Best of 2022: The Books

Posted January 4, 2023 by Casee in Features | 10 Comments

It’s that time of year again. The time where we come together and look over the books that we’ve read over the course of 2022 and list our favorites. Today’s list will include all of our favorite books that we read in 2022. Join us for a week of reflecting on our favorites and not so favorite reads, authors, rereads, and series.


Devil in Spring (The Ravenels #3) by Lisa Kleypas: I haven’t really read historicals for the last five years. I used to love them, but I just stopped reading them for some reason. When I was looking for an audiobook, I chose this one because Mary Jane Wells is amazing. I am so happy that I read it because it has gotten me back into historicals. I loved both Pandora & Gabriel. I adored how Gabriel adored Pandora. He let her be herself & didn’t ask her to change.

Say It’s Forever (Redemption Hills #2) by A.L. Jackson: I love a good, gritty contemporary & that is exactly what this book delivered. Jud was such a tortured hero & I loved reading how he & Salem found their way to each other.

The Segonian (Aldebarian Alliance #2) by Dianne Duvall: SF has never really been my thing, but I decided to read this series because I’m a huge fan of Dianne Duvall. Imagine my surprise when this book ended up on my list this year. Eliana is everything I love in a heroine & Dagon wasn’t too bad himself.

Storm Echo (Psy-Changeling Trinity #6) by Nalini Singh: I don’t think I need much of an explanation for this one. It’s Nalini Singh. Enough said.

Darkness Rising (Darkness #8) by Katie Reus: KR was a new-to-me author this year. I loved everything of hers that I read. This one was a little higher on my list than the others because of Greer & Reaper. They are so opposite, but exactly what the other needed. I loved every minute of this book.

Honorable Mentions: Garrett’s Destiny by Rebecca Zanetti, Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas, and The Cursed King by Abigail Owen.


Magic Tides (Kate Daniels: Wilmington Years #1) by Ilona Andrews: This was such a killer book. I loved catching up with Kate, Curran and Conlan as they settle into a new life.

Storm Echo (Psy-Changeling Trinity #6) by Nalini Singh: I really loved Ivan and Lei and thought this story was very well done.

The Duchess Hunt (Once Upon a Dukedom #2) by Lorraine Heath: I didn’t think I would enjoy this book and it ended up being my favorite of the series. I’m not usually a fan of the unrequited love trope, but everything about it worked for me here.

The Segonian (Aldebarian Alliance #2) by Dianne Duvall: The first chapter of this book is so gripping it has stayed with me. I loved the progression of the storyline and the romance, but that first chapter…wow.

Dark Minds (Class 5 #3) by Michelle Diener: I enjoyed this entire series, but I think this was my favorite of the bunch. There was just something about Imogen that I connected with.

Honorable Mentions: Soul Taken by Patricia Briggs, Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score, and Night Unbound by Dianne Duvall.

What were your favorite books in 2022?

Tagged: , , ,

10 responses to “Best of 2022: The Books

  1. DiscoDollyDeb

    I divided my list of favorite books of 2022 into two categories: books published in 2022 and books published in a prior year but that I read for the first time in 2022. Regardless of publication date, a beautifully-written emotional-nuanced journey with angsty complications and a splash of melancholy will get me every time.

    Favorite books published in 2022:

    THE LONG GAME by Rachel Reid: Immensely satisfying, smoothly written finale to Reid’s six-book Game Changer series of m/m hockey romances, in which Shane & Ilya (the couple from HEATED RIVALRY) achieve their HEA after more than a decade of secretly being together. My favorite book of 2022. Lovely in every way.

    THE LONE WOLF’S REJECTED MATE by Cate C. Wells: Beautifully written, if dark, story about coming to terms with childhood traumas and learning from the resulting mistakes made as an adult; and how the path to trust and hope requires courage but is ultimately worth it.

    PEN PAL by J. T. Geissinger: Brilliant mash-up of romance, psychological suspense, and supernatural/gothic horror featuring a recently-widowed young woman, living in a crumbling Victorian mansion, who begins a hot romance with the guy who comes to fix the house’s leaky roof. Avoid seeking out spoilers because part of the enjoyment of this book comes from trying to determine where the twists and turns of the plot are going.

    HOW TO FAKE IT IN HOLLYWOOD by Ava Wilder: Intensely angsty story of how the fake relationship between an up-and-coming actress and a former A-list actor gradually becomes serious, only to have love undermined by addiction and enabling. Wilder vividly captures the see-sawing emotions of loving someone who struggles with addiction.

    YOU AND ME by Tal Bauer: Beautifully written bi-awakening story between a struggling widower and the out, divorced, former Mormon who runs the booster club for their sons’ football team. A wonderful story about finding yourself and being a good parent and partner. Bauer does a great job of presenting a truly decent and kind person without making them unrealistic or one-dimensional.

