loverawakenedBack in April, we began, on each Tuesday, publishing a reviewer’s Top Ten list. There were no rules other than the books be in the romance genre. Over the next five months, we published twenty-three lists. Out of the 230 entries, we listed 201 books. We hit every genre (although we have a definitive fondness for historical romance), and waxed upon the works of 121 authors. After every one had weighed in, only one book garnered five–the most–votes: J.R. Ward’s Lover Awakened.It’s safe to say AAR reviewers are not of one mind when it comes to choosing their favorite romances. There was only one book that appears on four lists: Loretta Chase’s Mr. Impossible. Two books show up on three lists: Bewitching by Jill Barnett and Bound by Your Touch by Meredith Duran.

Eighteen books got two votes each. The other 179 books each were chosen once. Once!

The oldest book on anyone’s list is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, published in 1847. The next oldest, published a century and a score later, is Georgette Heyer’s Cotillion. The most recent book  is (I think–I judged this just by looking at all the titles) Sherry Thomas’s Ravishing the Heiress, published in July of 2012.

Of the twenty-two top books–those chosen more than once–twelve are historical romances, one is a paranormal, five are contemporary romances, and four are romantic suspense novels. Three of those twenty-two are written by Nora Roberts/J. D. Robb.

We’d like to thank our readers for all the enthusiasm you gave us for our lists. We’ve enjoyed reading the suggestions you have for your favorites.

A special thank you goes out to AAR’s Jenna Harper. She pulled all of our entries together and created a twenty-five page spreadsheet without which I could not have written this column.

Dabney Grinnan