Meet Reviews Editor, Senior Reviewer Jean Wan Jean’s Top 10 Romance List
About Me Favorite Romance Novels

I’ve been reading romances for ages now (10? 15 years?), and have been with AAR for 4 years and counting. I’ve bumped around the world on several continents, but currently I’m living in southern Ontario.

Absolute Favorites

Angels Fall by Nora Roberts
The Spymaster’s Lady by Joanna Bourne
Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught

Favorite Classic

Frederica by Georgette Heyer Persuasion by Jane Austen

Favorite Short Stories

Precious Rogue (Dashing and Dangerous) by Mary Balogh

Personal Reading Tastes Favorites by Sub-Genre

What I’m a sucker for in a book: Governesses, rakes, May-December, new settings (esp. France, Canada, & New Zealand), adventure/cabin/captive/hostage romances, epistolary romances, character-driven plots, marriages of convenience, physical imperfections, mutual healing from tortured pasts, non-aristocratic historical heroes, torch-bearers, thieves, theater & music denizens.

What I don’t particularly care for in a book: Americans in European historicals, historical or linguistic inaccuracy, guardian-ward, royalty, magic (which is different from paranormals – it is!) .

What drives me absolutely nuts in a book: Extended family HEAs, extended spy ring HEAs, extended paramilitary group HEAs, extended

[community of choice] HEAs, time travel, 24-hour “love” stories, endless miscommunication, Big Misunderstandings, suspense plot ex machina, faux-Bridget Jones dingbat heroines.

Favorite Romance Authors

All-Time Favorite Romance Authors

Mary Balogh
Jo Goodman
J.D. Robb

Best Discovery/Buried Treasure Authors

Jo Goodman

My Biggest Glom

J.D. Robb



Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

European Historical:

Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught
Beyond a Wicked Kiss by Jo Goodman

Traditional Regency:

The Reluctant Heiress by Evelyn Richardson
The Lady’s Companion by Carla Kelly
The Secret Pearl by Mary Balogh


The Secret Swan by Shana Abe

Alternate Reality:

Nalini Singh’s Changeling series
(although I hear her archangel series kicks ass)

Favorite Characters Favorites by Plot Type

Favorite Hero

Roarke. Sebastian St. Vincent. Roarke. St. Vincent. Who cares, they’re both yummy.

Favorite Heroine

Annique Villiers (The Spymaster’s Lady by Joanna Bourne) & Eve Dallas (In Death series by J.D. Robb). They’d probably take each other out then chug a beer afterwards.

Most Tortured Hero

Zsadist, Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward. Brings new meaning to the adjective.

Strongest Heroine

Eve Dallas, In Death series by J.D. Robb

Favorite Couple

Eve Dallas and Roarke, In Death series by J.D. Robb
Ria Ashby and West Marchman, Beyond a Wicked Kiss by Jo Goodman. They crack me up to no end.

Cabin or Road:

Half of Mary Jo Putney’s backlist. This woman is a terrific adventure writer.


In Death series by J.D. Robb


Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
In Death series by J.D. Robb
(I’m serious, they’re hilarious)


The Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas

Favorites by Mood

Comfort Reads:

The Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas

Guilty Pleasure:

These quiet, innocuous British romances from the 50s, 60s and 70s by Iris Bromige. So calming & peaceful. A guilty pleasure because they’re hugely predictable and formulaic. Oh, and Jilly Cooper’s Rivals. Also British, but neither quiet nor innocuous.


Most Disappointing Books

Authors I Have Given Up On

Jayne Ann Krentz
Elizabeth Lowell
Christina Dodd

Authors Others Love That I Don’t

Julie Garwood’s historicals

Most Annoying Lead Character

[Insert Julie Garwood historical heroine at random]

Non-Romance Favorites

Favorite Classic Novel

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

Favorite Mystery

Sherlock Holmes canon by Arthur Conan Doyle
Mary Russell series by Laurie R. King

Favorite Fantasy

The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
Masquerade by Terry Pratchett

Favorite Nonfiction

The Piano Shop on the Left Bank by T.E. Carhart
Anything by Bill Bryson

Favorite Women’s Fiction

Second Thyme Around by Katie Fforde

Favorite YA Book

The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
Beauty by Robin McKinley
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

Favorite Set of Connected Books

Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett
(who wrote THE most delicious hero in the fictional canon, ever)

Book Most Often Reread

The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
(can y’all tell I love it?)

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