It’s the end of the year, and that means it’s time to reflect back on the books that made an impact! I’ll be talking about my favorite reads of 2022 this month – including the best romance series I read this year. Some of these started up in 2022, some of them came to a close, but each of these romance series had me ready to one-click the next installment before I even finished reading. There’s a little something for every mood, and you cannot go wrong with any of these.
I’ve got notes on each series, my personal favorites within a series, and links to everything I’ve reviewed. Each of these contemporary romance novels is part of a series – interconnected, duet, or semi-standalone – and they’re all excellent books. Happy reading!
Chestnut Springs by Elsie Silver
Elsie Silver came flying onto my radar with Flawless and that gorgeous cover, but it was her writing that kept me along for the ride. This series is chemistry-filled and engaging, with complex characters and forced proximity that keeps things interesting. The first two books came out this year, and I am so looking forward to more in 2023!
Jeeves’ Favorite: Don’t make me choose! I couldn’t even pick a favorite when putting together my Top 20 of 2022 list – both Flawless and Heartless made the cut. They’re similar in vibe, but the two relationships could not be more different.
Start with Flawless!
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.
Preorder on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3UYLND0
Queens & Monsters by J.T. Geissinger
This dark and steamy series came to a close earlier this year, and I am still mourning the loss. Each book is fantastic – intense and hot and so compelling – yet they each have their own unique feel. Better together, this mafia romance series builds with each book. While you can technically read them as standalones, this is one series where you’ll want to stay in order. And it just wrapped up, so it’s the perfect time to binge!
Jeeves’ Favorite: That’s a tough one! It’s a very, very close race, as each book has its own vibe. I’m a sucker for a marriage of convenience, so Brutal Vows was an easy win. I also loved the softer feel of Savage Hearts. Well, soft for a dark and dirty mafia romance at least, lol. There’s no weak book in this mix, though the sex scenes in Carnal Urges weren’t my personal taste.
Start with Ruthless Creatures!
An explosive new novel of love, lust, and obsession from bestselling author J.T. Geissinger.
Five years ago, my fiancé disappeared. He left me with a wedding dress I’d never wear. Left me with the kind of scars that can’t be healed. The man I built my future on vanished like a ghost. All that remained was my broken heart and a million unanswered questions.
Until a mysterious stranger arrives in town.
Tall, dark, and dangerous, Kage is as full of secrets as he is sex appeal. Though I know he’s hiding something, I’m drawn to him like a moth to flame.
The intensity of our connection is addictive, unlike anything I’ve ever felt before. Heat crackles between us with every look, desire flares into passion, and I fall hard, helpless to resist.
But when I discover how he’s tied to my fiancé’s disappearance, I learn what happens when you fly recklessly into fire:
You get burned.
The Lovelight Series by B.K. Borison
This is such a soft and cozy series, with depth that sneaks up on you. It’s swoony and romantic, with heroes who are the sweetest of cinnamon rolls. After a few false starts, I realized that this series is best read in order, and it reads GREAT once you do – I binged all three in a week. It keeps getting better and better with each book, and my love of the found family aspect grows with each new addition. Here’s hoping that the streak continues in 2023!
Jeeves’ Favorite: I truly do think this series gets better with each installment! I liked Lovelight Farms, I loved In the Weeds, and I adored Mixed Signals.
Start with Lovelight Farms!
Where the lovelight gleams …
A pasture of dead trees. A hostile takeover of the Santa barn by a family of raccoons. And shipments that have mysteriously gone missing. Lovelight Farms is not the magical winter wonderland of Stella Bloom’s dreams.
In an effort to save the Christmas tree farm she’s loved since she was a kid, she enters a contest with instafamous influencer Evelyn St. James. With the added publicity and the $100,000 cash prize, she might just be able to save the farm from its financial woes. There’s just one problem. To make the farm seem like a romantic destination for the holidays, she lied on the application and said she owns Lovelight Farms with her boyfriend. Only … there is no boyfriend.
