Sunlight Girl


Romance - Contemporary
572 Pages
Reviewed on 07/28/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

K. L. Cottrell is a natural-born ginger, romance author, and firm believer in true love and optimism. She enjoys turning daydreams, real-life experiences, and unexpected moments of inspiration into stories that are as emotional and relatable as they are entertaining and spellbinding.

From the author: "Sunlight Girl was inspired by a dear friend who was dealing with really hard things in her life. Since I couldn't fix her situation, I wanted to offer unique hope and strength to her and anyone with struggles like hers; I'm a romance author, so I decided to turn this inspiration into an emotional love story that could be relatable to a lot of different people in different ways."

    Book Review

Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite

K.L. Cottrell's Sunlight Girl is a romance novel filled with suspense. Spencer Frost always thought he was a good boyfriend and that he would spend the rest of his life with Loren. When he finds her dead Spencer hates the world. He finds an outlet for his pent-up rage by running daily. After moving to Arkansas, he does his best to avoid making friends at school. Then he literally runs into Emerson King. Emerson is the only female that is always pleasant, despite nobody reciprocating. When Spencer sees Emerson carrying her groceries through a thunderstorm, he offers her a ride home and discovers she is his neighbor. Spencer becomes entranced with Emerson, only to learn that she has a secret nobody knows about.

I couldn't put Sunlight Girl down. K.L. Cottrell's descriptive writing drew me into the story. Told from Spencer's point of view, the inner turmoil and raw emotions he felt made me connect with him. I found Emerson's volunteer work intriguing and her eagerness to just make Spencer happy to be clues for her loneliness. The suspense element of this story is extremely strong, as I couldn't predict anything. Spencer's hurt from Loren's death is completely understandable since he had no closure. This book deserves a 5-star rating with its seamless timeline, well-developed characters, and realistic portrayal of events. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a sweet romance that evolves slowly. There is only one explicit scene that is described more from the emotional view of two adults. The profanity and mild violence would make this better suited for mature readers.

Liz Konkel

Sunlight Girl by K.L. Cottrell is a new adult romance that tackles trauma, love, and healing. Spencer Frost is only eighteen, but life has already knocked him down and he doesn't know if he'll be able to get back on his feet. The more he thinks about the death of his girlfriend, the angrier he becomes with the world. He keeps a wall up to keep out anyone attempting to reach out to him. Spencer is clear to everyone around him that he doesn't want or need their help. It doesn't help that he also doesn't feel worthy of that help. Then Emerson King enters his life and changes the way he sees everything. She's his opposite in every way and creates a calming balance to his abrasive personality. They find commonality with each other when he learns that she's facing her own trauma and he's the first one to pay attention. This stunning romance follows two people as they find themselves at their most hopeless and the journey they take to open themselves up to love.

The story deals with sensitive themes such as unexpected death and contains mature content. Sunlight Girl opens the story by introducing a happy Spencer during a time when life felt perfect with his girlfriend Loren which hits harder when you meet the Spencer the story focuses on. The opening prologue explores the time when Spencer was happy in love, then shows the moment this happiness all comes crashing down around him. K.L. Cottrell captures the trauma, pain, anger, and grief of loss with a story that doesn't hold back from the honesty of this pain. The story expresses Spencer's pain with a real approach through the lens of a teenager experiencing trauma and facing it every day as it literally surrounds him wherever he goes, even at school.

Cottrell doesn't hold back, even incorporating the bullying Spencer faces as other students mock Loren's death, serving as constant triggers for his pain and anger. The compassion he experiences from Emerson pushes against his walls. This contributes to his anger while their growing connection steadily chips away at that anger to allow him to be vulnerable again. Their connection brings to life a love story about healing, acceptance, and strength through Spencer discovering the scars and pain that Emerson has experienced while in turn letting her see his own trauma. Emerson as an artist sees the world through beauty and creative expression which plays a significant role in the light found within the story. Cottrell creates a love story in Sunlight Girl that's real, painful, emotional, and honest with two people on a journey of healing.