Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughan won third place and is pure fantasy with some romantic elements. Former AAR editor/reviewer Jennifer Keirans praised the book in her DIK review: “although Warprize is set in a totally imaginary world, it doesn’t feature any magic at all. The plot stems from realistic characters and their different cultures, not from sorcery.” Strangely enough, although Warprize didn’t win or earn honorable mention in the Alternate Reality category for the year in which it was released, it did earn honorable mention in the Best Medieval/Renaissance category, presumably because like many fantasy novels, it is set in a magical Medieval world.
Lord of the Storm by Justine Dare (aka Justine Davis) placed fourth and its sequel, Skypirate, placed eighth, giving the author a distinction belonging otherwise to J.D. Robb as having earned more than one slot in this poll. The books were published in the middle 1990s and can be found on both our Two Hanky Read andAlternate Reality [Special Title] Lists. These two futuristic romances feature heroes and heroines who learned to befriend, trust, and love somebody from the enemy side in a war. The Romance Reader’s Susan Scribner wrote DIK reviews for both books.
Linnea Sinclair’s Games of Command is another 2007 release to land on our list; it tied for fifth place among your top ten. The book is a hybrid between SF and romance. One of our new reviewers, Rike Horstmann, writes that the book “was one of the sweetest love stories I have read in recent months, with a hero who is both incredibly strong and deeply vulnerable and a heroine who is equally tough and charming.”
Knight of a Trillion Stars earned DIK status at AAR years ago; Dara Joy’s star-making book tied with Linnea Sinclair’s for fifth place. Click Dara Joy’s link in the results table for a 1997 interview in whick she discusses becoming an overnight success and whether she planned at that time to incorporate humor and steamy sex scenes in her book. Due to a dispute with her publisher, she resorted to self-publishing her last book, resulting in reader dissatisfaction because of shipping problems…and more.
Angela Knight’s Jane’s Warlord earned straight B and rounds out our top ten list. Though reviewer Jane Jorgenson classified the book as a Time Travel Romance, it has strong SF overtones in that the time travel was planned and executed by the “Temporal Enforcement Agency”. Then too, a talking wolf sidekick lends a fantasy air as well.
The Best of The Rest
- A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold
- Archangel by Sharon Shinn
- Queen of the Darkness by Anne Bishop
- Sweet Starfire by Jayne Ann Krentz
- Mine To Take by Dara Joy
- Born in Death by J. D. Robb
- Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop
- Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward
- After Dark by Jayne Castle
- Gabriel’s Ghost by Linnea Sinclair
There was a far tighter point spread for titles 11 through 20 than there were for your top ten. 128 points differentiated Naked in Death from Innocent in Death; there were just eighteen points between A Civil Campaign and Gabriel’s Ghost. Lois McMaster Bujold’s 1999 release, A Civil Campaign, placed 11th while Sharon Shinn landed in the twelfth spot with Archangel. Two titles from Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels trilogy ende up in this second set of ten: Queen of the Darkness earned the thirteenth slot and Daughter of the Blood came in 17th. Jayne Ann Krentz/Jayne Castle also had two titles in the second set of ten –Sweet Starfire from – believe it or not – 1986, and After Dark, published in 2000. A fourth J.D. Robb title, Born in Death, slid into the fifteenth slot – it is the second to most recent release in the series, proving yet again that her long-running series continues to please her fans. J.R. Ward’s Lover Awakened, which as a vampire romance truly belongs in poll results for paranormal romances, ended up in eighteenth position…perhaps some readers felt the Scribe Virgin put the book in the fantasy realm. Rounding out the top twenty is Linnea Sinclair’s Gabriel’s Ghost, giving her two slots in the top twenty (she came in fifth for Games of Command, if you’ll recall).