Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Rae of Sunshine (Light in the Dark #1)” as Want to Read:
Rae of Sunshine (Light in the Dark #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Rae of Sunshine

(Light in the Dark #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  3,116 ratings  ·  241 reviews
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.
New p
Kindle Edition, 392 pages
Published November 23rd 2014 by Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,116 ratings  ·  241 reviews

More filters
Sort order
A favorite to re-read when I want a sweet NA romance.

Loved this book. I have read a few books by Micaela Smeltzer now and this is my favorite. Cade & Rae are such amazing characters. I love the fact that Cade was so patience with Rae. Such a heartwarming story. Recommend if you prefer your romances on the sweeter side.

HEA (view spoiler)
Cheating/OW Safe from cheating/ow
Push/Pull (view spoiler)
Any couple separati
Deserie williams
Sep 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
May Contain Spoilers!

4.5 Cade stars. great, sweet, heartbreaking read! Cade was so patient and perfect! I love him so much! Rae at first was a little hard to like (understandable) as to why she pushed people away but she was great. Loved Thea too. I would like to read about her. This was a pretty clean romance. A little making out and sex scenes weren't really detailed.

safety : both had one relationship in high school. h is a virgin and H had very few hooks up (no mention of oral skills) .he wa
Brina (Brina and the Books)
Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, series, 2016, favorites
4.5 Stars

Full review on:Brina and the Books

This is my second time reading Rae of Sunshine and I can say that I loved it just as much as the first time. <3

Cade is one of my absolutely favorite book-boyfriends. Yes, he can be cocky at first glance but after a while you have to realize that this guy is one of the nicest, kindest and most considerate guys ever. Why can't every guy be like Cade?!
Rae is a great character, too but her constant self-pity was too much - and I only realized that after
4 "Sunny" Stars

Rae is a girl with demons. Even after leaving her old life behind and trying to start over in a new place at college, she's still trying to outrun her past. Quiet, broody and purposely pushing people away, she literally runs into her future. She just doesn't realize it at first. Cade seems to be the exact opposite of Rae. He's happy, popular, and has everything at his finger tips. But as Rae learns, some scars are clearly visible while others hide below the surface. With help both
Jennifer Wyk
Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once in a while you one click a book based only on the recommendation of a friend and your world changes. That happened to me with Rae of Sunshine. I, admittedly, have other Micaela Smeltzer books on my kindle, just happily waiting there for me to devour, which I plan to now, but just hadn't yet. But this is about Rae of Sunshine, an amazing, adorable, sweet and emotionally charged college romance.

Rae is a sad and timid girl who has lived through something all parents fear. Her tragic story is
This book felt formulaic and predictable. It was actually quite boring and nothing much happens. Half way through I started skimming and it ends neatly wrapped up with happiness and ribbons of sunshine. Very disappointing and contrived.

There are books out there that are just simply better than this attempt. It wasn't for me.

DNF. I wouldn't recommend it unless you're into books that are nonsensical and fluffy.
J. Haney
Nov 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Amazingly Sweet and Emotional Read!

"Cade Montgomery crashed into my life, literally, and now I never wanted him to leave. He was my salvation."

I sit here and I’m still in awe after finishing this book, not even sure where to start. Before I start let me just say my review won’t matter as your reading this amazing story. Everyone and I mean everyone will take this story differently. If you are in a hard place this is the best book for you hands down. Everyone needs a little Rae of Sunshine. Trust
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved every single part of this book... I can't complain on anything... *sighs dreamily* it was sweet and emotional and vulnerable and hilarious... with fantastic writing style I can highly recommend it :) give me some time to gather all my thoughts and feelings and you'll get a full review soon enough ;)

edited to add my full review :)

I actually read the two books available as of now in this series out of order... ;) and by now I mean the moment when I'm actually writing this review
Katie Lemieux
Dec 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book I wish there was a second one. I read this in 3 hours I couldn't put it down. Great read <3
Oct 25, 2018 rated it liked it
First off, I did really love this story! On that note, I would have given this story more stars, but I was unable to get over the multiple grammer errors that were repeated. But happiliy I can say over all I did enjoy this book! Plus, I absolutely loved Cade Montgomery!!
Anna Doe
* 3 sunshine stars *

I've been thinking a lot how many stars to give this book and in general how I feel about it. Some parts I loved some, not so much. I've read two other series by this author - Willow Creek and Trace + Olivia - and Willow Creek made it to my best reads of 2016.

