As Pollsters we are always grateful to everyone who submits a ballot, after all, there wouldn’t be a poll without your participation. This poll is a highlight for us and our readers so lots of appreciation goes out to the voters.
As people see that Lord of Scoundrels is yet again the #1 book, we are sure there are varied reactions: “Again?!?!” “Yes!” “Really?” “Awesome!” “But I didn’t vote for it.”
There was quite the battle between Devil in Winter and Lord of Scoundrels for first place and after all the ballots were counted, they were checked again. In the end, Loretta Chase’s story eked out the win. And we do mean eked; of all the points received by the top five titles, Lord of Scoundrels received 22.9% of the points, while Devil in Winter received 22.3%, a difference of 0.6%. It truly doesn’t get much closer than that. We do have to say we noticed lots of people voting for any and all Loretta Chase books other than Lord of Scoundrels, but obviously enough people put it on their list for it to achieve the top spot.
Most of this year’s Top 10 appeared in 2010’s Top Ten, although with some titles changing places. Devil in Winter moved up from 3rd to 2nd, Pride and Prejudice moved up to 3rd from 4th, The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie moved to 4th from 10th, Outlander, Flowers from the Storm and Slightly Dangerous stayed in 5th, 6th and 7th place, Dreaming of You dropped to 8th from 2nd, The Viscount Who Loved Me dropped one place to 9th. The only book that cracked the Top 10 was Romancing Mr. Bridgerton by Julia Quinn, which moved up from 2010’s placing of 12th.
Once again, historical romances dominated the Top 10, as well as the entire Top 100: 62 historical romances plus 8 classics placed while 23 titles were contemporary and 7 were paranormal or futuristic. Compare this to the 2010 list, when 66 titles were historical, contemporary had 25 and paranormal/futuristic/time travel numbered 9 and it seems we are quite consistent in our reading choices. What may be of interest is that of the 7 paranormal/futuristic titles that placed, 3 titles (Outlander, A Knight in Shining Armor and Naked in Death) have made the Top 100 list since its inception in 1998 meaning only 4 additional paranormal titles have made the Top 100 list during what many have said is the peak of the paranormal genre.
Eight books published since the 2010 poll made the Top 100 list: What I Did for a Duke (2011) by Julie Anne Long, The Black Hawk (2011) by Joanna Bourne, A Week to Be Wicked (2012) by Tessa Dare, A Lady Awakened (2012) by Cecilia Grant, When Beauty Tamed The Beast (2011) by Eloisa James, Ravishing the Heiress (2012) by Sherry Thomas, Unveiled (2011) and The Governess Affair (2012), both by Courtney Milan.
And some titles made it to the Top 100 for the first time, including: The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook and Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean.
The author with the most titles in the Top 100 is, once again, Lisa Kleypas with 12. This, however, is actually a drop for Ms. Kleypas when in 2010 she had 15 titles in the Top 100. The author with the second largest number of titles in the Top 100 is contemporary author Susan Elizabeth Phillips, with eight titles, down one for her tally of nine in 2010.
And yes, again, some favorite authors didn’t make it to the Top 100, but did appear in the Top 200. Look for a discussion of the “Best of the Rest” featuring titles 101-200 at the news blog in the next few weeks.
One of the most frequent comments after each Top 100 poll by readers is, “I’m completely out of sync with other readers. I didn’t vote for any of those titles.” Well, after looking at a huge number of ballots over the last month we would have to conclude that it’s the rare AAR reader indeed who voted for even 10 or more of the titles appearing on this year’s Top 100 list. Readers voted for 4,961 different titles, and of those, 2,926 received only one vote. In contrast, both Lord of Scoundrels and Devil in Winter appeared on approximately 30% of all ballots.
The chart below shows the Top 15 romances over the last four polls so you can see some of the shifts in rank.
RankTop 15 2013RankTop 15 2010RankTop 15 2007RankTop 15 2004 1. Lord of Soundrels (Chase) 1. Lord of Scoundrels (Chase) 1. Lord of Scoundrels (Chase) 1. Lord of Scoundrels (Chase) 2. Devil in Winter (Kleypas) 2. Dreaming Of You (Kleypas) 2. Dreaming Of You (Kleypas) 2. Flowers From The Storm (Kinsale) 3. Pride and Prejudice (Austen) 3. Devil in Winter (Kleypas) 3. Pride and Prejudice (Austen) 3. Welcome to Temptation (Crusie) 4. The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (Ashley) 4. Pride and Prejudice (Austen) 4. Outlander (Gabaldon) 4. As You Desire (Brockway) 5. Outlander (Gabaldon) 5. Outlander (Gabaldon) 5. Flowers From The Storm (Kinsale) 5. Bet Me (Crusie) 6. Flowers From The Storm (Kinsale) 6. Flowers From the Storm (Kinsale) 6. Slightly Dangerous (Balogh) 6. Dreaming Of You (Kleypas) 7. Slightly Dangerous (Balogh) 7. Slightly Dangerous (Balogh) 7. Devil in Winter (Kleypas) 7. Outlander (Gabaldon) 8. Dreaming of You (Kleypas) 8. The Viscount Who Loved Me (Quinn) 8. Bet Me (Crusie) 8. Over The Edge (Brockmann) 9. The Viscount Who Loved Me (Quinn) 9. The Raven Prince (Hoyt) 9. Welcome to Temptation (Crusie) 9. All Through the Night (Brockway) 10. Romancing Mister Bridgerton (Quinn) 10. The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (Ashley) 10. The Viscount Who Loved Me (Quinn) 10. Sea Swept (Roberts) 11. The Spymaster’s Lady (Bourne) 11. Mr. Impossible (Chase) 11. Lover Awakened (Ward) 11. It Had To Be You (Phillips) 12. Mr. Impossible (Chase) 12. Romancing Mister Bridgerton (Quinn) 12. Mr. Impossible (Chase) 12. A Summer to Remember (Balogh) 13. What I Did For A Duke (Long) 13. Paradise (McNaught) 13. The Duke and I (Quinn) 13. Morning Glory (Spencer) 14. Not Quite A Husband (Thomas) 14. Lord Perfect (Chase) 14. It Had To Be You (Phillips) 14. The Proposition (Ivory) 15. Bet Me (Crusie) 15. It Had To Be You (Phillips) 15. Lord Perfect (Chase) 15. A Kingdom of Dreams (McNaught)
Feel free to debate the Top 100 on the boards. We’d love to see the discussion, as we are sure it will be lively.