"The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie" took the top slot in two different polls so far, which is kind of fun since it was my pick for the year. It took first not only on the Eloisa James/Julia Quinn board (which tends toward historicals), but also on the AAR poll.
The Eloisa James/Julia Quinn BBers Top Ten Romance Novels of 2009:
1. The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, Jennifer Ashley
2. A Duke of Her Own, Eloisa James
3. To Beguile a Beast, Elizabeth Hoyt
What Happens in London – Julia Quinn
Not Quite a Husband – Sherry Thomas
4. Goddess of the Hunt-Tessa Dare
This Duchess of Mine – Eloisa James
Tempt Me at Twilight – Lisa Kleypas
5. Smooth Talking Stranger - Lisa Kleypas
6. Captive of Sin – Anna Campbell
Too Good to Be True-Kristan Higgins
Note: We actually have eleven books in six places because of ties. Honorable Mention should go to Don't Tempt Me by Loretta Chase and Surrender of a Siren by Tessa Dare. They were tied for the next spot.
AAR Poll (I've edited for space; see original list for more):
--Jennifer Ashley’s The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie was the ultimate winner, earning Best Romance, Best Historical Romance Set in the U.K., Most Tortured Hero, and Best Love Scenes (in a tie). Her story also earned an honorable mention for Best Romance Heroine.
--Bound by Your Touch by Meredith Duran won for Best Romance Heroine and Best Romance Couple, as well as scoring honorable mentions for Best Romance, Best Historical Romance Set in the U.K. and Best Love Scenes. Ms. Duran's other 2009 title, Written on Her Skin, also received votes in several categories.
--Sherry Thomas’s Not Quite a Husband won for Best Historical Romance Set Outside the U.K. and Biggest Tearjerker and also received honorable mentions for Best Romance and Best Romance Heroine. Ms. Thomas was voted Best New Author in 2008 and she has definitely lived up to that honor.
It was a knock-it-out-of-the-park year for Ashley, Duran, and Thomas.
Other multiple winners were:
--Lisa Kleypas - who repeated her wins in 2008 for Best Contemporary Romance and Best Romance Hero, this time with Smooth Talking Stranger and its hero, Jack Travis. Ms. Kleypas also won for Best Love Scenes (in a tie).
--Nalini Singh - who won for Best Paranormal with Branded by Fire as well as Best Kick Ass Heroine (Elena Deveraux) for Angels' Blood. Branded by Fire also received an honorable mention for Best Love Scenes.
Other winners are:
--Tessa Dare - who won Best Debut Author handily. Ms. Dare had three books (Goddess of the Hunt, Surrender of a Siren, and A Lady of Persuasion) published in 2009.
--Suzanne Brockman - whose Dark of Night won for Best Romantic Suspense.
--Carla Kelly - who remains a reader favorite, had two books published in one year and obviously gave voters a difficult time in choosing their favorite. Marrying the Captain won for Best Series Romance, and its follow-up, The Surgeon’s Lady, received an honorable mention. Both titles received DIK reviews.
--Julia Quinn - who writes lighthearted historicals containing witty dialogue and personable characters. It’s not surprising then that What Happens in London captured a win for Funniest Romance.
--Pamela Morsi - who has moved from writing historicals to chick lit/women’s fiction, won in the latter category for Red’s Hot Honky-Tonk Bar.
--J.R. Ward, for an unprecedented third year in a row, won the Guilty Pleasure category with Lover Avenged. That title also received an honorable mention in the Best Paranormal category.
--Newcomer Courtney Milan - who eked out a win for Best Short Story, for This Wicked Gift in the anthology The Heart of Christmas.
--J.D. Robb - who received honorable mentions for Best Kickass Heroine and Best Romance Couple. This is Eve and Roarke's 10th win or honorable mention for Best Couple and Eve's 8th win or honorable mention as Best Romance Heroine and Feistiest/Kickass Heroine.
--Loretta Chase who received an honorable mention for Best Romance Heroine for Don’t Tempt Me.