If you follow Micalea on Facebook you probably saw that Rae of Sunshine, book #1 in Light in the Dark series, was one of the hardest books she has ever written and I get why. If you are interested in full post you can f
Genesis Sheli (Whispering Chapters)
Rae of Sunshine shows the side of a villain/victim that goes through the consequences of texting and driving.

Rae arrives as a freshman to college. She is not there to make friends, she wants to be alone but her roommate Thea doesn't give up on Rae and tries to befriend her.

One day, Rae gets literally knocked down and Cade is there to help her up since it was his fault she ended up on the floor in the first place. Cade and Thea are siblings and once having met Rae, they make it their own personal
Oct 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like the world created in this series. I started with book 2 so going back to the beginning was interesting. I enjoyed this relationship and it's unique challenges. I think it was handled well. Looking forward to the 3rd book in the series.
Nov 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
:) what an amazing story. You are not going to want to miss this book!!!
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars! Rae of Sunshine is a powerful story. For Rae, a strong yet timid young woman who’s lived through a terrible tragedy, it’s about overcoming the past and self-forgiveness. For Cade, a gentle and caring guy, it’s about dealing with a difficult family situation. Both of these characters are damaged by what they’ve seen and what they’ve experienced and this story is about how fate can bring you the right person at the right time and help you move forward.

So much about this story is heartbr
Julia - The Romance Bibliophile
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Rae of Sunshine was amazing and definitely reignited my passion for reading Micalea Smeltzer’s books. I loved her writing style and how she told Rae and Cade’s story. It was simple and to the point, but I couldn’t help but be enthralled with everything I read. Rae of Sunshine was at times a heartbreaking and heartwarming story, but I am so glad that I read it and gave it a chance.

Rae and Cade were amazing characters and I really enjoyed reading their story. It took me a little while to warm up
Nov 06, 2017 marked it as to-read
Shelves: freebie
FREE on Amazon today (11/06/2017)!
5 Stars

Rae of Sunshine was an amazing and touching story of finding your place in the world, and surrounding yourself with the people who “get” you. I both laughed and cried while reading, and I truly believe that Rae, Cade, Thea and the rest of the characters came at the right time for me. I had been sick and not reading, but from the first page this book hooked me and I didn’t want to stop. Initially I needed to know what happened to make Rae into the person she had become, and then after that
Liz's Book Bucket List
I am going to start this review by stating that I loved the synopsis’s of the other two books in this series (When Stars Collide and Dark Hearts), but something just did not spark my interest when I read the synopsis for this book. I did enjoy it, but it was full of tropes and was VERY predictable. It defiantly followed a typical NA college romance, checking each box as it went along. However, this would be an excellent book for readers who want to get into the NA genre. It was sweet, cute and f ...more
Every time I read one of my Micalea’s books, I always get the sense that there is an underlying message. Whether it is about love, living, hope, whatever. I always come away with something and Rae of Sunshine was no exception. This was such a fantastic book with a good storyline and awesome characters.

Rae is a girl who sets off to college trying to escape the consequences of a fateful decision that she made. Her goal is to go to classes and be left alone, no friends. Well sometimes we don’t alw
Sep 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars - 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 m ...more
Kate ღ
Jan 30, 2017 rated it did not like it
Did I read a different book to everyone else?

There are two reasons I didn't like this book.

1. Assult - There were a couple of instances where some very serious physical assults took place and it was just shrugged off, like what happened was sh it, but what do you do? Um you report it so the fu ckers can't do it again.

