18th Annual Reader Poll Analysis
Thanks to the voters for again supporting AAR’s Annual Reader Poll. Thanks also to those who posted on their websites, on Facebook, on Twitter or just told friends, co-workers and family.
As you know, this year we added some new categories: Best New Adult Romance, Best Young Adult Romance and Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements. We also split the Paranormal category into two categories: Best Paranormal/Time Travel and Best Science Fiction/Fantasy. Unfortunately, there were not enough votes to declare a winner in the latter category. And there were also not enough votes to declare a winner in the Best Chick Lit/Women’s Fiction category.
But all the other categories had winners, and some honorable mentions. In fact, the most competitive category was Best Romance Couple, which ended in a tie with three honorable mentions. (Note: Honorable Mentions are awarded when a second (or third) place title receives within 20% of the votes cast for the winner.)
As is usually the case, some authors published two or more books a year so their votes were split among various titles, but fortunately some of those authors pulled out standalone wins. Some winners have won previously but this year, we have quite a few new authors to congratulate.
The winner for Best Romance Book of 2013 was Sherry Thomas’s The Luckiest Lady in London, which also won for Best Historical Romance Set in the UK, Best Love Scenes and tied for Best Couple for the characters of Louisa Cantwell and Felix Rivendale. In 2012, Ms. Thomas published three books, but managed to win the Best Tearjerker award (and an Honorable Mention for Best Historical Romance Set in the UK) for Ravishing the Heiress. AAR readers clearly enjoy her writing.
Best Romantic Suspense Book went to Pamela Clare for Striking Distance and the characters of Laura Nilsson and Javier Corbray received Honorable Mention for Best Couple. First Strike, Ms. Clare’s prequel to Striking Distance, starring the “Best Couple” characters, won Best Short Story.
For the fourth year in a row, Julie James won the Best Contemporary Romance Book with Love Irresistibly. And the main characters from that book, Brooke Parker and Cade Morgan, tied for Best Couple. Also, Brooke Parker received an Honorable Mention for Best Heroine.
For the second year in a row, Sarah Mayberry won for Best Category Romance. This year, the winning title was The Other Side of Us.
For the second year in a row, Best Kick Ass Heroine went to an Ilona Andrews’ character – this year it is Kate Daniels in Magic Rises. Andrea Nash won last year in this same category for Gunmetal Magic.
Back in the winner’s circle for Best Paranormal is Nalini Singh for Heart of Obsidian. (Ms. Singh’s 2009 release, Branded by Fire, won this category in 2010.) And Heart of Obsidian’s hero, Kaleb Krychek, won Best Tortured Hero. Also, by Nalini Singh, the characters of Elena and Raphael in Archangel’s Legion won an Honorable Mention for Best Couple.
Courtney Milan’s Violet Waterfield and Sebastian Malheur in The Countess Conspiracy were voted Favorite Heroine and Favorite Hero. The Countess Conspiracy also won Honorable Mentions for Best Historical Set in the UK and Best Tearjerker.
And now for the newbie (to the AAR Poll) authors:
Emma Chase not only won Best Debut Author but also for Funniest Romance for Tangled.
Best Non-UK Historical went to Jeannie Lin for The Lotus Palace set in the Tang Dynasty of China in the 800s. This truly is a competitive category, as books set everywhere except the United Kingdom have to battle it out.
Chocolate lover Laura Florand won for Best Tearjerker for Snow-Kissed.
In one of our new categories, Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements went to The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion.
The New Adult and Young Adult categories also had newbie authors winning. Foreplay by Sophie Jordan for Best New Adult and Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell.
Best Erotica/Romantica went to Anne Calhoun for Uncommon Passion.
An Honorable Mention also goes to One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean for Best Love Scenes and another Honorable Mention for Best Couple (Philippa Marbury and Cross) from the same book.
Last but not least, J.D. Robbs’ character, Eve Dallas, won an Honorable Mention for Best Kickass Heroine in Calculated in Death and Thankless in Death.
As usual, we look forward to reading your comments about the winners in the AAR Forums. Here are some questions to get the conversations rolling:
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:
Any huge surprises?
Did any of your choices win?
Will you read any winning titles if you haven’t already done so?