You know all those "best of" lists that are nothing but Colleen Hoover books with a few Nicholas Sparks reads thrown in? This isn't one of those lists. Not that there's anything wrong with CoHo and Nicholas Sparks (if you're into that kind of thing). I'm just sick and tired of every list everywhere being dominated by them when there are a TON of great reads out there that deserve more love every day. Here are but a few of my favorites from 2022:
To Catch a Raven by Beverly Jenkins
Everything this woman writes is pure magic. This book is no different. If you're a historical romance reader who is not reading Ms. Beverly Jenkins, then I think its time to evaluate your life choices. Seriously. You'll thank me later.
Monster Match by Isabel Jordan
I didn't even know I needed a hot Frankenstein's monster in my life until I read this book. Viktor is EVERYTHING I love in a romance hero: respectful but ready to go absolutely feral in defense of his heroine, hot in a non conventional way, unable to turn away any rescue dog, and 100% devoted to the love of his life. This book is sweet but spicy in the best possible way and I enjoyed every second of it.
Between Hello & Goodbye by Emma Scott
No one--and I do mean NO ONE--can break your heart, then put it back together again as efficiently and beautifully as Emma Scott. You can pick up any book of hers and know what you're getting: angsty, emotional, heart breaking, soul healing, EPIC romance. Can't say enough wonderful things about her, and frankly I won't stop trying until EVERYONE is reading her books.
Fire and Rain by Pamela Clare
No one writes military heroes and heroines like Pamela Clare. She's my go-to author for that category of romance, and for romantic suspense. By the end of her books, the characters feel like old friends, and I'm always a little sad when the story ends. My heart broke for Eden and Sean, and their story gave me a book hangover that lasted for over a week. (In a good way, of course) Highly recommend this series starter and anything else by Pamela Clare.
His Game by Angel Rayne
Look, I'm not normally a fan of dark romance or mafia romance. I don't normally like the alphahole males that typically populate such novels. And while Luca, the mafia underboss "hero" in this book WAS an alphahole of the highest order (he's more of an antihero to me), the book was so damn engrossing that I was hooked into the entire series and never looked back once. Read the whole trilogy in two days. Check the author's trigger warnings before picking this one up if you're on the sensitive side, but let me tell you...wow. It's mesmerizing AF. (And the heroine is delightful)
Two Wrongs Make a Right by Chloe Liese
This one had it all: opposites attract, fake dating, grumpy/sunshine, neurodivergent rep, characters I fell for immediately...* le sigh.* It was pure sunshine to read. Can't recommend it highly enough.
That Time I Got Drunk and Yeeted a Love Potion At a Werewolf by Kimberly Lemming
Freaking adorable, just like the title. Loved everything about this totally unique, irreverent take on fantasy romance. I'll happily read everything this author publishes until the end of times.
Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score
It's funny, it's sexy, there's a hot, bearded, grumpy hero and a frazzled runaway bride heroine, it's...everything.
Neighbors With Benefits by Isabel Jordan
They fall in love while playing pranks on the wicked witch in charge of their neighborhood HOA. It's everything I ever wanted in a rom com: snort laughs, sexy times, and wacky hijinks.
Good Vibrations by Kayley Loring
The chemistry between characters, the witty banter, the grumpy lawyer hero, the feel good vibes...this book has it all. But seriously, if the premise of this one doesn't appeal to you for some weird reason (because surely any reason you might have for finding the premise of this book anything but delightful is definitely weird), pick up anything in Kayley Loring's backlist. She's magic.
The Return of the Duke by Lorraine Heath
I'm a ride-or-die Lorraine Heath fan. I don't read blurbs. I don't read reviews. I just one click whenever I see her name on a cover. I've never been let down once in all the years I've been devouring her books. (And that's a lot of books, because my love of Lorraine Heath started LONG ago with Parting Gifts. (Check that one out, too. Cried until I threw up reading that one, and I regret NOTHING.)
Ten Trends to Seduce Your Bestfriend by Penny Reid
If you, like me, are a fan of quirky, fun characters who communicate like grownups, amazing chemistry in slow burn romances, dialogue that's witty as hell, and feel good escapism, you'll definitely want to check this one out.
The Long Game by Rachel Reid
I don't think we get nearly enough romances about couples that are already in love. Sometimes it's not the falling in love that brings on the emotion and angst. Sometimes it's all the stuff that comes after the "I love you's." That's the case with this book, and it was so well done that I was totally charmed by it. Can't recommend this one highly enough.
But those are just my picks (and frankly, I'm sure I've forgotten some great reads). What were your favorite romances of 2022? Let's discuss!