Want to try Ashley Winstead? See our reader’s guide for 2023

Midnight is the Darkest Hour. Image courtesy Sourcebooks Landmark
Midnight is the Darkest Hour. Image courtesy Sourcebooks Landmark /

Some authors can cross genres yet we rarely see someone like Ashley Winstead. An author known for her thrillers writing romance books? It seems unheard of.

Then again, this is Ashley Winstead we’re talking about. That’s why I was so excited to not only dive into her entire backlist but read her for the first time. I’ve heard the buzz around her for years now.

Getting to jump into her backlist is something I did back in the summer and it still sticks with me. In jumping into her thrillers from Sourcebooks Landmark, I knew I wanted to read her romance books from Graydon House, too.

As a romance reader, I was incredibly excited to not only dive into her romances but see if her thrillers lived up to all of the hype and thankfully, I went in publication order so let’s dive in.

Looking to read Ashley Winstead? We’ve got a reader’s guide for you.

The first book published by Ashley Winstead was In My Dreams, I Hold A Knife which is a thriller and a mystery. The book follows Jessica who is going to her 10-year college reunion and meeting up with her old group of friends. It’s going to plan until the group is confirmed by Eric who is the younger brother of their friend who was murdered.

From there, this book is a soap opera in the best way. It’s like a rollercoaster with everything we find out as it’s told in the past and the present. With that being said, I don’t want to give too much away but absolutely adored this one.

If you’re looking to get a taste of Ashley Winstead and her thrillers, this is the ideal place to start. Of course, it ended up the first of many 5 stars from the author so immediately, I knew Ashley Winstead was going to be a winner for me.

Of course, upon publishing that, Winstead decided to move to an entirely different genre with romance. Published by Graydon House, Fool Me Once was her first foray into romance books. This is a second-chance romance between Lee and Ben who had a major miscommunication. From there, the two end up reconnecting and have to work together which makes for a precarious situation.

This is a very political romance if that isn’t your thing but I really loved the relationship between Lee and Ben. I do think things weren’t as well-paced but that’s just one of the kinks of being a new romance author which we’ll talk about later.

Moving onto her next thriller, she decided to write The Last Housewife which is a book I’m still thinking about months later. This is one I don’t want to talk too much about at all. The story follows Shay who upon hearing about her former roommate’s death decides to investigate with her childhood best friend, Jamie.

From there, the two end up getting involved in things much bigger than they ever imagined and realized. Like I said, it’s best going in, knowing very little but this book made me fall in love with this author all over again. Reading this just made me want to talk to her and ask so many questions about this book.

Next up is her next romance book release which is The Boyfriend Candidate and it’s a companion to Fool Me Once. This time, we’re following Alexis who is Lee’s sister and she’s trying to get back out there with a one-night-stand. Of course, she ends up being photographed with Logan who is running for Governor in Texas.

The two agree to fake-date but The Boyfriend Candidate is so much more. It’s about Alexis growing as a person, the two of them figuring out what a relationship looks like and not being afraid to be who they are. This book was an absolute delight and is another one I’m still thinking about.

Last but not least is her other 2023 release which is Midnight Is The Darkest Hour. I’d like to thank Sourcebooks Landmark for sending me a finished copy of this one. While I don’t want to give too much away, this is a Southern thriller following Ruth as she grapples with her past, her unlikely friendship, and her love for things beyond her extremely religious family’s understanding. I adored this one and I think if you’re a Twilight fan, then you’re going to enjoy it especially.

While you can start wherever you’d like, I think it’s best to go in publication order as it gives you an idea of Ashley Winstead’s writing and really watch her grow. Honestly, this has been one of my favorite projects to undertake as it made me fall in love with Ashley Winstead and her books.

12 non-romance books being released in October 2023. dark. Next