Special Title Listings: A Little More Information Please

library-2 Since reopening the Special Title Listings we have learned many things but the prevalent realization was that unless we had read the book in question, we had to do some serious investigating to ensure the titles submitted fit the definition of the category. Some categories are easy – Unusual Professions would be a category where we could find reviews that would let us know the occupations of the protagonists if our readers forgot to put in the information.

Meanwhile, a category like (Not Your Usual) Conflict could potentially take many hours to vet just one title if we have not read the book in question. With this in mind, we’ve decided to ask you to help us by changing up how we get information about titles for certain categories. Since the titles you would put up for contention are books you have loved, then you would be the best person to give us the information we need in order for us to make decisions in a more timely matter.

Keeping this in mind, we are opening up 3 categories and creating 1 new one:

Opposites Attract

(Not Your Usual) Conflict

Unusual Professions

Met as Children

Opposites Attract is a category easily defined: Found here are couples that no one would think would be good together – yet they are. Their diverse personalities, ideas, and tastes converge to make their love life even more interesting. To help us with this category, we would like for you to tell us how the H/H are opposite when filling out your picks. For example, a free-spirit falling in love with an organized person or a chatty person with a quiet, reserved person. As the list sits now, there are no qualifiers and we will continue this so the information will be strictly for us in case one of us has not read the book.

The second category we are opening up for your submissions is (Not Your Usual) Conflict. The original list took a year to compile and even then, the editors of the lists were clear that what resulted wasn’t perfect. (NYU)C further complicates the matter as the list is divided into two subsets, Intra-Character conflict and External Conflict. When this category was first opened, there were many books in the romance genre that had ‘I love you, I hate you’ kind of conflicts. This type of romance book has fallen out of favor but we know AAR readers want this category opened up and we are going to let you show us how this list might change or remain the same. With this in mind, if we haven’t read the book in question we would have no way to understand the conflict or how it fits into the sub-categories.

So, for (Not Your Unusual) Conflict we would like to you tell us 1) what the conflict is and 2) which subset the book should be considered for, Intra-character or External conflict. Again, not all titles submitted can make the cut but by having more information about the book, it is more likely to find the right place on the list.

Unusual Profession is very self explanatory but we would appreciate you listing the job as this list does post that information and it will be interesting to see what we think are unusual jobs today.

Met as Children is a completely new list and has been assembled partially from the titles that you, our readers, listed on the boards: “Romances Where Hero Heroine Knew Each Other as Children” some weeks back. You were so enthusiastic about the topic and mentioned such a high number of books that we thought it would be a great idea to create a new list and thus make the information easily accessible for all. Just now the list exclusively consists of the titles you listed originally, but we are hoping for more suggestions as we are publishing it.

There may be overlaps with a number of other lists: Friendship, Guardian/Ward Romances, Best Enemies, and Unrequited Love. But not all romances on these lists have the protagonists meet as children, and so we thought it well worth to create a new list which concentrated on that element, especially as the readers expressed such an interest in it.

We had to make up our minds what age the protagonists would have to be to make them eligible for this list. In the end, we decided that either hero or heroine, or both, would have to be younger than the end of puberty to make it onto this list. That’s a fairly vague demarcation, but it seems more promising than tying everything to a specific age. We also agreed that romances in which just one character is still a child should be included.

In spite of doing quite of bit of research on the titles that were listed on the boards, we have not been able to come up with the necessary information we need to include every book listed. If you own or have read One Sinful Night by Kaitlin O’Riley, could you tell us a little more about it so that we can see if it fits the Met as Children category? Thank you for assistance!

Now we are looking forward to further recommendations from you! You will find the submission ballot here.

LinnieGayl Kimmel, Cindy Smith, and Rike Horstmann

4 thoughts on “Special Title Listings: A Little More Information Please

  1. (Not Your Usual) Conflict :
    In Nora Robert’s born in fire, Maggie Concannon is a glassmaker

    • Born in Fire would also fit into the Opposites Attract category wouldn’t it? As I recall Maggie just can’t be bothered with business type stuff at all, isn’t interested in promoting her work and just wants to get on with the actual creation. She’s a hoot. The hero, whose name currently escapes me, is very business oriented, very organised, totally into promoting Maggie’s work and perhaps a little buttoned up. I notice this pairing of complementary opposites quite a bit in Roberts’ writing. Very apparent in the last of the Boonboro trilogy.

  2. My mind goes blank when questions like this come up — but how about Nora Roberts Northern Lights–forget heroine’s first name but she’s a bush pilot, which seems unusual for any sex. That’s it for now–

  3. “Castaway Dreams” by Darlene Marshall is a classic example of opposites attracting. He is a crusty ship’s doctor, all business and very driven. She is an absolute ornament, who has never had to think on her own or make any decision more important than what to wear. She sounds dull and I thought she would bore me but she has a heart of gold and a lot of fortitude. She is not spunky, she discovers she just wants to be useful. The doctor fights the attraction but of course, being marooned on an island, nature takes it’s course. Darlene Marshall is my favorite new (to me) author from last year. This was a very moving, and often funny book.

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