caressedbyice Whenever we look at the nominations for a currently open Special Title Listing, we are thrilled at how divergent the entries are. Each and every time, there are classics that for some reason no-one had thought of before, there are well-loved novels that were published during the last ten years or so, and there are recent books that have already made a great impact.

Taking the Virginal Heroes, there is Scaramouche, from Rafael Sabatini’s swashbuckling romances of the 1920s. There are Nalini Singh’s Judd Lauren from Caressed by Ice, and the Earl of Ardmore from Eloisa James’s Kiss Me, Annabel – both books were published in the 2000s. As for 2013 novels, there are Kaleb Krycheck from Heart of Obsidian (also by Singh), and Samuel Cooke from Courting Greta by Ramsey Hootman.

Newly entered classics on the May-Dec/Dec-May list are Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freedman (1947), Arabella by Georgette Heyer (1949), Wildfire at Midnight by Mary Stewart (1956), and The Front Runner by Patricia Nell Warren (1974), an early male-male romance.

As a result, the STLs continue to combine tradition and innovation, and we are very pleased about this. Thank you so much for your contributions to this variety!

Two aside notes: For the Virginal Heroes list, we also received some nominations for young adult titles. On consideration, we decided against including them, agreeing that in a young adult romance, the hero being a virgin is still not such an unusual thing for books in that genre, as very often the books are precisely about a very first romantic relationship in the protagonists’ lives.

In the context of the STL, some of you mourned the fact that such an excellent book as Unclaimed by Courtney Milan has not been reviewed here at AAR. Unfortunately AAR cannot review all good books – we’d need a much bigger staff for this! Though in the case of Unclaimed, it did get featured here on the blog. But if you, the readers, feel that a book is truly outstanding and we don’t already have a review for it in our database, we are happy to consider publishing DIK reviews written by readers. Just contact Blythe and Lynn here.

We invite you to come back for three more new lists to be opened on December 10. In the meantime, have a great time reading!

– Cindy Smith, LinnieGayl Kimmel and Rike Horstmann