TOP 20 OF 2022: The Complete List

In case you missed it! I shared reviews for my 20 favorite books of 2022 over the holidays, and now I’ve got everything I loved about 2022 romance novels, all in one place! Looking back, I really did have a fantastic reading year – there were so many great books that ALMOST made my top 20 list, and plenty of others that were just really solid reads. The books on this list represent the absolute BEST romance novels I read all year. Out of over 200 books, these rose to the top of the pack with ease.

Clearly I love sexual tension and forced proximity more than anything; there were several outstanding romances that featured those. But they’re so versatile, because each book on this list is completely different. From dark and steamy mafia books to light and playful rom coms, there’s a little something for every mood. I’m one of those readers who likes to switch things up – if I read something heavy, then the next book has to be light. If one book plays up the tropes, then the next one has to surprise me. I’m a mood reader, what can I say!

Every book on this list was an excellent reading experience for me, and I am so excited to see what 2023 brings!


Flawless AND Heartless by Elsie Silver

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!

Read the Flawless review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3onzLoK

Read the Heartless review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3DgYgwN


Consider Me by Becka Mack

I don’t assign these specific rankings, but… Consider Me is definitely up there! I loved this playboy tamed romance so much that I happily ate up a 20+ hour audiobook by a new-to-me author and wanted more at the end. I loved it so much that I haven’t even started the next interconnected standalone in the series, because I wanted to bask in my love a little longer. So, I’d say that it was pretty, pretty good. The hero is the star of this beefy romance, and watching his progression from beginning to end was truly something special. I’m looking forward to (finally) diving into the followup when it releases in audio this month, and here’s hoping that it’s even half as good as this one.

Read the audiobook review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3xQXGlx


Untying the Knot by Meghan Quinn 🎧

I’m celebrating my 20 favorite romance novels of the year, and no book put me through my paces emotionally like Untying the Knot. Meghan Quinn is no stranger to my Best of the Year lists, because she swings for the fences with every release, and creates magic every so often. This marriage in trouble romance is equal parts uplifting and emotionally draining, with a vibe that is unforgettable and a story that’s impactful. I loved every minute of it, and it just reminds me why I jump on every new release from this prolific author. Here’s hoping that we get a few more gems in 2023! 

And, by the way, this is probably the very best audiobook I listened to this year – highly, highly recommended. If you’ve been meaning to check out a contemporary audiobook with duet narration, this is a fantastic one.

Read the audiobook review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3U18Tcy


Terms and Conditions by Lauren Asher

Terms and Conditions is another book that lived up to the TikTok hype. It’s a marriage of convenience/office romance that ended up being right up my alley, and I loved how the hero was in so over his head. It’s only once this couple is married that our hero truly sees his girl, and that made for a rich, textured read. There’s just something about a hero who is clueless until it’s ALMOST too late; this was incredibly bingeable, and it left me wanting more from the author.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3vywHLf


Funny Feelings by Tarah DeWitt

I’m celebrating my 20 favorite romance novels of the year, and that list includes Funny Feelings, a humorous and heartfelt friends to lovers romance by new-to-me author Tarah DeWitt. I knew very little about the plot when I decided to sample Funny Feelings, but it took only a few minutes for me to become completely hooked. It’s got such a unique feel, and I loved the layered storyline. There are funny moments paired with shots of angst, and the strong bond between the characters was a major win. 

In the months since reading Funny Feelings, I’ve also binged DeWitt’s other two books, and they were both fantastic. The tense and emotional The Co-op would’ve made this list if Funny Feelings hadn’t, so I’ve got to give it a shoutout as an honorable mention. It’s rare that a second chance romance wins me over, and The Co-op had me glued to the pages. I also sincerely enjoyed DeWitt’s debut, Rootbound, which was quieter and softer. It’s a pre-2022 release (so ineligible for this list), but I very much enjoyed the reading experience. Details on both books below. Here’s hoping that we get more great books from DeWitt in 2023 and beyond!

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3PPco40


Brutal Vows by J.T. Geissinger

I’m celebrating my 20 favorite romance novels of the year, and that list wouldn’t be complete without the finale to J.T. Geissinger’s deliciously addictive mafia romance series. I have loved EVERY book in this series – and the spinoff series too – so it was no surprise that Brutal Vows won me over in a matter of minutes. I also loved that it surprised me so much; I had my own ideas about how the book would play out, and I was so very wrong. My eyes were glued to every single page! I’m incredibly sad to see the series go, but it was a wild and steamy ride while it lasted.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3BaAcIN


Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey

I’ll admit to being very hesitant to dive into this romance initially. Friends to lovers romances where the hero is a manhoe are not favorites of mine, but this was done SO well that I loved every minute of it. Bailey deftly handled our hero’s history, and the result was the ultimate swoonfest. Plus, the sexual tension was on fire! It’s a great addition to an excellent series, and easily one of my favorites of the year.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3h7UMRf


Honestly, I’m Totally Faking It by Amanda Gambill

Honestly, I’m Totally Faking It is one of those books that came out of nowhere for me. Typically, I’m either anticipating a release myself or I get a recommendation and put it on my TBR for “sometime.” With this book, however, I got a rec, read the blurb, and immediately jumped in with no other details. That helped make it such an immersive experience, and I loved seeing how everything unfolded without any expectations. It’s hysterical some moments and poignant in others, so this unique book easily won me over. Here’s hoping we get more from this new-to-me author in 2023!