Enter best friend Luka Peters. He just came home for some hot chocolate, and somehow got a farm and a serious girlfriend in the process.
Lovelight Farms is a romantic comedy featuring a handsome, freckled data analyst, a messy, optimistic Christmas tree farm owner, and a small town with the best hazelnut lattes on the east coast. This sweet and steamy romance is a holiday happily ever after.
It is the first book in a series of interconnected standalones following the three Lovelight owners.
The Grumpy Devils by Elizabeth O’Roark
After reading A Deal with the Devil at the end of 2021, I’ve been loving this series ever since. The books are only loosely tied together and easily read in any order, but they all share the same kind of broody, intriguing hero and enemies to lovers vibes. Three books were released in 2022, cementing this as one of my favorite series of the year. I rated the first three books as easy 5-star picks, and I’m saving the fourth for the perfect reading day.
Jeeves’ Favorite: I still think the first one is my favorite! I regret not including it in my Top 20 of 2021, as my love for it seems to grow every time I look back on the experience. I also loved The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, which DID make my Top 20 list this year.
Start with A Deal with the Devil!
He might not be the devil, but working under him for six weeks is my idea of hell.
Hayes Flynn is an arrogant jerk known best for his scotch habit and the way he spreads his British “charm” all over Hollywood, never with the same woman twice. He’s the last person I want to work for, except he has a face I can’t look away from, and the longer we’re together, the harder he is to hate. Because under that smug exterior is a heart he doesn’t want to show—one that was badly broken a decade earlier.
A part of me wants to fix it for him before I leave…but can I do it without breaking my own in the process?
The Devil Gets His Due
The Honeywood Series by Julie Olivia
This is such a cute and lighthearted series, one that plays up the tropes and hides its depth beneath rom com storylines. Each book takes place at the same theme park, and the friend/co-worker group ties the series together. One of the best things is that the plots are just a little different from the usual, and offbeat enough to keep things interesting
Jeeves’ Favorite: I’m a sucker for grumpy/sunshine, so All Downhill With You gets my vote. I also loved that the dynamic was so unique, and it felt so fresh and different – while also being tropey fun.
Start with All Downhill With You!
The moment we meet, it’s all downhill.
My job is providing happiness and smiles at Honeywood Fun Park, and Emory Dawson is the frown our park didn’t ask for.
When our star roller coaster malfunctions with me on board, the manufacturer’s heir and lead engineer, Emory, vows to renovate the attraction. So instead of having a fun summer season as Marketing Manager for Honeywood, I’m now saddled with playing host.
Emory is the opposite of a good time. He’s the grump that won’t stop grumping, and our arguments escalate quicker than my heart rate after a roller coaster’s fall.
He knows I can see right through his broody gaze and big ideas. Repairing the coaster? More like overhauling his own company’s reputation, regardless of whether it helps our local theme park.
But when our firm handshakes start lingering too long, or when his muscled thighs rest against mine under the table, I’m thrown for a loop.
Most roller coasters are fun, but I’d like to get off this emotional one, please.
All Downhill With You is a stand-alone romantic comedy. This book is an enemies-to-lovers, grumpy/sunshine romance with laugh-out-loud theme park moments, a cozy small town, and sizzling spice!
Our Ride to Forever
Preorder on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3BHgIgg
The Next Series by Hannah Bonam-Young
Bonam-Young stole my heart with her debut, Next of Kin, and I have the feeling that she’s going to continue stealing it in the future. Her books are light and playful, with hidden depth and a great found family component. They feel younger and fresher than many of the other books I’ve read, and the situations are very compelling. We got the first two installments to this interconnected series in 2022, and I’m definitely looking forward to more in 2023.
Jeeves’ Favorite: While I enjoyed both books, the tropes in Next of Kin were just a perfect fit for me. Strangers forced to live together, opposites attract, grumpy hero – it was all a win.
Start with Next of Kin!
Two bickering strangers, Chloe and Warren, are partnered by Child Protective Services to qualify for next of kin fostering of their younger siblings.
