Happy Tuesday! I took a little break from Top Ten Tuesday during December but I’m delighted to back at it today with a look at some 2022 reads that I’m still thinking about. This of course isn’t a complete list but these are the first 10 that came to mind. Appropriately enough, given the title of today’s post 🙂
In Search of a Prince by Toni Shiloh
Release Date: Feb 1, 2022
This book is EVERYTHING, y’all. From the exquisite cover to the beautiful faith thread, the swoony romance, the relatable heroine, and the gorgeous African setting. And don’t even get me started on the hero <swoon> Bethany House knocked it out of the park with the cover – and Toni Shiloh knocked it out of the park with the story.
Counterfeit Love by Crystal Caudill
Historical Romantic Suspense
Release Date: March 15, 2022
With swoony romance, intriguing history, gripping plot twists, and strong characters, Counterfeit Love is one of the strongest debut novels I’ve ever read! Caudill’s writing voice is pitch-perfect and draws readers immediately into the heart of the story, holding them in thrall until the end. And did I mention the swoony romance??
Shadows in the Mind’s Eye by Janyre Tromp
Release Date: April 19, 2022
If there was such a genre as ‘hope-filled noir fiction’, Shadows in the Mind’s Eye would fit in nicely. The Arkansas mountain setting complements, even encourages, the haunting fog of suspicion, of uncertainty, of suspense that swirls through the story – keeping the characters and readers on their toes. The characters are tragically-flawed – almost every single one of them in their own ways – seemingly without redemption in sight. But, as Dovie May would say, light shines in the broken things – and in the broken people.
Turn to Me by Becky Wade
Release Date: May 3, 2022
Turn to Me is perfection. Heartwarming, hilarious, swoonilicious perfection. I don’t have enough stars to give it to properly express how much I love it. This is a story that, as soon as I turned the last page, I wanted to hug it and then go back and read it all over again. A must-read for contemporary romance fans!
The Forgotten Life of Eva Gordon by Linda MacKillop
Release Date: May 17, 2022
The author’s writing voice is so charming and full of warmth and wit, the characters so vividly drawn, that when you close the last page you feel as though you’ve been with friends instead of fictional people. A beautiful and heart-tugging portrait of home, yes, and certainly of aging, but also of intergenerational impact, the power of people who refuse to give up on you, and the Divine restoration of the years the metaphorical locusts have eaten. A winning debut novel in every way!
When Stone Wings Fly by Karen Barnett
Dual Timeline / Contemporary & Historical Romance
Release Date: June 14, 2022
Karen Barnett paints a beautifully poetic picture of strong women, family secrets, and gentle heroes. Rosie, Kieran and Granny Mac each thoroughly captured my heart, one a historical heroine with courageous wisdom, one a contemporary heroine walking in her wake, braver than she realizes … and one that rests poignantly in the gap between. It was everything I hoped for – and more. Atmospheric. Touching. Heartwarming. Lyrical. I may have even hugged the book when I was done – yes, it’s one of those reads that wraps you up so completely that even the pages themselves become friends.
A Place to Heal by Allie Pleiter
Release Date: June 28, 2022
Oh my goodness, how I adored A Place to Heal by Allie Pleiter. Mason & Charlie’s shared-but-also-different grief juxtaposed against the tenderness of them both tentatively opening their heart to love Dana just did me in – all. the. feels. Pleiter painted these sometimes-raw emotions in ink tinged with grace and empathy, and she also gifted readers with moments of well-timed adorableness and humor that soothed the sore places in our hearts. Not to mention that the romance is exquisitely sweet & swoony. I loved every page…
The Other Side of Certain by Amy Willoughby-Burle
Release Date: Sept 21, 2022
I loved every word, and I so badly want the time to go back and read it again. It took me on a roller coaster of emotions, broke my heart a couple of times, and sewed it back up with a tender joy that spilled out my eyes. Amid the sweet tears there was also laughter. I grinned like a fool, and I certainly swooned like one. This is more than a historical romance – it is also a layered look at the beauty of grace. Fans of Christy, Wonderland Creek, and Beauty & the Beast will love The Other Side of Certain!
The Belle of Belgrave Square by Mimi Matthews
Release Date: Oct 11, 2022
The Belle of Belgrave Square is my new favorite novel by Mimi Matthews! It’s one for my keepers shelf, and one that I will undoubtedly reread until I’ve practically memorized it. The author has lovingly woven threads from classics such as Beauty & the Beast, Bluebeard, and The Blue Castle into a plot that pays homage to them while still standing uniquely on its own. But the literary nods don’t stop there – readers’ hearts will dance with bookish glee at many classic references – from both Julia and Jasper, two wounded souls who have found life on the pages of books. And can’t we all relate to that?
All the Lost Places by Amanda Dykes
Historical Dual Timeline Fiction
Release Date: Dec 13, 2022
How can anyone put into words how absolutely beautiful this story is? I just now turned the final page of this truly exquisite novel, and I’m typing this review while still wiping away tears at the ending. Not because it was sad but rather because it was perfect and messy and intricate and just so beautiful. And – mainly – because it stirred my heart unlike few books I’ve read. Amanda Dykes is an author who can spin gold out of words, who can take the bones of a story and turn it into a painting.
What about you? Which of my picks have you read? What are some 2022 Reads that you’re still thinking about?