September 2022 Novel Ideas: 26 Quick Lit Reviews

Copy of Novel Ideas

With fall just beginning, you might be surprised to see just how many Christmas stories are in September 2022 Novel Ideas.

But that’s the life of book bloggers! We are always reading a few seasons ahead so that we can help you find the perfect read for each holiday season.

We also read quite a few fall reads too. Jackie and I both read charming witchy romances this month to update the Halloween Hub! So no matter what season or genre you want your next read to focus on, we’ve got you covered below!

*Post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you. Some books have been gifted. All opinions are our own.

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September 2022 Novel Ideas: 26 Quick Lit Reviews 29

Kirsten’s September 2022 Novel Ideas Stack

Realm Breaker

Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard

I adored Aveyard’s Red Queen series. It kept me turning the pages, utterly entranced. Sadly, Realm Breaker didn’t hold quite the same draw.

There were people on the run, a magical sword, budding romances, and the fight between good and evil, but none of the elements clicked for me. I’m hopeful the next book in the series will draw me in more.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
One Last Gift and more Christmas Books for 2022

One Last Gift by Emily Stone

Emily Stone’s last book was my favorite Christmas book of 2021, so I knew I would love her newest book. This story is heartbreaking as well, but not in the same way.

Cassie has relied on her brother, Tom, since they were orphaned when she was 5. Each year, Tom creates a Christmas scavenger hunt for her, but after a sudden accident kills Tom, Cassie is left bereaved and celebrating Christmas without him.

Until she finds his final scavenger hunt. As she begins to solve the clues, her heart begins to heal, and love forms as well. This book is like the Christmas version of P.S. I Love You in the best possible way. I adored it!

Thanks to Dell and Penguin Audio for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Finlay Donovan is Killing it

Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano

Easily one of the most unique premises I’ve read recently for a mystery, this mystery-comedy mash-up was so enjoyable! Finlay Donovan is struggling to pay her bills on her meager book advance, so when someone mistakes her for a hired hitman and offers her 50k, she almost considers doing the job.

Until someone else beats her to it and she’s left to deal with the body. Soon her nanny-turned-sidekick is helping her literally bury the body. Can Finlay figure out who might be framing her before she ends up in big trouble?

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
indiscreet princess

An Indiscreet Princess: A Novel of Queen Victoria’s Defiant Daughter by Georgie Blalock

Well before Princess Diana, Meghan Markle, and Wallis Simpson, there was another royal rebel – Lady Louise, daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. And what a rebel she was!

In the late 1800s it was Louise, an artist and sculptor, who was seen as quite rebellious. She took courses for the arts at a public school, talked back to the queen, and even had pre- and extra-marital affairs! Quite the scandal for the time.

I loved getting a look at one of the lesser-known (to-me) royal figures. I hope to learn about more of Queen Victoria’s offspring in the future.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
The House of Riverton and more Kate Morton Books ranked

The House of Riverton by Kate Morton

Kate Morton’s first book was also the last of hers that I read. Like most of Morton’s work, this gothic story revolves around the secrets of a large manor house and the family within.

This particular story is told by Grace, the former housemaid at Riverton and the confidant of the Hartford sisters. Now in her 90s, she is finally willing to share the secrets of a deadly party thrown by the family.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Skirts: Fashioning Modern Femininity in the Twentieth Century by Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell

I often find myself drawn to non-fiction books about fashion and women’s careers. I found this history of modern feminism through the changing of hemlines to be quite interesting!

From the ankles being shown post-WWI, Dior’s new look in WWII, the shoulder pads donned by career ladies in the 80s, and more, it was inspiring to see how fashion tells the story of female empowerment.

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Youre a mean one matthew prince

You’re a Mean One, Matthew Prince by Timothy Janovsky

Matthew Prince is young, rich, and selfish. After buying an island, his parents cut him off and banished him to his grandparents for the holidays. The problem is Hector, a grumpy local is living there too and getting under Matthew’s skin.

Soon these enemies need to put their differences aside while they work to host the town’s Christmas fundraiser. I loved the holiday seasons and the way the boys went from enemies to friends to more. This is one of the most charming Christmas books for teens.

Thanks to Sourcebooks for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Fortunes of jaded women

The Fortunes of Jaded Women by Carolyn Huynh

September 2022 GMA Book Club Pick

This family drama tells the tale of Mai, her estranged Vietnamese sisters, and her 3 daughters. After meeting with her psychic in Hawaii, Mai is determined to reunite with her family and find happiness and good marriages for all of her daughters within the year.

But life has other plans for her meddling and the year that unfolds brings unexpected changes for everyone. Will what Mai was told come to pass or will she lose her last chance to reconnect with everyone she loves?