2. Things got too happy too quickly. What the MC actually did was quite serious and the people around her are telling her it's not her fault and to move on and live. Ah, shouldn'
Dec 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Very good

I wasn't sure if I would like this book, but I fell in love with it. Cade and Rae's story made me laugh and sometimes tear up. She realizes that everyone has secrets, no one is perfect, and you have to move on. Cade is that guy who makes you take second chances in life, he just a big teddy bear.
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved it!!!

Another great book by Micalea! The story is about Rae and also about Cade. Them letting go of their secrets and moving forward. I wish the epilogue was further out in time but I will take it . I hope there is something in store for Thea and Xander.
Brittany Smith
Dec 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
such a sweet story! cade. he warms my heart!
Tracie M
Nov 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great read!

Haven't found a book yet by Micalea that I haven't loved. This is no exception. Powerful storyline, great characters, and amazing writing.
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars!! Rae of Sunshine is a powerful story. For Rae, a strong yet timid young woman who’s lived through a terrible tragedy, it’s about overcoming the past and self-forgiveness. For Cade, a gentle and caring guy, it’s about dealing with a difficult family situation. Both of these characters are damaged by what they’ve seen and what they’ve experienced and this story is about how fate can bring you the right person at the right time and help you move forward.

So much about this story is heartb
You can see this review at Soaring Up High

Rae of Sunshine is such a beautiful and moving book.

I just fell in love with this book from the first page. The first words had me hooked on and I just couldn’t stop reading it. I read this book in less than a day.

My most favorite part of the book are the characters. I love Rachel “Rae” and Cade. Both of them are real. Yes, they are both college aged, but they act like their age. Both of them have had hard experiences shape them into the people they are
Nov 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
Rae of Sunshine is an emotional and beautiful new adult romance that is a powerful story!

Rae is running from her past, and trying to outrun her demons. She's suffered a tragedy that she hasn't found a way to forgive herself for, and just wants to be left alone. When she arrives on campus for her freshman year of college, she literally runs into the big man on campus, Cade Montgomery, and can't seem to shake him. Rae only wants to go to school get her degree and disappear again, but her perky and
Christine Alibutud
"I hadn’t been looking for love.

Or friendship.

Or a lot of things.

But the things you think you don’t need can turn out to be exactly what you didn’t know you were searching for."


As much as I wanted to like this book, I can only go as far by giving this 3 stars as an implication that it was only an "okay" read. I was absolutely geared up in the beginning, and I was actually really enjoying it. But I was kind of losing interest nearing 40% of the book. By halfway, it became kind of draggy to m
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Undone (The Bet, #3)
  • Head Above Water
  • Pieces of Me (Cedar Mountain University, #1)
  • Pieces of Me
  • Forever Altered
  • Assumptions (Assumed Expectations, #1)
  • Anywhere but Here
  • Not Yet (Not Yet, #1)
  • Fourth Down (First and Last, #3)
  • Breaking Alexandria
  • The Hard Way
  • Down 'N' Derby (Love and Skate, #3)
  • Fall into Forever
  • Raine
  • This is Falling (Falling, #1)
  • The Perfect Distraction (Perfect, #1)
  • Stroker
  • Levitate
See similar books…
Micalea Smeltzer is a twenty-something author from Northern Virginia. She has four dogs, which is as crazy as it sounds. As a recent kidney transplant recipient she's dedicated to raising awareness around the effects of kidney disease, dialysis, and transplant as well as educating people on living donation. She enjoys writing about fantastical paranormal creatures and sexy rock stars. When she's n ...more

Other books in the series

Light in the Dark (5 books)
  • When Stars Collide (Light in the Dark, #2)
  • Dark Hearts (Light in the Dark, #3)
  • When Constellations Form (Light in the Dark, #4)
  • Broken Hearts (Light in the Dark, #5)
“Mental strength is harder to come by than physical. You have it, and don’t ever forget it.” 5 likes
“Always be thankful for what you have, because you never know when it might be gone.” 0 likes
More quotes…