Hell or Highwater
Love Is in the Air
Gluttony and other Hungers
Wicked Dreams
Wrath and other Troubles
The Sinner and the Scholar
The Sheikh's Fake Fiancée
Bought at Auction
Be My Baby
Wraith's Revenge
Outback Hope: The Farmer
One Wolf Next Door
Sloth an other Delights
Outback Dust: The Drifter
Nero: A Scifi Alien Romance
Wolf Mate
Fae's Wolf
A Crown of Cruel Lies
A Clever Christmas
Holiday Kisses

Saturday, 28 January 2023

DarkLight On: DarkSider Favourite Reads for 2022!


Did you have a great reading year? Did you have any favourites? 
Here are some DarkSider favourites for 2022:

Janni Nell

Madeline Miller 

This remarkable book has been out for a while, but I first read it in 2022. I love a bit of Greek mythology, but I wasn't expecting the sheer beauty of this amazing book. The images the author creates in her truly unique style are vivid and dense. Reading Circe was pure joy, an abundance of riches. I can't wait to read more by this author.


Lauren Rose

2022 was a strange year for me, and so I spent most of it rereading some of my favourite books to help get me through the year. I did however read some new books, ranging from my favourite genre, paranormal romance, to some high fantasy. Here are my top four favourites from the year: 

The Final Empire (Book 1, Mistborn)
Brandon Sanderson

I never would have picked up The Final Empire if it weren’t gifted to me for my birthday, but I’m glad I did! Once I started I couldn’t put it down. There were so many twists and turns, and the overall plot kept me intrigued until the very end.

House of Sky and Breath
(Book 1, Crescent City)
Sarah J. Maas

I looove all of Maas’s series, and this masterpiece was no different. I had never been so emotionally invested in characters before, and the ending held such a huge cliffhanger that I’ve been thinking about it ever since I finished.

(Book 1, World at the Lake's Edge)
Lyndall Clipstone

Lakesedge is a YA gothic fantasy/paranormal novel by a lovely local South Australian author. The plot was fun to follow and was paced really well, and the characters were well rounded and likeable.

Ugly Love
Colleen Hoover

I only read Hoover because she was recommended to me by a friend, but I wasn’t all that interested, and I didn’t enjoy her other stuff all that much. But I have to admit that Ugly Love was full of such strong emotion, and the ending was just beautiful.


Imogene Nix

My favourite reads in 2022? That’s difficult because most have been textbooks! However the two that easily come to mind are:

Abandoned in Death


Desperation in Death

Both by JD Robb because I feel there has been a change in our lead characters by these two books and while they are numbers 54 and 55 (In Death series) they still have a gritty realism with a hint of fresh in them.


Donna Maree Hanson

I had a year filled with stuff, like renovating, which has kept me distracted. This meant I listened to quite a number of audio books as well as reading ebooks and print books.

I have to admit that I went on Keri Arthur reading binge. I blitzed the Lizzie Grace series and only stopped because the last book is not out until February 2023. I am so hooked on all the characters and can’t let them go.

I also sampled the Relic Hunters series by Keri, reading Crown of Shadows. And also read Unlit, from the Kingdoms of Earth and Air series. Both very different and I’m set to finish exploring these in 2023. Thanks Keri for some good times.

Going a bit wider was my Audible book listening. I have smashed my way through Joy Ellis’s crime series, which are set in the Lincolnshire fens. The DI Jackson and DS Evan series is voiced by Richard Armitage need I say more.

Richard Armitage
also published a thriller called Geneva which I found riveting. I think who dunnits suck me right in because I just want to know what happened but I also love the characters and their personal lives and loves.


On the SF/Fantasy front I started with the Murder Bot series by Martha Wells. This series is a crack up. A human/machine construct who swears a lot, hates humans but is also so human. I can’t wait for Martha to write more.
A romance reader friend recommended The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells, which is a non-human fantasy set on the three worlds. I smashed my way through those and am on a second volume of short stories. Absolutely brilliant. Such great world building and character. I loved Moon to the Moon and Back.

