This was a great year for books, whether you like comedy, mafia, sports or suspense, there was truly something for everyone. But there are always some that stand out, head and shoulders above the rest.
Whether it’s laugh-out-loud comedy that brings the heat, like But First, Whiskey from Erin McCarthy or a dark mafia world, I love it all. Tracy Lorraine won my heart long ago with the Knight’s Ridge Empire series, but she truly outdid herself with the Dark Knight trilogy and there’s still more to come for the KRE gang. Jenna Fiore broke our hearts and put them back together with The Crush Next Door and Elizabeth O’Roark gave us one of my favorite stories (and heroes) of the year in The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. Jessica Peterson also outdid herself with Southern Bombshell, one of the sweetest and steamiest books of the year, with characters I adore.
I fell in love with so many new series this year with first books that hooked me like Melanie Harlow’s Taste, Kelsey Clayton’s Influenced and the Assassins in Love series from Tawna Fenske. Renee Rose and Vanessa Vale gave us the Alpha Mountain series and Hero was an instant favorite. Tijan started the Kings of New York series with A Dirty Business, which is ah-mazing. Does anyone do mafia like Tijan? Not many, but Siobhan Davis is one of the few. Her Mazzone mafia series is a longtime favorite, but she blew my mind with the standalone Vengeance of a Mafia Queen set in the same world. Serena Akeroyd does it well too and her Revelation duet addition to the Valentini Family series was everything. I’m obsessed with both The Consigliere and The Oracle because Aurora and Hunter are pure fire.
Monica Murphy gave us the Wedded Bliss trilogy, which started off hot in The Reluctant Bride and just got better and better with The Ruthless Groom and The Reckless Union. Tia Louise gave us Fearless, introducing a whole new interconnected world and I love everything about it, but especially Hutch and Scar. Elsie Silver’s Flawless started a new series full of hot cowboys and honestly, what could be better? Adriana Locke’s latest series of hot brothers started with Flirt and my heart belongs to Moss Carmichael, no question. Angela Casella’s new Fairy Godmother Agency series started strong with A Borrowed Boyfriend and just keeps getting better. We got more of old favorites, like Stacey Lynn’s Las Vegas Vipers series, which got five more stories this year, including Dom’s, which was my favorite, with Rule Breaker.
One of the best is Hold Me Close by Siobhan Davis, where she gives us a glimpse into the future for Viv and Dylan with the kids nearly grown. The All Of Me duet is one of my favorites ever so I was thrilled to revisit these characters. Catherine Cowle’s five book Tattered & Torn series is amazing and one of my absolute favorites. They’re all must-reads but Shattered Sea is my favorite of all. One of the best things I’ve read all year is The Risks We Take duet from Bella Michaels. The two books are so drastically different yet somehow the story flows seamlessly from Worth the Risk into the conclusion with Worth the Fight. Ashley Rostek continued her WITSEC series with the steamy nailbiter Love Me, ending it on a brutal cliffhanger that still has me waiting for the conclusion. Meghan Quinn and Lucy Score gave us sweet comedy gold with Runaway Groomsman and Things We Never Got Over.
We can only hope 2023 will bring more of the same! Happy New Year!
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