📚📖📚📖 My Top Ten Books For 2022 📚📖📚📖

It was tough choosing just ten from my 190 books that I enjoyed reading this year.

Book 📖 blurb

The first time I saw you, I knew you were meant to be ours. I took you in my arms, your little hands in tight fists, and I knew I was going to do everything in my power to be the mother you needed and deserved…

When Catriona loses her baby girl at birth, it shatters her. But like a light in the darkness, Catriona is given the chance to adopt beautiful baby April, and now she cannot imagine life without her.

The family’s picture-perfect home is filled every day with April’s warm giggles and joyful games. But when her daughter is just eight years old, Catriona gets the call that she has been silently dreading. April’s birth mother, Lauren, would like to meet her.

Lauren breezes into their home and April just sparkles around her. Their matching turquoise eyes and chestnut hair feels like a knife to Catriona’s heart. Lauren appears to have her life back on track, with a good job and a new house in an upscale neighbourhood. Pushing to spend more and more time with April, one day Lauren says the unthinkable: April belongs with me.

Who can truly give the little girl the love and family she deserves? Catriona is sure Lauren is keeping secrets. Catriona only wants what is best for her darling daughter, but does that really mean she has to let her go forever?

A totally unforgettable, emotional, and beautiful novel that will break your heart into a million pieces and put it back together again. Powerful and ultimately uplifting, fans of Kate Hewitt, Jodi Picoult and Diane Chamberlain will be captivated.

What readers are saying about Someone Else’s Child:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ‘Utterly impossible to put down. A heartbreaking story… I devoured the entire book in just one sitting… I loved this book so much, I wish I could give it five hundred stars. All I can say is WOW – read it. You won’t be disappointed.’ NetGalley reviewer

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ‘A real tear-jerker. I had to keep reading, such was the power of this book. So heartfelt, you will need a tissue or 2!’ NetGalley reviewer

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ‘Oh my heart!! I knew this would be an emotional read but the tissues were needed from the beginning! The book is a heartbreaking but beautiful story…devastating … I was completely drawn in.’ Goodreads reviewer

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ‘Wow, wow, wow. Make no mistake. There are tears. This is your official tissue alert. But there are triumphs and laughter too. I didn’t want to put this one down.’ Bookworms Anonymous

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ‘Oh my goodness this was such an amazing book! Filled with emotional moments, I did have to keep stopping to hug my boys! At times it was heartbreaking but as always there were many uplifting parts too. I could not stop reading this story. Simply brilliant.’ NetGalley reviewer

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ‘Emotional… Absolutely broke my heart! I could feel the pain and see the strength it took for the main character to keep going forward. Definitely read.’ Goodreads reviewer

My ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review

Oh my goodness this was such an amazing book! Filled with emotional moments, I did have to keep stopping to hug my boys! At times it was heartbreaking but as always there were many uplifting parts too. I could not stop reading this story as I was incredibly emotionally attached to the characters and the situation was on a knife edge.
Simply brilliant

Book blurb

A tale as old as time. A spirit that has never rested.
Present day
As a love affair comes to an end, and with it her dreams for her future, artist Selena needs a retreat. The picture-postcard Sloe Cottage in the Somerset village of Ashcombe promises to be the perfect place to forget her problems, and Selena settles into her new home as spring arrives. But it isn’t long before Selena hears the past whispering to her. Sloe Cottage is keeping secrets which refuse to stay hidden.

1682

Grace Cotter longs for nothing more than a husband and family of her own. Content enough with her work on the farm, looking after her father, and learning the secrets of her grandmother Bett’s healing hands, nevertheless Grace still hopes for love. But these are dangerous times for dreamers, and rumours and gossip can be deadly. One mis-move and Grace’s fate looks set…

Separated by three hundred years, two women are drawn together by a home bathed in blood and magic. Grace Cotter’s spirit needs to rest, and only Selena can help her now.

USA Today bestselling author Judy Leigh writing as Elena Collins, brings you this unforgettable, heart-breaking, gripping timeslip novel set in a world when women were hung as witches, and fates could be sealed by a wrong word. Perfect for fans of Barbara Erskine, Diana Gabaldon and Louise Douglas.

