This year’s Annual Poll results are finally here. We thank the many many readers who responded to our survey. The format of taking nominees and then creating a ballot with the top vote getters was a success. Our hard working pollsters–thanks LinneGayl and Lee–tabulated thousands of votes. We plan to run our poll similarly next year.
We will make a few changes, however. It’s clear that allowing books to nominated in multiple categories can create a situation where one author and/or book wins big time. Which is what happened this year. (This will make you happy if you love Nalini Singh which, clearly, many many of our readers do.)
Here, then, are the winners of the 2016 Annual Reader Poll.
NOTE: Honorable mentions have traditionally been given when a book receives at least 80% of the votes of the winner.
Winner: Shards of Hope by Nalini Singh
Honorable Mention: Archangel’s Enigma by Nalini Singh (Our DIK review is here.)
Honorable Mention: A Seditious Affair by KJ Charles (Our DIK review is here.)
Favorite Funny Romance
Winner: My Kind of Wonderful by Jill Shalvis
Honorable Mention: Rock Hard by Nalini Singh (Our DIK review is here.)
Favorite Tear-Jerker Romance
Winner: Only a Kiss by Mary Balogh (Our review is here.)
Honorable Mention: Shards of Hope by Nalini Singh
Most Luscious Love Story
Winner: Sweetest Scoundrel by Elizabeth Hoyt (Our review is here.)
Honorable Mention: Shards of Hope by Nalini Singh
Best Erotica / Romantica Romance
Winner: Harlot by Victoria Dahl
Honorable Mention: For Real by Alexis Hall
Most Tortured Romance Hero
Winner: Noah St. John in Rock Redemption by Nalini Singh (Our DIK reviews are here and here.)
Best Kick-Ass Heroine
Winner: Kate Daniels in Magic Shifts by Illona Andrews
Honorable Mention: Zaira in Shards of Hope by Nalini Singh
Best Romance Hero
Aden from Shards of Hope by Nalini Singh
Best Romance Heroine
Winner: Charlotte Baird from Rock Hard by Nalini Singh
Best Romance Couple
Winner: Aden and Zaira in Shards of Hope by Nalini Singh
Best Paranormal Romance
Winner: Archangel’s Enigma by Nalini Singh
Honorable Mention: Magic Shifts by Illona Andrews
Best Fantasy Romance
Winner: Burned by Karen Marie Moning
Honorable Mention: Radiance by Grace Draven (Our DIK review is here.)
Best Science Fiction Romance
Winner: Sirens Call by Jayne Castle
Best Historical Romance set in the U.K.
Winner: Only a Kiss by Mary Balogh
Honorable Mention: A Seditious Affair by KJ Charles
Best Historical Romance set outside the U.K.
Winner: This Gun for Hire by Jo Goodman (Our DIK review is here.)
Best Contemporary Romance
Winner: Rock Hard by Nalini Singh
Best Category Romance Book
Winner: Playing by the Greek’s Rules by Sarah Morgan (Our review is here.)
Honorable Mention: Pursued by the Rogue by Kelly Hunter (Our DIK review is here.)
Best Romantic Suspense
Winner: Seduction Game by Pamela Clare (Our review is here.)
Honorable Mention: Dead by Midnight by Pamela Clare
Honorable Mention: The Other Side of Midnight by Simone St. James (Our DIK review is here.)
Honorable Mention: Consumed by Fire by Anne Stuart (Our review is here.)
Best LGBTQ+ Romance
Winners: (a tie): A Seditious Affair by K.J. Charles and Him by Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen
2015’s Best Debuting Romance Author
Winner: Anna Harrington
Best Young Adult Romance
Winner: The Immortal Heights by Sherry Thomas (Our DIK review is here.)
Best New Adult Romance
Winner: Elements of Chemistry by Penny Reid
Honorable Mention: Trade Me by Courtney Milan
Honorable Mention: The Deal by Elle Kennedy (Our review is here.)
Best Romance Novella or Short Story
Winner: Lord Dashwood Missed Out by Tessa Dare
Best Novel (non-romance) with strong romantic elements
Winner: If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins (Our DIK review is here.)
Impenitent social media enthusiast. Relational trend spotter. Enjoys both carpe diem and the fish of the day.
On behalf of some very ecstatic dust bunnies I want to thank everyone who voted for SIREN’S CALL in the category of Best Science Fiction Romance. And thanks to all those behind the scenes who put this amazing reader poll together. Lots of great titles this year!
Thank you (to AAR and to all the readers who voted) for selecting ‘Elements of Chemistry’ as favorite New Adult romance. I love that you loved this feminist spin on the New Adult genre and “”bonded”” with Kaitlyn and Martin (see what I did there??? Sorry, I can’t resist throwing in some chemistry humor. O.o ) I’m so honored to have been included/nominated. What a great way to start the week! <3 Penny
THANK YOU to AAR and to all the readers who participated in this year’s poll. I am thrilled that SEDUCTION GAME won. It’s every bit as exciting that DEAD BY MIDNIGHT, the I-Team grand finale, was an honorable mention. I spent 2014 fighting breast cancer, unable to write. Last year, I fought hard to come back and reclaim my life and my writing career. What a wonderful way to be welcomed back. :-)
How lovely to have won enough votes to come top of two different categories. Thank you so much to all who voted for ONLY A KISS. It is a precious book to me because this one has a heroine who was deeply wounded by her experiences in the Napoleonic Wars while the other six books in the Survivor’s Club series have wounded heroes. It was a great challenge for me. And I gave her a hero who turned into one of my all-time favorites. I am so glad readers seem to agree that it is a special book.
