Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
This week is a topic I’m really excited about – Indie Books! I’ve read so many brilliant indie books, and I love spotlighting them on my blog. Today, I have some amazing indie books I read and loved in 2022 and 2023.
1. The Altruist and the Assassin by Sarah M. Cradit
Series: The Book of All Things
Release Date: August 9, 2022
Publisher: Storyville Press
Blurb: Rhiain enjoys a charmed life as the daughter of one of the most powerful men in the realm. Spoiled and vain, she has never met a need or want she couldn’t attain. The dark spots in her memory have been tucked away, with all other unpleasant things.
Then a terrible mistake brings her entire world crashing down around her. Her life shifts in an instant; her fate, uncertain. Her father’s punishment for her is forcing her to train for a life as one of his prized assassins.
But a chance encounter in a familiar tavern will change everything. Everything she knows. Everything she feels. Everything she is.
As Rhiain gets closer to handsome, enigmatic Asterin— a man she doesn’t remember but claims to possess the truth about her dark spots—she begins to accept there is much more to these gaps in her understanding of the past.
Because these memories were taken from her for a reason. And there are those who will do anything to stop her from remembering.
The Altruist and the Assassin is a standalone fated love fantasy romance tale set in the Kingdom of the White Sea universe, with hints of Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty.
2. More Than Falling in Love by Remi Carrington
Series: Cowboys of Stargazer Springs Ranch
Page Length: 250
Publication Date: Nov. 15, 2022
Synopsis: Tall, dark, and . . . does not fit with my life plan
When my dad marries into this incredible found family, I make lots of new friends.
I’m strangely infatuated with one of my hunky new friends. And his kid is adorable too. Watching him with his son makes my heart flutter. Who knew single dads could be so sexy?
But it’s easy to keep our relationship in the friend zone because 1) he isn’t interested and 2) he lives in Texas and I’m in New York.
I love my life in the big city. Moving isn’t in my plan.
The trips back to the ranch are just for fun. I like spending time with him, but it doesn’t mean I’m falling in love.
3. Time’s Orphan by Hayley Reese Chow
Series: Odriel’s Heirs #3
Publication Date: Feb. 8, 2023
Synopsis: Speak of pain, and I’ll tell you of the Time who stole it away…
Besieged by war, ravaged by monsters, and crawling with the undead, the land of Okarria is dying. Seventeen-year-old Emara survives by using her modest healing gift to save as many as she can while eluding the invaders who thirst for her enchanted blood.
So when a cursed cat saves her life and reveals Emara is the legendary Time Heir the necromancer king’s been searching for, she agrees to act as bait in a plot to destroy him. But when the plan goes horrifically awry, Emara must discover how deep her powers go, what she can change…
And what she cannot.
Unfortunately, Time Heirs have a history of getting killed, and with Okarria’s future on the line, Emara may have no choice but to follow in her ancestors’ footsteps.
4. A Legacy of Darkness by J.M. Wallace
Series: A Legacy of Darkness #1
Publication Date: Oct. 10, 2021
Synopsis: A reluctant King haunted by his father’s actions.
A Druid girl haunted by her bloody childhood.
And an impossible quest to save their country…
Gripping and action-packed, A Legacy of Darkness is an adrenaline-filled, high fantasy of sword and sorcery, mythical creatures, and a charming cast of characters, perfect for fans of Cinda Williams Chima and Holly Black.
Darkness spreads through the kingdom of Asterion. Shaye Wistari witnesses it with her own eyes as she returns home from across the sea. Fearful of the monsters lurking in the waters to the East, she must revisit the bloody memories of her childhood.
When the newly crowned King tracks her down to enlist her help, she learns only she, the last of the Druid line, can save the country she has tried to leave behind.
Paired with the son of the man who slaughtered her people and stole her magic, she sets off on an impossible quest to save the innocent citizens of Asterion.
Alongside a group of unlikely allies, Shaye embarks on a desperate journey to reclaim her power and face the ghosts of her past. She must confront her own demons, or the darkness will overtake her, leaving Asterion vulnerable to destruction.
A Legacy of Darkness is the first book in this exciting fantasy trilogy. From it, you can expect danger, political intrigue, and thrilling passion, as Shaye and King Sorin fight the darkness closing in on them.
