At She Reads Romance Books, it’s my mission to help my fellow romance book readers find the best books worth reading.
Check out which romance books I read to kick off the new year in January 2022. I give you mini reviews of each book and let you know which books I recommend you read and which books I suggest you skip.
*Disclosure: This post may include affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Happy New Year my fellow romance book readers!
Armed with a new annual reading goal and with the new Romance Book Reading Challenge, I am ready to tackle ALL the romance books 2022 has to offer.
How about you?
I always start each year on a high note, anxiously awaiting that first 5-star read of the year that just knocks my socks off.
I had a book come super close this month but alas it didn’t quite appear. That being said it was a good month overall of reading.
My January Romance Books
This month I cranked through a few advanced reader copies that I was excited to receive which also happen to be books from my Most Anticipated Romance Books of 2022 list.
I also checked out a certain trope that’s been gaining in popularity to see what all the fuss was about – alien romance 😊
The January Romance Book Reading Challenge was to read one historical romance so I was able to check that off my reading list as well.
Track Your Monthly Reading with the Romance Book Reading Journal!
Need a place to track your own books? The Romance Book Reading Journal is what you need.
I created this printable planner/tracker/journal all in one exclusively for romance book readers. It has over 75 pages for you to print and copy as you see fit to your needs.
You’ll be able to keep track of your own reading list, your favorite book boyfriends, your favorite quotes, favorite authors, and plan your next month’s titles to read.
Don’t forget you can always grab my Reading Log and Favorite Book Boyfriends tracker– two of my favorite pages, for free!
Romance Books to Read & Skip: My January Reads
A Small Town Romance Featuring “Older” Characters I Loved
Published November 2021
Diane Donner is craving danger. She’s tired of playing it safe and she knows just the criminal motorcycle man to proposition for a good time. Problem is, she doesn’t actually know his name.
Jason “Repo” Doe never takes risks. So when the queen of local commerce walks into his club, looking to get risky and frisky, Jason knows the smartest thing to do is save himself a headache while saving the new divorcee from her worst impulses. But then one thing leads to another, and the memory of just-one-night doesn’t feel like enough.
I was REALLY looking forward to Repo and Diane’s story and it didn’t disappoint. They start off really hot when she first walks into the Wraiths MC bar, and I absolutely loved their first date and their conversation.
While this book only gives a HFN ending, it was satisfying enough.
Reid does warn at the start of the book that this really isn’t a standalone and I agree. I suggest you read Beard Science first but I haven’t read the Solving for Pie books (two more books she suggests you read first or risk spoilers) and it wasn’t a problem at all.
An Opposites Attract, MM Romance That Was Cute
Published January 2022
My sister is rushing into a marriage and instead of stopping it, I’m left to plan the wedding and share a too-small guesthouse in steamy Miami with the other best man. Three days in the sun with the charming former athlete who likes to push my buttons? Fine, two can play at that let’s-infuriate-each-other game.
Until Asher ups the stakes with one wild suggestion. A no-strings fling, then I go back to my single dad life in New York, and he returns to his star-studded one.
But the more nights I spend with the other best man, the more I want days too, and that just can’t happen. Especially when I find out the real reason why.
I’d say overall it was a success and deserved it’s place on my most anticipated romance books of 2022 list!
The story arc for me was a bit reminiscent of Blakely’s “A Guy Walks Into My Bar.” Overall, I really liked both characters and their chemistry was hot which helped move the story along for me. If you’re looking for a book with crazy angst and drama, this isn’t it which I liked.
It’s more or less watching these two fall hard for each other over the course of a week and then trying to figure out what to do about it. Check it out.
A Time Travel Romance That Really Brings Out Irish History
Published March 2019
When Anne travels to Ireland to scatter her late grandfather’s ashes, she abruptly finds herself transported to Ireland of 1921 with the country on the edge of war.
But there Anne finds herself, hurt, disoriented, and under the care of Dr. Thomas Smith, guardian to a young boy who is oddly familiar. Mistaken for the boy’s long-missing mother, Anne adopts her identity, convinced the woman’s disappearance is connected to her own.
As tensions rise in the struggle for Ireland’s independence, Anne is drawn into the conflict alongside Thomas where she’s faced with the choice of letting go of the life she knew or the man she’s come to love.
I picked this as my She Reads Romance Books January 2022 Romance Book Reading Challenge selection which was to read one historical romance novel and it totally fit the bill.
If you want to be swept away in the history and turbulent time of 1920s Ireland, then this is the book for you. I loved how the history was “reported” in diary form from Thomas’ point of view though we also get it from both Thomas and Anne’s personal accounts while they’re living it.
The time travel aspect of the story was a really great touch the romance aspect of the story could have been stronger. I felt like Thomas and Anne needed more build up to their love for one another because it just felt too quick and something that you had to just take for granted when I really wanted to see it develop. That being said, the ending was wonderful.
If you’re looking for a historical romance that is heavier on the history than the romance, and like a time travel story, then you’ll enjoy this one!
A “Finally Finding Love” Romance I Couldn’t Put Down
Published January 2022
Veterinarian Marie Lehr knows unrequited love all too well after pining for her best friend, only to watch him marry another woman. It’s a mistake she will never make again, especially not when she can practically hear the clock ticking on her childbearing years.
