My Favourite Books of 2022
At the start of every year, I love to look back at all the books I've read over the previous 12 months and wax lyrical about the ones I loved most. So, without further ado, here are my favourite books of 2022.
Note: I read these for the first time last year, but they may have been published in an earlier year.
You and Me by Tal Bauer
This book was my introduction to Tal Bauer's writing and it was un-freaking-believable! Luke is a man at rock bottom. His wife died a year ago, with divorce papers in her purse. He's estranged from his teen-aged son. He believes he's failed as a husband, as a father, as a functioning human. He wants to make things right, but he has no idea where to start. Enter Landon, the world's most perfect single-dad. When Landon invites Luke to help out behind the scenes on their sons' football team, Luke takes a terrified breath and accepts. As they spend time together, and similarities start to overcome differences, the two men become friends. Over time, Luke learns to come alive again. He starts to rebuild a genuine connection with his son. He remembers how to laugh and have fun. And it's here, in the many places between failure and perfection, that he discovers friendship can turn into something more.
Bad Wrong Things by C.P. Harris
C.P. Harris' author tagline is "Possessive, steamy, messy love." This book is all those things, but to the nth degree. It is definitely not for everyone. It is wild and reckless. It is brilliantly written. It's also toxic and mean and will emotionally pummel you into next week. I loved it. Even when it was too much, and when I got squeamish, and when I thought these two men couldn't possibly ever be good for each other, and even when there was nothing 'romantic' about it... I couldn't stop reading. Dive in if you dare, but heed the trigger warnings!
A Taste of Ink by Daniel May
I don't even know where to start with this series. It's way more out of control than anything I've ever read previously. It involves taboos I definitely never thought I would read. It took seven novellas to get from one end of the story to the other (although they've now been condensed down to three). Oh yeah, and it's the only thing I read twice this year. I devoured it whole both times. Zee, Trinket, and Mini were complex and interesting characters, each with their own unique set of emotional strengths and weaknesses. The three of them managed to fit together in ways I never would have thought possible back in book one. Which is, of course, entirely the point. Told exclusively from Trinket's point of view.
The Sheltering Tree by J.R. Lawrie
This book came in at 1st place on the Best Books of 2021 for the lovely Larissa over at Love Bytes Book Reviews. My book, The Harder We Fall, came in at 2nd place. So, of course, I had to read this book! And, honestly, it was absolutely amazing. I loved reading a book with more mature main characters (40s and 50s). Alastair Harding is the first gay chief of the London Metropolitan Police, and he's paid a high price to be there. Jay Fieldhouse runs a charity, but is secretly in the Witness Protection Program. When they are seated side by side at an awards dinner, sparks fly and the lives of both men are changed forever. This book was sweetness itself, but with plenty of steam and a little danger on the side.
The Underdog by Briar Prescott
Briar Prescott is the best. Her books are such a breath of real, genuine fresh air. Once upon a time, Anders told his younger brother and sister a little white lie about wanting to complete a triathlon one day. The problem? They believed him. They've even entered him into one and hired a personal trainer to get him across the finish line. Wells is supremely unimpressed about being tricked into becoming that personal trainer. Still struggling to come to terms with the devastating hand life has recently dealt him, Wells is determined to get fired as quickly as possible so he can go back to being miserable in peace. But Anders knows this means a lot to his siblings. And as much as he hates exercise, he hates the idea of letting them down even more. Wells can be as mean as he likes, Anders isn't going anywhere. This book is pure sunshine wrapped in a disgruntled package. Loved it so much!
First Impressions by Jay Hogan
This was a pleasant surprise for me. I'd never read a Jay Hogan book before and wasn't sure what to expect. First Impressions had me hooked from the first chapter. Michael is a doctor rebuilding his life in New Zealand after messing up his old life in a major way. Josh is the super serious, single-dad, 'my dog is scarier than your dog' K9 cop who doesn't like Michael. No, really. Josh really doesn't like Michael, no matter how sexy he is. *wink* I was really impressed with the development of the characters in this enemies-to-lovers romance, particularly Michael who changed many of his worldviews throughout the course of the story. And Josh, what a dreamboat. *sigh*
Beautiful and Terrible Things by Riley Hart
Riley Hart has this way of yanking your heart out, tossing it around for a while, and then tucking it back into your chest all safe and sound. That's exactly what she did with Beautiful and Terrible Things. Gage and Joey meet as children and fall in love as teenagers, but are then torn apart by one violent, irrevocable moment. When they manage to find each other again, years later, both are still struggling to rebuild their lives. The connect between them is as strong as ever, but there is a lot of healing to be done before they can be free to embrace the future. I'll forever be a fan of Riley's books, and this is among her best.
Without You by Marley Valentine
This one is all angst and heartbreak. Totally my jam. Deacon always knew he didn't fit in with the rest of his family. He was the outsider, playing second fiddle to his brother, Rhett. Julian, Rhett's boyfriend, fits in just fine. The two men have little to do with each other until after Rhett dies of an illness. Deacon and Julian are left trying to find their way in a world forever changed. They finally begin to spend time together, which both opens old wounds and sparks new understandings. Their journey from vague animosity, to wary friendship, to devoted love is handled with sensitivity and skill by my fellow Aussie, Marley Valentine.
It was really hard to get the list down to only eight. There were a few more books I would have loved to include *cough* on board by jay hogan *cough* but only so many covers fit well on an Instagram post so... here we are. 🙂
I hope you found something new to read in this list, and I'd love to know what your top books of 2022 were. Because my TBR list can never be too long.