Top 100 Romances Poll for 2000
As Determined by AAR's Readers in November 2000

Introduction | Initial Analysis | Results | Further Analysis

Introduction:

Below you'll find the results of our re-poll for your top 100 romances. AAR pollster Shelley Dodge first conducted this poll in 1998, and it was very successful. So important were these results that they were referenced in the book About the Author (of the pages devoted to romance novels, only two organizations were referenced - one was RWA and the other was AAR.) In fact, they reprinted the top 25 titles of our list in the book itself.

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The results from this re-poll are markedly different from the initial poll in 1998, for a variety of reasons. For one thing, those voting this year were asked to rank the titles submitted. For another, as if often the case when polling, newer titles that are fresher in readers' minds often end up doing quite well in comparison with titles by authors who have perhaps fallen out of favor with readers.

More than 1,300 titles were submitted this year, which is actually a lesser number of titles submitted back in 1998, when Shelley received closer to 1,800. However, the total number of "votes" received this time around was markedly higher - 60% more "votes" were received this year.

Initial Analysis:

As Shelley and I spend more time looking at the results, we'll have additional analysis for you, but here are some items of interest:

  • In 1998, Jude Deveraux's A Knight in Shining Armor took top honors. In 2000, Loretta Chase's Lord of Scoundrels was on top while KISA fell to 16th place.

  • Linda Howard and Suzanne Brockmann are the only authors with series titles in the top 100. Both also had single titles in the top 100 as well, of course. Howard landed seven titles in the top 100. Brockmann, who didn't make the list at all in 1998, had five titles in this year's list.

  • Catherine Coulter and Elizabeth Lowell, both represented in the earlier list, did not make the cut this time around. Conversely, Stephanie Laurens and Jennifer Crusie, both represented in this year's list, were not on 1998's list. Georgette Heyer and Patricia Gaffney, also not on our earlier list, made strong showings this time around - Heyer had four titles on the list and Gaffney had three.

  • Julie Garwood had eight titles on this year's list, making her the author most represented. Tied with Linda Howard for second place was Judith McNaught - both had seven titles. Mary Jo Putney had six titles on this year's list; she had four titles in 1998. Susan Elizabeth Phillips appears six times this year; she appeared five times in 1998. Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb also appears six times while Jayne Ann Krentz not appear at all, although Amanda Quick does appear three times. Mary Balogh appears four times, as does Diana Gabaldon.

  • Of the authors most represented, such as Garwood, Howard, and McNaught, only Howard has new/newer titles on the list. The latest titles for Garwood and McNaught were published in 1993. For Howard, her newest release is reflected on the list, as are titles from later in the 1990's than was the case for Garwood and McNaught.

  • It's possible that Nora Roberts aka J.D. Robb, who had ten titles on 1998's list, appeared less often this time around because she, in effect, cancelled herself out by virtue of her lengthy backlist. Two of her most recent releases did make the cut. As for Krentz/Quick, who had seven titles in the 1998 poll, something else might have entered the picture. Her longevity may have worked against her, as well as the high "comfort factor" of her writing. When was the last book she wrote that knocked one out of the park?

  • Jude Deveraux, who had seven titles in our earlier poll, only had two titles in this year's poll. Frankly, I don't know what to make about the "fall of KISA," but know it has also been quite some time since she's had a book truly resonate with readers.

  • How much bias AAR's readership carries over from the content at the site is up for debate. Deborah Simmons made it onto the list this year, and though a personal favorite for many of our reviewers, her allure apparently continues to elude the publishing industry. Authors well represented on our Desert Isle Keeper page, which has grown tremendously since our first poll, did remarkably well in this year's poll, including Mary Balogh, Suzanne Brockmann, Patricia Gaffney, and Georgette Heyer, whom we also featured earlier this year in an issue of ATBF. Julia Quinn, an early AAR supporter who wrote a guest column for us a couple of years ago, had three titles make the list, two of which were awarded DIK status.

  • Comparing the authors shown on this year's list against authors who have most often received DIK Status, some surprises do appear. Barbara Samuel/Ruth Wind, who has received DIK status seven times, did not make the top 100. Lorraine Heath, who has received DIK Status five times, did not make the top 100 either. Other multi-DIK'd authors who failed to show here include Susan Andersen, Justine Davis/Dare, Christina Dodd, Anne Stuart, Kathleen Eagle, as well as Catherine Coulter and Elizabeth Lowell, as previously mentioned.

