2022 Favourite Reads

Yep, I’m doing another round-up of my favourite reads,. This will be my third year posting and it’s looking like it’ll be a yearly tradition. Wooo!

I had another rollercoaster year. I remember the first few months of 2022 wishing the year would roll by quick, and now that it’s finally time to ring in the new year, I have such a bittersweet feeling because the last two-to-three months elevated the year.

I say this every year because it really is true in my life… reading has and always will be my form of sanctuary and escapism from the daily grind. I’m your stereotypical introvert who prefers books to company. The older I get the more I’ve preferred a cosy night in with a swoon-worthy book, a favourite movie playing in the background, and tons of comfort food, and I don’t really see my preferences changing back to my younger years when I spent over an hour getting ready to go out and dance the night away (although on a rare occasion I might brush off the party dress and put on a friendly smile hehe).

Now! 👏 Are you ready to see the books I ended up loving the most from all the 100+ books I read this year? Even I surprised myself when I went back to compilate this list. 😲


Here is my compilation of favourite reads of 2022. Ooh man, it was hard! Like last year, I ideally wanted to pluck out one favourite book from each month but damn it was hard! Some months had multiple stellar reads, so I tried had to do a little bit of finessing… *cough* cheating *cough* 😜😁

But I will say this, I have a bunch of different authors in this list, some are new-to-me authors that have quickly been added to my auto-buy authors list. So if you’re wondering if I’d recommend any… HELL YES!

(FYI: organised by romance sub-genre)

So here we go!


Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn


• Contemporary Romance •


📖 The Words by A. Jade

(Hate-To-Love, Second-Chances, Standalone, Rockstar Romance) *Trigger Warnings*

📖 Last On The List by Amy Daws

(Nanny/ Single Dad, Opposites Attract, Grumpy-Sunshine, Standalone in an Interconnected Series)

📖 Hating The Player by Rebecca Jenshak

(Hate-to-Love, Second Chances, Next-Door Neighbours, College Sports Romance, Standalone in an Interconnected Series)

📖 Shattered And Salvaged Duet by Anna B. Doe
Kiss To Shatter & Kiss To Salvage

(Brother’s Best Friend, Secret Romance, College Sports Romance, New Adult Romance, Standalone in an Interconnected Series) *Trigger Warnings*

Honorary Mention:
📖 Kiss To Belong by Anna B. Doe

(Best Friends-to-Lovers, Secret Crush, Close Proximity, Surprise Pregnancy, College Romance) *Trigger Warnings*


• MC Romance •


📖 Keeping The Throne by Nicole James

(MC Romance, Whirlwind Romance, Age-Gap Romance, Standalone in an Interconnected Series) *Trigger Warnings*


• Mafia Romance •


📖 Sinners Series by Michelle Heard
Taken By A Sinner (pictured)
Owned By A Sinner
Stolen By A Sinner
Chosen By A Sinner
Captured By A Sinner

(Dark Mafia, Suspense, Arranged Marriage, Enemies-to-Lovers, Hate-To-Love, Age-Gap, Standalones in an Interconnected Series) *Trigger Warnings*

📖 Sins Of The Orchid by Eva Winners

(Age-Gap, Forbidden Romance, Best Friend’s Brother, Suspense, Standalone, Italian Mafia) *Trigger Warnings*

📖 By Fate I Conquer by Cora Reilly

(Enemies-to-Lovers, Close Proximity, Forbidden Romance, Secret Romance, Suspense, Dark Romance, Standalone in an Interconnected Series) *Trigger Warnings*


• Dark Romance •


📖 The Devil’s Pawn Duet by Natasha Knight
Devil’s Pawn & Devil’s Redemption

(Dark, Beauty & The Beast Inspired, Suspense, Enemies-to-Lovers, Arranged Marriage, Close Proximity) *Trigger Warnings*

📖 The Rite Trilogy by A. Zavarelli & Natasha Knight
His Rule (pictured)
Her Rebellion
Their Reign

(Dark, Hate-to-Love, Forbidden Romance, Secret Romance, Brother’s Best Friend, Captor/Captive Romance) *Trigger Warnings*


• Dystopian/ Paranormal Romance •


📖 Deceitful by C. Reilly

(Paranormal, Sci-Fi, Crime Thriller, Superhuman Abilities, Suspense, Small Town, New Adult Romance, Interconnected Series) *Trigger Warnings*

📖 Cruelest Oblivion Duet by M.A. Heard
Cruelest Oblivion & Sweetest Awareness

(Dystopian Romance, Survival of the Fittest, Suspense, Close Proximity, New Adult Romance) *Trigger Warnings*


There you have it! 😊 As you can see I’ve added a handful of books not pictured, but they were either part of a series or duet and needed mentioning.

