Sunday 20 October 2013

Upon request: My top 100 romances

Every three years or so, romance review site All About Romance extraordinaire asks its reviewers and readers to submit their top 100 romances. At the point of writing this, there are three days left to submit your choices for this year's poll, if you are so inclined. I've already sent in mine. When they last did their poll, in 2010, I also submitted a list, but thanks to the tragic harddrive crash of about two years ago, I've lost the document and no longer have any idea what was on it. So I had to make a new list (yeah, terrible that). Going through Goodreads for my top rated romance novels, I made a massive list, and then had to go about trying to rank the books up against each other. If I made the list today, several choices would probably be different. The top 20 or so are pretty fixed, though. On the request of a few people, I now make the list available here.

  1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  2. Venetia by Georgette Heyer
  3. Unraveled by Courtney Milan
  4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  5. Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
  6. The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
  7. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  8. Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale
  9. Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie
  10. The Last Hellion by Loretta Chase
  11. A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare
  12. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
  13. Captives of the Night by Loretta Chase
  14. The Black Hawk by Joanna Bourne
  15. What I Did for a Duke by Julie Anne Long
  16. A Kiss for Midwinter by Courtney Milan
  17. Heart of Steel by Meljean Brook
  18. Devil's Cub by Georgette Heyer
  19. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  20. Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
  21. The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
  22. Frederica by Georgette Heyer
  23. An Offer from a Gentleman by Julia Quinn
  24. Tempt Me at Twilight by Lisa Kleypas
  25. What Happens in London by Julia Quinn
  26. Your Scandalous Ways by Loretta Chase
  27. A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah Maclean
  28. The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
  29. The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan
  30. Bound by Your Touch by Meredith Duran
  31. His at Night by Sherry Thomas
  32. Sylvester by Georgette Heyer
  33. Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters
  34. Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare
  35. I Kissed An Earl by Julie Anne Long
  36. The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn
  37. Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas (Currently number 2 in the AAR poll)
  38. Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase
  39. Written on Your Skin by Meredith Duran
  40. Ten Things I Love About You by Julia Quinn
  41. Faro's Daughter by Georgette Heyer
  42. It Happened One Midnight by Julie Anne Long
  43. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
  44. Black Sheep by Georgette Heyer
  45. Unveiled by Courtney Milan
  46. Wicked Becomes You by Meredith Duran
  47. One Good Earl Deserves A Lover by Sarah Maclean
  48. The Chocolate Kiss by Laura Florand
  49. Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas
  50. The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright by Tessa Dare
  51. Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah Maclean
  52. Something About You by Julie James
  53. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  54. Dare You To by Katie McGarry
  55. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
  56. Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas
  57. A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare
  58. Not Quite a Husband by Sherry Thomas
  59. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase (Currently number 1 on the AAR poll)
  60. Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas
  61. It's in His Kiss by Julia Quinn
  62. Three Nights with a Scoundrel by Tessa Dare
  63. Unclaimed by Courtney Milan
  64. Riveted by Meljean Brook
  65. The Perils of Pleasure by Julie Anne Long
  66. Lord Perfect by Loretta Chase
  67. The Duchess War by Courtney Milan
  68. How to Marry a Marquis by Julia Quinn
  69. Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas (Currently number 3 on the AAR poll)
  70. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  71. The Chocolate Thief by Laura Florand
  72. Love Irresistibly by Julie James
  73. A Lady's Lesson in Scandal by Meredith Duran
  74. To Love a Thief by Julie Anne Long
  75. Naked in Death by J.D. Robb
  76. Slightly Dangerous by Mary Balogh
  77. Scandal in Spring by Lisa Kleypas
  78. The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook
  79. One Night in London by Caroline Linden
  80. Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart by Sarah Maclean
  81. Like No Other Lover by Julie Anne Long
  82. Romancing Mr. Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
  83. This Duchess of Mine by Eloisa James
  84. And Then He Kissed Her by Laura Lee Guhrke
  85. Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas
  86. About Last Night by Ruthie Knox
  87. Last Night's Scandal by Loretta Chase
  88. Yours to Keep by Shannon Stacey
  89. Busman's Honeymoon by Dorothy L. Sayers
  90. Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer
  91. Wallbanger by Alice Clayton
  92. Angel's Blood by Nalini Singh
  93. Never Lie to a Lady by Liz Carlyle
  94. The Forbidden Rose by Joanna Bourne
  95. Emma by Jane Austen
  96. Not Quite a Lady by Loretta Chase
  97. The Lost Duke of Wyndham by Julia Quinn
  98. The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James
  99. The Chocolate Touch by Laura Florand
  100. Your Wicked Heart by Meredith Duran


  1. You ranked Bourne above Cross? Seriously?

  2. Well, technically I rated Penelope over Pippa. Having reread them both, I find Penelope and Bourne's romance on the whole more satisfying than Cross and Pippa's, mainly because Cross, while so tormented and geeky, also gets on my nerves with his needless wallowing about his guilt and deep dark past. Bourne's a dick, but he's not actually all that tormented about it, so I found that book more fun over all. I don't just rate romances based on protagonists, but the overall reading satisfaction I get from the story.

  3. Thanks for the great list! Surprisingly there are quite a few from this list that I haven't had the opportunity to read... I guess I had better get moving! If you ever want to check out a great historical fiction, you should read "A Thousand Years of Johnny Von" newly out by Edith M. Cortese. The historical love stories are weaved with the main character's present day experiences. It is a fun heartfelt story that I think most people would really enjoy!

  4. Totally fabulous list, Ashley. I agree :}. Your book recommend sounds great. Thanks!

  5. Thanks Amanda! I hope you get a chance to check it out, and that you love it as much as I did!

  6. How am I just finding this fantastic list! Our top 20 definitely are in staunch agreement - thrilled to see so much Heyer here (je adore). Also so many I haven't read and thus bookmarking this for future ideas!

    1. Well, it is from 2013. I haven't looked at it myself in quite a while. I suspect that I should update it, I have after all read many romances since then and some very much deserve to be on here.

  7. Have you read any novel by Stephanie Laurens?

    1. Only The Promise in a Kiss. It didn't convince me to rush out and read more.

  8. Can you make a list of your favorite heroes & heroines? Favorite couples?