My continued commentary about the results of AAR’s Top 100 poll.
11. Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase
European historical published in 2005.
I think I’ve read this one. Maybe? If I can’t remember it, I probably wouldn’t have included it on my ballot. Frankly, I don’t get the Chase love. It’s rather like the Gabaldon love in some ways — other people adore her writing, but it doesn’t really stand out to me.
12. Romancing Mr. Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
European historical published in 2002.
This is Colin’s romance with Penelope, yes? I remember enjoying it. It may have been the last good Bridgerton book for me.
13. Paradise by Judith McNaught
Contemporary published in 1991.
Oh, I remember this book! It’s a complete soap opera! I read it on a McNaught binge during the summer of my freshman year of college while I was laid up with acute appendicitis. Absolutely loved it with all my teenaged heart. Not sure if it would stand the test of time though.
14. Lord Perfect by Loretta Chase
European historical published in 2006.
Haven’t read it, not inclined to do so.
15. It Had to Be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Contemporary published in 1994.
This was perhaps the second SEP book I read, the first being Hot Shots, which I loved. Loved this one, too, although upon reflection some of the things I thought were so awesome about the book (heroine owning her sexuality and image) seem less so. What I mean is, as much as I appreciate Phoebe’s manipulation of stereotypes to her advantage, the near-virgin heroine seems like a genre romance cliche: she owns her sexuality but only to a certain degree, otherwise it she has to fit in genre parameters and true promiscuity (a word that I don’t use pejoratively) would not be acceptable.
16. Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
Contemporary published in 2004.
Love this book. I would be on my list. Maybe in my top 10 but definitely the top 20.
17. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
European historical published in 2000.
Read this one after The Viscount Who Loved Me, although it was published first. One scene toward the end made it a total wallbanger for me.
18. Not Quite A Husband by Sherry Thomas
European historical published in 2009.
Have not read it. It’s on the TBR, I think.
19. The Bride by Julie Garwood
Medieval published in 1999.
I’ve probably read this one, since I glommed her early in my romance reading career. Her medievals are all pretty interchangeable for me, I think. Haven’t read anything she’s put out in the last 5 years at least, though, since her transition to contemporaries and suspense did not intrigue me.
20. The Spymaster’s Lady by Joanna Bourne
European historical published in 2008.This book had some pretty prose, I think, but the plot was a bit much for me. Think I read the follow up book, but not Bourne’s more recent offering.
On the whole, more European historicals, and only two books I would put on my list of favorites or keepers.