5. The Brazen Bluestocking by Tracy Sumner
Series: The Duchess Society #1
Page Length: 248
Publication Date: Sept. 16, 2021
Publisher: WOLF Publishing
Synopsis: A defiant society outcast.
A forbidding rogue who doesn’t believe in love.
And a passionate wager.
Daughter of an earl, Lady Hildegard Templeton hasn’t conformed to what society expects from a woman of her station. Industrious and unique, she’s created an emboldened organization for women on the cusp of marriage, The Duchess Society. Called a bluestocking to her face and worse behind closed salon doors, she vows to marry for love. And nothing but. Although the emotion has never shown itself to her. Until she meets him.
Bastard son of a viscount and king of London’s sordid streets, Tobias Streeter has spent a lifetime building his empire, and he needs the Duchess Society to find a suitable wife. An asset to expand his worth in society’s eyes. But he vows his search will have nothing to do with love and everything to do with vengeance. Until he meets her.
Soon, Tobias and Hildy’s plans are in turmoil as they choose between expectation, passion, and love.
6. Royal Decoy by Heather Frost
Series: Fate of Eyrinthia #1
Page Length: 370
Publication Date: June 18, 2020
Synopsis: A SERVANT blackmailed into becoming a princess’s decoy.
A BODYGUARD determined to keep her alive.
A PRINCE forced to execute his father’s brutal laws.
A PRISONER used to keep him compliant.
A WORLD on the brink of war.
In one horrible night, Clare goes from kitchen maid to royal decoy. She has three months to become the princess’s perfect double so she can ensure her betrothal to an enemy prince. Desperate to survive, Clare throws herself into self-defense training, taught by her distractingly attractive bodyguard. The danger increases when a ruthless assassin begins stalking her, intent on ending the tenuous peace.
Across the northern mountains, Prince Grayson is his father’s ultimate weapon. He carries out the king’s harsh orders because the one person he cares about is his father’s prisoner. Grayson’s silent obedience is tested when his father plans to exploit the marriage alliance between two of their greatest enemies. If Grayson submits, the blood of thousands will spill. If he resists, the girl who means everything to him will die.
The fate of Eyrinthia hangs in the balance. Some want peace. Some want war. All will be thrown into chaos.
7. A Dawn of Onyx by Kate Golden
Series: The Sacred Stones #1
Page Length: 456
Publication Date: Dec. 15, 2022
Publisher: The Daisy Press
Synopsis: Captured by a king of darkness. Forced to find the light within.
Arwen Valondale never expected to be the brave one, offering her life to save her brother’s. Now she’s been taken prisoner by the most dangerous kingdom on the continent, and made to use her rare magical abilities to heal the soldiers of the vicious Onyx King.
Arwen knows better than to face the ancient, wicked woods that surround the castle on her own, which means working with a fellow prisoner might be her only path to freedom. Unfortunately, he’s as infuriating as he is cunning—and seems to take twisted
pleasure in playing on Arwen’s deepest fears.
But here in Onyx Kingdom, trust is a luxury she can’t afford.
To make it out of enemy territory, she’ll have to navigate back-stabbing royals, dark magic, and dangerous beasts. But untold power lies inside Arwen, dormant and waiting for a spark. If she can harness it, she just might be able to escape with her life—and hopefully, her heart.
8. Thorn by Intisar Khanani
Series: The Dauntless Path
Page Length: 512
Publication Date: May 15, 2002
Publisher: Harper Teen
Synopsis: A princess with two futures. A destiny all her own.
Between her cruel family and the contempt she faces at court, Princess Alyrra has always longed to escape the confines of her royal life. But when she’s betrothed to the powerful prince Kestrin, Alyrra embarks on a journey to his land with little hope for a better future.
When a mysterious and terrifying sorceress robs Alyrra of both her identity and her role as princess, Alyrra seizes the opportunity to start a new life for herself as a goose girl.
But Alyrra soon finds that Kestrin is not what she expected. The more Alyrra learns of this new kingdom, the pain and suffering its people endure, as well as the danger facing Kestrin from the sorceress herself, the more she knows she can’t remain the goose girl forever.
With the fate of the kingdom at stake, Alyrra is caught between two worlds and ultimately must decide who she is, and what she stands for.
9. How to Train Your Viscount by Courtney McCaskill
Series: The Astley Chronicles #1
Page Length: 346
Publication Date: July 17, 2021
Publisher: Hazel Grove Books
Synopsis: The only one who can help her is the man who broke her heart.
