⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ REVIEW: The Brightest Light of Sunshine by Lisina Coney

This was an unexpected delight! I really wasn’t sure what I was getting into with this debut, but I was willing to give it a try – and I’m so glad that I did. Quiet and heartfelt, this strangers to friends to lovers age gap romance is a stellar slow burn. I loved how Cal and Grace grew their relationship on a foundation of trust and respect, bonding as friends before they explored the possibility of more. I also adored what a sweetheart Cal is – he’s a big, tattooed softie who loves his little sister and falls for his girl quickly, which was so great to read. He is SO gone for his girl, and I loved patience and loyalty. I even liked that they took their time getting together – it made sense for the story, and it was even more impactful when they finally crossed that line. So this was tender, heartwarming, and swoony in the best of ways, with an engaging storyline and endearing, complex characters. A definite win – I loved it.

The story follows Grace (22), a woman in her last year of college. She was sexually assaulted four years ago, and has been slowly piecing herself back together in the time since. So when Grace decides to get a tattoo in honor of her recovery, the last thing she expects is to meet a guy. Cal (30) is covered in tattoos and a giant compared to her, so she probably should find him intimidating. But Cal soon reveals himself to be a kind and gentle man, and the connection Grace feels towards him allows them to form a friendship. Neither of them expects anything more to come out of the relationship, but Grace and Cal form the kind of bond that doesn’t come around often. As the two navigate the changes in their relationship, their friendship slowly simmers into something more.

First and foremost, this is a love story, but it’s also a great book about overcoming obstacles. Grace has come to terms with the fact that her recovery won’t happen in an instant, but she now feels ready to move forward. Cal has family issues that have shaped his experiences as well, which means they both come into the friendship with some inner conflicts. I loved watching them lift each other up and offer nothing but love and patience, which was navigated deftly by this debut author. I’ll admit to being a little hesitant about the age gap (since Grace is still in college), but she is so mature that it really wasn’t an issue. And these two truly do start as friends, which made it a lot more palatable. It was easy to see Cal falling hard and fast, but he took his time before moving forward. As much as I loved Grace, it’s Cal who steals the show here. He is SUCH a great guy, and his love for Grace leapt off the page. He’s this gentle giant with an intensity that comes out at the perfect moments, and I loved the combination of the gruff possessiveness paired with the understanding tenderness. That made for a truly memorable read – one that will stay with me for awhile.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3YXath1


A woman ready to move on. A man who can’t afford distractions. An inspiring journey of healing love.

Determined to walk away from a traumatic past, 22-year-old Grace Allen feels ready to take the next step in her healing journey—dipping a toe into the dating pool. Although she should probably start by making a friend or two, right?

Samuel ‘Cal’ Callaghan isn’t who she had envisioned as her first male friend in… well, forever. With an intimidating build, tattoos everywhere, eight years her senior, and a little sister under his care, the last thing she expected was to warm up to him so easily. As their friendship evolves, Grace can’t help but wonder if Cal is exactly who she’s been looking for all this time.

Cal can’t afford to lose sight of his priorities—making sure his tattoo parlor thrives and taking care of his little sister. Especially the latter. He wants to make sure 4-year-old Maddie has a healthy and happy childhood, despite their mother going off the rails and her father’s blatant neglect. There’s certainly no room for love in his life right now. But when a sweet blonde with a veiled past breaks down his walls, he finds it difficult to stick to his guns.

CONTENT NOTES: This book contains themes of sexual assault (there are no explicit scenes depicting sexual assault), profanity, alcoholism, and explicit sexual content. Recommended for 18+.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3YXath1

About the Author:

Lisina Coney is a New Adult and contemporary romance author with a weakness for heartfelt love connections and happy endings. She believes in creating complex and relatable characters that will make her readers feel less alone in their journeys.

Besides daydreaming every day and putting it into writing when the sun comes down, Lisina is an avid reader who loves ballet, is obsessed with French fries, and tends to force kisses on her very patient cats.

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