  • Roughly two-thirds of the titles on this year's list received DIK status. 60% of the titles listed are historicals, Regencies, or classics. That's fairly similar to our 1998 poll. FYI, we've classified Georgette Heyer's titles as "classics."

Results:

Top 100 Romances from 2000 Poll
1.
Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase - Historical
2.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon - Time Travel
3.
Mackenzie's Mountain by Linda Howard - Series/Contemporary
4.
Flowers From the Storm by Laura Kinsale - Historical
5.
Devil's Bride by Stephanie Laurens - Historical
6.
Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas - Historical
7.
It Had To Be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips - Contemporary
8.
Heaven, Texas by Susan Elizabeth Phillips - Contemporary
9.
Shattered Rainbows by Mary Jo Putney - Historical
10.
The Shadow & the Star by Laura Kinsale - Historical
11.
The Bride by Julie Garwood - Historical
12.
Nobody's Baby But Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips - Contemporary
13.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - Classic
14.
One Perfect Rose by Mary Jo Putney - Histiorical
15.
The Rake by Mary Jo Putney - Historical
16.
A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux - Time Travel
17.
The Proposition by Judith Ivory - Historical
18.
Thunder and Roses by Mary Jo Putney - History
19.
Dream Man by Linda Howard - Romantic Suspense
20.
The Secret by Julie Garwood - Historical
21.
Kiss An Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips - Contemporary
22.
Paradise by Judith McNaught - Contemporary
23.
A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught - Historical
24.
Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught - Historical
25.
The Duke and I by Julia Quinn - Historical
26.
Lady be Good by Susan Elizabeth Phillips - Contemporary
27.
To Love and to Cherish by Patricia Gaffney - Historical
28.
Dragonfly In Amber by Diana Gabaldon - Time Travel
29.
How to Marry a Marquis by Julia Quinn - Historical
30.
Prince Joe by Suzanne Brockmann - Series/Contemporary
31.
After the Night by Linda Howard - Contemporary
32.
Naked In Death by J. D. Robb - Futuristic Romantic Suspense
33.
Ravished by Amanda Quick - Historical
34.
Saving Grace by Julie Garwood - Historical
35.
Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught - Historical
36.
My Lady Notorious by Jo Beverley - Historical
37.
As You Desire by Connie Brockway - Historical
38.
To Have and to Hold by Patricia Gaffney - Historical
39.
Castles by Julie Garwood - Historical
40.
A Precious Jewel by Mary Balogh - Regency
41.
My Darling Caroline by Adele Ashworth - Historical
42.
Born In Ice by Nora Roberts - Contemporary
43.
Voyager by Diana Gabaldon - Time Travel
44.
Knight of a Trillion Stars by Dara Joy - Futuristic
45.
Once and Always by Judith McNaught - Historical
46.
Lord Carew's Bride by Mary Balogh - Regency
47.
Dream A Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips - Contemporary
48.
Mackenzie's Pleasure by Linda Howard - Series/Contemporary
49.
Something Wonderful by Judith McNaught - Historical
50.
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell - Classic
51.
Splendid by Julia Quinn - Historical
52.
Sweet Liar by Jude Deveraux - Contemporary
53.
The Windflower by Laura London - Historical
54.
Beast by Judith Ivory - Historical
55.
Sea Swept by Nora Roberts - Contemporary
56.
The Prize by Julie Garwood - Historical
57.
The Gift by Julie Garwood - Historical
58.
Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie - Romantic Suspense
59.
Where Dreams Begin by Lisa Kleypas - Historical
60.
The Famous Heroine by Mary Balogh - Regency
61.
Bewitching by Jill Barnett - Paranormal/Historical
62.
Perfect by Judith McNaught - Contemporary
63.
These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer - Classic
64.
Heartthrob by Suzanne Brockmann - Contemporary
65.
Get Lucky by Suzanne Brockmann - Series/Contemporary
66.
Truly, Madly Yours by Rachel Gibson - Contemporary
67.
My Dearest Enemy by Connie Brockway - Historical
68.
Devil's Cub by Georgette Heyer - Classic
69.
Crazy for You by Jennifer Crusie - Contemporary
70.
The Vicar's Daughter by Deborah Simmons - Historical
71.
The Wolf & the Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss - Historical
72.
Born In Fire by Nora Roberts - Contemporary
73.
Wild at Heart by Patricia Gaffney - Historical
74.
Honor's Splendor by Julie Garwood - Historical
75.
This is All I Ask by Lynn Kurland - Historical
76.
The Flame & the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss - Historical
77.
Rendezvous by Amanda Quick - Historical
78.
The Last Hellion by Loretta Chase - Historical
79.
Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard - Contemporary
80.
Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon - Time Travel
81.
Mrs. Drew Plays her Hand by Carla Kelly - Regency
82.
Mine to Take by Dara Joy - Paranormal
83.
The Unsung Hero by Suzanne Brockmann - Contemporary
84.
Dancing on the Wind by Mary Jo Putney - Historical
85.
Lion's Lady by Julie Garwood - Historical
86.
Then Came You by Lisa Kleypas - Historical
87.
Son of the Morning by Linda Howard - Time Travel
88.
Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts - Contemporary
89.
The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer - Classic
90.
Mackenzie's Mission by Linda Howard - Series/Contemporary
91.
Angel Rogue by Mary Jo Putney - Historical
92.
The Secret Pearl by Mary Balogh - Regency
93.
Tears of the Moon by Nora Roberts - Contemporary
94.
Sleeping Beauty by Judith Ivory - Historical
95.
Scandal by Amanda Quick - Historical
96.
Venetia by Georgette Heyer - Classic
97.
My Sweet Folly by Laura Kinsale - Historical
98.
Devilish by Jo Beverley - Historical
99.
The Admiral's Bride by Suzanne Brockmann - Series/Contemporary
100.
Jackson Rule by Dinah McCall - Contemporary

