AAR’s Top 100 Romances

November 2013

(printable list)

Lord of Scoundrels

Loretta Chase
European Historical
1995

Devil In Winter

Lisa Kleypas
European Historical
2006

Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen
Classic Fiction
1813

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie

Jennifer Ashley
European Historical
2009

Outlander

Diana Gabaldon
Time Travel
1991

Flowers From The Storm

Laura Kinsale
European Historical
1992

Slightly Dangerous

Mary Balogh
European Historical
2004

Dreaming of You

Lisa Kleypas
European Historical
1994

The Viscount Who Loved Me

Julia Quinn
European Historical
2000

Romancing Mr. Bridgerton

Julia Quinn
European Historical
2002

The Spymaster’s Lady

Joanna Bourne
European Historical
2011

Mr. Impossible

Loretta Chase
European Historical
2005

What I Did for a Duke

Julie Anne Long
European Historical
2011

Not Quite a Husband

Sherry Thomas
European Historical
2009

Bet Me

Jennifer Crusie
Contemporary Romance
2004

The Duke and I

Julia Quinn
European Historical
2000

The Black Hawk

Joanna Bourne
European Historical
2011

Nobody’s Baby But Mine

Susan E. Phillips
Contemporary
1997

It Had To Be You

Susan E. Phillips
Contemporary
1994

Welcome to Temptation

Jennifer Crusie
Contemporary
2000

Match Me If You Can

Susan E. Phillips
Contemporary
2005

The Raven Prince

Elizabeth Hoyt
European Historical
2006

A Week to Be Wicked

Tessa Dare
European Historical
2012

Jane Eyre

Charlotte Bronte
Classic Fiction
1847

Morning Glory

LaVyrle Spencer
Americana
1990

Lord Perfect

Loretta Chase
European Historical
2006

Naked In Death

J.D. Robb
Fut. Rom. Susp.
1995

Paradise

Judith McNaught
Contemporary
1991

The Bride

Julie Garwood
Medieval
1989

It Happened One Autumn

Lisa Kleypas
European Historical
2005

Blue-Eyed Devil

Lisa Kleypas
Contemporary
2008

Devil’s Bride

Stephanie Laurens
European Historical
1998

Private Arrangements

Sherry Thomas
European Historical
2008

Lover Awakened

J.R. Ward

Vampire Romance

2006

Persuasion

Jane Austen
Classic Fiction
1818

A Summer To Remember

Mary Balogh
European Historical
2002

A Knight in Shining Armor

Jude Deveraux
Time Travel
1989

Devil’s Cub

Georgette Heyer
Classic Fiction
1932

Ravishing the Heiress

Sherry Thomas
European Historical
2012

Kiss An Angel

Susan E. Phillips
Contemporary
1996

Mr. Perfect

Linda Howard
Romantic Suspense
2000

When He Was Wicked

Julia Quinn
European Historical
2004

A Kingdom of Dreams

Judith McNaught
Medieval
1989

What Happens In London

Julia Quinn
European Historical
2009

Venetia

Georgette Heyer
Classic Fiction
1956

Smooth Talking Stranger

Lisa Kleypas
Contemporary
2009

The Secret

Julie Garwood
Medieval
1992

Dream Man

Linda Howard
Romantic Suspense
1995

Heaven, Texas

Susan E. Phillips
Contemporary
1995

MacKenzie’s Mountain

Linda Howard
Series/Category
1989

As You Desire

Connie Brockway
Historical
1997

This Heart of Mine

Susan E. Phillips
Contemporary
2001

More than a Mistress

Mary Balogh
European Historical
2000

The Rake

Mary Jo Putney
European Historical
1998

Slave To Sensation

Nalini Singh
Paranormal
2006

Love in the Afternoon

Lisa Kleypas
European Historical
2010

The Last Hellion

Loretta Chase
European Historical
1998

Ravished

Amanda Quick
European Historical
1992

The Forbidden Rose

Joanna Bourne
European Historical
2010

When Beauty Tamed the Beast

Eloisa James
European Historical
2011

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake

Sarah MacLean
European Historical
2010

Then Came You

Lisa Kleypas
European Historical
1993

See Jane Score

Rachel Gibson
Contemporary
2003

A Lady Awakened

Cecilia Grant
European Historical
2012

The Duke of Shadows

Meredith Duran
European Historical
2008

And Then He Kissed Her

Laura Lee Guhrke
European Historical
2007

Cry No More

Linda Howard
Romantic Suspense
2003

Bound By Your Touch

Meredith Duran
European Historical
2009

After The Night

Linda Howard

Contemporary

1995

Frederica

Georgette Heyer
Classic Fiction
1965

Perfect

Judith McNaught
Contemporary
1993

Open Season

Linda Howard
Romantic Suspense
2001

Honor’s Splendour

Julie Garwood
Medieval
1987

My Dearest Enemy

Connie Brockway
European Historical
1998

Ransom

Julie Garwood
Medieval
1999

Unveiled

Courtney Milan
European Historical
2011

The Iron Duke

Meljean Brook
Steampunk
2010

To Beguile A Beast

Elizabeth Hoyt
European Historical
2009

Dream A Little Dream

Susan E. Phillips
Contemporary
1998

Suddenly You

Lisa Kleypas
European Historical
2001

Something Wonderful

Judith McNaught
European Historical
1988

The Secret Pearl

Mary Balogh
European Historical
1991

An Offer From a Gentleman

Julia Quinn
European Historical
2001

Sugar Daddy

Lisa Kleypas
Women’s Fiction
2007

Secrets of a Summer Night

Lisa Kleypas
European Historical
2004

The Shadow and The Star

Laura Kinsale
Historical
1991

The Governess Affair

Courtney Milan
European Historical
2012

His at Night

Sherry Thomas
European Historical
2010

For My Lady’s Heart

Laura Kinsale
Medieval Romance
1993

To Have and To Hold

Patricia Gaffney
European Historical
1995

Mine Till Midnight

Lisa Kleypas
European Historical
2007

Simply Love

Mary Balogh
European Historical
2006

Rising Tides

Nora Roberts
Contemporary
1998

Almost Heaven

Judith McNaught
European Historical
1990

A Hunger Like No Other

Kresley Cole
Paranormal Romance
2009

Lady Sophia’s Lover

Lisa Kleypas
European Historical
2002

Natural Born Charmer

Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Contemporary
2007

The Grand Sophy

Georgette Heyer
Classic Fiction
1950

Whitney, My Love

Judith McNaught
European Historical
1985

Sylvester

Georgette Heyer
Classic Fiction
1957

The Top 100 Romance Books as Voted in 2013

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.

Rank Top 15 2013 Rank Top 15 2010 Rank Top 15 2007 Rank Top 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.

Results of our 2010 Top 100 Romances Poll

Results of our 2007 Top 100 Romances Poll

Results of our 2004 Top 100 Romances Poll

Results of our 2000 Top 100 Romances Poll

Results of our 1998 Top 100 Romances Poll