REVIEW: A Hard Day for a Hangover by Darynda Jones

Posted January 2nd, 2023 by in Blog, Contemporary Romance, HJ Top Pick!, Review, Romantic Suspense / 14 comments


In A Hard Day for a Hangover by Darynda Jones, Sunshine Vicram admittedly hasn’t been back in her hometown of Del Sol for long, but she honestly doesn’t remember it being quite so…wacky. As the new sheriff, she hears (just about) everything that goes on. Between the neighborhood flasher who gets attacked, her teenage daughter Auri getting into constant mischief, her bestie Quincy being out-of-sorts, and girls going missing locally, Sun has her days booked. Too bad she doesn’t have her nights booked with a certain rough-edged businessman she’s loved for more years than she can count: Levi Ravinder. But she especially wants to keep an eye on him since some of his backwoods family wants to do him harm.

‘Her daughter had a knack for ferreting out the most obscure clues and piecing them together like it was an Olympic sport and she was a gold medalist. The problem with that trait lately, however, was the fact that she kept almost getting killed as a result of her prying.’

Auri’s got a few ideas about her mom’s current cases but isn’t sure she should get involved. Again. You know, because of the whole almost-died thing that happened to her a few days ago. In her defense, though, she was definitely on the right track. She would have had it all handled if the bad guy didn’t surprise her and Cruz. So now with girls going missing around the area, Auri digs into the clues. But when danger rears its ugly head again, Sun, Quincy, and Levi–along with a few others–step in to bring justice to those hurt or lost. The surprising answer hits closer to home than they expected and will take them all on the top of their game to put an end to it.

‘Someone had been attacking girls on her watch. That was their first mistake. Their second was to think they could get away with it.’

A phenomenal finale done in true Darynda Jones style, A Hard Day for a Hangover had it all–giggles & laughs, sadness & tears, action & drama. Even family revelations. But most importantly, it was about love, redemption, and those we hold close.

‘The look he gave her held so much love Sun thought her heart would burst. Or possibly a blood vessel in her brain. It would be just like her to have an aneurysm when she was so close to having everything she’d dreamed of since puberty.’

Say this isn’t the end! Darynda Jones’s Sunshine Vicram trilogy and its awesome cast has burrowed way down deep into my heart. Okay…ALL of her series have. But there was something so very special about these stories being told from two distinct POVs: our fearless sheriff Sunshine’s and her brilliant-but-attracts-danger-like-a-moth-to-flame daughter Auri’s. I couldn’t get enough of their quick banter or the wonderful rapport they had between them. It was hilarious as much as it was inspiring. (Seriously, #lifegoals) But Auri and Sun sure had a penchant for finding themselves in harm’s way. And this installment kept me on my toes with the mystery and thrilling action scenes that made this absolutely unputdownable.

While there were some bittersweet moments, the majority of it was heartwarming. We of course had a bunch of plot threads tied up, nice and neat, giving closure to parts of the characters’ lives that had been taking up space for some time. That being said, I wouldn’t be sad at all if we got some novellas or short stories about some of the side characters. Jones once again wowed me with her storytelling abilities, with the way all of the relationships came together in the end and with how she creates *the* most perfectly imperfect heroes I fall for every single time. From Levi to Cruz and even Quincy, Seabright, and Poetry, I think readers will be hard pressed to finish this story without being at least half in love with each of them.

QOTD: Have you read a book or series where it’s told from both the mother’s and daughter’s POVs (or father/son)?

Book Info:

Publication: Published December 6th 2022 |  St. Martin’s Press | Sunshine Vicram #3

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.



14 Responses to “REVIEW: A Hard Day for a Hangover by Darynda Jones”

    • Michele H

      It’s best to read this trilogy in sequential order as each book picks up right where the previous one left off. There would be major spoilers, too, if you tried to read them on their own. Happy Reading!!

  1. Amy Donahue

    I can’t think of a dual parent/child novel that I’ve read, but this series sounds like one I would enjoy.

    • Michele H

      Whether you’ve read anything by Darynda Jones yet or not, this would likely work. Especially if you like humor and great character interactions along with mystery and humor. Enjoy!! 🙂

  2. susan

    I can’t wait to read this one. I am a bit sad we won’t be having more Sunshine. Thanks for the review!

    • Michele H

      I hope you enjoy it, Susan! What a wild ride it was but SO worth it! Hopefully Darynda will revisit these characters at some point… *fingers crossed*

    • Michele H

      Right? It’s so hard to say goodbye to Sunshine and the rest of the awesome cast but Darynda did such a great job with the ending. I hope you love it as much as we did, Mary! 🙂

  3. Ellen C.

    I have read some books with alternating chapters for 2 or 3 of the characters. Sometimes friends, sometimes sisters, maybe a mother and daughter.

    • Michele H

      Nice! It can make a story even more interesting with alternating POVs, particularly if there is an age gap between characters. Their perspectives are usually just different enough to add more depth. I hope you enjoy this one if you pick it up, Ellen!

    • Michele H

      Yay! It’s been a great run, right? But it seems like anything Darynda Jones writes is wonderful. And funny. And heartfelt. Can’t wait to see what she gives readers next!