I also randomly purchased The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco, which I think is YA dark fantasy. It was unbelievably good. She is a Filipino author who takes the Geisha to new levels of magic and beauty and introduces scary monsters who create havoc. I’ve purchased the other two books in the series but they are on the ‘to listen’ list in 2023.

On the tail of my Bridgerton viewing I read To Sir Phillip, With Love (by Julia Quinn) to find out what happens to Eloise. I’m a sucker for Regency romance.

And just to add a bit of spice to my reading life, I picked up Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel. I kept trying to give this book away and then finding it in the garage, a random placement on a bookshelf. Anyhoo, I’m nearly done with this historical fiction book and I’m loving it but it does take a little while to adjust to the style.


Cassie Laelyn

In 2022 I found my reading mojo again and discovered a lot of new-to-me authors. It was also the first time ever where I binged mainly angsty, contemporary romances with the occasional paranormal/fantasy, rather than the other way around. Probably a result of BookTok peer pressure! Ha ha! 

Favourite discoveries this year were Tessa Bailey and Lexi Ryan—two very different writing styles—and I devoured their entire backlist. 

My top five books of 2022 were:

Dirty, Reckless Love 
 Lexi Ryan 

(the angst!)

Spinning Out
(The Blackhawk Boys)
Levi Ryan 

(the tears!)

Twisted Lies
(Twisted, Book 4)
Ana Huang 

(the steam!)

Fix Her Up 
Tessa Bailey 

(Travis is *chefs kiss*)

The Deal
(Off-Campus, Book 1)
Elle Kennedy 
(ice hockey…need I say more?)


Mary Brock Jones

Among my favourites books this year were: 

Anna Hackett's Norcross Security and Sentinel Security series. It was her SF Hell Squad series that first got me hooked on her books. I don't read a lot of contemporary romance, but I'm loving these series. 

I also enjoyed her Galactic Kings series, with Conqueror just edging out the others as best in series. 

A Rake of His Own
A J Lancaster ( a fellow kiwi). 

This is the last in her Stariel series,  a series I absolutely love. Plus it introduced me to a new genre - gaslight fantasy. These are fun, fantasy books with a romance element. A Rake of His Own is MM, but the rest of the series are MF. 

I did a lot of re-reading this year, including Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan series and Catherine Asaro's Saga of the Skolian series. They were paperbacks I've had for years. Unfortunately, not all the Skolian series are on kindle yet, which is very annoying as some of the paperbacks are hard to get now. 

For a change of pace - The Black Hawk by Joanna Bourne. This historical romance was Book 4 in her Spymaster series, about a group of English spies during the French revolution and Napoleonic wars. I loved the whole series - I'm an old fan of the Scarlet Pimpernel series and this was just my cup of tea - but this book was the best. Complicated main characters and a long drawn out enemies to lovers romance between an English spy and a French spy. Just magic. 

Another historical romance, this time with a touch of paranormal was Emily Larkin's latest in her Baleful Godmother Regency series: Violet and the Bow Street Runner.  The series is about an extended family in which the women are granted one wish by their (not very nice) fairy godmother. Violet chooses to be able to fly. I first discovered Emily Larkin through her fantasy series written under the name Emily Gee. She has a beautifully light and elegant writing style and all of her books are a must purchase for me. 

Back to scifi: 
Hunt the Stars
Jessie Mihalik

Another enemies to lovers story, my go to trope. This time it's between a female bounty hunter and the alien general who is her sworn enemy. She leads a crew of diverse and sometimes troublesome characters and her life is always on the edge, making for lots of fun adventures. 

The Elf Tangent
Lindsay Buroker

Another favourite author, with a stupendously prolific output.  I just had to include one of hers, and this was the one I liked most this year. This is one of her fantasies, featuring a heroine whose insistence on using logic and her scientific expertise gets her into lots of trouble and misunderstandings. A fun and different take on the genre, as are most of Lindsay Buroker's books. 


