Coming down to the wire, I’ve read 320 books in 2022, a full 120 over my goal of 200. I read print books, ebooks, and listened to audiobooks. There were a couple of re-reads thrown into the mix.
I was more positive this year, with fifty-seven 5-star reviews, two 1-star reviews, and ten 2-star reviews. I also DNF’d (did not finish) two books. Tempted as I was to 1-star those, I don’t rate books I don’t read in full.
I don’t have a Top Five because I don’t want to have to choose. You can visit my Goodreads page to see all my top-five picks for 2022 (I have a shelf for my five-stars). But these are five standouts.
Evildoer by Dannika Dark
This is book 12 and the finale of the Crossbreeds Series. Raven and Christian are a fantastic couple. They have great banter and a solid connection. This isn’t a series you can just jump into wherever you want, so you’ll have to start with book one. But at least the series is finished!
I think the Mageri worldbuilding is fantastic, and I love that she continued to world into the Crossbreeds series. Keystone, the group that Raven and Christian work for, has a great collection of characters too.
Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian
This one just snuck inside, as I listened to the audiobook in mid December. There are a few point-of-view characters, but three main ones. Two of those are psychopaths. Like, diagnosed and known psychopaths. Chloe is the main character, and she is absolutely fascinating.
The premise is that seven young psychopaths have been offered a free ride to the university, but they must partake of a psychological study. The goal is to see if therapy can help these young people become good members to society. But then one of them is murdered.
There are a lot of twists and turns, but the amazing strength of the story is on the characters. This was a book I couldn’t stop listening to and marveling over. I’ve read 320 books this year, and I often have to look up characters names directly after reading the book, but I didn’t have to look up the three main characters in this book: Chloe, Charles, and Andre. That really says something.
Shadow Thief – Eva Chase
I read a lot of Eva Chase this year, but this one was my favorite. What has it got? A clever thief, freed Shadowkind (demons but not the evil kind), mystery and intrigue and several romantic interests. If you’ve been curious about the reverse harem phenomenon, this is a good book to test.
The heroine is very competent and threads the line between hero and anti-hero perfectly. The world is unique and creative with some good twists.
Her books are all compulsive reads for me.
The Idea of You by Robinne Lee
I debated about adding this to the list. This is the book that most hooked me in the entire year. I know this because even now (and I read this back in January) I can’t think about the story too much because I’m still gutted over it. Still! So, warning, NOT a happy ending, and you know that pretty early on in the story, but I was captivated. There’s a rumor she’s writing a sequel, but that’s been around forever and she’s said she doesn’t want to write a sequel just to give Hayes and Solene a happy ending. So, I’m not counting on it.
Anyway, this is a boy band twenty-year-old megastar and a thirty-nine-year-old art dealer who meet when she takes her daughter and friend to his band’s concert with backstage passes and there’s chemistry. If you read/listen to this, let me know. I’m curious how many other people are devastated by the novel.
Riley Thorn and the Corpse in the Closet by Lucy Score
Who knew psychics could be so damn funny?! Riley Thorn hears dead people and they tell her things. She lives in a house with a bunch of quirky senior citizens and she meets private detective Nick, and there are sparks. Riley helps Nick with his investigation. It’s got a decent mystery, some good action, and it is hilarious. I’m a Lucy Score fan, in general, but this is by far my favorite series of hers. Great comedic cast.
Other books you might want to check out: Demon’s Advocate by Stacia Stark (urban fantasy that wraps up to her Deals With Demons series, which was one of my favorites), The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn (historical fiction about Lady Death, a real-live Russian sniper in World War II), The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer (thriller about a brilliant woman on the run from a corrupt agency. One of the most clever characters I’ve ever come across), and pretty much anything by Annette Marie. I’ve mowed through most of her series stuff.
I can’t wait for my 2023 reads!