When people-pleasing Chloe learns that her birth mother has unexpectedly had another baby, she doesn’t hesitate to become a next-of-kin guardian. But when she fails to pass Child Protective Services’ financial evaluation, she is faced with a choice: see her baby sister placed in foster care or participate in CPS’ new initiative, TeamUp.
Enter Warren, a surly mechanic’s apprentice attempting to get custody of his deaf fifteen-year-old brother after failing CPS’ housing evaluation. The two strangers immediately clash but agree to live together until Warren can find housing elsewhere and Chloe can further grow her freelance career.
As their lives intertwine, Chloe and Warren both realise that they’re far more similar than they could have imagined. What started as forced begins to feel natural—and far less lonely. Chemistry soon intensifies beyond what either of them can stand, but they must each decide if what burns between them is worth risking their arrangement.
With banter, heart, and steam that will have the reader blushing, NEXT OF KIN is a true underdog story of two young adults redefining what family can look like.
For adult readers only due to explicit (consensual) sexual content, child abandonment (referenced in memory), substance abuse and addiction (referenced, not described), foster care and adoption (theme throughout), references to anxiety (brief description of a panic attack), and death of a parent (referenced in memory).
The North Brothers by JB Salsbury
Every book in this series has been so completely different, and not at all what you’d expect from billionaire romance. I love that I never know what I’m going to get, even as we get to know these brothers throughout the series. They’ve all been immersive, 4 or 5-star reads that kept me hooked while I was reading. I’m looking forward to diving in to the fourth/final book soon, and finally seeing the (almost) irredeemable hero get his second chance.
Jeeves’ Favorite: I guess technically I rated True North the highest, but I’ve really enjoyed all three books so far. They are all so very different that it’s tough to do a side-by-side comparison!
Start with Wild North!
From New York Times bestselling author, JB Salsbury, comes an angsty new romance with a bossy hero and woman who was born to survive.
To me, he was Grizzly.
To the world, I would learn, he’s someone else completely.
I should have died on that mountain.
But he rescued me.
More animal than man, he’s cold, distant, and fiercely territorial. He seems to hate me for simply breathing, and yet, he brought me back to life.
After my return to the city, I can’t stop thinking about him. His rough hands, intense glare, and the way he cared for me as if I meant something to him.
He tells me he’s dangerous. That I’m not safe around him. I would eventually understand why he warned me away. But by then it’s too late. My heart is his.
Summersweet Island by Tara Sivec
No series has made me smile more than Summersweet, with new playful adventures in each installment. The series has been running since 2020, and there has not been a dull moment. The community aspect grows with each book, and they just have such personality. The characters are so interesting, the relationships are chemistry-filled, and the vibes are all lighthearted fun.
Jeeves’ Favorite: I have a special fondness for Kiss My Putt, which was the first book I read by Sivec. It was everything I could want in a rom com, with tons of sexual tension and an engaging, hysterical storyline.
Start with Kiss My Putt!
“Palmer ‘Pal’ Campbell has epic breakdown on the 18th hole of the Bermuda Open! Video at 11.”
After spending my entire pro golfing career being known as the quiet, controlled, no-nonsense golfer on the tour, there’s nothing more humiliating than throwing all of that down the drain—or into a water hazard—on national television. Needing some place to hide, to lick my wounds and figure out what I even want to do with my life once this blows over, I can only think of one place I need to be. Summersweet Island, where everyone treats me like one of their own, and they’ll all be happy to have me home again.
Well, except maybe one person. It’s been two years since I last set foot on Summersweet Island or spoke to anyone there. But I’m sure Birdie Bennett, my best friend since I was 15 and the clubhouse manager of my favorite golf course, has had plenty of time to forgive me for that tiny little misunderstanding where I blocked her on social media and blocked her in my phone. Oh, and I guess I kind of, sort of accused her of being a stalker. It’s fine!
