SUNSET THUNDER: THE CALIENDO RESORT, BY SHANNYN LEAH
PUBLICATION: CARLEX RUBY PRESS; 1 EDITION; DECEMBER 15, 2015
Synopsis: Violet Caliendo escorts couples into the illusion of “happily ever after” as wedding coordinator at Willow Valley’s five-star Caliendo Resort. But Violet doesn’t believe in love or “happily ever after” anymore. She’s guarded herself from love so deeply since her divorce that some even call her the “Ice Queen.” When she has to plan her ex-husband’s wedding, even her Ice Queen persona takes a hit.
With her emotions in high gear, she takes out her frustrations by having sex with her ex’s best man, Ryder Carlex. Ryder is a playboy type and Violet figures it’s a simple one-time fling. But Ryder actually is attracted to Violet in a way he’s never known before. Neither of them ever imagines that the sparks between them will ignite a fire hotter than anything they’ve ever encountered – slowly breaking down both their walls.
Will Violet be able to let go of her past and embrace a possible future with Ryder? Will Ryder let Violet into his own deep, dark secrets? Or will their trust issues forever doom them both from achieving their own “happily ever after”?
This was my first time reading anything by Shannyn Leah and ooooh I’m so glad I did! This is the story of Violet Caliendo, part of a wealthy family that owns The Caliendo Resort, where Violet works as the wedding coordinator. Violet is suffering through the unpleasant experience of planning her ex-husband, Joel’s wedding, to one of the maids on staff at the resort, Missy. Even worse than having to plan their wedding, it means that she will be face to face with Joel’s best friend, Ryder, whom she has always considered a rich, spoiled, playboy. Joel has always told Ryder how cold and heartless Violet is, but Ryder gets a completely different impression when Violet walks into the men’s room, grabs Ryder, and they have sex. What was meant to be a quick fling just to ease the stress of planning Joel’s wedding, turns into much more for both of them as they start feeling something between them. However, secrets and lies are constant obstacles as they try to build a relationship.
I have to start with Ryder because I LOVED his character. He was smart, sexy, and so much more than Violet originally thought. I felt so bad for him several times due to his own family issues and Violet’s constant back and forth between liking him and then accusing him of being a player. Violet was not my favorite character ever in the beginning, but I continued to warm up to her while reading and loved her more and more. Violet’s family is most definitely a dysfunctional one, with Violet’s main stability being her children, and she’s endured years of grief and heartache with because of her Dad or because of Joel. Regarding the rest of her family, I had mixed emotions throughout the novel. At times I would see good in them and think they were nice people that actually cared about Violet, but for the most part, I was thinking about what a crappy hand she was dealt in the family department.
This was a fantastic romance and I could literally feel the chemistry between Violet and Ryder. What I really enjoyed was the added mystery and suspense regarding things that happened in the past. I was pleasantly surprised several times by things I had not seen coming, which just added to the overall enjoyment of the novel. In the first part of the novel there were times where I felt like the characters inner thoughts and dialogue were a little much, wishing for more external dialogue or action, but overall I thought this was an amazing romance novel. The author did an excellent job of demonstrating the strong and weak sides of her characters, making them more realistic and relatable to the reader. The characters were complex enough, but not over the top. I’m so happy to have read and reviewed “Sunset Thunder” and look forward to reading much more from this author in the future!
Learn more about Shannyn Leah by visiting her web page.
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