Sunday, April 9, 2017

{Book Review} Rae of Sunshine by Micalea Smeltzer

Rae of Sunshine by Micalea Smeltzer
Published: November 23rd, 2014
Series: Light in the Dark #1
Source: Purchased
Genre: Contemporary, College Romance
Pages: 287

What I remember the most about that day was that it was completely ordinary. Then with one stupid decision everything fell apart and nothing was ever the same.

Rae Wilder wants nothing but a do over—but life doesn’t work that way. She’s stuck living out the consequences of her actions. At times the burden feels unbearable.
College is supposed to be her second chance.
New place.
New people.
New life.
No one to know what she did.
Despite that, she has still vowed to avoid everyone and everything at all costs.
Unfortunately for her, an accidental run-in with the campus heartthrob, Cade Montgomery, derails that plan.
He’s determined to thaw the ice around her heart and expose the girl she used to be. He wants to show her that life is worth living for and that she really is a Rae of Sunshine.

I am going to start this review by stating that I loved the synopsis’s of the other two books in this series (When Stars Collide and Dark Hearts), but something just did not spark my interest when I read the synopsis for this book.  I did enjoy it, but it was full of tropes and was VERY predictable.  It defiantly followed a typical NA college romance, checking each box as it went along.  However, this would be an excellent book for readers who want to get into the NA genre.  It was sweet, cute and fluffy.

I thought Smeltzer’s writing was good.  It read very easily and flowed together perfectly.  I will say that although there were moments that absolutely captivated me, there were also times where I became bored with the story.  I knew everything that was going to happen and I also found parts to become slightly repetitive.  I still think this was a good book, but compared to others, it just fell a bit short for me.

One thing that I really enjoyed were the characters.  Rae, the main female protagonist, had really great character development.  The change was very gradual, but it was also drastic.  She evolved from being closed off, cold and sometimes rude to being happy, warm and friendly.  I really liked Cade, but his character was pretty generic.  I loved that he slowly helped Rae forgive herself, but sometimes, his dialogue almost seemed too ‘old’ for his character.  He would constantly say phrases that I couldn’t image a male college student saying.  It would not have been too bad if it was not constant, but he came off as a walking self-help/inspirational quote book to me.

Not surprising, I fell head-over-heels in love with the secondary characters.  Thea would totally be my best friend!  And I also really can’t wait to read more from Nova.  This book was amazing at setting up the next books in the series and I really do think that this book should be read before the rest of the books. 

I enjoyed the romance, but it was also pretty generic.  I was happy that it did not feel like insa-love, but their chemistry was instant.  I loved how protective Cade was over Rae and all the small, loving gestures he did for her.  I LOVED when he would kiss her forehead or grab her knee when he knew she was nervous or upset.  I would also consider this book as 'clean' compared to other books I have read.  Yes, there is some swearing and one very tame sex scene, but I found it refreshing from all the more 'mature' romance books out there.

Overall, this was a cute, fluffy romance great for new readers in the NA romance genre.  I think that more seasoned readers may feel a bit underwhelmed by this story, but I still think that it is a good read.  It is very simple and formulaic, which is not always bad since it worked.  I can’t wait to dive into the rest of the books in this series!


“Sometimes we all have to suffer through terrible things to find the light in the dark.”

Also check out some of Micalea Smeltzer’s other books below.

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