Once my sexy, spunky, former best friend gets over the shock of seeing me again and stops trying to drive a 9-iron into my skull, I can finally let her know I’ve also kind of, sort of always been in love with her…
The Brodie Brothers by Kayley Loring
I’m a huge fan of Loring’s light and sexy rom coms, so when she started up The Brodie Brothers series last year, I couldn’t wait to get reading. And they did not disappoint! All three books are low angst, funny reads, and they had me smiling and laughing the whole time I was reading. Easy to read as standalones, you can enjoy in any order. And the series is now complete, so perfect for bingeing!
Jeeves’ Favorite: All three books have been 5-star reads for me, but Good Vibrations and Attachment Theory are my favorites. I was completely hooked on Good Vibrations, and it’s probably in my top 5 Kayley books – which is saying a lot, considering she’s delivered about a dozen 5-star reads for me.
Start with Funny Business!
A single dad, a model, and a comedian walk into a bar… They’re all Owen Brodie.
It’s only funny if you aren’t the hilarious struggling comedian who has been hired to be his son’s nanny for the stand-up tour.
Dear Ms. Hogan,
I’m emailing to offer you the job as my son’s nanny because Sam had a temper tantrum when I told him I can’t hire you to come on my stand-up tour with us. “She heckled me at a club a few years ago,” I wanted to say. “She is the sassy little turd who trolls me on Twitter,” I could have told him. “She’s an even bigger pain in the butt when we’re face-to-face,” I thought to myself. What I would never tell him is—things could get complicated. For reasons.
Let me know if you want the job.
With great reluctance,
Dear Mr. Brodie,
Thank you for your email. Please inform Sam that I like him very much and would love to be his nanny and accompany him on your terrible joke of a stand-up tour.
I can assure you—things will not get complicated. For many, many reasons.
Primarily because Owen Brodie isn’t funny, and he can suck it.
Out of financial desperation and a fondness for your son,
It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey
I’m honestly really bummed that this series only has two books – they were both fantastic. Both made my Top 20 list in their respective years, and the romances were so, so good. It’s got small town vibes, but the win is the electric chemistry. Opposites attract in the first installment, while friends slowly transition to lovers in the second. They’re both fantastic books, and they make me wonder why I waited so long to try Bailey’s work.
Jeeves’ Favorite: That’s a tough one, because both were EASY 5-star ratings for me, AND they both made my Top 20 list. But I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Hook, Line, and Sinker all year – it’s the kind of book that stays with you, and reminds me why I love reading romance.
Start with It Happened One Summer!
Tessa Bailey is back with a Schitt’s Creek-inspired rom-com about a Hollywood “It Girl” who’s cut off from her wealthy family and exiled to a small Pacific Northwest beach town… where she butts heads with a surly, sexy local who thinks she doesn’t belong.
As seen on E!Online, PopSugar, CNN, EliteDaily, Vulture, Buzzfeed, Bustle, the Nerd Daily, PARADE, LA Magazine, Country Living, USA Today, and more!
Piper Bellinger is fashionable, influential, and her reputation as a wild child means the paparazzi are constantly on her heels. When too much champagne and an out-of-control rooftop party lands Piper in the slammer, her stepfather decides enough is enough. So he cuts her off, and sends Piper and her sister to learn some responsibility running their late father’s dive bar… in Washington.
Piper hasn’t even been in Westport for five minutes when she meets big, bearded sea captain Brendan, who thinks she won’t last a week outside of Beverly Hills. So what if Piper can’t do math, and the idea of sleeping in a shabby apartment with bunk beds gives her hives. How bad could it really be? She’s determined to show her stepfather—and the hot, grumpy local—that she’s more than a pretty face.
Except it’s a small town and everywhere she turns, she bumps into Brendan. The fun-loving socialite and the gruff fisherman are polar opposites, but there’s an undeniable attraction simmering between them. Piper doesn’t want any distractions, especially feelings for a man who sails off into the sunset for weeks at a time. Yet as she reconnects with her past and begins to feel at home in Westport, Piper starts to wonder if the cold, glamorous life she knew is what she truly wants. LA is calling her name, but Brendan—and this town full of memories—may have already caught her heart.
MORE OF THE BEST OF 2022 ROMANCE
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