Graphic with top ten book covers
Giveaway,  Hope-filled Fiction

2022 Top Ten Reads & a Giveaway

On this last post of 2022, I’m sharing my top ten reads of the year and offering winner’s choice as a giveaway.

I set a Goodreads goal to read 50 books, and because of the free library apps, Hoopla and Libby, I had the joy of listening to a ton of audiobooks, skyrocketing my total books read to over 115!! And some of them were absolutely fabulous! With so many great reads, it was extremely difficult to choose my favorites, but I gave it my best shot. I’ve ordered them based on when I read them.

You can check out my complete year in books here. Maybe you’ll find some to add to your 2023 Want-to-Read list.

For a chance to win the giveaway, simply check out my favorites and comment below by January 3! Share this post online so others can have a chance to win too.

RITA Award 2018 Winner – Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements
Paige McAllister needs to do something drastic. Her boyfriend can’t even commit to living in the same country, her promised promotion is dead on arrival and the simultaneous loss of her brother and her dream of being a concert violinist has kept her playing life safe and predictable for six years. Things need to change. A moment of temporary insanity finds her leaving her life in Chicago to move to Sydney, Australia. There she finds herself, against many of her convictions, as a logistics planner for one of Australia’s biggest churches, and on a collision course with her boss’s son.

Josh Tyler fronts a top-selling worship band and is in demand all over the world. But, in the past, his failed romantic relationships almost destroyed both his reputation and his family. He’s determined to never risk it happening again. The last thing he needs is some American girl tipping his ordered life upside down. Especially one who despises everything he’s ever worked for and manages to push every button he has.

When Josh and Paige are thrown together to organize his band’s next tour, the sparks fly. But can they find a way to bridge the differences that pull them apart? Or will they choose the safety and security of what they know over taking a chance on something that will require them to risk everything?

“The world whipped around her in a dizzying funnel of lights and shouts, people in uniforms pressing in from all directions. Noelle sat motionless in the street, barely able to breathe. His little body was too still. Too broken.”

Noelle’s world shattered that night, like the pieces of headlights scattered across the dark street. There was no rebuilding her life around the grave of her child.

Adrift in her grief, Noelle finds herself drawn to an old house as rundown and weary as her spirit. She might not be able to mend her own brokenness, but maybe she can restore this abandoned structure to its former beauty. Determined, she throws herself into a renovation project with the unexpected help of a local. But she soon learns that her new home comes with a blood-stained history and a chilling reputation.

When she stumbles across a diary written by a child with a disturbing life, and a teenage girl vanishes from the village, clues leave Noelle wondering if her house might somehow be connected. Someone — or something — wants her gone, but she has no intention of leaving without discovering the truth.

Samantha’s only friends were characters in books, but her real life takes an extraordinary turn when a mysterious “Mr. Knightley” offers her a full journalism scholarship—on the condition that she write to him regularly. Will their long-distance friendship unlock her heart?

Sam is, to say the least, bookish. An English major of the highest order, her diet has always been Austen, Dickens, and Shakespeare. The problem is that both her prose and conversation tend to be more Elizabeth Bennet than Samantha Moore.

But life for the twenty-three-year-old orphan is about to get stranger than fiction. An anonymous, Dickensian benefactor calling himself Mr. Knightley offers to put Sam through Northwestern University’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism. There is only one catch: Sam must write frequent letters to the mysterious donor, detailing her progress.

Sam’s letters to Mr. Knightley become increasingly confessional as she begins to share everything from her painful childhood memories to her growing feelings for eligible novelist Alex Powell. While Alex draws Sam into a world of warmth and literature that feels like it’s straight out of a book, old secrets are drawn to light. And as Sam learns to love and trust Alex and herself, she learns once again how quickly trust can be broken.

Reminding us all that our own true character is not meant to be hidden, Katherine Reay’s debut novel follows a young woman’s journey as she sheds her protective persona and embraces the person she was meant to become.

All That it Takes Book Cover

When the ever-cautious Val Locklier moves cross-country with her son for a secure job, everything she’d planned unravels within the first week. After Val reluctantly agrees to rent an apartment from her best friend’s brother, an unexpected chance at an elite filmmakers’ mentorship ignites fresh hope for a dream career. But as Val’s community begins to expand, so do her insecurities, especially those heightened by her growing attraction to a certain friendly landlord. 

