TOP 20 OF 2022: Heartless by Elsie Silver

As 2022 comes to a close, I’m celebrating my 20 favorite romance novels of the year, and Heartless is definitely one of them. When it comes to these lists, I try my best to honor 20 different authors, but I honestly could not choose between the first two books in Elsie Silver’s Chestnut Springs series. I absolutely LOVED Heartless and ate up every minute of it, but I literally called Flawless “flawless” in my review, so how am I supposed to ignore that? Either way you spin it, this new-to-me author came flying onto my radar in 2022, and I am not complaining in the slightest. Silver delivered two of my top reads of the year, and that deserves its own kind of recognition. Crossing my fingers that the trend continues in 2023!

You’ll find my original review and some quotes from the book below!

“The last few threads holding him together snap before my eyes. I can almost hear the pinging of them flying apart like a popped guitar string.”

I was crossing my fingers that this would live up to the excellence of Flawless, and now I’m really not sure which book I adored more – it was fantastic! So, so good. I loved the firecracker of a heroine, who kept the moody, broody hero on his toes. She is the change he needed in his life, and it was so fulfilling to watch this sexy single dad find his happy again. The forced proximity/nanny situation ratcheted up the tension, and it ended up being a scorching hot read. A slow burn to SIZZLE for sure, with the kind of heat that makes an impact. That paired perfectly with the sweet and swoony family moments, as the heroine bonded with the hero’s son. I loved the contrasts between the more tender moments and the intensely steamy ones – it certainly puts the reader through a whole range of emotions! The hero steals the show though; I absolutely LOVED getting to know the man behind the grump, and Cade is the kind of gruff, secretly vulnerable, hero who will snatch your heart before you realize it.

The story follows Cade (38), a single dad who has always been the caretaker of his family. He grew up faster than he should’ve, married a woman he didn’t love because she was pregnant, settled into a career he didn’t choose because it was needed, and is raising his little boy alone without complaint. Cade is in need of a nanny for the summer, and the lack of control he has over the process has left him frustrated. So when his sister-in-law recommends her best friend for the role, Cade resigns himself to the situation… at least, until he meets Willa (25). Beautiful, fiery, and way too young, Willa gives Cade whiplash. She is nothing like he expected, and her slightly unhinged personality might be just the fire he needed. The attraction that sparks between them is obvious and overwhelming, but Cade has spent years repressing his own desires, so he believes that he can do that with Willa as well. But she might be the one to finally break him.

It’s a small town, single dad, age gap romance with the perfect combination of playfulness and angst. I loved that Willa falls for Cade’s son first, and she simply tolerates the grumpy man when he’s around. I loved that Cade knew Willa was going to be trouble from the start, and I loved that he was such a steady, kind, and loving hero. The tension builds until it SNAPS, and that made this an immensely addictive and engrossing read. The crackle of chemistry was compelling, and whoa boy was the spice smoldering. I remember Flawless being pretty sexy, but this was a whole other level. Loved it. There was nothing that I didn’t love, actually. While I think Cade is what made the book so engaging – he is such a lovable grump, and his jealous/possessive side worked for me – I also think Willa and Cade’s son were perfect too. The whole dynamic was great. It made me smile, it made me swoon, it made me fan myself, and it had my eyes glued to every page. Zero complaints here; this was outstanding.



Working as a nanny for the world’s grumpiest single dad should have been simple. Except I can’t keep my eyes off him. And he can’t keep his hands off of me.

Cade Eaton is thirteen years older than I am and barely looks my way. Until I get him into the hot tub one night for a game of truth or dare. Then all bets are off—and so are our clothes. 

He’s gruff, a little rough around the edges. But broad-shouldered ranchers with calloused hands and filthy mouths are this city girl’s kryptonite. So who am I to resist?

But it’s in our quiet moments together that he softens. It’s when he takes care of me that I realize his hardened exterior is just a façade. It’s when I watch him go all sweet with his little boy that I really fall for him.

Someone convinced him once that his best wasn’t good enough. But I’ve never felt more cherished than I do in his arms.

My contract may say this arrangement is only for two months.

But my heart says this is forever.


Start the series with Flawless, another one of my top picks!

I really don’t know which book I liked more – they were both fantastic. Easily read as standalones, but the series is better together.


The rules were simple. Keep my hands off his daughter and stay out of trouble.

But now I’m stuck with her. There’s only one bed. And well, rules are made to be broken. 

I’m the face of professional bull riding—the golden boy. Or at least I was, until it all blew up in my face. Now my agent says I have to clean up my image, so I’m stuck with his ball-busting daughter for the rest of the season as my “full-time supervision.”

But I don’t need a goddamn babysitter, especially one with skin-tight jeans, a sexy smirk, and a mouth she can’t stop running.

A mouth I can’t stop thinking about.

Because Summer isn’t just another conquest. She sees the man behind the mask, and she doesn’t run—she pulls me closer, even when she shouldn’t.

She says this means nothing.

I say this means everything.

She says there are boundaries we shouldn’t cross. That my reputation can’t take any more hits—and neither can her damaged heart.

I say I’m going to steal it anyway.

Read the review here


About the Author:

Elsie Silver is a Canadian author of sassy, sexy, small town romance who loves a good book boyfriend and the strong heroines who bring them to their knees. She lives just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband, son, and three dogs and has been voraciously reading romance books since before she was probably supposed to. 

She loves cooking and trying new foods, traveling, and spending time with her boys–especially outdoors. Elsie has also become a big fan of her quiet five am mornings, which is when most of her writing happens. It’s during this time that she can sip a cup of hot coffee and dream up a fictional world full of romantic stories to share with her readers. 

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