    RETURN OF THE OUTBACK BILLIONAIRE by Kelly Hunter: Bracingly unsentimental story of a wealthy Australian landowner, released after serving seven years in prison, and the former-model-turned-photographer who inadvertently played a role in his incarceration. The couple grow closer, but both have a long road to recovery and Hunter does not sugar-coat their journey. Follows the Harlequin Presents template in broad strokes while neatly circumventing it at every turn.

    REWRITING THE STARS by Claire Kingsley: Gorgeous “Romeo and Juliet” retelling brings Kingsley’s Bailey Brothers series to a heartfelt close. Two people from rival families decide to buck tradition, face family blowback, and embrace love. A fitting end to a wonderful series.

    TWO TRIBES by Fearne Hill: Alternately funny, sexy, heartbreaking, and uplifting romance which covers 25 years in the lives of an upper-middle class doctor and a working-class history buff who first meet as 17-year-old schoolmates. Informed by a quarter-century of pop culture, New Wave & Grunge music, and an incredibly snarky sensibility.

    BROKEN PLAY by Alison Rhymes. Angsty and nuanced story of a married couple torn apart by the husband’s infidelity and the long hard road they must travel to regain love and trust. Rhymes does a brilliant job with not only the heroine’s understandable cascade of emotions but also with making the hero a fully-fleshed human being and not a villainous caricature.

    Favorite books published in a prior year:

    BASS-ACKWARDS by Eris Adderly (published in 2019): Erotic romance that completely reframes the “woman agrees to sexual relationship with boss” trope of dark/billionaire romance: moving the setting to a working-class equipment rental business and creating MCs who fully inhabit the milieu and their own vivid personalities.

    BOLD FORTUNE by M. M. Crane (published in 2021): Wonderful grumpy-sunshine pairing between an optimistic, resilient academic who works for an environmental think-tank and the taciturn “mayor” of an Alaskan wilderness town she is trying to persuade to prevent the reopening of an abandoned gold mine. Each can see that the other has adopted a persona to hide deeper hurts, and the sunshiny heroine confounds the gruff hero at every turn. A delicious, snowy bon-bon of a book.

    HITTING THE WALL by Cate C. Wells (published in 2021): Gritty, unsentimental story of how poverty creates its own mindset and how the entitled wealthy exploit that. The hero must re-evaluate his belief that his powerful and influential family members are all uniformly good and kind when he discovers that some of them ran a teenager (pregnant with his child) out of town seven years before. Decidedly not a “capitalist rescue fantasy,” but a nuanced and clear-eyed presentation of the stark differences between rich and poor.

    LONG WINTER & SIGNS OF SPRING by Rachel Ember (published in 2021): Lovely m/m duet about two lonely people who gravitate toward each other when stranded together during a snowstorm. Full of tropes (slow-burn, age-gap, best friend’s brother, enforced proximity, bi-awakening, found family) handled so beautifully that they don’t seem like tropes at all, but instead feel like individualized story elements.

    LAST CHANCE REBEL by Maisey Yates (published in 2016). Melancholy story about a woman, scarred emotionally and physically from a severe vehicle accident in childhood, who falls for the man who caused the accident. Yates does a fabulous job with describing the way atonement, contrition, and forgiveness gradually morph into love.

    BURN THIS CITY by Aleksandr Voinov (published in 2021): Dark and violent “enemies-to-lovers” story of two high-ranking “made” men from rival mob families and the cat-and-mouse game that ensues after one takes the other captive, planning to torture information out of him before killing him. Well-written, carefully paced, and intricately plotted, but not for the faint of heart.

  2. Kareni

    Holly, I’m happy to see one of the Class Five books amongst your favorites!

    I read and enjoyed a lot of books this year but don’t have any I’d name as favorites. Some I enjoyed include:
    THE LONG GAME by Rachel Reid
    NETTLE & BONE by T. Kingfisher

    Re-reads I enjoyed again include:
    Linesman series by SK Dunstall
    The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
    The Touchstone series by Andrea Höst
    The Claimings series by Lyn Gala
    The Solar Clipper series by Nathan Lowell

    • DiscoDollyDeb

      @Kareni: SK Dunstall should pay you a commission. I’m sure there are so many people who have read the Linesman series based on your recommendations.

      • Kareni

        I do seem like a broken record, don’t I?! I just keep waiting for a new book I like as much as some of my old favorites.

        Wishing you a wonderful new year, @DDD. (And if you like science fiction, I have a great series to recommend to you….)

  3. Kim

    This wasn’t a great reading year, so I didn’t have any favorites. That’s unusual for me. Many of the books I read, including The Duchess Hunt, were just okay.

    • I felt that way ahout The Return of the Duke. It was the book I was most looking forward to and I ended up feeling very meh about it.

      I hope 2023 brings you some fabulous reads.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.