Joyfully Jay Best of 2022 badgeThis was a year of great series for me, and considering how much I love series in general, that was a very good thing. While I did have a couple of stand out standalones as well, series seemed to dominate my list this year. So without further ado, in no particular order, here’s this year’s top reads.

The Prince’s Poisoned Vow by Hailey Turner—Would this even been a Kris’ Best of list without a Hailey Turner book? This is a departure from what the author has written before in a lot of ways, but not from the intricate and compelling world building. Turner really excels at that and creating compelling characters I care about deeply. It’s dark, compelling, and incredibly detailed. I’m very much looking forward to what comes next in this trilogy.

Code Blue by N.R. Walker—This is a follow up to one of last year’s favorites, Code Red. I’m definitely a fan of this author and her storytelling, and this one hit all the right notes for me. I loved Steve’s caretaker nature and how that translated to his burgeoning relationship with Jeremy, and the chemistry between the two simply leapt off the page.

A Dozen Dates by Sarah Hadley Brook—This short story just caught me and held me the entire time. It was cute, sweet, and a completely feel-good story. The joy I got from reading it stayed with me long after I was done. This one is perfect for a quick read to put a smile on your face.

Quest Investigations series by E.J. Russell—I adored just about everything in this series. Russell has a great narrative style, and balanced humor with plot so very well. Part of the larger Mythmatched Universe, these books had less romance and more mystery. But the engaging storytelling and the compelling characters had me excited for every book.

A-List Security series by Annabeth Albert—I’m a long-time fan of this author, and this series is no different. The characters, in particular, were really the appeal for me in these books. Some points of the plot weren’t that exciting, but the absolute affection I had for the MCs and their journeys really were the draw for me. Bad Deal especially worked for me, but the series as a whole is a winner.

The Chosen One Universe by Macy Blake—I’m calling this one by the universe name because I’ve been immersed in several different series and audios this year that belong to this world. With the Hellhound Champions series, the Magical Mates series, and the Chosen Champions series, the author continues to grow this immense and intricate world she’s built. New characters are constantly being introduced, and while some of the series’ work on their own, the books work even better when read in conjunction with the universe as a whole. These books are perfect for me, but at the same time, there’s so much about them that just brings me joy. It’s often my PNR fix when I need it, and it works every time. I also listened to all the audios for the entire universe that have been release, and really enjoyed them.

And Nora Phoenix pulled a hat trick for me this year:

Forty-Seven duology—This duology broke my heart and put it back together again. Kinsey was a raw, broken man, due to religious trauma and bad choices, and he gets a clean start in the arms of the much younger Benoni. Phoenix hit all the right notes with this duo and dragged me along on an emotionally fulfilling journey.

Foster Brothers series—A found family is always going to get me. Add in endearing characters and compelling storylines, and I’m extra sold. This series is about four foster brothers who made the decision long ago to take care of each other and have never stopped. Each book is better than the last, and with the final installment yet to come, I can’t wait to see how it all concludes.

Irresistible Dragons series—This series is a spin off of the author’s Irresistible Omegas series, but works fairly well as a standalone. While only the first two books are out, the third one is tomorrow and the fourth one is already on preorder. I love the world Phoenix created and the ways it’s expanded with this series. Even more, I love the twists and turns the author takes us on. All around a good read, and I can’t wait for more.

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