Further Analysis:

As promised, Shelley has gone back and re-sorted her database so that we can present a "different" look at the results of our Top 100 Romances poll.

Shelley broke the results down by the authors who had the most individual votes. What you'll find below is a table that includes, by order of individual votes received, authors and the number of titles submitted by readers in the poll. Please remember that since the poll's results were weighted, a simple count of number of votes received does not tell the story - the rankings of the titles by individual voters is what counted in the final analysis.

Author
# of Votes
# of Titles
Nora Roberts
202
58
Linda Howard
190
24
Mary Jo Putney
188
21
Julie Garwood
183
19
Mary Balogh
166
41
Susan Elizabeth Phillips
151
10
Georgette Heyer
138
34
Judith McNaught
124
13
Amanda Quick
106
14
Suzanne Brockmann
98
19
Jo Beverley
93
18
Laura Kinsale
91
10
Jayne Ann Krentz
89
34
Jude Deveraux
85
25
Julia Quinn
78
8
Lisa Kleypas
76
10
Jennifer Crusie
75
11
Loretta Chase
71
9
Carla Kelly
70
14
Johanna Lindsey
64
28
Diana Gabaldon
62
4
Patricia Gaffney
61
12
Connie Brockway
58
9
J.D. Robb
58
8
Stephanie Laurens
54
6

Shelley has some additional analysis you'll find interesting:

  • Loretta Chase and Lord of Scoundrels - though this author received a relatively low number of votes (71) spread among 9 titles, her Lord of Scoundrels was at or near the top of most lists received.

  • Diana Gabaldon - of her four works of fiction, all four made the list.

  • Stephanie Laurens and Devil's Bride - this "sleeper" title was ranked high on many lists received.

  • Pride and Prejudice accounted for a majority of the votes Jane Austen's titles received. Even though the total amount of votes she received was comparatively low, this title ranked in the top ten for a good number of readers, and more than a few ranked it number one. It ended in the #13 spot on our list.

  • The same can be said for Dinah McCall's Jackson Rule, which ranked in the final position of our Top 100. Although her total number of votes was low by comparison, the number of votes she received for this title allowed her to make the list.

  • Teresa Medeiros did not make the list, disappointing more than one of AAR's staff. She received 36 votes spread among 14 titles.

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Results of our 2007 Top 100 Romances Poll
Results of our 2004 Top 100 Romances Poll
Results of our 1998 Top 100 Romances Poll



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