Author: E. J. Caulker
Series: The Sunshine Affair #1
Publish Date: Dec. 10, 2013
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 414 pages
Description (from Amazon.com): The Sunshine Affair begins as we find Tina, a beautiful woman who could have had any man she wanted. Her problem is that the man she chose is only concerned about what she can do for him. Thirteen years of marriage has given her two amazing children but left her with virtually no self-esteem or self-worth, because her husband has relentlessly stripped away both with his indifference and belittling comments.
Eric is an athletic, ambitious college instructor who has big plans for his career and his life. As he puts himself through graduate school, he wonders if he will ever find a woman who will truly appreciate him for who he is and love him unconditionally, not for what others want him to be.
A chance meeting at the local gym brings Tina and Eric together. There is an undeniable chemistry between them the first moment their eyes say hello. It’s not long before that chemistry becomes attraction and Tina must make a choice: leave her husband for Eric or stay in a marriage that has emotionally crippled her. For Eric it is a choice of denying the woman he’s been longing for or turn his back on his beliefs on having an affair with a married woman.
As their friendship grows, so does the attraction until their feelings can no longer be denied. It becomes increasingly difficult for Tina and Eric not to give into their passion for one another. But the more time they spend with each other brings them one step closer to giving in to their desires.
In the meantime, Tina's husband becomes suspicious of Tina and Eric’s friendship and that suspicion causes Tina and Eric to take their friendship to the shadows in an effort to keep their budding affair a secret. Eric conspires to win Tina's heart and show her why leaving her husband is exactly the right thing to do. Tina's husband uncovers his wife's feelings for Eric though he can never confirm she is having an affair. Eric and Tina are able to stay one step ahead of her husband...but for how long? And what will her husband do when his suspicions are confirmed?
Based on a true story, author E.J. Caulder puts readers in the middle of the true life account of Eric Simmons’ journal entries of The Sunshine Affair series in this gripping rollercoaster love affair that will have you wondering just how far a person will go to get what they want regardless the cost or the consequences.
My Review: As I was reading this novel I was originally pulled in by the first person narration. I liked that it felt like I was a part of the action. I also liked the dates at the beginning of each passage like a diary because it made the story seem more personal. However, as I went along I began to become increasingly confused because I noticed the dates jump around with no set increments. This made me really confused because if I wasn't necessarily paying attention to the dates, the transition and time jump seemed awkward.
The further I read the less I was interested in the story. I did want to know what happened between Tina and Eric but because of the description and the title I could pretty much sum up what would happen. However, I did continue reading because I really dislike leaving a book half finished. I found it interesting that the feelings in the relationship between Tina and Eric were not one sided. I expected there to be one person to pursue the others but it seemed that they were both equally flirting with each other in the beginning.
I found it really weird that after a while it seemed that Tina was seeking Eric out more than he was for her. It became very clear that Tina and Eric were not just friends. They were definitely more than friends and they wanted to be more than friends. Even when Tina tried to stop being friends with Eric, she was the one who initiated the friendship again and couldn't seem to stay away from him. I don't know if it's just my beliefs but I didn't really appreciate that Tina was so close to Eric and didn't once give considerable thought to just divorcing her husband instead of just complaining about how unhappy she was. I don't think it was appropriate for her to be talking about her marriage problems with another man that she was obviously attracted to. Although I admired Eric for being there for Tina, I do not think that it was his place to get involved in her marriage.
Overall, I give this novel 3.5 stars and I don't think I'm interested in the rest of the series.