Pastor Miles McKenzie returns home from a short-term mission trip to discover that not only does he have an intriguing new tenant living upstairs, he’s also been reassigned to a local ministry on life support. Disillusioned and restless, he distracts himself by throwing his energy into a host of new projects–not the least of which is pursuing Val–without stopping to consider the future. 

As Val struggles to stop hiding behind the camera and Miles wrestles with shattered expectations, they’ll find that authentic love and sacrifice must go hand in hand.

How will she choose, knowing all she must sacrifice?

Libby has been given a powerful gift: to live one life in 1774 Colonial Williamsburg and the other in 1914 Gilded Age New York City. When she falls asleep in one life, she wakes up in the other. While she’s the same person at her core in both times, she’s leading two vastly different lives.

In Colonial Williamsburg, Libby is a public printer for the House of Burgesses and the Royal Governor, trying to provide for her family and support the Patriot cause. The man she loves, Henry Montgomery, has his own secrets. As the revolution draws near, both their lives–and any hope of love–are put in jeopardy.

Libby’s life in 1914 New York is filled with wealth, drawing room conversations, and bachelors. But the only work she cares about–women’s suffrage–is discouraged, and her mother is intent on marrying her off to an English marquess. The growing talk of war in Europe only complicates matters.

But Libby knows she’s not destined to live two lives forever. On her twenty-first birthday, she must choose one path and forfeit the other–but how can she choose when she has so much to lose in each life?

Where the Blue Sky Begins book cover

Sometimes the hardest road of all is the road home.

When confident and handsome Eric Larson is sent to a rural Montana town to work in the local branch of his uncle’s financial company, he’s determined to exceed everyone’s expectations, earn a promotion, and be back in Seattle by the end of summer. Yet nothing could prepare him for the lessons this small town has in store.

At forty-six years old, eccentric and outspoken Eunice Parker has come to accept her terminal illness and has given herself one final goal: seek forgiveness from everyone on her bucket list before her time runs out. But it will take more courage than she can muster on her own.

After an accident pushes Eric and Eunice together, the unlikely pair is forced to spend more time with each other than either would like, which challenges their deepest prejudices and beliefs. As summer draws to a close, neither Eric nor Eunice is where they thought they would be, but they both wrestle with the same important question: What matters most when the end is near?

Book Cover

Two couples in love. Two sets of impossible circumstances. One powerful God of grace.

After a tailspin in her late teens, Lauren Anderson’s life is finally back on track. Her battle with bulimia is under control, her career is taking off, and she’s surrounded by a loving family. Then a chance meeting with Carter Douglas, her first love and the man who broke her heart, leads to old feelings returning with new strength. And suddenly her well-balanced world is thrown off kilter.

Now a TV meteorologist, Carter is determined to make amends with Lauren. After all, she still owns his heart. But the reasons they broke up aren’t lost–and those old demons are forcing him toward the same decision he faced in the past. He isn’t sure he’s courageous enough to make a different choice this time around. 

When Lauren’s elderly grandmother, Rosie, begins having nightmares about a man named Ephraim–a name her family has never heard before–a fascinating and forbidden past love comes to light. As Lauren and Carter work to uncover the untold stories of Rosie’s past in 1950s Wichita, they embark on a journey of forgiveness and second chances that will change their lives–and Rosie’s–forever. Along the way they’ll learn that God wastes nothing, his timing is perfect, and nothing is beyond his grace and redemption.

Combining heart-wrenching emotion with edge-of-your-seat tension, New York Times bestselling author Charles Martin explores the true power of sacrificial love. 

Murphy Shepherd has made a career of finding those no one else could—survivors of human trafficking. His life’s mission is helping others find freedom . . . but then the nightmare strikes too close to home. 

When his new wife, her daughter, and two other teenage girls are stolen, Murphy is left questioning all he has thought to be true. With more dead ends than leads, he has no idea how to find his loved ones. After everything is stripped away, love is what remains. 

Hope feels lost, but Murphy is willing to expend his last breath trying to bring them home. 

(I also LOVED the third in this series, The Record Keeper, which I read in 2022 as well.)

Cassie Kendrick is on the run. Her abusive father arranged her marriage to a despicable man, but she’s discovered an escape. Disguised as a man, Cassie enlists in the Union army, taking the name Thomas Turner. On the battlefields of the Civil War, keeping her identity a secret is only the beginning of her problems, especially after she meets Gabriel Avery, a handsome young photographer.