Marie Dry

Dark Whisper
Christine Feehan

Jayne Castle's
latest dust bunny book, Sweetwater Witch (Harmony)

Serena Akeroyd's

Stranger Sins

Michael Brent Collins

I don't normally read horror but I listened to a podcast where the writer was interviewed and I decided to try one book and I was hooked.

Murder In All Fury
(Doyle & Acton)
Anne Cleeland

Lessons from the Writing of The Fey
Kristine Kathryn Rusch

I enjoyed Kristine's book about her experience trying to get the Fey books published. It's horrendous what she's been put through.

I loved The Other Half of the Grave by Jeaniene Frost (Night Huntress World). She tells the story from Bones' point of view.

Dakota Harrison

My fave Read of 2022 is:

Tethered Souls
(Infinite City, Book 5)
Tiffany Roberts

It’s the fifth book in their Infinite City series, and boy, does it deliver. We met the twins in a previous book and I instantly fell in love with them. Their backstory is heartbreaking, and one twin in particular has a very hard time accepting he is allowed the possibility of happiness. Action packed, a great plot, and wonderful characters who grow and develop. Not to mention the incredible love arc. It’s a book about acceptance and letting go of the past, to embrace whatever the future may hold. 

M.L. Tompsett

Some of the books I read in no particular order but were great books to read, rating 4 or 5 stars.

Wicked Games
: A Futuristic Urban Fantasy Novel (TechWitch, Book 1) 
M.J. Scott

Tempting the Billionaire: Brother's best friend-Age Gap Romance (The Hartford Brothers, Book 1) 
JA Low

New Witch on the Block: A Paranormal Women's Fiction Novel (Midlife in Mosswood, Book 1) 
Louisa West

The Marquess of Mischief (The Rakes of Mayhem, Book 2) 
Anna St. Claire

Cold Case, Warm Heart: A Romantic Suspense Novelette (Melbourne Murder Series, Book 0) 
Michelle Somers

The Design of Dukes (The Beautiful Barringtons, Book 2) 
Kathleen Ayers

His Silver Warrior: A S.U.N. Universe Novel 
Cherime MacFarlane

Trapped with the Duke
(Miss Primm's Secret School for Budding Bluestockings, Book 1) 
Annabelle Anders

The Day You Went Away: A Werewolf Shifter Urban Fantasy Short Story (The Wild Side) 
M.J. Scott

Grant: One Night with a Billionaire 
Eve London

The Alpha's Bed: Huntsville Pack Series Free Werewolf Romance 
Michelle Fox

The Wolf Within: A Werewolf Shifter Urban Fantasy Novel (The Wild Side, Book 1)
M.J. Scott

One Night with Her Forgotten Husband 

Annie West

Awaken: Wolves of Timber Falls (Small Town Packs) 
Cassie Laelyn

Just One Night (The Kingston Family Book 1) 
Carly Phillips

: Wolves of Woodland Falls (Small Town Packs) 
Cassie Laelyn

Demon King (Claimed By Lucifer, Book 1) 
Elizabeth Briggs

Crow: Devil's Murder MC 
Nikki Landis

The Billionaire's Heart
: Steamy Sensations Romance (Secret Billionaire's Club, Book 1) 
Tracey Pedersen

The Look of Love (The Sullivans, Book 1) 
Bella Andre
Moon Bound (Pack Bound Series, Book 2): A fated mates urban paranormal romance)
Leisl Leighton

The Billionaire's Spark: Steamy Sensations Romance (Secret Billionaire's Club, Book 5) 
Tracey Pedersen 
Colton's Mate (Wild Blood Shifters, Book 2) 
Anastasia Wilde

Blood Kissed (The Lizzie Grace Series, Book 1)
Keri Arthur

Hell's Bell (The Lizzie Grace Series, Book 2) 
Keri Arthur 

Some Girls Lie (Outback Heat, Book 4)
Amy Andrews 

Crown of Shadows (A Relic Hunters Novel, Book 1)
Keri Arthur 


Thanks for joining us. Happy reading!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! So many books and so little time. Such fabulous titles and covers. I'm going to check some out.


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