Title: Rae of Sunshine
Author: Micalea Smeltzer
Series: Light in the Dark #1
Release Date: November 23, 2014
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.
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.
Rae of Sunshine is the epitome of college romance. Rae’s story is filled with heartache, self-doubt, love, and learning to let go. This book is truly a journey of discovery and growth that will have you feeling every high and low right alongside these loveable characters. Micalea Smeltzer is an expert at creating stories that are emotionally weighted and absolutely breathtaking. With Rae of Sunshine, Micalea has once again managed to capture my heart and take me on a ride that left me nostalgic, a little giddy, and perfectly content.
“I might not have been in prison but I was stuck behind bars of my own creation.”
Rae is living proof that actions have consequences. Her story broke my heart a little bit as I waited for her to find her way back into the light. Micalea Smeltzer really transforms Rae over the course of the novel, molding her into a strong and beautiful person you can’t help but adore. I absolutely loved Cade. He radiated charm but had an innate sweetness that allowed him to bring Rae’s walls crashing down. He could have easily been a stereotypical alpha male or a giant jerk, but his own personal experiences kept him grounded. True to form, Micalea Smeltzer has once again developed a sizzling chemistry between her characters that results in some hilarious dialogue and undeniably intense moments.
“And then his smile lit my world on fire.”
Micalea really captures the spirit of university life in this book. I was effortlessly transported back to my own days of living in the dorms, attending parties, and enjoying football games in that perfect fall weather. There is a vibrance to this story, an appreciation for being young and in love and living free for the first time. Rae of Sunshine captures the growing pains of being a college student and that desperate desire to re-invent yourself. Rae and Cade’s personal struggles only added to the emotional charge of this story, allowing me to sink into their feelings and connect with them in a very visceral way.
“I’d never believed in destiny or soul mates, but I did believe in Cade Montgomery and there was more to him, to us, than I wanted to believe.”
Rae of Sunshine possesses all the sweetness and innocence of young love, along with the heat and passion that comes with your first taste of independence. Micalea has created another fantastic cast of characters that I hope we will see more of in the future. I enjoyed every moment of watching Rae and Cade learn to stand on their own and choose how to live their lives. This book was everything college romance should be and so much more. Micalea Smeltzer truly has a gift for writing. She skillfully captures raw emotion, creates characters with distinct voices, and gives her readers a reason to fall in love all over again. Rae of Sunshine was just the fun and fulfilling new adult romance I needed.
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Don’t miss the rest of the series:
When Stars Collide (Light in the Dark #2)
Dark Hearts (Light in the Dark #3)
When Constellations Form (Light in the Dark #4)