With 2022 almost done, I thought I’d discuss the books I’ve read this year. This year has been full of great reading, with 208 books and many new authors in the mix. I also strayed from contemporary romances, my standard reading diet, into urban fantasies. In this genre, I discovered several new-to-me authors, and because I loved their books so much, I binge-read their entire series. Gotta love a series!
Below are some of my favorites:
1. Annette Marie’s connected Guild Codex series. I started with the Guild Codex: Spellbound series. The first book, Three Mages and a Margarita, was a fun read with interesting and entertaining characters. After reading this entire series, I moved on to Taming Demons for Beginners. I loved the demon hero so much! He was severe and brutal sometimes, but the author balanced this with flashes of humor. Of all the Guild Codex series, this one was my favorite.
This is what I think the reading order should be:
Guild Codex: Spellbound
Guild Codex: Demonized
Guild Codex: Unveiled
Guild Codex: Warped
2. Lindsay Buroker’s The Dragon Blood Collection contains the first three books in the Dragon Blood series. This series includes all my favorite things: big swords, adventure, dragons, magic, close friendships, and a little romance. Fun reads.
3. This year, I finally caved and read A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas. I’ve seen so much about this book online and didn’t think I’d like it. Wrong! This book and the following ones in the series contain lots of things I enjoy—swords and magic, fae politics and battles, plus some hot romance. I consumed the entire series.
4. Next up was Stacia Stark’s demon series, which starts with Speak of the Demon. I powered through this series and moved on to the related witch/werewolf series and loved this one too. The first book in the spin-off series is Unnatural Magic. Once again, these series are full of magic, adventure, and memorable kick-butt characters.
5. I’m currently working my way through Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Blood and Ash series. The first book is From Blood and Ash. This series contains a strong heroine growing into her powers and lots of mystery and adventure. The answers are slowly revealed, and this author truly tortures her characters. The big bad is very bad for the hero and heroine.
6. I read a few historical romances, and one of my favorites was The Siren of Sussex by Mimi Matthews. This one was set in the Victorian era, and the hero was an Indian tailor who made riding habits for the heroine. It was a lovely romance and just a bit different, which I liked very much.
7. A Solitude of Wolverines by Alice Henderson was an excellent find. This is the first book in the Alex Carter series, and along with the suspense, I enjoyed learning about wolverines. I have the next book in the series, which features polar bears, but I’m saving it for my upcoming holiday.
8. I adore royal romances, and when combined with a bodyguard hero, I couldn’t ignore Twisted Games by Ana Huang. I loved this one. This contemporary romance is a TikTok sensation for a reason.
9. I’ve continued reading Linda Castillo’s Kate Burkholder series, set in Amish country. The main character Kate Burkholder is the sheriff of a small town. She is also ex-Amish, which makes her the perfect person to investigate crimes involving the Amish in her area. Kate and her love interest are both fascinating characters, and it has been interesting seeing them change and grow with each successive book. They both have traumatic backstories, which play into the present in many different ways. The crimes are gritty, and I don’t always guess the perpetrator correctly. If you love a good crime read and haven’t read any of Linda Castillo’s books, I suggest you start with the first one, Sworn to Silence. That way, you get the progression of the regular series characters.
10. My last recommendation is a short contemporary read—Badge of Honor by India Lord. I’m biased since I know this author well, but I still think Badge of Honor is a fantastic romance. I often turn to short romances when I’m busy but require a reading fix. I’m a sucker for soul mates and instalove, and that’s precisely what this one is. It has a military hero who falls for his nurse, and this couple deserves their happy-ever-after.
Looking back at my favorite reads cements several things in my mind.
1. I adore series because the world becomes familiar and the characters like family.
2. Anything with suspense or adventure, along with romance, totally works for me.
3. Characters are everything, and I like them interesting and a bit quirky.
4. I like big swords and characters who can wield them. *grin*
5. Trying new authors is worth the risk!
What were your favorite reads for 2022?