Amazon editors have released their annual Best Books lists, including their pick of this year’s romance novels. We were delighted to find, Nalini Singh, New Zealand’s Queen of Paranormal Romance, firmly entrenched on this best books’ list. Nalini, who was nominated for the Psy/Changeling series novel Shield of Winter, was the only non-North American author to feature on the 2014 list. All the rest were US citizens with the exception of Canadian indie author Sarah Castille, who squeaked in at #20.
Lists are great places to pick up on trends and find out what others are reading. They also generate debate. This particular list is quality-based on the Amazon editors’ preferences rather than being based on absolute numerical values such as the number of books sold. However, most, if not all, of these authors are NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors, proving once again that quality and popularity DO mix.
The top 20 is an eclectic mix of sub genres, highlighting the diversity of romance writers: historical (time travel, Regency); contemporary; new adult; multicultural; suspense; fantasy; science fiction; paranormal; inspirational; and erotica. In short, there is something for almost every reader! Of course, some titles such as Diana Gabladon’s Written in My Own Heart’s Blood cross multiple sub genres ensuring we read because we love the story — and not because it got classified as a such-and-such book! Interestingly, this cross-genre love story is also the bestselling book on the 2014 list.
Other universal favourites include writers such as Nora Roberts, Sylvia Day, Debbie Macomber and Eloisa James. There are three indie authors on the list – Bella Andre, Courtney Milan and Sarah Castille. Charlie N. Holmberg is agented but published under the Amazon imprint 47North. Hmm. Does that make her an indie author or not?
An analysis of the publishers reveals that Penguin dominates this list with four titles from three imprints (Berkley, Ace, Jove). Harlequin, Avon, Random House (Ballantine, Delacorte), Kensington Press, and St Martin’s Press are all represented by two titles. The rest of the publishers are a collection of big houses, independent presses and one more Amazon imprint, Montlake Romance. All the books are published in paperback and ebook although some paperbacks are only available from Amazon.
The complete list of editors’ picks in bestselling order is listed below:
- Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon (Delacorte).
- Shadow Spell (Cousins O’Dwyer) by Nora Roberts (Berkley).
- Son of No One (Dark Hunter Novels) by Sherrilyn Kenyon (St Martins Press).
- The Paper Magician (The Pager Magician Series Book 1) by Charlie N Holmberg (47North).
- Night Broken (Mercy Thompson) by Patricia Briggs (Ace).
- Blossom Street Brides: A Blossom Street Novel by Debbie Macomber (Ballantine).
- Thankful: Return to Sugarcreek, Book 2 by Shelley Shepard Gray (Avon).
- Before We Kiss by Susan Mallery (Harlequin).
- Ultimate Sins (The Callahans) by Lora Leigh (St Martins Press).
- It Happened One Wedding by Julie James (Jove).
- Kiss Me Like This: The Morrisons 1 by Bella Andre (Oak Press).
- Three Weeks with Lady X (Desperate Duchesses by Eloisa James (Avon).
- Once in a Lifetime (Lucky Harbour) by Jill Shavis (Grand Central Publishing).
- A Man’s Promise (The Grangers) by Brenda Jackson (Harlequin MIRA). Shield of Winter (Psy/Changelings) by Nalini Singh (Berkley).
- Shield of Winter (Psy/Changelings) by Nalini Singh (Berkley).
- Single by Saturday (Weekday Brides Series Book 4) by Catherine Bybee (Montlake Romance).
- Kiss and Tell (Sisterhood) by Fern Michaels (Kensington).
- The Sufragette Scandal (The Brothers Sinister, 4) by Courtney Milan (Femtopress).
- The Stranger I Married by Sylvia Day (Kensington).
- In Your Corner (Redemption) by Sarah Castille (Sourcebooks Casablance)
So, what do you think? Do you agree with the Amazon editors, or would you like to nominate another book/books for this year’s top 20 reads?
Amazon 2014 Best Books, Romance: http://tinyurl.com/q89cewl
Amazon 2014 Best Books (all): http://tinyurl.com/os3y9cd