30 June 2023

2022 Favourite Books

 I kind of abandoned my blog in the last year but I thought I’d finally sit down and write something. Now I’m never on time with these posts but this may be the latest I have ever done a favourite books I read last year post. So in 2022, I read a grand total of 106 books. I think that is the most I’ve ever read and I really enjoyed it. I made a conscious decision to spend less time scrolling and more time reading and I got to read so many good books. I also mixed it up this year and started incorporating more romance into my reading pile. It makes a nice change from the grizzly murders I usually read. I obviously still love those too. It was definitely a struggle to narrow down my favourites so I opted for 6 crime/thrillers and 6 romance.

Favourite Crime/Thriller reads in 2022

1. The Devils Playground* by Charly Cox - #4 Alyssa Wyatt

Sky, Elena, and London are enjoying a night in. Hearing screams London hides Sky’s children and then goes to see what happened. The police arrive to 2 bodies, 2 terrified kids, and no sign of London. The investigation uncovers a link to a sinister cult and time is running out for London. 

This whole series is gruesome but this book is not for the faint hearted. It’s dark and disturbing and I could not put it down. The chapters from London’s POV were terrifying and Carter's POV broke my heart. There are so many twists and turns and I was hooked all the way to the shocking reveal. I also adore Alyssa and her family as well as her incredible team. 

2. Genesis by Chris Carter - #12 Robert Hunter (TW suicide)

Hunter is called to a vicious crime scene made even more disturbing when a poem is discovered left inside the victims body. Another body is found with a different method but the same level of violence and the second part of the poem. Hunter has the impossible task of catching the most disciplined and systematic killer he has ever encountered. 

This series is dark. I can never work out who is more disturbed, the author for coming up with these gruesome murders or me for reading them. I love this author but if you don’t like gore then definitely skip this one. I'm always kept guessing until the end and the way Hunters brain works makes it even more intriguing. 

This book also deals with suicide and has a beautiful dedication at the start but bear that in mind if thats a trigger for you. 

3. Hidden Scars* by Angela Marsons - #17 Kim Stone (TW suicide, homophobia)

A 19 year old boy is found hanging in a tree. His death is ruled a suicide but Kim’s gut tells her there’s more to it. Unfortunately, it's not her case and she’s supposed to be easing back into work. An overlooked clue sparks Kim to take back her team and investigate which leads to a clinic claiming to cure homosexuality. Kim is determined to put a stop to whatever horrific acts are taking place.

This was a heartbreaking read as it covers the devastating effects of conversion therapy but it’s written extremely well. The crime keeps you guessing and I was so engrossed I couldn’t put it down. I actually read it in one setting whilst camping with my family. I think this is one of my favourites from the series. I loved seeing the team back together and there is so much character growth. I do recommend reading in order though. 

4. The Village* by Caroline Mitchell - Free on Kindle Unlimited

10 years ago the Harper family disappeared. Their cottage was deserted and the doors locked from the inside. Crime journalist Naomi is obsessed with the case and can’t pass up the opportunity to buy the cottage, without sharing the history with her husband and step daughter. She wasn’t quite prepared for life in the mysterious village though. 

This book gives me Hot Fuzz and the greater good vibes. I was just as obsessed as Naomi with getting to the bottom of the Harper family disappearance. There’s a great range of characters for you to love and hate. I kept changing my mind about what I thought happened and then the end was just twist after twist. 

5. The Last Girl to Die* by Helen Fields

17 year old Adriana goes missing shortly after she and her family move to the Isle of Mull. Her family turns to Sadie, a private investigator after getting nowhere with the hostile locals. Sadie finds Adriana’s body in a cliffside cave and risks her life digging into the Islands secrets for answers. 

The scene setting in this book is beautifully done. It’s so atmospheric and creepy. I really enjoyed the mix of murder and superstition as well as the mix of likeable and unpleasant characters. I had zero idea who the bad guy was and the end was a massive shock. I thought about it for days. It’s one of those books where you have to take a second to process what the hell just happened. 

6. You Can Hide by Rebecca Zanetti - #2 Laurel Snow - Free on Kindle Unlimited

Laurel’s relationship with her newly discovered half sister is complicated. She suspects she has something to do with their missing father and her erratic behaviour makes life interesting. However, when Abigail claims someone is trying to kill her, Laurel’s instinct is to protect her. Dead bodies start turning up and their only connection seems to be Abigail. 

This is book 2 in a series but the first one I have read. It works fine as a stand alone but obviously, it reveals what happened in book 1. I am still going to go back and read it though. 

To start with I wasn’t sure how I felt about Laurel but she quickly grew on me. I really enjoyed her relationship with Huck and seeing how they navigate their feelings. Huck is a lovable character and his dog is adorable. I’m also very intrigued by Abigail and seeing where the story will go next. I had no idea who the killer was and I couldn’t even pin down any suspects. The scene setting is also beautifully done.

Favourite Romance reads in 2022

1. The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Tiffy needs a cheap flat asap. Leon works nights and needs extra cash. Their friends think they’re crazy but it’s the perfect solution. Leon has the flat while Tiffy's at work during the day and she has the run of the place the rest of the time. 

This was one of the first romcom books I read when I needed a break from the gory murders and it reminded me why I used to love reading them. It’s such a fun easy read but also covered some more serious issues and navigated real life. I adored them communicating via notes and it was so cool to see them connect without ever having met. Both Tiffy and Leon are such lovable characters and there are so many other great supporting characters. It has also been made into a tv series which I was nervous about because we all know the books are always better and whilst they did change some things it was still a great watch. The book was obviously better though.

2. Exe’s and Os* by Amy Lea - #2 Influencer Series

Tara is an avid romance novel reader and bookstagrammer. She’s had her heart broken too many times by men who dumped her for being too clingy but she is still determined to find the one. Not one for dating apps she decides to revisit her exes in the hopes of her very own second chance romance. Firefighter Trevor is the opposite of Tara. Love just isn’t his thing. Tara is now his roommate and ropes him into helping with her ex dates.

Tara and Trevor are such lovable characters and their friendship was so wholesome. Tara felt relatable and like someone you want to be friends with. Having her be an avid book blogger who is obsessed with the romance tropes made this story 10x better. As for the third act breakup, there was no forced conflict or unnecessary miscommunication. It added to the story and didn’t make me angry. This book is equal parts cute romance and laugh out loud fun. 

3. The Spanish Love Deception* by Elena Armas - #2

Catalina needs a date for her sister's wedding. Mainly because she told a white lie about having an American boyfriend. Now everyone she knows including her ex is eager to meet him. Her colleague offers to step in and she can’t think of anything worse than travelling to Spain with the insufferable Aaron but she’s desperate. Maybe he’s not as terrible outside work. 

This is a nice easy read which made me laugh and the romance was cute. Lina’s family is adorable. It made me a tad jealous that she had such a huge family that had such fun parties together. The banter between Lina and Aaron was entertaining. Who doesn’t love an enemies to lovers especially when paired with fake dating. The slow burn kept me hooked and I loved seeing the friendship develop first. 

4. Great Sexpectations* by Kristen Bailey

After Josie got dumped by her ex via a note on her fridge she refuses to get close to anyone. Then she meets Cameron at a Halloween party wearing the same ghostbuster costume as her. The only problem is Cameron has no idea that Josie lives at home with her ex porn star parents and she works for their sex toy empire. 

This book made me laugh as well as having an adorable romance. I would say the story was more about Josie and her family rather than the actual romance but it was still extremely entertaining. It’s massively sex positive and a great light read. There are so many amazing supporting characters that I can’t even pick a favourite. Josie was such a lovable protagonist and I would love to be besties with her, and not just because her family are hilarious.

5. The Player Next Door* by Elizabeth Davis

Finance bro Logan and tabletop game designer Clare couldn’t be more different. They only know each other to look at as their apartments face each other but when they get stuck in a lift sparks fly. Clare needs her coworkers to believe she’s capable of a one night stand and Logan needs a steady girlfriend to prove to his boss that he’s mature. After one night they can’t understand why the other isn’t responding to their secret plans. 

This book was funny, had a touch of spice and the romance was cute. Everything I look for in a romcom. Both Logan and Clare were such lovable characters and their banter was great. I also really enjoyed the friendships and seeing them both interact with each others friends. There were so many great side characters as well as some villains. The 3rd act breakup due to miscommunication was predictable and my least favourite part but I enjoyed the rest of the book enough to let it slide.

6. Unlikely Match* by Laura Bradbury - Free on Kindle Unlimited

Jules has a hip tech company that just won an office space in the coolest co-working space in town. Unfortunately, she has to share that space with a soulless database company and its gorgeous but judgemental CEO, Tom. She also desperately needs a liver transplant. An angel investor pits them against each other for a life changing amount of money making Jules life way more complicated. Especially as being around Tom is the only thing that seems to conjure up her fighting spirit. 

I adored seeing a protagonist with a chronic illness. The representation meant so much and Jules was just such a well rounded character. Her illness wasn’t the only thing we knew about her but we got to see the struggles she faced and how it affects you emotionally. Laura is a transplant survivor herself and her experience just made the whole thing so realistic as well as being educational. 

As for the romance, you can’t beat a good enemies to lovers. Jules and Tom’s banter made me laugh and you can’t help but fall in love with them. It was great getting to see their characters grow and develop individually before working on being there for each other. I also adored Jule's best friend Alan.

Let me know what your favourite book from last year was.


* This book was gifted in exchange for an honest review, however, it does not affect my views and the opinions expressed in this post are independent and my own

**This post contains affiliate links. This does not cost you anything but means I get a small amount if you purchase anything. 

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