Praise for Elena Collins:

‘A profoundly moving, beautifully written and emotional story that skilfully combines two time frames into one unputdownable book. I was completely immersed in Grace’s story from the beginning: despite it taking place 400 years ago. The modern day storyline was also delightful with some wonderful characters. In short a wonderful book by a fabulous author, very highly recommended.’ Louise Douglas

My ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review

I absolutely adored this story! It was fantastic going between the two times, it added drama and depth to both stories.
It’s a topic that interests me too, and you had to feel for Grace, her situation was truly difficult.
Such a compelling and emotive story, told perfectly!

Book blurb

Want to know what happens to a man who barely claws his way out of a tragedy, only to fall right into the arms of the one girl in the world he can never have?

Another tragedy, that’s what.

When I was six years old, my father made a choice that altered the course of my entire life.
Because of what he did, the only girl I ever loved became the only girl I couldn’t have.

In a lot of ways, I did have her…
I had her first steps, her first words, her first smile. I had her milestones, her heartbreaks, her dreams. I had her heart so woven in with mine, I didn’t know where she ended, and I began.

Only, as the years pressed on, lines became blurred—and the blurrier the line, the easier it is to cross.

They say tragedy comes in threes.
For me, that was true.
The first one changed me, the second one broke me, and the third one healed me.

But at the center of all that tragedy… there is a love story.
And at the center of that love story,
There is June.

REVIEWS ★★★★★

“Jennifer Hartmann penned an exceptionally unique story with every emotion digging its claws into your heart. June First is an unforgettable masterpiece!” – Jewel E. Ann, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author

“A touching coming of age story that oh-so-slowly kindles, and when it ignites, hold on tight because oh baby, this forbidden love burns. The angst and steam alone will overfill your taboo-loving heart. Such a beautiful, unforgettable book.” – Pam Godwin, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling Author

“The writing was heartfelt, vivid, and infused with harrowing passion. It was entwined with visions of love, hope, and dreams. It’s no surprise that Jennifer Hartmann finds herself in our top ‘must read’ authors.” – Totally Booked Blog

“Poignant, profound and poetic, this masterfully crafted, exquisitely beautiful story outshines all the other stars in the contemporary romance sky.” – BookAddict Reviews

“This book took my tears, bated my breath, and owned my heart. A unicorn dancing among the rainbows, June First is a top 2022 romance worth all the stars.” – Karen McVino, Bookalicious Babes Blog

“This is the type of masterpiece you cry buckets of both sad and happy tears over, then you tuck the memories beneath your pillow to keep forever.” – Chelley St Clair, Romance Author

“With June First, Jennifer Hartmann has taken a trope that is all too common these days and she has turned it into something that is truly original and heartbreakingly beautiful.” – But First Let’s Read

“June First is simply exquisite. Forbidden love, delicious chemistry, and characters to love and root for, makes this book a true 5 star read!” – Jessica Ruben, International Bestselling Author

“Hartmann excels at writing stories steeped in anguish and heartache like none other. This book is pure affliction from page one to the last. A standing ovation for this brilliant author who’s destined to be the next B-I-G thing. – Shabby, BookBistroBlog

“Brant and June will live with me for a very long time. This is easily my favorite standalone book I have ever read. My heart two days later is still living in this book. I’m rereading chapters because I can not get over just how amazing it is.” – Jenn Hope Reads

“The epitome of Kindle Crack. This emotion-packed, coming of age and forbidden romance was unputdownable. June First is going on my best of 2022 list.” – Kindle Crack Book Reviews

“This was forbidden romance in the most beautiful way. I need you all to just live and breathe this book. I literally have not read a bad book by this author since discovering her but that’s because she writes some of the most compelling love stories to date.” – Tish, The Book Thief

My ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review

Jennifer’s books always hit me straight into my heart, and this one was no exception! From the first few pages I was gripped by this emotional story. I utterly bonded with all the main characters, but Brant completely stole my heart.
Such a fascinating story that kept me avidly reading.
I won’t go into any details, I don’t want to spoil the twists for anyone, just to say that it was heartbreaking and uplifting all in one beautifully written book.

Book blurb

Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestselling author Robert Dugoni’s coming-of-age story is, according to Booklist, “a novel that, if it doesn’t cross entirely over into John Irving territory, certainly nestles in close to the border.”

Sam Hill always saw the world through different eyes. Born with red pupils, he was called “Devil Boy” or Sam “Hell” by his classmates; “God’s will” is what his mother called his ocular albinism. Her words were of little comfort, but Sam persevered, buoyed by his mother’s devout faith, his father’s practical wisdom, and his two other misfit friends.

