AAR’s 2007 Top 100 Romances Poll

13 Nov

AAR’s 2007 Top 100 Romances Poll is in and I thought it would be interesting to see how many novels on the list I had read and which one would probably be on my list.

Short version:

  • I read 55 of the novels on the list
  • 13 would be on my list
  • I would think about 5
  • I read 7 of the novels in the top ten
  • I heard about / knew every novel on the list

Novels I read and would put on the list, too:

  • Flowers From the Storm – Laura Kinsale (5)
    for the writing and the story
  • A Summer To Remember – Mary Balogh (20)
    my first Balogh and I liked it very much
  • Son of the Morning – Linda Howard (29)
    This one worked for me despite the funky research and time-travelling
  • Lover Eternal – J. R. Ward (30)
    This is the one BDB novel where I overlook the writing problems. I just plain enjoyed its over-the-top-ness so much.
  • To Have and To Hold – Patricia Gaffney (34)
    yes
  • The Shadow and the Star – Laura Kinsale (37)
    Yes; see above (5)
  • Untie My Heart – Judith Ivory (66)
    yes
  • Dream a Little Dream – Susan E. Phillips (76)
    I remember the story! And see – it would be on my list.
  • Passion – Lisa Valdez (78)
    yes
  • Morning Glory – LaVyrle Spencer (81)
    yes
  • Where Dreams Begin – Lisa Kleypas (85)
    yes
  • For My Lady’s Heart – Laura Kinsale (89)
    Yes; especially for the chances she took with Middle English.
  • Ain’t She Sweet? – Susan E. Phillips (97)
    I remember the story. On the list especially for the chances she took with the heroine.

The reasons why these novels would be on my list are not the same for each novel there. Overall, it depends on craft, story and my reading enjoyment. One of the reasons might be more important than the others for one novel but the other reasons are still present as well.

Novels I’m not sure about:

  • Bet Me – Jennifer Crusie (8)
    I like all of Crusie’s novels but I’m not sure I would have chosen this one.
  • Welcome to Temptation – Jennifer Crusie (9)
    see above (8)
  • The Viscount Who Loved Me – Julia Quinn (10)
    I enjoyed this novel very much up until they married, then there was some kind of cut for me so I’m not sure I would have put it on my list.
  • When He Was Wicked – Julia Quinn (53)
    took some chances, probably on the list.
  • The Rake – Mary Jo Putney (68)
    not sure but it’s an “issue”-novel so chances are good.

Novels I read which wouldn’t make it on my list:

  • Lord of Scoundrels – Loretta Chase (1)
    I read this one, and for the life of me, I can’t understand its appeal. I thought it okay, nothing more.
  • Dreaming of You – Lisa Kleypas (2)
    Again, can’t understand its appeal. It’s good but nothing extraordinary.
  • Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen (3)
    It’s a classic so I wouldn’t consider it for such a poll. How to compare it?
  • Outlander – Diana Gabaldon (4)
    I liked it enough to get the other novels (2-4) but not enough to get it on my list. And really, it should have been a stand-alone.
  • Lover Awakened – J. R. Ward (11)
    The BDB novels have some annoying things in it so I wouldn’t choose this one.
  • Romancing Mr. Bridgerton – Julia Quinn (16)
    I liked it but not enough to get it on a list.
  • The Bride – Julie Garwood (17)
    No way.
  • Naked in Death – J. D. Robb (19)
    I didn’t get the other novels in this series.
  • Nobody’s Baby But Mine – Susan E. Phillips (21)
    I know I read it but I can’t remember the story – so no.
  • Dream Man – Linda Howard (22)
    No, not really.
  • The Raven Prince – Elizabeth Hoyt (23)
    It was okay but I not good enough to put it on my list.
  • Paradise – Judith McNaught (24)
    I liked it but it’s too “old-school.”
  • As You Desire – Connie Brockway (25)
    I tried three novels by Brockway, not one worked.
  • Dark Lover – J. R. Ward (27)
    see above (11)
  • The Secret – Julie Garwood (28)
    I read three Garwood novels. I think this is the one I liked best but that’s still far from getting on the list.
  • Devil’s Bride – Stephanie Laurens (31)
    Again, as with LOS, I don’t understand its appeal.
  • A Knight In Shining Armor (32)
    No. (what a heroine!).
  • Heaven, Texas – Susan E. Phillips (33)
    Don’t remember much. Is this the one where the hero’s name is Bobby?
  • Match Me If You Can – Susan E. Phillips (36)
    It’s the novel I liked least by Phillips.
  • A Kingdom of Dreams – Judith McNaught (39)
    The perfect heroine set my teeth on edge.
  • This Heart of Mine – Susan Elizabeth Phillips (46)
    Read it, can’t remember which story goes with it.
  • The Proposition – Judith Ivory (49)
    I like Ivory’s novels but I don’t think I would choose this one.
  • Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte (52)
    classic, see above (3)
  • Persuasion – Jane Austen (54)
    classic, see above (3)
  • Born In Fire – Nora Roberts (57)
    Liked it but not enough that I would put it on my list.
  • Thunder and Roses – Mary Jo Putney (58)
    Liked it but not enough that I would put it on my list.
  • After the Night – Linda Howard (61)
    There are some memorable scenes there but overall it just didn’t work.
  • The Secret Pearl – Mary Balogh (63)
    I thought the writing jarring and I could see the “solution” coming from the start.
  • Dragonfly In Amber – Diana Gabaldon (69)
    The first one was good. The others have “series-syndrome.”
  • Perfect – Judith McNaught (70)
    Liked it but it’s just too “old-school.”
  • Shattered Rainbows – Mary Jo Putney (74)
    With any other second half, I’m sure this would be on my list.
  • Voyager – Diana Gabaldon (79)
    The first one was good. The others have “series-syndrome.”
  • My Dearest Enemy – Connie <Brockway (84)
    I couldn’t get into Brockway’s writing.
  • Anyone but you – Jennifer Crusie (88)
    Liked it but not enough to put it on my list.
  • Lover Revealed – J. R. Ward (91)
    see above (11)
  • Born In Ice – Nora Roberts (93)
    Liked it but not enough that I would put it on my list.
  • Slave To Sensation – Nalini Singh (100)
    Liked it but not enough that I would put it on my list.

Some novels I would put on my list:

  • novels by Linnea Sinclair; especially Gabriel’s Ghost
  • Sharon Shinn’s Archangel
  • Judith Ivory’s Black Silk
  • Hope Tarr’s Vanquished
  • novels by Penelope Williamson, Candice Proctor

Some thoughts about the list:
– who votes?
– former polls probably influence the current one (titles already on a list are not as easily “forgotten”)
– out of print titles (I could never vote for the oop novel The Windflower [75])
– current titles are more easily remembered

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