I have a soft spot in my heart for meddlesome mothers and family drama books about sisters. I love when a story brings me into the hearts and minds of an entire family in a way that has me rooting for each character to find their proper place within each other’s lives. It is a must-read from our ultimate list of beach reads 2023.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Once Upon a December and more christmas romance books

Once Upon a December by Amy E. Reichart

I adored this Christmas romance with a magical premise. It’s all about a Christmas market and its residents who travel from town to town each Christmas. The baker, Jack loves to visit Milwaukee the most because he’s drawn to Astra, an average girl.

I loved hearing about each Christmas Jack and Astra met and how their loved formed. I also loved the magical elements of the market and how it played a crucial role in their story. This would be a great Christmas book for book clubs to discuss.

Thanks to Penguin Audio for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Ill be home for christmas

I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Karen Clarke

This cute story is ultimately about two single people being set-up by a meddlesome aunt. While Nina and Ryan don’t like each other at first, soon their attraction grows.

This Christmas romance was cute but ultimately forgettable. If you are binging only Christmas books for the holidays, I would add it to your list, but if you are only going to read one or two, I’d recommend something else.

Thanks to Bookouture for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
Switchboard Soldiers

Switchboard Soldiers by Jennifer Chiaverini

I’ve been reading WWI books non-stop because I’m fascinated by the way modern warfare met traditional tactics in the Great War. I’m particularly interested in the role women played in helping the Allies.

Chiaverini brought the Switchboard soldiers (the women who operated the telephone lines) to life in the most interesting way. I loved their bonds of sisterhood, how they stayed cool under pressure, and learning just how crucial they were to the war effort.

If you are looking for book club books, this historical fiction is a perfect choice. It is also a perfect choice for our list of books like Lessons in Chemistry.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Mika in Real Life

Mika in Real Life by Emiko Jean

August 2022 GMA Book Club Pick

Mika’s life is falling apart in this thought-provoking novel. She’s lost her job, she’s running low on funds, and she just received a call from the daughter she gave up for adoption 16 years ago.

As Mika crafts a life she thinks her daughter Penny will approve of, she’s forced to find her own potential and grow up to be someone Penny can admire. I was frustrated by Mika in the beginning of the story, but she grew on me.

This was a different take on a coming-of-age novel, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Half Sick of Shadows and more fae books

Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian

Lady Elaine tells this retelling of Arthurian legend. I loved hearing this tale retold because I’ve long been a fan of The Mists of Avalon, The Sword and the Stone, Camelot, and the like.

I loved this feminist classic retelling that showed a weaker Arthur supported by the strong, magic-bearing women of the story. Gwen, Morgana, and Elaine’s friendship was the highlight of the story for me.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
In the Event of Love

In The Event of Love by Courtney Kae

Morgan is headed back to her hometown to lick her wounds and restart her career. She’s agreed to help throw a Christmas festival to save the town – unwittingly signing up to work with her ex-best friend and former crush, Rachel.

While Morgan works to save the town and Rachel’s tree farm, sparks fly. I enjoyed watching Morgan gain self-awareness and learn to communicate with her old friends and family.

Thanks to Kensington for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
please join us

Please Join Us by Catherine McKenzie

Do you love books about secret societies as I do? Then join me in diving into the world of Panthera Leo and their mission to help women conquer the world.

Nicole needs the women in her “Pride” to help her find a new apartment and get back on the partner track at her law firm. But are these women out to help her or is there something more sinister happening with Panthera Leo?

This one was so quick but also so enjoyable. It’s the perfect read for fall for anyone looking for a book about cults.

Thanks to Atria for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
The Kiss Curse

The Kiss Curse by Erin Sterling

The Kiss Curse is the sequel to The Ex-Hex, and it’s the perfect Halloween romance for 2022. Gwyn Jones is pissed when Wells Penhallow moves to town and opens a new store in direct competition to her!

She remembers hating him in college and now she needs to watch her potential customers stroll into his store across the street. Their competition with each other grows along with with their attraction. But soon they notice a new coven in town and they have to work together to try to fix Gwyn’s magic.

Thanks to Avon Books for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
merry little meet cute

Merry Little Meet Cute by Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone

This is one Christmas romance that is unlike any other. The premise alone is hysterical – a female adult film star is accidentally cast in a cheesy Christmas movie. As Bee tries to keep her identity under wraps, she falls hard for reformed boyband member, Nolan.

The kinky things these two get into while working on the film made me blush. Add in a film crew that is half regular industry and half secretly adult film industry and you have a book that is absolutely hysterical.

Do NOT read this one if you are faint of heart. It’s definitely not a romance for your grandma…or maybe it is for the right grandmom. 😉

Thanks to Avon for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Jackie’s Stack

murder at balmoral

A Murder at Balmoral by Chris McGeorge

This was a fun and quick murder mystery set at Christmas time. It is based on the premise that a different lineage has been atop the British throne.

