It’s Valentine’s Day, that 24 hours each year the world celebrates romantic love. AAR’s a big fan of romantic love–we’ve been writing about it and celebrating it since the early 90s. Over the years, we’ve published thousands of reviews and blogs, conversed online with countless readers, and chatted up hundreds of authors. We’ve given DIK status to almost 2000 books and reviewed another 12000 we cared enough about to share how we felt about them. We love what we we do and what we read and, most of all, we love sharing our passion for books with you.

I’ve been a part of AAR since early 2011–can it really only be eight years?–and, in that time, I’ve come to love romance and its readers with a fierce passion. Trust me when I say that there are no better readers out there. You guys are the best. You’re thoughtful, smart as hell, engaged, and critical. You think about what you read and what we review and when you think we’ve done well, you cheer us. And when you think we’ve screwed up, you let us know. (We’re grateful for that, we really are.)

This week Goodreads put out its list of Top 100 Romances. I’m happy they’re celebrating the genre but I had to roll my eyes at what they call a romance. Just to be clear: a romance has to have a Happily Ever After (HEA) or a Happy For Now (HFN) in order to be a romance. It’s the one rule. Me Before You? That’s a no. Gone with the Wind? Hell no. Memoirs of a Geisha? I don’t think so.

I’m not sure what the Top 100 Romances are. I know our list, heavy on historicals and not very diverse, isn’t in any way the definitive version. But I do know that you, our readers, know great romance when you read it. And we hope that the reviews we publish every day help you find more fabulous love stories to light up your lives.

We love you, we do. And just because we want to show you we care, we’re sending a box of some of what we think are the best romances of the past year to one lucky US romance reader. What will be in it? Well, give us some suggestions. What do you think were the best books published in the last year (or so)? We’ll draw from those who comment below.

And, in the meantime, Happy Valentine’s Day. We wouldn’t be here without you. <3

 

Dabney