2022 was a pretty fantastic reading year for me. While I do feel like I went through a few reading slumps here and there – overall I ended up reading more books than I did last year. Quite a few of those were rereads including The Wildflower Wager by Tessa Dare, You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle and The Roommate by Rosie Danan. These are romances I will always recommend and they’re still favorites, even years after I first read them.
2022 was the year for me to discover indie romances as well as read a lot of Kindle Unlimited (KU) romances. I discovered so many new favorite authors including Elsie Silver, Elizabeth O’Roark and Kate Canterbary. Longtime favorites made my list as well including Ali Hazelwood, Emily Henry and Sarah MacLean. I love reading a diverse sub-genre of romances. This year I broadened my horizon and read so many types of romances – from mafia and alien romance to historical and romantic fantasy.
I will never tire of reading romances and can’t wait to see what 2023 brings in store!
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1. The Worst Guy by Kate Canterbary
I ended up discovering what a gem this book is while on vacation. One of my favorite book besties literally told me I needed to download The Worst Guy and read it asap. She knows how much I love a grumpy, growly, asshole and Sebastian Stremmel fit the bill. Gah how I loved the chemistry between Sebastian and Sarah. Their relationship was so tumultuous and yet they cared about each other so much. Seriously can’t recommend this book enough.
Also available on Kindle Unlimited!
2. A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L Armentrout
Romantic fantasy is a newer to me genre. I have been reading it more lately and decided to pick up From Blood and Ash after seeing it all over social media. As soon as I finished that book I knew I had to move on to book two, A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire and I honestly feel like this is one of my all time favorite fantasy rormances next to A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas. Poppy and Casteel had that type of banter and chemistry that I absolutely love, but also the angst in this book was top notch. Highly highly recommend the first two books in this series – I’m still making my way through the rest of it!
3. The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen
I didn’t know much about The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy before I started reading it. I kind of went in without any idea of what the book was about and this ended up being one of my favorite romances of the year. I’ve already reread it and listened to it on audio (which I highly recommend). Hart and Mercy had that perfect tension that you expect to find with an enemies to lovers romance. They truly loathe each other and yet…their anonymous penpal letters to each other are so sweet, you can’t help but want these two to meet and fall in love. The underlying threads of grief are woven beautifully through this sci-fi/thriller romance. If you’re looking for a unique twist on a sci-fi romance with You’ve Got Mail vibes – this is your book!
4. Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score
Things We Never Got Over released in January and in took me until October to read this phenomenal small town romance. To be fair it has tropes that I didn’t think I really enjoyed including: single parent and small town (I usually stay away from both of those tropes). But seriously this is how you do a small town, single parent romance. I fell in love with all of the characters in this book, especially Knox and Naomi. Things We Never Got Over was the perfect balance of rom-com, angsty, suspense and small-town charm. I can’t wait for the next book in the series – Things We Hide From the Light.
Also available on Kindle Unlimited
5. Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by Elizabeth O’Roark
The Devil series by Elizabeth O’Roark is a series that I saw all over my social media feed this summer. I decided to pick up the first book in the series – A Deal with the Devil and immediately fell in love with Elizabeth O’Roark’s writing. I loved that book, but when I got to book two of the series – Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, I absolutely fell in love with Josh and Drew. This book was so angsty and swoony and I could not get enough of it! If you love a good enemies to lovers romance with two strong leads I highly recommend Devil and the Deep Blue Sea!
Also available on Kindle Unlimited
6. Flawless by Elsie Silver
Cowboy romances and small towns are so not my thing. Which is why it took me so long to pick up Flawless even though friends have been raving about this book for months now! I finally decided to pick it up and literally read this book in less than a day. It has all of my favorite tropes: forced proximity, only one bed, he’s jealous (that scene had me screaming) and plenty of spicy scenes! Elsie Silver is one of my newest favorite authors and I’ve been on a reading binge of her backlist. I love the Chestnut Springs series and can’t wait for the next book in the series to be released!
Also available on Kindle Unlimited
7. A Light in the Flame by Jennifer L Armentrout
After falling in love with Poppy and Casteel from the Blood and Ash series, I couldn’t wait to start this spin off. I picked up A Shadow in the Ember and devoured it and couldn’t wait to read more about Sera and Nyktos. Without giving too much away – I highly recommend this book and this entire series if you were a fan of the Blood and Ash series. A Light in the Flame was angsty, swoony and filled with so much pining. I can’t wait for more books set in this world – Jennifer L Armentrout does romantic fantasy so well!