Four years ago, Lady Caroline Astley took one look at Henry Greville, Viscount Thetford, and fell horribly in love, in that particular way you can only fall in love at the age of fifteen.
He didn’t just reject her.
He humiliated her.
But now, in a stroke of rotten luck, he’s the only one who can help her.
It turns out that the “paste” pendant she borrowed from her sister, Anne, was no fake. It’s actually an ancient Egyptian amulet, and now Anne wants to auction it off to save hundreds of widows and orphans. What Caro can’t bear to tell her sister is that the necklace was stolen from right around her neck.
Caro has a few clues, but she doesn’t know an amulet from an obelisk, and the trail has gone cold. Guess who grew up in a house stuffed with Egyptian artifacts? Caro may despise Henry, but she needs him if she’s going to track down the thieves. Which begs the question of which is worse: letting down the orphans or risking her heart all over again.
10. Ericksen by Sarah Westill
Author: Sarah Westill
Series: Gen-Heirs: The Guardians of Sziveria
Page Length: 282
Publication Date: Nov. 3, 2022
Synopsis: Wintervail will bring more than gifts and snow…
Evidence of an assassin has gone missing, along with a teenage girl. The only witness to the crime refuses to answer any of Melody’s questions, instead hiring Vayden Dossett, a reward seeker, to recover his daughter. The problem? Months ago, Melody rejected a matchmaking recommendation with Vayden. If Melody allows their past to interfere, she’ll lose the chance to prove she’s capable of handling a tough case.
Vayden is used to the prejudice and scorn his gen-common genetics bring out in people. He wanted Melody to be different. She wasn’t, and he refuses to waste time proving himself to her. Personal emotions have no place when a child has been kidnapped. Finding the girl is Vayden’s only priority, regardless of who he must work with to accomplish the goal.
Setting aside their differences isn’t as easy as setting aside their attraction they soon discover. And while Vayden learns Melody has been lied to about her genetic gift, Melody realizes Vayden isn’t at all what she’s been led to believe. Dark secrets soon to come to light, and with winter creeping in, they’re in a race against arctic winds to find answers…
Have you read any of these? Which indie books would you recommend? Comment below!
22 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Amazing Indie Books”
These all sound amazing, especially Thorn. My favorite indie book is call Naptown Blues.
I’ll have to check that one out! 🙂 And Thorn is fantastic if you like darker YA fantasy.
I’ve read several of Cradit’s novels, but nothing in this series. The covers are gorgeous.
I agree – each one is so stunning!
I’ve heard some good things about Thorn.
My post: https://lydiaschoch.com/top-ten-tuesday-self-published-books-i-plan-to-review/
Yes! I feel like it’s very underrated – definitely one of my faves last year.
I definitely want to read a book by Sarah H. Cradit – great list!
Thanks, Yolanda! I hope you get a chance to rea done of hers soon. 🙂
A few of these are on my tbr! I really need to get to them.
The never-ending TBR> I just keep adding to mine! lol
Haha same! Everyday I add another or two. 😂
I’ve not read any of these but glad you enjoyed them.
My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2023/04/04/top-ten-tuesday-414-spotify-wrapped-book-tag-2022/
Thank you! 🙂
Great list, Julie! Time’s Orphan made mine too, but there’s so many on here I need to check out because I haven’t heard of them before 😀
Thanks, Becky! 🙂
Great list! Altruist and the Assassin is a cover that I always love! I just need to read it. haha. Thorn is on Dini & I’s buddy read list!!
OMG yay! I can’t wait to hear what the two of you think about it!!!!!!
I haven’t read any of these yet, but I do recognize several covers. Especially Thorn, so I’m happy to know you’d recommend it!
Oooh, yes! That was one of my favorite reads last year!
Yes, Kate Golden and Heather Frost! I also just read my first Cradit and while it wasn’t a total hit for me I still really enjoyed it and can’t wait to read more by her. I also can’t wait to read McCaskill’s romances cos your reviews make them sound so good! 😃 I’m also adding that other romantasy to my TBR. Great list, Julie!
Thanks, Dini! there are def. some in Cradit’s series that I like more than others, but I love her writing style, and the world is fascinating. And McCaskill’s historical romances are great! Love them!