And as usual, if you want to see ALL my reads for the year, check out my Monthly Wrap-Ups with links to my reviews. Just note, I’m lazy lol, and I don’t have reviews up for all them but hopefully my star ratings will be enough.

Check out my December wrap-up that I just posted earlier too! It was my biggest month of reads— hey, what did I tell ya? This year really has ended on a positive.

I hope you’re all enjoying the Christmas/ End of year holidays! My thoughts go out to those who are working over this crazy, hectic time— don’t overwork and make sure you take time for yourself. Hope everyone is staying safe and wishing a beautiful New Year’s Eve/ Day! 😘🎉

Thank you for the support you’ve all given me for my reviews and my book blog in general! I’m in awe of the amazing people I’ve met through this complex bookish community, and the copious amounts of books I’ve discovered over time. I’m truly thankful for the friendships I’ve made, as well as the opportunities I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of.

Fingers crossed 2023 will be a year of happy bliss, love, good health, and good fortune for us all!

Happy reading, and as always catch you in my next one! Xo


Renegade by C. Reilly

Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn



Tessa has finally made peace with her life as a Variant. She and longtime love Alec are officially a couple, and for the first time, she has everything she wants.

But the air is tense at FEA headquarters. An agent has disappeared, and rogue Variant organization Abel’s Army is likely the culprit.

When Tessa is summed for her second mission, she is unexpectedly launched into a massive conspiracy. Her best friend Holly is kidnapped, and Tess knows it was meant to be her. But who is after her? And more importantly, why?

When the FEA’s efforts to rescue Holly don’t yield results, Tessa takes matters into her own hands. Desperate to save her friend and uncover the mystery behind Abel’s Army, Tessa launches her own investigation—but nothing could prepare her for what she finds.

Summoning all of her courage and strength, Tessa must decide who can be trusted and what is worth fighting for.



“Sometimes love for someone can make you blind.”


Ah. An amazing… gripping… unputdownable read! This second book in the Rules of Deception series is a brilliant and well-executed continuation from Deceitful.

Whilst I love my sci-fi thrillers and supernatural-themed stories on screen, I admit when it comes to books I haven’t read a lot from these genres. However, these two books from Reilly’s debut paranormal romance series are, in my opinion, the best way to ease into this genre, especially if you’ve been wanting to expand your romance horizons towards the realm of science-fiction. It has such an intricate storyline with plenty of dimension, but doesn’t overwhelm with wordiness or over-the-top details that I find a lot of sci-fi books tend to be. It has a great balance of romance to paranormal.

✔ You have the young, angsty romance element…

✔ Then there’s the mystery surrounding Tessa and her abilities…

✔ The suspense and danger looming from what seems like every direction…

✔ And finally, a diverse cast of secondary characters that bring in more complexity, more curiosity, and more possibilities for an expansive world-building.

Phew! It’s layers upon layers of literary goodness, with this part of the story delving deeper into Tessa’s backstory and superhuman abilities. As I mentioned in my review for Deceitful, I thought this story had strong X-Men vibes, and this book just reiterated that fact for me. The introduction of new characters comes with more unique individuals that I was just as fascinated about as the already existing ones.

It’s well-paced storytelling that builds up as you progress through the book. I was on the edge of my seat for the entirety of the time. If I was nail-biter, I would’ve chewed through my cuticles at how intense this story got.

This part of the story headed towards a direction I had hoped it would after I saw inklings of it in Deceitful and I couldn’t be more giddy to see the turn of events play-out. I didn’t think I could get more addicted to this world but Renegade has amped up the ante! The overall plot is totally unpredictable, you’ll be hard-pressed to figure out which way things will head until you’re right there in the moment. For the majority of the book I felt like I was alongside Tessa in real time for this journey. Road trip!

I don’t read a lot of YA/ NA romances as I once did, so Tessa’s world of angsty, teen drama brings about such nostalgia of youthful friendships, dysfunctional family dynamics, teen rebellion, and all-encompassing secret loves. The characters within are complex and thought-provoking, and the air of uncertainty surrounding each and every one of them is what ultimately makes this book a worthwhile surrender of your time.

This is a continuous storyline and this book ends on big, fat “O” moment that had me immediately wishing that the next book was already here. I found it to be an effortless story to follow with an ominous atmosphere that sets the entire book. It’s told solely from Tessa’s point of view and although I’m used to reading books with dual/ multiple perspectives, I honestly didn’t feel like it was necessary with this particular story as it’s purely from Tessa’s standpoint—her experiences, her inner monologue, her emotions.