The trouble is, she can’t seem to find anyone who appeals to her even a fraction as much as that burly bush pilot did. And yet, competitive musher Tyler Brady seems to spark feelings beyond annoyance after their initial, heated meeting.
While volunteering at the Iditarod Sled Dog Race, Marie discovers that first impressions may have been false, and her attraction to Tyler is very real. But his heart belongs to someone else, leaving him with nothing to offer but friendship. Marie’s been down this road before and knows how that ends. Yet, no matter how hard she works to keep from falling for Tyler, it seems she’s doomed to follow her own trail once again.
I was SO excited to read Marie’s story that I devoured this in one day. While this can be read as a standalone, I don’t know if I would feel so much for Marie had I not read The Simple Wild or Wild at Heart.
My heart broke for this woman who was not so secretly in love with her best friend only to watch him fall (and marry) someone else.
Let me just say there were times I all out bawled for this woman while reading this book, my heart broke so much. I don’t know how much more I could take let alone Marie but she did get her happily-ever-after and it was wonderful. A must read for sure!
Pin this For Later:
A Popular Alien Romance that was Just OK
Published April 2015
You’d think being abducted by aliens would be the worst thing that could happen to me. And you’d be wrong. Because now, the aliens are having ship trouble, and they’ve left their cargo of human women – including me – on an ice planet.
And the only native inhabitant I’ve met? He’s big, horned, blue, and really, really has a thing for me.
I give it 3 stars for entertainment. I honestly only picked it up given the popularity and wanted to see what the fuss was about.
I didn’t mind the alien aspect, but I think the audiobook ruined it for me. The male narrator was so robotic that I couldn’t get into Vektal. He made him sound so stupid.
The story was OK – basically a set up for an entire series with instalove between Vektal and Georgie. It’s a short read (188 pages) so if you too want to see what all the fuss is about, go for it.
A Young Adult Alien Romance That Grated
Published May 2012
When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I was instantly struck by my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. And then he opened his mouth.
Daemon is infuriating. We do not get along, but when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something… unexpected happens. The hot alien living next door marks me.
Now the only way I’m getting out of this is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.
I love enemies to lovers books but this got annoying fast. Daemon was so hot and cold but mostly cold which really grated on me. Overall the characters are a bit immature for my liking but then again it is a young adult romance set in high school.
I won’t be continuing this series. Her later books are SO much better!
A Hilarious, Forbidden Romance I Enjoyed
Published February 1, 2022
I am so close to finally becoming a full-fledged psychologist, but my supervisor is holding out on my letter of recommendation. I’m tasked with curing our most-prized client’s writer’s block in time for him to meet his insane deadline. Only said client just so happens to be Thomas O’Reardon, the wickedly brilliant, achingly beautiful, devastatingly British best-selling author I may have a slight crush on.
So, when Thomas casually asks me out at the end of a therapy session, I’m forced to make an impossible choice: say yes and risk losing my dream job, or say no and risk losing my dream guy. In a panic, I blurt out a third option—group therapy.
This book had me howling out loud in laughter – but what else would I expect from the woman whose penned memoir was just as hilarious?
It deserved it’s place on my most anticipated romance books of 2022 for its comedic chops alone. The best part of this book was the therapy which you will find so entertaining.
As for the romance, Thomas was a bit hard for me to crack and I felt like I needed a bit more to really build their connection besides a few therapy sessions to really buy into it. Still worth a go in my opinion.
A Surprisingly HOT Second Chance Romance
Published February 1, 2022
Margot Cooper doesn’t do relationships. But when she comes face-to-face with Olivia Grant—her childhood friend, her first love, her first… well, everything, she’s not so sure about that stance.
Olivia must be hallucinating. Never in a million years did the wedding planner expect her important new client’s Best Woman would be the one that got away.
When a series of unfortunate events leaves Olivia without a place to stay, Margot offers up her spare room. As they spend time in close quarters, Margot starts to question her no-strings stance. But will history repeat itself or should she count her lucky stars that she gets a second chance with her first love?
Holy smokes this book was HOT!
Bellefleur wrote one of my most favorite lesbian romance books in Written in the Stars, and she delivers another with this one. Of course, this book falls into that camp where you just want to shake the characters and say “just talk to one another!!!”
That being said, the writing was wonderful, the story flowed and I really enjoyed it. A great second chance, friends to lovers romance I highly recommend.
A Frustrating Romance I’d Skip
Published January 2022
Three years ago, Katrina Freeling and Nathan Van Huysen were the brightest literary stars on the horizon, their cowritten books topping bestseller lists. But on the heels of their greatest success, they ended their partnership on bad terms, for reasons neither would divulge to the public. They haven’t spoken since, and never planned to, except they have one final book due on contract.
Forced to reunite, they’re holed up in the tiny Florida town where they wrote their previous book, trying to finish a new manuscript quickly and painlessly. Working through the reasons they’ve hated each other for the past three years isn’t easy, especially not while writing a romantic novel.
This book was exactly that – rough.
I felt genuine unease the entire time reading this book and found the heroine so incredibly weak.
I honestly kept reading to see what possibly could have drove these two apart and the answer was just terrible and so unworthy of this no-speaking nonsense for 4 years.
I gave it 2 stars for the writing but even that was grating as if the book was trying to come off as this epic piece of literary fiction. I’d skip this one.