A Good Day for Chardonnay by Darynda Jones A Good Day for Chardonnay by Darynda Jones
Narrator: Lorelei King
Series: Sunshine Vicram #2
Published by Macmillan Audio on July 27, 2021
Source: Purchased
Genres: Mystery, Romantic Suspense
Length: 12 hrs 8 mins
Pages: 416
Format: Audiobook
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three-half-stars

Running a small-town police force in the mountains of New Mexico should be a smooth, carefree kind of job. Sadly, full-time Sheriff--and even fuller-time coffee guzzler--Sunshine Vicram, didn't get that memo.

All Sunshine really wants is one easy-going day. You know, the kind that starts with coffee and a donut (or three) and ends with take-out pizza and a glass of chardonnay (or seven). Turns out, that's about as easy as switching to decaf. (What kind of people do that? And who hurt them?)

Before she can say iced mocha latte, Sunny's got a bar fight gone bad, a teenage daughter hunting a serial killer and, oh yes, the still unresolved mystery of her own abduction years prior. All evidence points to a local distiller, a dangerous bad boy named Levi Ravinder, but Sun knows he's not the villain of her story. Still, perhaps beneath it all, he possesses the keys to her disappearance. At the very least, beneath it all, he possesses a serious set of abs. She's seen it. Once. Accidentally.

Between policing a town her hunky chief deputy calls four cents short of a nickel, that pesky crush she has on Levi which seems to grow exponentially every day, and an irascible raccoon that just doesn't know when to quit, Sunny's life is about to rocket to a whole new level of crazy.

Yep, definitely a good day for chardonnay.

First off, A Good Day for Chardonnay is the second in the series, and it really is better to read #1 first. It will give you a much fuller picture of our main characters and their backstories.

I really enjoyed A Good Day for Chardonnay. Sunshine is a fabulous character, sarcastic, funny, loyal. She is surrounded by quirky but incredibly helpful and supportive friends, some of who are on her staff, and parents who are caring but have a bad habit of meddling in her life. She’s got a smart 16-year old daughter, who has a boyfriend that is way cooler and competent than any kid I knew at that age.

There’s a lot going on in the book. Sunshine Vicram is still looking into a case from her past. Auri, her daughter, thinks she’s on the trail of a serial killer who was active in the 50s and 60s. And then there’s a stabbing in town that leads to a major investigation. It’s definitely action-packed but maybe a bit over-complicated.

The characters are definitely the highlight of the book. They’re quirky and charming, even the bad guys are interesting. The case is absorbing and the dialogue is often funny, although sometimes it tries a little too hard. I did get tired of how often the characters are broken or break or shatter.

This is also a romance. Sunshine and Levi have a lot of history, and the attraction between them is obvious. I actually really like them as a couple, well if they were a couple, which they’re not, but kind of are. They work together well. The sex scene was surprising though. I hadn’t expected a graphic sex scene and to be honest some of the phrasing was rather cringy. It just felt out of place.

I’m looking forward to the next one. There are definitely situations that still need resolving and I can’t wait to see what trouble Sunshine and her gang get into next.

About Darynda Jones

NYTimes and USA Today Bestselling Author Darynda Jones has won numerous awards for her work, including a prestigious RITA, a Golden Heart, and a Daphne du Maurier. As 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 of more than 25 years and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.

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