8. Heartbreaker by Sarah MacLean
Sarah MacLean is one of my favorite historical romance writers so it’s no surprise that I loved the first book in the series and couldn’t wait for Heartbreaker to be released! This book had the best banter that I have read in some time. I loved loved loved Adelaide and Duke Clayborn. I was often laughing and swooning in equal measure! I kind of want to reread it now that I’m remembering how much I loved it! If you’re a historical romance fan I highly recommend the Hell’s Belles series and this book!
*Heartbreaker is a Harper Collins titles. The Harper Collins Union has been on strike since 11/10/22 to get a fair contract for their workers and I stand in solidarity with them.
9. Book Lovers by Emily Henry
I loved Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation, so I was excited for Book Lovers and Emily Henry did not disappoint. While I feel like this book had a slower start, it required a lot of character development and I appreciated that as the story progressed. Charlie and Nora were so perfect for one another and I adored their banter! I’ve already reread this book a few times and look forward to whatever Emily Henry writes!
10. Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood
I loved loved loved The Love Hypothesis and to say that Love on the Brain was my most anticipated read would be an understatement. I adored Levi and Bee. Was this book a bit hectic and chaotic at times – yes absolutely, and yet I still couldn’t stop reading this enemies-to-lovers/it’s always been you romance! I’m a huge Ali Hazelwood fan and I’m always eager to read her next book.
11. The Bride Goes Rogue by Joanna Shupe
I only recently discovered Joanna Shupe, but I have devoured a huge chunk of her backlist. The Bride Goes Rogue was swoony, angsty and so sexy. Joanna Shupe has such a way with words and once I started reading The Bride Goes Rogue, I had a hard time putting it down. Katherine and Clarke’s relationship wasn’t always easy. These characters were never black and white – and the scenarios they found themselves in had my heart breaking on their behalf on more than one occasion. If you’re looking for a sexy, angsty and swoony historical romance I highly recommend The Bride Goes Rogue.
*The Bride Goes Rogue is a Harper Collins titles. The Harper Collins Union has been on strike since 11/10/22 to get a fair contract for their workers and I stand in solidarity with them.
12. The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston
The Dead Romantics surprised me in the best way. A ghostwriter who is in a writing slump but also sees ghosts – yes! I love a good story with a paranormal aspect to it and Ashley Poston delivers with The Dead Romantics. I loved each and every character that was written throughout this book. I have so many passages highlighted throughout this book that resonated with me. I’d find myself laughing out loud one minute and then shedding tears the next. This book deals with grief – the grief of moving on, the grief of ending a relationship, the grief of having to bury a family member. But it also celebrates life and the living in the here and now.
13. Georgie, All Along by Kate Clayborn
I have read a few books by Kate Clayborn now and I seriously feel like every single book of hers is somehow better than the last?! And that’s saying something because they have all been five star reads for me. I have so many pages and passages highlighted from Georgie, All Along. Passages about second chances, friendships, forgiveness and of course swoony love. Kate’s writing is always so beautiful. The way she talks about relationships – whether that be romantic relationships or relationships that her characters have with friends or family – really feels like she’s speaking directly to you.
Georgie, All Along is the only book on my list that isn’t released yet! Definitely pre-order this gem for when it releases on January 24, 2023.
14. Go Hex Yourself by Jessica Clare
Gah! How much did I love Go Hex Yourself. I will be honest – a lot of fantasy/paranormal romance featuring witches and magic just falls flat for me. So I was a bit weary going in to Go Hex Yourself, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much I adored this book and the characters in it. Ben and Reggie had so much chemistry together and I wanted more of them from their very first interaction. Ben was the grump to Reggie’s sunshine and these two were completely perfect for one another. Their relationship was slow growing and I really enjoyed the way that they begin to trust each other before deciding to move their relationship along. And YES, Jessica Clare totally brought the 🔥🔥🔥 I loved this quirky, funny and sweet romance! Once I started it I had a hard time putting it down.
15. Bloody Heart by Sophie Lark
I love a second chance romance and when I read the synopsis to Bloody Heart I knew I had to read it. I started The Brutal Birthright series in the summer and picked up the series again recently. I always read series out of order and picked up this one after reading the synopsis. Bloody Heart had all of my favorite tropes including young love, it’s always been you and a second chance romance. I absolutely fell in love with this book. You can read my review here for content warnings as there are a few of them.
Also available on Kindle Unlimited
**Honorable Mention – Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey
I read an early copy of Hook, Line, and Sinker last year and fell in love with Fox and Hannah. It was already mentioned in my favorites list of 2021, but I had to mention it again in this years list because it was technically released in 2022. The angst, the slow burn and the friends to lovers aspect of Hook, Line, and Sinker was absolute perfection for me.