15th Annual Reader Poll Analysis
Watching the results come in over the two weeks of the poll is exhilarating and reminds us pollsters of just how much talent is out there in the romance genre. This year seemed like the year of the horse race. Titles for categories would easily swap in and out or we’d have one category in which a clear winner seemed imminent, only to have another title suddenly emerge the winner.
This year the percentages were very close in a number of the categories, leading to not only a winner, but also to an Honorable Mention that are awarded when a second (or third) place title has enough votes to place within 20% of all votes cast for the winner.
Best Romance of 2010 goes to Loretta Chase for Last Night’s Scandal with honorable mentions going to The Forbidden Rose by Joanna Bourne and The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook. Each of these titles also won in their own specific category. Last Night’s Scandal was voted the Best Historical Romance Set in the UK,The Forbidden Rose Best Historical Romance Not Set in the UK and The Iron Duke was named the Best Paranormal.
Several authors made their first appearance in AAR’s Annual Poll. Julie James’ Something About You was an outright winner for Best Contemporary Romance. And Pamela Clare’s Naked Edge won for Best Romantic Suspense. In addition to Meljean Brook’s win for Best Paranormal, she also won for Best Short Story forHere There Be Monsters from the anthology Burning Up.
Many of the other winners are familiar faces in AAR’s Annual Reader Polls. This is the second time that Loretta Chase has won Best Romance. She previously won for 2005’s Mr. Impossible. Ms. Chase has previously won for Best Historical Set Outside the UK (2008’s Your Scandalous Ways, set in Venice, Italy) and Best European Historical (2005’s Mr. Impossible, set in Egypt).
Readers also enjoy Joanna Bourne’s books, whether it is the winner for Best Historical Not Set in the UK (this year’s winner for 2010 books, The Forbidden Rose, set in France) or her 2009 title, The Spymaster’s Lady, set in the UK.
Julia Quinn continues her winning ways for Favorite Funny for Ten Things I Love About You. Ms. Quinn also won Favorite Funny (in a three way tie) for 1998’s To Catch an Heiress and stand alone wins for 2000’s The Viscount Who Loved Me and 2009’s What Happens in London.
While Ms. Quinn may tickle our funny bone, Lisa Kleypas’s stories can make us cry. Love in the Afternoon won this poll’s Biggest Tearjerker, Ms. Kleypas’ second win in this category. She previously won this category with her 2008 release Blue-Eyed Devil.
Kristan Higgans’ All I Ever Wanted and Pamela Morsi’s The Bikini Car Wash tied for Best Chick Lit/Women’s Fiction. Both of these authors have won in this same category in the past. Ms. Higgins won in 2008 for Just One of the Guys, and Ms. Morsi won last year for Red’s Hot Honky-Tonk Bar.
Carla Kelly won best series romance for the second year in a row, with Marrying the Royal Marine. She won last year for Marrying the Captain.
The winner for Most Kickass Heroine, Elena Deveraux, in Nalini Singh’s Archangel’s Kiss, took the title again this year, after winning last year when appearing inAngels’ Blood.
And we just have to mention the race for the win of Best New Author of 2010. Almost half of all the ballots entered had this category filled in meaning many of us are out there giving new authors a shot, with Rose Lerner coming in as the winner. Previous winners of this title, like Liz Carlyle (2000), Madeline Hunter (2001), and Elizabeth Hoyt (2007), have become many readers’ favorite authors.
We modified two categories in the poll this year, and as a result, were able to announce winners in every category. We changed one category from Best Erotica to Best Romantica, and a second from Worst Romance to Most Disappointing Romance. Ironically, the same book – Patience by Lisa Valdez – won in each of these categories. But truly, many of the books that garnered a win or honorable mention in another category also received votes for Most Disappointing. This was clearly a good change in categories.
Finally, we look forward to reading all your thoughts about the results in the AAR Forums, and would like to offer our congratulations to all of the winners.
AAR’s Pollsters – LinnieGayl, LeeB, and CindyS
Again, we look forward to reading all your thoughts about the results in the AAR Forums. To get the conversation going here are a few questions to consider:
Are you pleased with the results?
Did any of your favorite books, authors and/or characters win?
Which winners surprised you?
Have you read most of the winning books?
Post to the Let’s Talk Romance Novels Forum