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3A1EmDu


Talk Flirty to Me by Livy Hart

I’m such a second chance romance hater that it took about a dozen other readers recommending this to me before I finally dove in. And I’m so glad that I did! It’s got great tension, a unique vibe that switches between light and angsty, as well as a rich history between the characters (he’s her brother’s best friend and the whole family despises him now!) that gives it some extra bite. I absolutely loved the writing style, and I’m eagerly anticipating more from this debut author in 2023 – I loved it.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3gWhJda


The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by Elizabeth O’Roark

The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea definitely makes the list. The Devil series has been fantastic as a whole, but I sincerely enjoyed this angsty, forbidden romance – it might be my favorite of the Devils. It’s got sexual tension that sparks off the page, and I loved how the forced proximity made the characters’ feelings come bubbling to the surface. Every bit of it was bingeable, and the book (and series!) left me wanting to read more and more from O’Roark. She’s quickly becoming a one-click author for me, and I’m not complaining.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3HANt07


Next of Kin by Hannah Bonam-Young

Next of Kin was such an unexpected delight! On a night when nothing on my TBR was calling my name, I stumbled upon this newly-released debut. I’d never heard of the book, but the cover was adorable and the blurb sounded right up my alley, so I dove in. And I ended up loving it so much! Both the found family and roommates aspects were excellent, and it has such a unique feel. I ended up devouring it quickly, and continue to have extremely fond memories of this debut. I enjoyed Bonam-Young’s second book as well, so here’s hoping that we get some more great romances from her in 2023!

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3J0MDe8


Meet Me Halfway by Lilian T. James

I’m celebrating my 20 favorite romance novels of the year, and that list includes Meet Me Halfway, the slow-burning, single mom romance that put Lilian T. James’ writing on my radar. I’d heard some good things about this book prior to reading, but it blew me away once I dove in. I loved the authentic feel, the strangers to friends to lovers dynamic, and how the book was so heartfelt and uplifting at the same time. It’s a layered storyline that felt rich and unique, and I’ll certainly be checking out more of James’ work in the future.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3MLDXIT


Mile High by Liz Tomforde

I’m celebrating my 20 favorite romance novels of the year, and that includes the banter-filled playboy tamed romance, Mile High. This is one of those books that I heard about months ago and let sit on my kindle for just the right day. It’s nearly 500 pages long and from a new author, so diving in required a little bit of a leap of faith. But I could tell almost immediately that it was going to be right up my alley, and I settled in to enjoy the ride. I savored it over the course of almost a week, and I was ready for more when it ended. The good news is that the second book in this series of interconnected standalones will be here soon!

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3YlLaGH


Thank You for Listening by Julia Whelan 🎧

Thank You For Listening is one of the subtler picks. I was lucky enough to receive an early copy of the audiobook, and it blew me away – I think that I may have been one of the first people to review the audio, so I was wholly unprepared for just how engaging it would be. But it’s not just Whelan’s stellar performance that’s a win, it’s also the plot itself. The story is a great mix of women’s fiction and romance, with a highly bingeable quality. Whelan is best known for her narration skills, so having a book written by an audiobook narrator ABOUT audiobook narrators was such an interesting experience. I loved it!

Read the audiobook review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3IbDA9G


Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood

The Love Hypothesis was one of my favorite books of 2021, so Hazelwood had a lot to live up to with her sophomore effort – and this did not disappoint! It’s original and compelling, with nerdy, authentic characters who are perfect together. Figuring out the broody hero was a lot of fun, and the whole book was exceedingly swoony. Easily one of my favorite reads of the year.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3a4oYfe


Ten Trends to Seduce Your Bestfriend by Penny Reid

I’m celebrating my 20 favorite romance novels of the year, and that list wouldn’t be complete without Ten Trends to Seduce Your Bestfriend. It’s one of the more unique and memorable books I’ve read this year, with a hero that I absolutely adored. It’s also beefy and a little brilliant, with a super slow burn that tortured me. I loved trying to figure out the hero, and the evolution of the relationship felt so deep and intimate. It’s lighthearted and full of swoons – and easily one of my favorite books of the year.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/37AVQv0


Mixed Signals by B.K. Borison

Mixed Signals easily makes the list. I ended up bingeing the whole Lovelight series in less than a week, and that’s because they are effortlessly charming. Better together, these books seem to improve with each installment, and the newest just absolutely captivated me. I loved the sweetheart of a hero, the small town feel, and the cast of characters. Plus, the tension! 

And I’ve got to give a shoutout to In the Weeds, because it would’ve made this list if Mixed Signals hadn’t. It’s rare that a second chance romance wins me over, but I ended up loving that book because of the community aspect and the slow-building romance. I’m very much looking forward to the next book in this series – here’s hoping that it follows the same upward trend!

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3wVdhAq


Lease on Love by Falon Ballard

I’m celebrating my 20 favorite romance novels of the year, and this debut surprised me in the best of ways – I loved it from start to finish. It’s a great romance with a side of women’s fiction, and the storyline felt fresh and authentic. Plus, roommates to lovers romances where the hero is a little mysterious are always a win! It’s young and vibrant, with heartfelt moments and lighthearted vibes. I’m excited to read more from Ballard in the future – this was a very memorable debut.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/30dwdNi


Funny You Should Ask by Elissa Sussman

As a self-proclaimed second chance romance hater, I think it’s hysterical that a few wildly different second chance romances made my Top 20 list. When they work, they really work, and that was the case with this one. The plot is unlike any other romance I’ve read, which made it that much more engaging. I loved puzzling out this couple’s relationship, and the unpredictability made it incredibly immersive. Definitely a quieter and more introspective read, and one that is so dynamic.

Read the audiobook review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3Q72ZnH


More of the Best of 2022 Romance!

BEST OF 2022: Top Picks by Trope

Best Romance Books I Read in Kindle Unlimited (2022)

BEST OF 2022: My 10 Favorite Romance Series

Every 5-Star Romance Novel I Read in 2022


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