Happy Monday!

Today in Best Reads of 2022, I will talk about the best romances!

You know that I began this blog as a romance blogger and then, I broadened my horizon but I have 50% of my reads in the romance genre!

So prepare for several winners to day BUT I also have a HUGE winner today!

By a Thread by Lucy Score is a recent favorite! Read only two weeks ago!

It might by my favorite Lucy Score from the four books that I have read from her so far.

It has so many favorite tropes!

-Enemies to lovers;
-Grumpy/sunshine;
-Office romance
-The Devil Wears in Prada
-Slow burn

And the banter is exceptional!

The sparks are flying right from the start and I was snickering hard seeing Charming alias wealthy Dominic Russo bickering with Maleficent alias recently and temporarily poor Ally Morales!

It’s a game of tug and war, even when we feel the air brimming with their passion. The chemistry is there but both have secrets to protect and that makes trust very hard.

And before that, I have read Things we Never got Over, by the same Lucy Score!

This book is a grumpy/sunshine small town romance with great characters and interesting side characters who will probably get their own stories one day!

I loved Naomi, she was a courageous heroine, determined to love and care for her niece Waylay.
I loved Waylay too, eleven bordering on thirty! That kid was a STEM, quiet, shy, smart and had been delt bad cards in life so far.

Of course I loved sexy barber Knox, even if I wanted to bash his skull more than once when he couldn’t see what was right in front of him!

And I loved Steph the gay best friend, Liza the excentric grand mother, Sloane the vixen librarian and so many other characters!

I had a great time reading the book. It was a mix of light, fun and emotion!

Then we have another funny romance set up in a very imaginative world! The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen

his is an enemies to lovers trope with great supporting cast, an imaginative world that feels a cross between Greek mythology and western!

Hart is the broody/grumpy hero and Mercy the energetic sunshine heroine! Both hate each other for years (but do they really) and feel in need of a friend.

I loved the humor in the book, the family banter and bickering, the insults traded between Hart and Mercy while you could guess the attraction!
I had guessed the nefarious subplot so I wasn’t surprised when the cat was out of the bag but that didn’t diminish my enjoyment in the least!

Mercy’s family and Pen ( Hart’s young apprentice) were the cherry ok top to keep that story rolling on a bouncy tempo.

It’s whimsical, romantic, fun and heartfelt.

Now a very hyped one: Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood.

I adored Olive and Adam from The Love Hypothesis and.. Levi and Bee raised to the challenge!
I so love these two together as well!

Ali Hazelwood creates characters who are terribly smart yet totally clueless at the same time when matters of heart are concerned! She also give us these many details to flesh them out perfectly (going from Star Wars nerds to crying at every roadkill) and make them so real that you just feel like they are the best friends you’ve known forever!
Also, for how imposing and intimidating her heroes can be, they still blush adorably in presence of their secret crush. Sigh. Adorable! Levi was the absolute best here and he is my new book boyfriend!

This story has many assets:
-the characters (adorable, quirky, smart, sexy…);
-the science (because people don’t talk enough about science in romance stories);
-a romance really well executed
-a villain and a slight suspense (just enough to keep us interested all along).

Thank you for Listening is my second book written by Julia Whelan

I could gush for hours about that book that will be on my top reads of 2022 but let’s try “list style” here.

1) Amazing characters with an unusual choice of heroine. Sewanee has gone through hell and came back kicking. She is taking care of her grandmother (who has Alzheimer) and that made my heart melt!

2) Meet not so cute but undeniably sarcastic and hot! Sewanee will meet Nick in Las Vegas and I adored their heated discussion about romance tropes and them building an imaginary story on the spot!

3) Excellent banter! Be it with Nick or in her DM with Brock, the dialogs, humor and banter had me snickering so often! Dry humor is my brand of fun!

4) Enlightening! I learned so much about narrating books it was pure delight!

5) All the feels but not heavy nor syrupy! I laughed, I cried, I raged… I felt everything but Julia Whelan never overdid it. It was just the right balance between lighthearted banter and serious topics.

This gave me feelings akin to Book Lovers this year.

Just read it!

And my BIG WINNER IS…

My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan

5+ stars!

I had NO IDEA what was waiting for me in that book!
I knew that with Julia Whelan narrating the experience would be at least pleasant but it was so much more! It was perfection!

And I am in awe of Julia Whelan’s talent!
Not only is she a brilliant narrator and an actress but she has now made it to my favorite authors list!
I had barely finished My Oxford Year that I pre ordered her soon to be released book! That should tell you something.

My Oxford Year is a “cry a river” kind of book written with an impeccable style and filled with memorable characters.
I loved that the setting of the story was Oxford as I had just visited Oxford and the Bodleian library a few days before!
Julia describing the bikes, the tourists, the old colleges, the fish and ships… brought back all these fresh memories.

My heart has literally been wrenched from my chest while reading. Ella and Jamie’s strength was admirable. And even if I know this is fiction, they felt so real that I couldn’t breathe while listening to some part of the story.

Because: “The hardest thing is love, with no expiration date, no qualifiers, no safety net. Love that demands acceptance of all things I cannot change. Love that doesn’t follow a plan.”

Ella’s journey will be one of self-discovery. She will recalibrate her priorities, get to the core of what’s essential in her life. This reading had me look into my own life and get very introspective. This is a magnificent story that will stay with me for a long time.

One of my top reads these last years.

Thanks for reading.

Sophie

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13 Comments

  1. haha ya know I have yet to read ANY of these books, probably because they are all illustrated haha although I think I want to try the Lucy Score sometime. Glad you loved all of these.