Top Five Wednesday/ December Surprises Blogmas 28

Top Five Wednesday, which right now is taken over by the author Laura A Grace. Top Five Wednesday is a weekly book prompt that might help you pick your next read.

December 28th: Favorite Books of the Year

It’s officially the last Wednesday of the year, which means it’s time to spotlight our top five books/series of 2022! Have fun sharing your favourite books from this year!

In December, I had a few surprises I might not have discussed on my blog, so I am doing so today.

Goodreads Blurb:

Two hikers go missing along the Appalachian Trail, leaving only a bloodstained forest behind them, and when another hiker collapses on someone’s porch in New Hampshire, murdered by crossbow, the local police realize they have a serial killer on their hands––and need to call in the FBI.

FBI Agent Tara Mills is young, brilliant and new to the force. With a promising career in front of her, she faces the ultimate test when she is assigned the case. It soon proves to be more challenging than she ever could have imagined––an impossible riddle that leaves even her seasoned partner stumped.

Meanwhile, something about the case stirs a darkness within her––a tortured past that even her long-term boyfriend doesn’t fully understand. As nightmares consume her, she only hopes that her past will not come back to ruin her once again.

As more hikers go missing, and with her job on the line, Tara finds herself on a race against time as she combs through the forest’s trails. Peeling back each layer, she soon realizes that she is up against a true diabolical mastermind. And just when she thinks she has it all figured out, her instincts lead her to the most shocking truth of all.

Goodreads Blurb:

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but not for Maelyn Jones. She’s living with her parents, hates her going-nowhere job, and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions.

But perhaps worst of all, this is the last Christmas Mae will be at her favorite place in the world—the snowy Utah cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday since she was born, along with two other beloved families. Mentally melting down as she drives away from the cabin for the final time, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Please. Show me what will make me happy.

The next thing she knows, tires screech and metal collides, everything goes black. But when Mae gasps awake…she’s on an airplane bound for Utah, where she begins the same holiday all over again. With one hilarious disaster after another sending her back to the plane, Mae must figure out how to break free of the strange time loop—and finally get her true love under the mistletoe.

Goodreads Blurb:

Reality TV, riches, and a race for romance! What’s not to like?

For Easton Cooper, everything—except a chance at one million dollars. Desperate for cash, he’ll even compete on an outrageous action-adventure reality show, and he hates reality TV. As luck would have it, he’s thrust into his element, a series of outdoor challenges in the Oregon Cascade Mountains. But there’s a catch—he’s staring across the meadow at his partner—a tan, hot, out-of-place California girl, wearing heels and a formal dress in the middle of freaking nowhere—and she will not bring him down! Even if he has to drag her across the finish line.

Amity Rose wants an adventure. No one told her that “dress accordingly” meant deck out in hardcore mountain gear. So she wore strappy heels and a fancy dress to the opening scene. So she hates bugs, cold air, tents, campfires—must she go on? Now all the contestants think she’s a pampered princess—and to add to her bad luck, her partner is the worst—a gangly, overconfident, know-it-all mountain trail guide. Did the directors just add a romantic twist to the drama? Sure, why not? Maybe she’ll leave the race with something more valuable than money. Just not with him!

Goodreads Blurb:

A girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do … And sometimes, a girl’s got to sneak away from her own wedding to get out of an arranged marriage to a mobster.

You know how these things go.

Mafia kids don’t always get to choose, but Lucky Castellano just can’t bring herself to marry the son of her father’s rival, even if it means peace between the families. Ditching her groom at the altar, she hides in a van and wakes up in a small town in the middle of nowhere. With nothing to her name but a designer wedding dress, a tube of Chanel lipstick, and a whole lot of Sicilian attitude, she sets out to reinvent herself—and the driver who unwittingly saved her from a loveless marriage.

Anthony quit a promising career as a musician to raise his younger sisters after their parents died. When a woman in a wedding dress falls out of the back of his van and into his arms, his quiet life is turned upside down. And when Lucky appoints herself his manager and starts getting him gigs, he begins to dream of stardom again … and starts to fall for the brash runaway bride.

But the mob has a long memory, and Lucky’s flight has insulted some powerful people. When her groom shows up looking for her, she and Anthony will have to choose between love and stardom—and maybe just staying alive.

Goodreads Blurb:

FBI Special Agent Carly See, a star in the elite BAU unit, hides a terrible secret: she can speak with the dead. The murder of her sister, still unsolved, plunged her life into grief and awakened a new power within her. Sometimes messages come from direct contact, other times in dreams. All of it feels like a curse—until Carly realizes she can harness her new skills to solve cases. But her abilities are unreliable, and Carly must use her brilliant mind to complete the puzzle—all while struggling to keep her secret from her colleagues.

In a macabre and bizarre pattern, women who were in grief, recently mourning a loved-one, are turning up murdered themselves. One thing is clear: a serial killer is targeting them, and with local authorities stumped, FBI Special Agent Carly See will have to descend into a world of death to enter the killer’s mind—and save the next victim before it’s too late.

But this killer is diabolical and always one step ahead, and Carly herself, leading the investigation, may not be as safe as she seems. In a game of cat and mouse, it will be a race to the finish as Carly struggles to figure out what these victims have in common—and who is next on his list.

As weird as it might feel, I picked about 60% of thrillers instead of holiday stuff, but that’s what I was in the mood for.



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