Sam believed it was God who sent Ernie Cantwell, the only African American kid in his class, to be the friend he so desperately needed. And that it was God’s idea for Mickie Kennedy to storm into Our Lady of Mercy like a tornado, uprooting every rule Sam had been taught about boys and girls.

Forty years later, Sam, a small-town eye doctor, is no longer certain anything was by design―especially not the tragedy that caused him to turn his back on his friends, his hometown, and the life he’d always known. Running from the pain, eyes closed, served little purpose. Now, as he looks back on his life, Sam embarks on a journey that will take him halfway around the world. This time, his eyes are wide open―bringing into clear view what changed him, defined him, and made him so afraid, until he can finally see what truly matters.

Winner of Suspense Magazine’s Crimson Scribe Award.

Review
A Suspense Magazine Crimson Scribe Award Winner

A Goodreads Choice Award Semifinalist, Historical Fiction

An Amazon Best Book of the Month: Literature & Fiction Category

“This is the bestselling Dugoni’s masterpiece, the book by which his work, and that of others, will be measured for years to come.” —Providence Journal

“Dugoni has produced a novel that, if it doesn’t cross entirely over into John Irving territory, certainly nestles in close to the border…Told in two separate time lines (Sam as a boy, and Sam as a man) that eventually come together, and written in a gentle, introspective yet dramatic style that is very different from that of Dugoni’s crime fiction, this is an inspirational story of a man who spends a lifetime getting to know himself.” —Booklist

“Sam Hell is inspiring and aglow with the promise of redemption.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Robert Dugoni has a rare and brilliant talent for infusing his characters with complex emotions. It is very hard not to ache for young Sam…Frankly, this might be the best book of the year.” —Bookreporter

“Distinctly different in style from Dugoni’s typical fare, The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell, is a captivating and poignant journey of strength and the power of finding your true self. Without a doubt, this is Dugoni’s best yet.” —Suspense Magazine

“Dugoni’s writing is compellingly quick, simple, and evocative; readers will immediately empathize with young Sam and will race to discover how his story ends. The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell is a heartwarming novel that celebrates overcoming the unfairnesses of life.” —Seattle Book Review

Past Praise for Robert Dugoni:

“Dugoni is a superb storyteller…” —Boston Globe

“Dugoni has a gift for creating compelling characters and mysteries that seem straightforward, but his stories, like an onion, have many hidden layers.” —Associated Press

Book blurb

Nestled in the mountain shadows of Alabama lies the little town of Wicklow. It is here that Anna Kate has returned to bury her beloved Granny Zee, owner of the Blackbird Café.

It was supposed to be a quick trip to close the café and settle her grandmother’s estate, but despite her best intentions to avoid forming ties or even getting to know her father’s side of the family, Anna Kate finds herself inexplicably drawn to the quirky Southern town her mother ran away from so many years ago, and the mysterious blackbird pie everybody can’t stop talking about.

As the truth about her past slowly becomes clear, Anna Kate will need to decide if this lone blackbird will finally be able to take her broken wings and fly.

At the Publisher’s request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Review
Full of family secrets, undeniable charm and that particular touch of magic so often found in the South, MIDNIGHT AT THE BLACKBIRD CAFE is a heartfelt and redemptive tale of a daughter looking to move forward in the place her mother couldn’t wait to leave behind. Heather Webber creates a town as dynamic and real as her characters–and a story so compelling that it will stay on readers’ minds long after the final page. I savored every word. –Kristy Woodson Harvey, national bestselling author of Slightly South of Simple

Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe is an enchanting gem of a novel, brimming with charming characters, heartwarming connections, old secrets, and a southern setting that makes you want to move there. As refreshing as a glass of blackberry tea, this is truly magical realism at its best!–Karen White, New York Times bestselling author

Family, fate, and magic intertwine in this endearing Southern tale of long-held secrets, homemade pie, and building one’s future from the remains of the past. A tantalizing, delicious delight, through and through. Heather Webber writes with so much detail and imagination that I’ll be craving some Blackbird Cafe pie–and the comfort that comes with it–for a long time to come. — Kristin Harmel, international bestselling author of The Room on Rue Amélie and The Sweetness of Forgetting

