AAR Mini-Polls: Top Tens

Top Ten Romantic Suspense Titles

October 5, 2007

While you voted for 190 different romantic suspense titles by 74 different authors, two authors – Linda Howard and Suzanne Brockmann – dominated the top ten slots (actually the top 11 due to a tie for tenth place). The race for the top three slots was very close for most of the voting period. In the last few days, however, Linda Howard’s Mr. Perfect, pulled well ahead to capture the top place for your favorite romantic suspense novel.

Published in 2000, Mr. Perfect was AAR readers’ Best Romantic Suspense novel in the 2000 reader poll. The book also captured the awards for Best Heroine and Best Villain.

Suzanne Brockmann’s Over the Edge finished in second place. This 2001 release dominated the reader poll, and was not only the Best Romantic Suspense, it also won as Best Contemporary Romance and Best Romance. The book’s hero tied with J.D. Robb’s Roarke as Best Hero that year, the heroine won as Best Heroine, and the book’s secondary couple won as Best Couple of the year.

1Mr. Perfect (2000)Linda Howard
2Over the Edge (2001)Suzanne Brockmann
3Dream Man (1998)Linda Howard
4To Die For (2005)Linda Howard
5Black Ice (2005)Anne Stuart
6Naked in Death (1995)J.D. Robb
7Cry No More (2004)Linda Howard
8Out of Control (2002)Suzanne Brockmann
9All the Queen’s Men (2000)Linda Howard
10Gone Too Far (2004)
Hot Target (2005)
Suzanne Brockmann

In addition to Mr. Perfect, four other titles by Linda Howard landed in the top ten. In third place, just two points behind Over the Edge was Dream Man. To Die For landed in the fourth slot, Cry No More came in seventh, and All the Queen’s Men finished in ninth position.

Four books by Suzanne Brockmann ended up in the top ten. Out of Control was your choice for eighth place, and Gone Too Far and Hot Target tied for tenth place.

Books by two other authors cracked your top ten: Anne Stuart’s Black Ice finished in fifth place. This 2005 release was the Best Romantic Suspense in our annual reader poll for that year and its hero was named Most Tortured Hero.

In sixth place is JD Robb’s Naked in Death, the book that started so many readers’ fascination with Eve and Roarke. This 1995 release was published before the AAR existed, but the book was later reviewed and earned DIK status. Its hero and heroine have won top honors in many of our annual polls, and three of the books in Robb’s long-running series earned spots in our top ten futuristic romances poll this past May. Naked in Death landed in first place in that poll.

If you have followed the results of our annual reader polls over the years, the top ten romantic suspense novels should provide only a few surprises. In general, the results are very consistent with those annual polls. Only three books that won the category over the years we’ve conducted the annual poll failed to place among the top twenty titles for this mini-poll, including Linda Howard’s Kiss Me While I Sleep and Son of the Morning, and J.D. Robb’s Loyalty in Death. Kiss Me While I Sleep came in 44th while the other two titles received no votes at all. In fact, most readers named but one J.D. Robb book on their ballot – Naked in Death. While many readers listed multiple Linda Howard books on their ballots, none named Son of the Morning. It is possible that this book has come to be associated more as a time travel book than as a romantic suspense novel.

The “Best of the Rest” begins with your 12th favorite…there’s also a tie for 20th place.

12 Ice Blue (2007) Anne Stuart 13 Kill and Tell (2003) Linda Howard 14 Open Season (2001) Linda Howard 15 Montana Sky (1996) Nora Roberts – her 100th novel 16 Behind Closed Doors (2002) Shannon McKenna 17 The Unsung Hero (2000) Suzanne Brockmann 18 Someone To Watch Over Me (2003) Judith McNaught 19 Daughter of the Game (2003) Tracy Grant – the only historical within the top 20 20 Exposure (1999)
Cold as Ice (2006) Susan Andersen
Anne Stuart

We invite you to consider these questions and post about these poll results:

  • Are there any romantic suspense titles you expected to see in the top ten, that didn’t make the list?
  • If you are a fan of Linda Howard’s Son of the Morning, do you think of it as a romantic suspense novel – or as a time travel romance?
  • The books of two long-time favorites of AAR readers – Linda Howard and Suzanne Brockmann – dominated the top ten for romantic suspense. Are there any up-and-coming romantic suspense authors that you think might supplant these two?
  • There have been discussions lately about romantic suspense series in which the hero or heroine are killed. Has this made you leery of trying new authors?

Lee Brewer, LinnieGayl, and Cindy Smith

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