalant well. She was much more of a chalant.

-"And cowboys and vampires and there's this one series about a female grim reaper who's in love with the son of--"

-As the three of them sat eating her mother's famous lasagna, also known as Stouffer's,

A Hard Day for a Hangover is another book of exactly what Darynda Jones does best. I love the character building she does while solving multiple mysteries. All of the pieces of all the puzzles are moving forward at just the right pace. Sunshine and Levi were my favorite part of A Hard Day for a Hangover, but Auri really had a huge role in this book and overall story. There aren't many authors that end every book with me wanting more. I'm always dying to get my hands on the next book by Darynda Jones. A Hard Day for a Hangover gets 4.5 Stars. Have you read A Hard Day for a Hangover? What did you think? Let me know!

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