When the king drops dead from poisoning at Balmoral castle on Christmas day, the only people in the house are The King’s immediate family, the head of security, and the King’s personal chef. This who-dun-it and a quick and fun read that is perfect for the Christmas season.

Thanks to G.P Putnam for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches and more goodreads choice awards 2022 books

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna

This book is definitely a feel-good book of the season. Mika Moon knows that she must hide her magic and stay away from other witches so their powers do not draw the attention of other people. She also knows that witches are destined to be orphans, a very lonely existence.

When she is asked to come and teach magic to three young witches, she finds the life that she had always dreamed of, even if it is temporary. But, does it have to be? Can she find the life she always wanted?

Thank you so much to PRH audio for my copy of this book, all opinions are my own. I listened to this charming book in a day and loved it.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
The Golden Enclaves and more goodreads choice awards 2022 books

The Golden Enclaves (The Scholomance #3) by Naomi Novik

I cannot believe I finally had a chance to read the conclusion of this amazing trilogy. I have loved the other two books in this series and have included them in our dark academia books and our ultimate list of YA fantasy books.

The book starts exactly where the other book left off. El has just escaped from the Scholomance and Orion is stuck inside. There is so much that is revealed in this book and I do not want to give any spoilers. You will not be disappointed

Thanks to PRH Audio for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Drunk on Love by Jasmine Guillory

Drunk on Love Jasmine Guillory

Jasmine Guillory never fails to entertain with her romances. This is definitely hot and steamy and is a perfect romance to go on our list of fiction books about wine.

Margot noble works in Napa at her family’s winery. When she meets a very handsome stranger and they have a steamy one-night stand, she thinks she will never see him again until he shows up at the winery the next day as the new hire.

Obviously, this can become a very bad situation. The chemistry between these two is undeniable.

Thanks to PRH Audio for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Lisa Jewell Books Ranked

The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell

Of all the Lisa Jewell books, this is the one that I was most looking forward to reading. I put it third on this list after much debate. I loved The Family Upstairs and I think in order to get the full experience with this sequel, I think you need to that book first.

The book begins with the discovery of bones in the Thames River that is related to a 30-year-old cold case.

Rachel Rimmer is shocked to discover that her husband has been found dead in his cellar and Rachel has to answer questions that delve into Michael’s past. He is connected to Lucy Lamb who is trying to settle her family after leaving London 30 years ago. All the stories come together in a way that only Lisa Jewell can write.

Thanks to Simon and Schuster for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
The winners and more winter books

The Winners by Fredrik Backman

In my eyes, Fredrik Backman can do no wrong. I love his writing and I love his books. Let me start by saying that I do not love hockey. You do not need to like hockey to read this trilogy. It will tear your heart out with its beauty and raw emotion.

In this epic conclusion to the Beartown trilogy, it is two years later. The peace the characters find at the end of the last book is short-lived.

The book starts with a storm which is the perfect way to foreshadow the upheaval of the lives of everyone in this book. There is a little bit of everything in this book from corruption and pain to rape and abuse (content warning). It is a conclusion worth waiting for.

Thanks to Atria for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Matchmakers gift

The Matchmaker’s Gift by Lynda Cohen Loigman

This is the story of Sara Glikman who in 1910, as a young child, was able to see the glow between her sister and the man who would become her husband. She very quietly arranged their match and many more for years.

Her granddaughter Abby is a divorce attorney who represents some of the biggest divorces in the city. When Sara dies, leaves Abby all of her diaries.

I loved this unexpected book. It is so unique and a pleasure to read. The story is such a wonderful feel-good book and we needed to recommend if for our summer reads 2023 post.

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The Ballad of the Never after and more goodreads choice awards 2022 books

Ballad of Never After (Once Upon a Broken Heart Series #2) by Stephanie Garber

This is the second book in the New york Times best-selling YA fantasy series. Jacks has betrayed Evangaline for the last time and she swears that she will never trust him again. But now, Evangeline finds herself cursed and must rely on Jacks to help her try and break the curse.

Stephanie Garber never fails to write a YA fantasy novel that is unputdownable. Beware the ending. I cannot believe I have to wait to find out what happens because there is no way this story is over. This was a must on our list of ultimate beach reads 2023.

Thanks to Macmillan Audio for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Things We Do in the Dark by Jennifer Hillier

Things We Do in the Dark by Jennifer Hillier

I was about 10% of the way through when the story suddenly came to life. When Paris Peralta comes home and finds her husband dead in the bathtub, she panics, knocks herself out, and finds herself the suspect in his murder.

Paris finds herself under media scrutiny and gains the attention of people from her past. There is so much to this domestic thriller that is unexpected. I don’t want to ruin the surprises for you. But obviously, the mentions of Canada warm my heart!

Thanks to Macmillan Audio for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Which book from September novel ideas do you want to read?

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