Book blurb

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. And when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life seems too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, It Ends With Us is a heart-wrenching story and an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

My ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review

This was my first read of a Colleen Hoover book and it definitely won’t be my last! I adored her writing style, so descriptive and detailed, and she could really capture the mixed and varied emotions of her characters so vividly and honestly.
As a survivor of domestic abuse myself, I did occasionally find some scenes a little triggering, however I appreciated the sensitive way the story was told, especially when Lily admitted to herself that she finally understood her mother’s reasons for putting up with the horrific situation for so long. It is so hard when the person you love is the person that you need protection from, and this story underlined that sentiment that so well and made it possible for others to understand that life and situations are not always cut and dried, that everyone’s situation is different and how they cope and react will be different too.
Such an emotional rollercoaster of a story, however I did find it uplifting and positive too. It was great to see Lily overcome her childhood trauma and to find a future for herself.
I loved seeing her relationship with Atlas as a teenager, if two people ever needed anyone to support each other it was these two, it was so incredibly sweet and heartwarming to follow their special friendship grow.
I will definitely be reading the follow up book! I need more of their stories to warm my heart!

Book blurb

Six-year-old Jack is counting the days to Christmas. But his grandmother is just counting the days until it’s over. For Jill, the holiday comes with painful memories, and she wants only to escape the recent past and its tragedies.

She’s moved and started a new life running a food truck in Widmore Bay, a quaint seaside town, in order to flee her agonising history.

It’s only for little Jack’s sake that Jill tolerates the tree and decorations. She just wants to spend Christmas with the curtains drawn, reading a book and drinking coffee.

But this season, she may stumble onto a miracle that restores joy—and hope—in her heart . . .

My ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review

Now how can I even begin to say how beautifully written this book was? I have read all of Eva’s other books and have always loved her descriptive style of writing, her amazing characters jump out of the pages and into your heart as you follow their lives, and this book continued that pattern perfectly.
A Christmas story, like no other, the heartbreaking story of a mothers loss, especially hard at Christmas. This fantastic book completely filled me with so many emotions, you could absolutely understand her loss of the joy for the Christmas season. However you could also see the huge amount of strength she possesses and the love for her grandson shines through and as the book progresses you begin to see how hope might find a way back into her life.
Jill is a character who I know that I won’t forget in a very long time, if ever. Her troubles and losses were immense and life changing, yet you could sense her desire to move onwards, if not for herself, for her family. It was uplifting to see her reach out to her friend Mary, and to slowly piece back her life and to find ways to reunite with the family that she had pushed away in her grief.
It’s not my usual jolly Christmas read, yet I do still feel festive and filled with love after reading it. The last few chapters were read through tears, but not sad ones. The beautiful ending was perfect and it filled my heart with joy.
It really was a gift of a book to read and I’m so grateful to have found Eva’s gorgeous books.

Book blurb

From the New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six . . . Four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate the end of the summer. But over the course of twenty-four hours, their lives will change forever. Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over-especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva. The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud-because it is long past time for him to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth. Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there. And Kit has a couple secrets of her own-including a guest she invited without consulting anyone. By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come bubbling to the surface. Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them . . . and what they will leave behind.

My ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review

I love duel time stories as it allows you to get really into the characters minds as you find out their backgrounds and see how it affects their behaviours and impacts on their choices.
This was a captivating story and I soon found myself completely engrossed in the lives of the Riva siblings and their challenges. Nina is a character that I took to my heart, you could feel her protectiveness to her brothers and sister, and her love for her mother too. You could understand what she had given up on to provide a loving home for her family.
An emotional read for sure but I also found it uplifting and positive too.
TJR writes fascinating characters, in such great detail that you can really see them in your mind as you read ( or listen). The scene where the siblings were trying out surfing on a board for the first time was so well written that I found myself imagining myself in the ocean alongside them with the swell of the waves and the excitement of riding the waves to the shore.
A really beautiful story that was very different from my usual book choices, and I’m so glad that I read it.

Book blurb
It’s time for a w(h)ine

“God, she’s funny” – Jilly Cooper

‘Oh, for f*ck’s sake’ muttered Claire under her breath, as she opened the fridge to see what she could find for a no effort dinner. The children continued to fight behind her. They regarded any form of fish not encased in breadcrumbs as toxic, and were resistant enough to the delicious homemade fishfingers Claire had made for them, insisting they much preferred Captain Birdseye’s version. White wine was starting to look like quite an appealing dinner actually. Maybe just a small glass.