Thank you to everyone who voted and to the judges who took the time to tally the votes! I’m so thrilled & honored that Sweetest Scoundrel made “”Most Luscious Love Story.”” I’ve always assumed that category is code for “”best sexytimes in a non-erotica romance.”” If so, I do hope that it was the carriage scene in Sweetest Scoundrel that tipped the balance in my favor.
If not, please don’t anybody burst my bubble. ;-)
Thank you so much to all the readers who voted for my books. I’m absolutely stunned and astonished and beyond happy. All of the books mentioned mean so much to me, but to have book 14 of a series win Best Romance is the icing on an incredible cake – thank you to readers for your faith in me. Here’s to many more adventures together.
Congratulations also to all my fellow winners and finalists.
I am so pleased to see A Seditious Affair getting an honourable mention in the Best Romance category, because it’s such a great book on all counts. The win in the LGBT+ section is great, too, but the HM also shows that a truly wonderful story can’t be constrained by labels or genre boundaries.
I’m so incredibly honored that HARLOT was chosen as Best Erotic Romance! As my first self-published book, it was truly a labor of love…a deep, dark Western that had been rattling around in my brain for years. AAR readers, thank you so much!
I voted for Jo Goodman’s _This Gun For Hire_ and for Penny Reid’s _Elements of Chemistry_ and was very pleased to see them win. Very deserved wins! I was also happy to see Honorable Mention for two of my very favorite books from 2015:
Simone St. James’s _The Other Side of Midnight_ and Anne Stuart’s _Consumed by Fire_.
I have not read Victoria Dahl’s _Harlot_ but am interested in doing so. I’m far behind in the Maiden Lane series. Also, I’m not particularly keen on paranormal and fantasy and so many of the winners this year are from authors I don’t read.
Thanks to the pollsters for their work putting all of this together!
I didn’t care for Shards of Hope, but I loved Archangel’s Enigma, loved it. The audio is fantastic. Mary Balogh is so good and I definitely agree with everyone else. And of course Kate Daniels is unbeatable as “”Best Kick-Ass Heroine””. In 200 years readers will still love Kate Daniels as we still love Elizabeth Bennett and Elinor Dashwood, I believe it, she’s got iconic potential.
I don’t get Burned winning, must be the huge fan base, because Radiance was the most absolutely amazing book that I read last year!
I had not read a Kristin Higgins in awhile, but I really liked If You Only Knew….terrific female characters, a very lovely book.
And lastly Sherry Thomas’ Elemental series was so beautiful and exciting, I wept when I finished Immortal Heights, truly wondrous those two kids.
Thanks for all the work you all did….it’s was fun!
It’s always fun to see the reults. I miss the author comments this year, or am I just not seeing them?
Thanks to all the pollsters for their hard work.
Thanks, Library Addict. In the interim between existing format and major site redo in June had to go with temporary method of posting results here. We also wanted to get the results public as quickly as possible so didn’t want to delay while waiting for authors to send in comments. Hopefully lots more will comment here, and big thanks to those who’ve already stopped by.
I’ll add in author’s comments starting tomorrow. I just ran out of steam! This post took tons of coding and I’ve spent today sharing the winners on Facebook and Twitter! But we will have comments!
You’ve been tweeting up a storm, Dabney! I feel tired just seeing them come through :)
Well, when I post on our FB page, it automatically makes a Twitter post. So, that’s helpful!
Thank you, everyone, both readers and AAR, for voting me Best Debuting Author. I was so happy and excited to be nominated at all, and winning has me jumping up and down! You are all so gracious and supportive, and I am truly honored.
I was in that last writing stretch to reach the end of my novel EIDOLON (sequel to RADIANCE) and was just about on my proverbial knees to reach the goal line. I was mentally tired and ready to have it done because there was a nice dram of Laphraoig single malt waiting for me as a celebratory reward. Then I received a note from AAR. RADIANCE received honorable mention for Best Fantasy of 2015 in the poll results. Woohoo! I drank that wee dram of whiskey right then. A hearty toast and heartfelt thanks to those readers who voted. I raise my glass to you all. Slainte!
Radiance was hands down the best book I read last year.
Thank-you as always for all the hard work that goes into running the poll.
I’m curious how much the results changed between the initial poll and the shortlist. I know my votes changed somewhat after I read the shortlisted books so I’m wondering if other people’s did too?
As one of the pollsters I got to see all of the results in both rounds. There were many people (including myself) who were the only person to vote for a particular book or character in the first round, so none of those moved on to the second round. For me, some of the characters and titles I voted for in the first round did make it to the finals, so I voted for them. There were still other categories that I voted in initially, but had read nothing of in the final round, so I didn’t vote.
And of course, many, many more people voted in the final round than in the first round. Often commenting in the “”comments”” box that it was much easier for them to vote in the final format.
As a result of the whole process I’ve ended up with a number of new books to try (in the final round) that I’d never thought of reading before.
thanks for Responding. I guess I was wondering whether the books that were ahead before the shortlist tended to be ahead after the final vote or if the order changed. Which would suggest the actual shortlist process had an impact …
I know I read books I wouldn’t have read because of the shortlist, which changed my vote from what it would have been.
I really enjoyed the posts from various AAR staff members listing their favourites of 2015. It reminded me of books and authors I had enjoyed through 2015 and introduced me to new authors to try. I appreciated the opportunity to vote in your annual poll and am pleased to see the results, especially as two of my choices won their category. I realise it is a lot of work for your staff members so thankyou for this service to your readers. Interesting results and congratulations to the winners.