Anxious to make his mark on the world and to erase the darkness and guilt lurking from his past, Gabriel works with renowned photographer Matthew Brady to capture images from the front lines of the war. As Gabriel forges friendships with many of the men he encounters, he wonders what the courageous, unpredictable Thomas Turner is hiding.

Battling betrayal, their own personal demons, and a country torn apart by war, can Cassie and Gabriel learn to forgive themselves and trust their futures to the God who births hope and healing in the darkest places?

Cross the Line Book Cover

An unexpected, late-night visitor.
And a missing teenage girl.

Holly’s quiet evening at the investigative agency takes a curious turn when a frantic woman shows up on the doorstep after closing with a tale about a missing prostitute.

With JGH Investigations in financial distress, and a client who can’t afford their services, Holly decides to tackle this investigation on her own time. She soon learns, however, that this missing girl isn’t just missing—she’s been taken. Holly’s questions dredge up more danger than answers, and if she’s not careful, she might disappear just like the girl she’s trying to find, the girl some people believe is already dead.

Determined to keep Holly safe, Jordan joins the investigation, and together, they wade through a world of prostitution, wealth, and lies in search of the truth. But the truth is hard to find, when even the witnesses have secrets.

Join the conversation. Which of my favorites have you read? Are any of them on your favorites list? If you win the giveaway, which book will you choose? What was the best book you read in 2022?

Be sure to comment below by January 3 for your chance to win! Winner can choose any of these ten books in ebook or paperback format.

If you missed last week’s Zoom interview with Mary A. Felkins, check it out here. We had such a fun conversation!

I’m looking forward to highlighting many more Hope-filled Fiction authors and their novels in 2023! I hope you’ll continue to subscribe to the Hope Collective and engage in the fun … and maybe even win some books!

Happy New Year!!

As a Jesus girl for more than thirty years, Deena Adams understands how important hope is to daily life, which fuels her passion to inspire others through hope-filled fiction based on true to life stories. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and is a multi-award-winning writer, an active ACFW member, and ACFW Virginia president. Connect with Deena through her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


  • Deena Adams

    Congratulations to Marilyn Ott, the winner of this giveaway! Look for an email soon.

    Thanks to all who joined the conversation. I hope you’ll continue to engage with the author interviews this year to learn about more Christian authors and comment for a chance each week to win a hope-filled novel!

  • Janette Jackson

    After reading this I am going to see if e-bay has When the Day Comes by Garielle Meyer. Looks like a good read as well as the others.

    • Deena Adams

      Janette, if you have a library card you can access free books through the Hoopla and Libby apps. Hoopla is where I check out all the audiobooks I listen to.

  • Susann Greenwood

    I haven’t read any of these, but they all sound so good!! I think I’ll read a few of them, but the most intriguing is The Letter Keeper. I could not imagine the horror of not only being the abducted person but the heartbreak of being the person trying to find them…
    My favorite book from 2022 would have to be Last Light by Terri Blackstock (and the other 3 that followed it!)

    • Deena Adams

      Hey, Susann. I recommend reading The Water Keeper before The Letter Keeper. There are three in the series. The Record Keeper is the last one. Terri Blackstock’s books are always great reads!

  • Vickie Birch

    I finally read “The Christmas Dress” ….they could make a Hallmark movie after that one! Look forward to winning another read…lol!

  • Dana C Carrier

    I have Dear Mr. Knightly, but had not heard of the other authors. At least I think I haven’t heard of them… this covid brain of my kinda stinks.

    I loved, loved, loved Nightfall in the Garden of Deep Time. One of my faves for 2022.

      • Sharla Lord

        So many to choose from! Now to find time to read them! Just a few Cross the Line, The Letter Keeper and All That It Takes. I need to check because I may actually have Cross the Line in my kindle…..

        • Maryann

          I have Where The Dandelions Bloom by Tara Johnson in my tbr pile. I would love to read Where The Blue Sky Begins by Katie Powner. I have heard good things about Gabrielle and Nicole’s books as well.

          • Deena Adams

            I love all the Nicole Deese’s books I’ve read, Maryann. I’ve only read the one by Gabrielle, but looking forward to more! Good luck in the giveaway!