‘Are you having wine, Mum? You know you’re not supposed to have wine every night. We did about alcohol units at school. That’s quite a big glass of wine, how many units do you think are in it?’

’Bet the bastards didn’t tell you that wine is remarkably good at cancelling out whining though, did they?’ muttered Claire.

Claire’s family has gone nuclear. Her precious moppets keep calling Childline when she feeds them broccoli, she’s utterly Ottolenghied out at weekends, and her darling husband is having an affair with her best friend.

The question isn’t whether she needs a glass of wine, but is there one big enough?

Enter the Sauvignon Sisterhood, a new set of friends brought together by a shared love of liquid therapy. Together they might just be able to convince Claire that, like a good bottle of red, life really can get better with age. Or at least there’s more to it than the joy of an M&S non-iron school uniform.

Review
Praise for Gill Sims

“God, she’s funny” – Jilly Cooper

“Honest and very funny – it’s a tale that mums will identify with” – The Sun

“Sims’s latest offering is a hilarious follow-up to her bestselling debut… you’d be forgiven for thinking the blogger behind Peter and Jane couldn’t pull it off twice – but she has” – The Sunday Post

“Witty, relevant and bitingly sarcastic… Gill Sims nails the aspects of modern family life that drive us crazy – but which also make us who we are” – Sunday Express Magazine

Book blurb

Beth loves her job working in a care home, looking after its elderly residents, but she doesn’t love the cramped and dirty house-share she currently lives in. So, when she gets the opportunity to move to Nightingale Square, sharing a house with the lovely Eli, she jumps at the chance.

The community at Nightingale Square welcomes Beth with open arms, and when she needs help to organise a fundraiser for the care home they rally round. Then she discovers The Arches, a local creative arts centre, has closed and the venture to replace it needs their help too – but this opens old wounds and past secrets for Beth.

Music was always an important part of her life, but now she has closed the door on all that. Will her friends at the care home and the people of Nightingale Square help her find a way to learn to love it once more…?

Your favourite authors love Heidi Swain’s books:

‘A summer delight!’ SARAH MORGAN
‘A delightfully sunny read with added intrigue and secrets’ BELLA OSBORNE
‘With heart-warming characters, a gorgeous summer setting, and a great story with secrets aplenty to keep you turning the pages, it’s the perfect read to relax and curl up at home with’ CAROLINE ROBERTS
‘A ray of reading sunshine!’ LAURA KEMP
‘A lovely, sweet, summery read’ MILLY JOHNSON
Review
‘Norwich’s fictional Nightingale Square is the setting for another feelgood novel by Heidi Swain’ Norfolk Magazine

‘Heidi Swain weaves a life-affirming story about the power of community’ Woman’s Own

‘A charming read full of summer warmth’ My Weekly

‘This is the fourth in Heidi Swain’s Nightingale Square series but you don’t need to read the first three books to enjoy this charming story. It’s unexpectedly refreshing to read a novel partly set in a care home where we meet the mischievous, delightfully entertaining residents in their 80s who Beth looks after’ Daily Express and Daily Mirror

‘Returning to Nightingale Square always feels a little like coming home, which is what makes Heidi Swain’s The Summer Fair such a lovely, feel-good read’ ― CultureFly

My ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review

So brilliant to be back at Nightingale Square!
I so enjoy visiting this wonderful community and it was fantastic to meet some new fabulous characters too!
Beth has her issues, banning music from her life because it’s too painful to allow it in. You really feel her emotions and are desperate for things to improve for her. So when she has the opportunity to not only to improve her career, the chance to move away from her despicable housemates into a shared house on Nightingale Square suddenly arrives.
Only problem is that music and interacting in a close community also comes with the move, so will Beth regret her new life choices?
I loved the quirky, fun characters that we meet in the care home where Beth works, they add a sense of fun and it was marvellous to see how Beth grew a special community within the home.
Eli has his own issues, however he brings back music to Beth and slowly makes her start believing in herself and so she starts to allow it back into her life.
For me the themes of music and it’s importance for your mental health and as a way to express yourself was really important and something I completely could relate with.
Heartwarming and uplifting, I enjoyed every page, character and setting in this beautiful book.

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