Introduction & Descriptions

Updated August 2012

These lists began back in early 1996. The lists weren't organized into the by-era categories typically seen, such as Medieval Romances or Contemporary Romances. Instead, they focused on special features found in all types of romances. They were lists of books that made us laugh (Favorite Funnies), made us cry (Two-Hanky Reads), or made us burn (Luscious Love Stories).

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Over the years many AAR staffers have contributed to the ever-changing, ever-expanding lists. Laurie Gold, Anne Ritter, Sandi Morris and Rachel Potter all took a turn at making them more interesting, decorative, and user-friendly. After a hiatus of nearly two years, beginning in August 2012 three AAR staff members Rike, Cindy and LinnieGayl have taken over management of the lists.

In alphabetical order, here are all our Special Title Listings, along with the dates of their debuts:

Across the Tracks - Heroes and Heroines in these books love across class lines. List begun June 2003.

Addiction Romances - Romances dealing with addictions of various types. List begun June 2003.

Adventure Romances - For this list, think Romancing the Stone: Love and adventure all mixed up together. List begun May 2007.

All in the Family - This list contains romances with couples who closely related to each other either by birth or by marriage. List begun February 2004.

Alternate Reality - A combination of three earlier lists: Paranormal (begun January 1998), Fantasy & Futuristics (January 1998), and Time Travel Romances (October 1996, by reader request).

Amazing Animals - Romances featuring wonderful pets and other animals. List begun July 1999.

American Indian - Romances with American Indian heroes or heroines. List begun February 2001.

Amnesia. . .Or Not - Romances involving heroes or heroines who either have amnesia or are pretending to. List begun October 1997 by reader request.

Angels, Demons & Gods - Romances with characters who are supernatural in an otherworldly way. List begun August 2009 as an offshoot of Alternate Reality.

Arranged Marriages - Romances in which marriages are arranged between the hero or heroine by a third party. List begun November 1996; originally included Marriages of Convenience and Shotgun Weddings. Those lists broken out in May 2003.

Beauty is in the Eye... - Romances with characters who are homely, plain, scarred, or do not meet the standards of beauty for their time. List begun in July 1996 and reorganized in 1999 into two sub-lists, one for "less than beautiful" characters, the other for "less than perfect" characters. The lists were totally separated in 2003. Plus-sized heroines got their own list in July 2004.

Best Enemies - Heroes and Heroines in these books loathe each other. Whether because of feuding family histories or personal grudges, the hate runs deep. Also included are heroines or heroines who get entangled because they were seeking revenge on each other. List begun June 2005.

Beta Heroes - Romances with kinder, gentler heroes. List begun March 1996; formerly titled Special Heroes.

Bluestockings, Independent Misses and Feminists - Romances starring heroines who are bluestockings, intellectuals, independent misses, or strongly feminist. The few heroines who were once included on the Nerds, Geeks, and (Absent-Minded) Professors list have been moved here. List begun September 1997.

Cabin and Road Romances - Romances that isolate the hero and heroine, either while traveling on the road or in a spot separated from the rest of society, geographically or otherwise. Road Romances begun July 1996; Cabin Romances added March 1999.

Childless & Infertile - Romances with couples who are voluntarily child-free, infertile couples, couples pursuing or adoption and/or adoptive parents, and otherwise childless couples. List begun January 2004 by reader request.

Christmas Romances - Romances set during the Christmas season, celebrating the holiday. List begun September 2009.

(Not Your Usual) Conflict - Romances in which the main conflict of the story is either external to the love relationship or internal to one (or both) of the lead characters. The characters (in either instance) like each other from the start. List begun November 1997.

Cons, Burglars and Pickpockets - Romances featuring heroes or heroines on the other side of the law. List begun May 2000.

Courtesans, Mistresses and Prostitutes - Romances with heroines (and the occasional hero) who have sold their bodies in exchange for money to someone other than the hero (or heroine). List begun 04/03, differentiated from Experienced Heroines list 10/09, updated 10/09.

Courtroom Dramas - Romances revolving around the due process of law in deciding innocence, guilt, or competency. List begun July 2003.

Cross Dressing and (In) Disguise - Romances involving lead characters in disguise, women who dress as men, and lead characters who ugly themselves up to be unappealing to prospective mates. List begun October 1997 by reader request.

Experienced Heroines and Femmes Fatales - Romances with heroines who know what they are doing and are comfortable with their sexuality, separated into widows and non-widows. List begun 04/03, differentiated from Courtesans, Mistresses, and Prostitutes list 10/09, updated 10/09.

Fairy Tale Romances - Romances resembling the plots of well-known fairy tales. List begun December 2002.

Favorite Funnies - Romances that are also a hoot. List begun March 1996.

For the Love of God - Straight romances (as opposed to inspirational romances) that feature men and women of the cloth, devout and pious characters of various religions, and heroes and heroines who are struggling with a crisis of faith. List begun August 2003.

Friendships - Romances that feature friendships of every type including love and friendship between hero and heroine, same-sex friendships, and platonic friendships. List begun December 1996.

Guardian/Ward Romances - Romances featuring a guardian/ward relationship that turns romantic. List begun December 1996.

Held Captive - Heroes and heroines in these books are held captive by more than the bonds of love. List begun November 2001.