Please note, it does contain sensitive subject matters that make be triggering for some readers such as substance abuse, kidnapping, and violence. Take into consideration before starting this series.

With superhuman powers, secret organisations, and a heroes-versus-villains outline… I highly recommend it! There’s romance but it’s not as prominent as what readers of Reilly’s mafia books may be used to. The spice level is low in comparison, but it will leave you pining for more (in a good way)! Reilly definitely has a talent for this genre, and I’m looking forward to seeing more in the future.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

Thank you Cora Reilly and Emily Alice for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 🧡


🌲 Rules of Deception Series!

Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

Read my review for book one!

Deceitful by C. Reilly


Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo


Deceitful by C. Reilly

⚠ This review contain minor teasers!

Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn



When a serial killer rocks a small town in Oregon, a young woman with special powers might be the only person able to stop him. As part of a secret branch of the FBI, Tessa is sent on a mission to impersonate Madison, a local teen and the last victim of the brutal attacker, to find the killer before he strikes again.

As if absorbing the DNA of someone else and pretending to be them wasn’t hard enough, Alec, the guy she’s been in love with for years, is joining her on the dangerous mission. Tessa knows she can’t let her feelings for him get in the way, especially as her crush seems hopeless. Not only is Alec her self-defence teacher but he’s also taken. If only the attraction between them would stop complicating everything!

Will Tessa find the killer before another person falls victim to him? Or will she lose herself in a life she’s always longed for but never had?



For those who are only familiar with Cora Reilly’s work through her mafia romance books need to know that she’s an author who’s dabbled in other romance genres— dark, contemporary, sports romance… and now her latest? Supernatural fiction meets Crime Thriller. I can tell you after having read Deceitful, it went straight to my list of all-time fave Reilly books, and I am itching with anticipation to read the next book! 😍

“She is the perfect spy—the ultimate weapon.”


It took a little settling into but when I got into the groove, it was complete and utter smooth sailing with the storyline and getting to know these characters. Their special abilities and the purpose they’ve been given could easily have been overwhelming to learn about that you start to lose interest or focus, but Cora eases you into this new world she has created.

It’s effortless to follow, from the introductions of all the characters, to their backstories, to the relationships they have with one another. The storyline had a nice flow that keeps you in suspense from start to finish. There were three outstanding elements that stood out for me that ultimately made this a winning read:

  • The strong friendships that provided such contrast and dynamic to the cast of characters.
  • The excruciating love Tessa had for Alec, the bond they shared, and the rollercoaster of emotions they took me on.
  • And finally, the plot’s constant unpredictability throughout the book. As a crime enthusiast (both true and fictional), it was a real treat feeling like you’re working this case right alongside Tessa. Being suspicious of anybody and everybody, but never quite figuring out who the culprit is before the big reveal. I was on tenterhooks and it was such a buzz! 😄

I couldn’t help but think that it gave me such X-Men vibes with these characters having their own unique abilities— Tessa in the forefront with her ability to shapeshift into anyone she touches. They’ve formed somewhat of a diverse substitute family unit, and seeing their interactions were just as fascinating as seeing them use their abilities.

Cora has introduced world-building that honestly has so many possibilities and potential for growth. It already has great bones with Deceitful setting the tone, not just what we can look forward to seeing from Tessa, but from the rest of the superhuman operatives under the FBI’s secret branch.

I initially would’ve liked dual POVs but I quickly discovered that Tessa as the sole narrator was more than enough as this is her story to tell, her experiences, her journey. Whilst I fell in love with a few other characters in this book, it’s hard to overlook Tessa. Her inexperience and lack of emotional control made her such a raw, genuine, and relatable character. You may not agree with all her decisions and actions, but with her history, you can’t quite hate her for them either.

But I’m not going to lie… I’m excited to see more of the secondary characters introduced. There’s already a couple of characters that caught my eye that I’m eager to see more of in future books. There were a few things that I felt needed to be elaborated on, but with how this book ended, I’m hoping to eventually get in-depth details later.

I should point out that it does contain graphic violence that may be triggering for some readers. Although the majority of the story takes place in a high school backdrop, it’s new adult fiction with mature content.

Overall, a relatively quick but punchy read! As I mentioned earlier, it’s become one of my favourite books Cora has written. I undoubtedly recommend it to readers who are fans of murder-mystery/ crime fiction with supernatural themes. There’s certainly romance, and despite Cora mentioning it being on the light side, I beg to differ. I thought there was just the right amount of romance weaved throughout that not only had me swooning, but it also had me craving to see more. It’s somewhat of a slow-burn but trust me when I say, there’s plenty of heat to keep the romance side of things nice and toasty! 😉

“He might keep me safe from the killer, but who the hell would protect me from my feelings for him?”


