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Books 2022

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These are still in reverse chronological order. I’ll replace this with a list by category when I get a chance to do that.

January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022: (latest finished on top)

Dating You / Hating You, Christina Lauren
Had to put this one down for a while because the workplace stuff was too stressful. And I haven’t worked in years.

I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette McCurdy
I’m the wrong age to have known this author for her work as an actress so had no image of her to contrast with the reality behind the scenes. There’s a lot of content to warm about in this one. I wished for more followup on a couple of the events but I’m sure it’s hard to know what to cover when there’s so much material.

Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
I’d never read this classic before. At first, some of the language and phrasing seemed odd to my modern eyes but eventually I stopped noticing and focused on the story.

The Bittersweet Bride, Vanessa Riley
I didn’t see how this one was going to resolve though I was confident it would eventually.

Bleake’s Geek and Geek Chic, Lesli Richardson
I feel like it’s been a while since I read any paranormal and Bleake’s Geek had been on my Kindle waiting for me. The world just clicked for me and I finished that first book and got the second in the series right after and read it, too.

Play, Kylie Scott
The setting in Portland with mentions of places in Idaho and western Washington gave me a sense of familiarity.

Ravished, Amanda Quick
Liked that this had a feistier heroine than the title and cover and historical setting led me to expect.

You Should See Me in a Crown, Leah Johnson
At first I thought I was too old to be reading this, high school being more than four decades in my past. By the end I was feeling okay about that.

Morning Glory Milking Farm, C.M. Nascosta
This is a weird one. That’s not bad, just I found myself tilting my head in puzzlement a lot until I got into the world of this story … he’s a what? she’s doing what for work? … that sort of thing.

The Vagina Bible, Dr. Jen Gunter
This is comprehensive. I consider myself pretty informed about women’s health thanks to a mom who let me read her copy of Our Bodies, Ourselves pretty young. Still I learned some things from this book and have made one change in my daily routine and am considering another.

The Boyfriend Project, Farrah Rochon
Love a STEM heroine. Wrapped up too quickly for me, but that’s often the case and probably a me problem rather than a book problem.

The Siren, Tiffany Reisz
This didn’t turn out the way I thought it would. I was left unsettled. That’s not what I was looking for at this time in the world. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad book, just not right for me especially now.

Midnight, Beverly Jenkins
There is an afterword with notes about the research the author did on the history of Black people in this time period, which I appreciated. It’s a fine romance as well, and fairly low angst for the setting, which I also appreciated.

Fire on the Ice, Tamsen Parker
I think it’s okay that I jumped in at book four of this series, though it also felt like jumping into the relationship between the two main characters, as they’d already met and had a bit of intimate history before this opens.

Tangled Lies, Anne Stuart (P)
The 80s were a different time. So jarring to have a hero who smokes. I wish I’d kept track of the books I read for fun in college; this wouldn’t have been one of them since it came out after I was no longer living with the roommate who brought bags of romances from home, but would still be interesting to look some of those up again and see how they hit now.

Chaos Reigning, Jessie Mihalik
I just want more of this world. Alas, there is no more, at least not in this series.

All the Feels, Olivia Dade
Not so much a sequel to Spoiler Alert as an overlap with it. I liked it just as well.

The Soulmate Equation, Christina Lauren
I liked this better than the first book I read from this author duo. Way better. I cried happy tears during the epilogue.

Spoiler Alert, Olivia Dade
I know just enough about fanfic and cosplay to understand the setting here. I appreciated the way this addressed fat shaming and learning disabilities.

The Sweetest Fix, Tessa Bailey
Wow, this book. There I was, reading along, enjoying the story and only occasionally being distracted by word choices/possible typos. Then unexpectedly I was crying. Not just weeping, but puffy-eyed crying. Sad tears, then happy ones. I don’t know why this one grabbed me so hard, but it did.

Ravishing the Heiress, Sherry Thomas
Parts of this were bleak. Parts were infuriating. Parts were sweet. Parts were hot. I liked it.

Theirs for the Night, Katee Robert
This is a teaser for the 6 book series. If all you want is a short steamy read, this fits the bill. If you want a complete story, you’ll need to buy the series (how much of it I do not know). I’m undecided whether I will do that.

Unmasked by the Marquess, Cat Sebastian
Liked this historical with a twist one doesn’t often see. Couldn’t figure out how it would work out.

Whiteout, Adriana Anders
More suspense than I usually go for in my reading. Definitely could have done without the epilogue.

Captain of All Pleasures, Kresley Cole
I forgot I was reading this one and started two other books before I remembered. Not sure why it didn’t hold my interest, as it’s got a spunky heroine, and I usually like that.

The Black Lyon, Jude Deveraux
This hero is definitely not for me.

Aurora Blazing, Jessie Mihalik
Loved it. It had been a while since I read the first one in the series but I fell right back in to this space opera.

The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever, Julia Quinn
Eh. Not really for me at this time in my life. Too much pining. Too obnoxious of a hero.

Beautiful Bastard, Christina Lauren
Like 50 Shades, this is a Twilight fanfic that was rewritten for publication. Also like that book, it has a power differential problem. If you can get past that, there are some hot scenes here.

Lick, Kylie Scott
I can see the appeal of this book but it’s not quite for me, as I don’t think anyone should be getting married at 21, much less when black out drunk.

Until You, Judith McNaught
Some delightful tropes here.

A Treasure Worth Seeking, Sandra Brown
Oh my. This is an older book, and it shows. Consent is not great though not completely ignored. I kept thinking/hoping that the crime that brings the main characters together would be resolved differently than it was. Some words stuck out to me, as if the author had recently helped a teen study for the SAT, very vocabulary word of the day. I got rather distracted by the details of a plane flight. Yes, things were different in the 90s but I don’t remember passengers being allowed to sleep laying down across three seats during landing.

The Hating Game, Sally Thorne
I somehow missed this when it was new. Really liked it. Takes tropes and uses them so skillfully and entertainingly I didn’t have any brain cells wandering off to nitpick details as I so often do.

Bombshell, Sarah MacLean
I had trouble focusing on this due to my confusion about whether I’d read it before, which I don’t think I could have given the publication date and how relatively recently I’ve found the author. That’s not the book’s fault, it’s my brain’s.

You Had Me at Hola, Alexis Daria
I liked the layering of the second chance romance in the tv show the two main characters were making alongside their off-screen romance.

The Billionaire’s Bargain, Naima Simone
The premise requires a fairly big suspension of disbelief. There are some awful people in this book, including a hero I found manipulative and who didn’t have to do enough grovelling for my taste. I’m undecided if I want to read the others in the series.

Where the Drowned Girls Go, Seanan McGuire
Set in the rival school to the one the previous books have been centered around, so that was interesting.

Bombshell, Jody Gehrman
I came across this when searching for another book with the same title. It was fun quick read.

A Matter of Class, Mary Balogh
This was charming in a way I didn’t expect.

Serving Pleasure, Alisha Rai
Another recommendation from Fated Mates that I’m glad I read.

You Don’t Look Like Anyone I Know, Heather Sellers
This was a tough read for me at times. Glad I picked it up despite that.

Everything I Left Unsaid, M. O’Keefe
Disappointed this is a cliffhanger. Again, maybe I should go for spoilers so I know what I’m getting into.

Not If I Save You First, Ally Carter
I have a bad habit of putting books on my library hold list and then forgetting anything I knew about them by the time it’s my turn to check them out. Thus I found myself surprised that this was both young adult and suspense … I was expecting romance, because that’s what I tend to put on my hold list, and there is a touch of that here but it’s definitely not the focus. It’s a good book just not in my wheelhouse/comfort zone.

A Heart of Blood and Ashes, Milla Vane
I had trouble getting into this one, with all the world building in the early chapters. I eventually got my bearings and enjoyed the story.

The A.I. Who Loved Me, Alyssa Cole
I loved this so much. It reminded me of the Murderbot series in some ways, and was even funnier. I hope there are more books coming about the characters in this one.

Through the Banks of the Red Cedar, Maya Washington
As an alum of Michigan State and a person who’s watched a fair few Minnesota Vikings games, I appreciated this biography of a man who played football in both places so I could learn some of the history I hadn’t been exposed to before. Also as an alum of MSU, I wish the title had been “On the Banks of the Red Cedar” because I have a deep groove in my brain from singing that opening line to the fight song so many times as a student. I’d like to track down the documentary film that covers this same ground.

Mangos and Mistletoe, Adriana Herrera
Quick cute romance set against a cooking competition show backdrop.

Keep the Memories, Lose the Stuff, Matt Paxton
I have stuff from several households and several generations, including my own, that I know I can’t take with me the next time I move. I don’t know that I’m going to take much from this book, though, as the key to his method is telling your stories to someone outside the immediate family, which I don’t see as practical for me. Unless I count writing journal entries about the stories and posting them online, which I don’t think he had in mind.

Brazen and the Beast, Sarah MacLean (A)(RR)
I needed to listen to an audiobook for a challenge on StoryGraph, and this was one of the options. Since I’d enjoyed the ebook of this title and my library had the audio, I chose this to listen to. It was well done, but since I didn’t have enough driving to do, I had to listen to some parts out of the car, and that leads to me being distracted by other things and not paying attention and having to rewind sometimes.

The Prince of Broadway, Joanna Shupe
I didn’t realize before I started reading that the timeline here overlaps with the first book. These women’s parents sure have a lot to deal with at the same time. As with the first one, I had some trouble believing some of the plot points, though it was easier this time as the world and the characters’ reactions were consistent with that first book. I did enjoy it overall and will read the third one at some point.

Tied Score, Elia Winters
I wanted more of this when I was done. It was a good BDSM palate cleanser after Fifty Shades. These main characters don’t have a huge power differential. These main characters educate themselves using good resources.

Fifty Shades of Grey, E.L. James
I only read this finally because it was one of the books selected for discussion on Season 3 of the Fated Mates podcast. I knew it was problematic. Now I’ve seen it for myself. I’ve read enough good BDSM fiction written by folks who are in lifestyle to feel concerned about folks who only read this series and think that’s how it works in real life.

Brazen and the Beast, Sarah MacLean
I would have sworn I’d read this before, but I think I just have heard it mentioned enough on the Fated Mates podcast that it just felt like I knew it well enough to have read it (and I did read the next installment so did know the main characters here from that). I really liked this one.

Come Tumbling Down, Seanan McGuire
More horror and less humanity than I would have liked but that’s how it goes sometimes. I’m still going to continue with the series.

Polaris Rising, Jesse Mihalik
Just what I needed. Escapist sci-fi with some sexy times.

Powder Days, Heather Hansman This collection of meditations on ski bums and the ski industry sort of bummed me out. I missed the golden age of skiing and ski bumming, which is okay for me since I don’t have the drive that classic ski bums do and due to circumstances I can afford to participate in the sport that’s out of reach of a lot of people now that small ski hills are disappearing.

The Rogue of Fifth Avenue, Joanna Shupe
This series comes up a lot in the Fated Mates podcast, so I picked up this first one. I liked it, though wasn’t quite able to suspend disbelief about some of the plot points.

Merrily Ever After, Jenny Holiday
I had a problem with the backstory in this one that colored my feelings about the whole read. Since I jumped into this series midstream, perhaps the issue that bothered me was explained in an earlier book. Regardless, the main storyline here is not my favorite trope.

In an Absent Dream, Seanan McGuire
This installment of the series felt sadder to me than the others.

The Tourist Attraction, Sarah Morgenthaler
This lived up to its illustrated cover: a sweet, low-steam romance. As a person living in a mountain town with a fair bit of tourism, this probably hit me differently than most readers.

Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America, Ijeoma Oluo
I learned some things from this. I am not as hopeful as the author that we as a country can change.

Beneath the Sugar Sky, Seanan McGuire
Nonsense worlds can be hard for me but I did my best to roll with it. I really liked seeing what happened after the events of the first book, even if some of the twists made my brain hurt.

Get a Grip, L. A. Witt
Finished this m/m before Romancelandia Twitter blew up with discussion of why so many m/m are written by white women. I enjoyed the book enough that I’ll probably pick up other in the series (this is #19; surely some of the others have different types of pairings).

Down Among the Sticks and Bones, Seanan McGuire
Though it was dark, I enjoyed learning the backstory of two of the characters from the first book in the series.

My Butt As A Slightly Frustrating But Ultimately Rewarding And Meditative Daily Routine
, Chuck Tingle
My first Chuck Tingle, purchased because the title made me laugh when I saw it in my Twitter feed amongst all the Wordle grids.

The Heart Principle
, Helen Hoang
This was harder to read than the previous two in this series, probably because some of it hit too close to home for me. I’m still glad I read it.

The Bride Test, Helen Hoang
I practically inhaled this, feeling fortunate I could get more Helen Hoang so soon after I finished The Kiss Quotient.

The Kiss Quotient, Helen Hoang
Yes. Just yes.

Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire
I really liked the concept. I didn’t connect with the story as much as I’d have liked. That’s probably a me problem.

A Kingdom of Dreams, Judith McNaught
A problematic premise for me, but that’s not super unusual in a romance of this vintage.

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