Heroes in Pursuit - Romances with heroes who pursue the heroine with everything they have. List begun September 2003.

History 101 - The historical fiction found on this list is written with such attention to detail that each book serves as a sort of mini-tutorial on the time period represented, giving insight into important events, historical personages, and everyday life. Because of the dearth of romances featuring many of these eras, this list also contains titles of romantic historical fiction. List begun September 2004.

Imprisoned! - Romances with heroes or heroines who, guilty or innocent, were convicted of a crime or taken prisoner and so spent time either imprisoned or exiled. List begun February 2003.

Inter-Ethnic Romances - Found here are romances between heroes and heroines of different ethnic backgrounds. List begun October 2005 upon reader request.

Less than Perfect - Romances with heroes or heroines who have physical, mental, or emotional maladies. Part of a list originally created in July 1996 and reorganized in 1999 into two sub-lists, one for "less than beautiful" characters, the other for "less than perfect" characters. The two sub-lists were totally separated in August 2003.

The Limelight - Romances featuring heroes or heroines who are in the performing or creative arts, such as actors, singers, artists, best-selling novelists, and dancers. List begun May 2000.

Luscious Love Stories- Romances with wonderfully written, hot and steamy love scenes. List begun April 1996.

Marms, Teachers, and Governesses - Romances with heroines who are either teachers, nannies, or governesses. List begun June 1997.

Marriages of Convenience - Romances with heroes and heroines who marry for reasons of convenience. This list also includes mail-order brides. List begun May 2003.

May-December/December-May Romances - Romances about older women and younger men, and much older men and younger women. List begun May 2000.

Nerds, Geeks, and (Absent-Minded) Professors - Romances with heroes of the nerdish sort. List begun October 1999.

Older Couples - This list features romance heroes and heroines who are somewhat older than the norm. List begun December 2004.

One Foot on the Floor - Romances with non-explicit or less explicit love scenes. List begun August 1999.

Opposites Attract - Romances with heroes and heroines who are complete opposites. List begun May 2004.

Perfect First Spouses - Romances with heroes or heroines who had "perfect" first relationships (in actuality wonderful or merely perceived as wonderful). List begun December 2003.

Pirates, Sheiks & Vikings - Romances featuring pirates, sheiks, sultans, and vikings. List begun January 1998.

Plus-sized Heroines - Romances with heroines who are more generously proportioned. List begun July 2004 by reader request and is an out-growth of our Beauty is in the Eye... list.

Point of View - Romantic stories told primarily through the eye of one narrator, including first-person point of view, romantic diary fiction, and romances from the male point of view. List begun December 2003.

Unusual Professions - Romances with heroes and heroines who are in professions that are outside the ordinary. List begun May 2004 by reader request.

Rakes and Rogues - Romances starring heroes who are notorious with the ladies, just plain notorious, or outside of the law. List begun September 1997.

Reunited - These romances have heroes and heroines who loved each other before, were separated, and are now reunited. These stories tell of their second chance at love. List begun June 2005.

Royalty in Romance - Romances with lead (or integral secondary) characters who are either real or fictional royalty. List begun February 2000.

Scots and Irish Romances - Romances set primarily in Scotland or Ireland. Scots Romances begun April 1997; Irish Romances added August 1998.

Secondary Romances - Books with strong romances between secondary characters. List begun February 2001.

Shotgun Weddings - Romances in which the hero and heroine are forced to marry because the heroine is pregnant or has been compromised. List begun May 2003.

Special Settings - Romances set in places and/or times that unusual for the genre. Settings are organized by geographical area. List begun December 1996, by reader request; redesigned March 2000 for easier navigation.

Spies, P.I.'s, and Warriors - Romances starring spies, P.I.'s, warriors, and other men in uniform. List begun September 1997.

Sports Romances - These romances feature characters heavily invested in the sports world - players or retired players, amateur enthusiasts, or those with careers revolving around sports. List begun July 1999.

Suspense and Mystery - Romances filled with intrigue, mystery, and mayhem. Traditional "gothic" romances are included, and suspense or mystery novels with a strong romantic sub-plots may be listed. List begun September 1997.

Time Travel - Romances with heroes and heroines who travel through time to find their true loves. List begun July 2009 as an offshoot of Alternate Reality.

Tormented Heroines - Romances with tormented heroines who may be emotionally cold, indifferent to the world, or drowning their inner demons in debauchery. List begun September 1996.

Tortured Heroes - Romances featuring dark, moody heroes who fight any kind of love or softer emotions. List begun August 1996.

Troubled Marriages - Romances in which the couple is estranged, separated, or even divorced. List begun January 2003.

Twins in Romance - Romances with heroines or heroes who are twins. List begun June 1997.

Two-Hanky Reads - Romances that make you cry copiously and wring your heart out. List begun March 1996.

Unrequited - Romances in which either the heroine or the hero is pining for the other. List begun November 2001.

Villains - Romances with dastardly and evil villains and villainesses you'll remember forever. Also found here are villains who turned heroic in their own stories. List begun September 1997.

Virginal Heroes - Romances with virginal heroes. List begun March 1997.

War - Romances set during war and in which the war itself plays a major part. List begun November 2001; redesigned July 2003 for easier navigation.

Young Adult Fiction - Books written primarily for the YA audience (adults may enjoy them too!). List begun September 2002.




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