AAR Mini-Polls: Top Tens

Top Ten Straight Contemporary Titles

June 4, 2008

1Bet Me2004Jennifer Crusie
2See Jane Score2003Rachel Gibson
3Welcome to Temptation2000Jennifer Crusie
4Born in Fire1994Nora Roberts
5Sea Swept1998Nora Roberts
6It Had To Be You1994SEP
7Nobody’s Baby But Mine1997SEP
8Heaven, Texas1995SEP
9Match Me If You Can2005SEP
10Take a Chance on Me2003Susan Donovan

We often see threads on the AAR boards asking for recommendations for contemporary romances with no romantic suspense thread; hence was born the idea for this mini-poll. Your top ten Contemporary Romances with no Suspense Thread include both funny and more serious romances. Only five of the top ten were published in 2000 or later, and no books published in 2006 through 2008 made it into the top ten.

Jennifer Crusie’s Bet Me took first place in the contemporary with no suspense mini-poll. In the 2007 Top 100 Poll, this 2004 release ended up in 8th place. The book garnered multiple awards in the AAR Annual Poll, including Best Romance, Favorite Funny, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Chick Lit/Women’s Fiction. Min Dobbs was named the Best Heroine of 2004, while Min and Cal were named Best Couple.

In second place is Rachel Gibson’s See Jane Score. This book earned Desert Isle Keeper (DIK) status at AAR, placed 67th in the 2007 Top 100 Poll, and was voted the Best Contemporary Romance in the AAR Annual Poll.


In addition to Bet Me, Cruise’s 2000 release – Welcome to Temptation – landed in third place. This title was in 9th place in the 2007 Top 100 Poll, as well as receiving honorable mentions in the Annual Reader’s Poll for Favorite Romance and Favorite Funny. Both Crusie books received “A” level grades at AAR.

Nora Roberts’ 1994 release Born In Fire, the story of glass blower Margaret Mary Concannon, placed 4th in the mini-poll. It was your 57th favorite in the 2007 Top 100 Poll. Following right behind, in 5th place, is another Roberts title – Sea Swept. This 1998 was voted the Favorite Romance of the year in the AAR Annual Poll. It also received Honorable Mention as the Favorite Contemporary, while Anna Spinelli was named the Favorite Heroine. Both books earned DIK status at AAR.

Susan Elizabeth Phillips placed four Chicago Stars’ books in your top ten. SEP’s It Had to Be You was her highest ranked book – in sixth place, followed by Nobody’s Baby But Mine, Heaven, Texas, and Match Me If You Can. That last title was named the Favorite Funny and the Best Contemporary Romance in the AAR Annual Reader’s Poll. Nobody’s Baby But Mine – a 1997 release – was named the Favorite Romance, Favorite Funny, and Favorite Contemporary Romance in the AAR Annual Reader’s Poll. The other two SEP titles were published prior to AAR’s existence, but all four earned DIK status at AAR.

In tenth place is Susan Donovan’s 2003 release, Take a Chance on Me. This book is the only one of the contemporary romances that did not place in the Top 100 in 2007. However, it was named Favorite Funny in the AAR Annual Reader Poll. As with the other nine titles in this mini-poll, Donovan’s book also earned DIK status.

Lee Brewer, LinnieGayl, and Cindy Smith


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