With how this book concluded, I’m actually hoping to see if another romantic bond forms. *whispers* Let’s just say this particular pairing is giving me vibes similar to Kiara/Remo but whilst theirs will never happen… I can only hope this one has a fighting chance… (For those who’ve read the book, I’m talking about a certain “brother”) *cough cough* 🤞🙏 I can’t be the only one who saw potential!

This is a high quality debut for Cora into the supernatural/ crime fiction genre! Action-packed. Thrilling. Complex. It’s a must read! You won’t be disappointed. I’m already counting the days until Renegade!

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

Thank you Cora Reilly and Emily Alice for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💚


Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo


Bewitching The Biker by Glenna Maynard

⚠ This review contains minor teasers!

📷 Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn



I’m an outlaw.
A man who takes what he wants without asking, and what I want is her.
I’ve been bewitched by a vixen. The witch has me under her spell.
She hexed me.
Everyone thinks I’m crazy, but I’ll prove it.
I’m not supposed to fear anything. I never have.
Until her.
They call me Sandman but Bianca is the one haunting my dreams.

Bewitching the Biker is book 7 of the Royal Bastards, Charleston WV, Chapter but can be read as a stand alone.
Suggested reading order:
The Biker’s Kiss
Lady & The Biker
Tempting The Biker
Keeping The Biker
The Biker’s Lucky Charm
Taken By The Biker
Bewitching The Biker



“Fuck me she’s a witchy dream come true. I’ve never wanted to fuck a wicked witch more in my life.”


Eeep! Complete and total fun halloween-y addition to Glenna’s already amazing RBMC series! What a novella! 😍🙌

In just a short amount of time this story had me both swooning and laughing my ass off at the banter between Binx (aka Bianca) and Sandman! It’s a great little romance read perfect for the season of pumpkins, sweater weather, and all things eerie! Glenna has managed to shine a spotlight on a character that, to be honest until now I hadn’t really paid much attention to in the series’ previous books. Sandman is gruff, sexy, and all-out alpha, yet seeing him constantly get knocked down by a five foot tall minx of a heroine was a hoot to see! *Ka-pow!* 👊😂

Both protagonists are such lovable characters but I have to admit I immediately gravitated towards Bianca because I found her so relatable. If like me, you’re a huge fan of the cult film (and novel) Practical Magic, I guarantee you will enjoy this story too! It might technically be an MC romance but there’s definitely magic and suspense in the air.

“You can fight fate, deary, but she always wins in the end.”

A novella that had great world-building especially from Bianca’s witchy world, and a nice little build-up to their romance. I was so immersed in the development of their relationship that I honestly was bummed to see this story abruptly conclude. I would’ve loved one more chapter… or at least another few pages. But I’m giddy with excitement that Glenna does have more plans for this couple because they’ve seriously become a hot ticket item! ❤  

Here are the things I thoroughly loved about this book that you can look forward to:

  • Hate-to-Love (Banter! Banter! Banter!)
  • Opposites Attract
  • Zingy Banter
  • Tons of Brotherly Love
  • A sprinkle of Paranormal Activity
  • Laugh out loud one-liners! 😮🤭 

Great in-between read that’ll lift up your spirits 👻 (no pun intended). It can be read as a standalone book but this series and all the characters from Glenna’s RBMC world are addictive as fudge, and it’ll be a shame if you don’t read them all. 

Fast-paced storytelling but it’s hearty, multi-dimensional, and full of genuine characters. You’ll get a kick out of both Bianca’s and Sandman’s inner dialogues and opinions of one another as it’s told from dual points of views. The secondary characters from the comic reliefs to the adorable sidekicks added the extra oomph!   

Glenna’s writing style has always been effortless to follow and this one is no different. She has a way of sucking you in from the opening scene. There’s a sense of being watched, secrecy, and mystery throughout that gives the entire setting a buzzing thrill. Ironically, for a Halloween-themed story it’s actually one of Glenna’s less darker storylines but don’t worry, you can still expect enough MC elements within. Halloween, an unexpected romantic connection, and a motorcycle club… nuff said!  

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you Glenna Maynard for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 🧡

🔔 Interested in reading Bewitching the Biker? Grab your copy here: Universal Link


👑💀 More reviews for the RBMC Charleston, WV Chapter!

The Biker’s Kiss by Glenna Maynard
Lady & The Biker by Glenna Maynard
Tempting The Biker by Glenna Maynard
Keeping The Biker by Glenna Maynard
Taken By The Biker by Glenna Maynard


Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo