Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Top Romance Books of 2009 by Sarah Frantz

We will be posting our Top 10 of 2009 this entire week. Today’s list is from Dr. Sarah Frantz aka Joan.   The list is unranked.    You can find more of her reviews here.

In the interests of full disclosure, Rowan Larke is a close friend. That said, however,  A Love Neverending takes risks, plays with romance conventions, is generally beautifully written, and haunts me, so it belongs on my list of the Best of 2009, even if I can’t in all good conscience review it.

Sarah F. is a literary critic, a college professor, and an avid reader of romance -- and is thrilled that these are no longer mutually exclusive. Her academic specialization is Romantic-era British women novelists, especially Jane Austen, but she is contributing to the exciting re-visioning of academic criticism of popular romance fiction. Sarah is a contributor to the academic blog about romance, Teach Me Tonight, the winner of the 2008-2009 RWA Academic Research Grant, and the founder and President of the International Association of the Study of Popular Romance (IASPR). Sarah mainly reviews BDSM romance and gay male romance and hopes to be able to beat her TBR pile into submission when she has time to think. Sarah teaches at Fayetteville State University, NC.


  1. Crystal Jordan
    Dec 06, 2009 @ 17:16:55

    I haven’t read anything on the list except Rowan’s work (and, also in the name of full disclosure, she’s my critique partner), but I’m so glad she made this list. Her willingness to go out on a limb with the themes she addresses, and her beautiful writing voice, make her an amazing talent. And, yes, I’m completely biased. She still rocks.

  2. Chris
    Dec 06, 2009 @ 17:46:06

    Is ZA Maxfield’s book missing a review link b/c it wasn’t reviewed? I searched but didn’t find a review on the site, so just double-checking.

  3. Sarah Frantz
    Dec 06, 2009 @ 18:59:04

    No, Chris, I’ve just been lazy and haven’t reviewed it yet. I’ll be doing it in a week or two.

  4. Kwana
    Dec 06, 2009 @ 19:14:29

    Thanks for the list and the many new reads for me. I’ve only read BHB and The Wicked West both of which I loved.

  5. SB Sarah
    Dec 06, 2009 @ 19:38:40

    In the interest of full disclosure, I’m totally effing flattered to be on a best of 2009 list. Thank you!!

  6. Joan/SarahF
    Dec 06, 2009 @ 22:18:52

    @SB Sarah: Well, thanks for such a wonderful book! I loved it and it totally belongs on my list. :)

  7. James Buchanan
    Dec 06, 2009 @ 22:41:04

    I’m with SB Sarah on this. Wow, thanks. I also sent ZAM the post link. She’s biting nails now about ePistols.

  8. Alex Beecroft
    Dec 07, 2009 @ 04:35:00

    Oh fantastic! Put me down as another ‘over the moon’ :) Thank you!

  9. Rowan
    Dec 07, 2009 @ 07:46:21

    Well. Damn.

    I…am completely at a loss for words.

    Thank you.

  10. RStewie
    Dec 07, 2009 @ 08:27:15

    I gave my cousin (she is an English professor at AUM) the Smart Bitches Guide for her birthday, and she spent all Thanksgiving quoting it to me and my sisters (and my mom, who was hilariously amused and shocked, at the same time). It’s a great book.

    I’ll be picking up the Victoria Dahl later this month, once I’m done glomming Nalini Singh’s series. I remember the review to this day, and I’m glad you reminded me that I want it.

  11. Jane Davitt
    Dec 07, 2009 @ 08:39:25

    Huge thrill to see Bound and Determined on the list; thank you!

  12. mdegraffen
    Dec 07, 2009 @ 09:04:14

    I’ve only read the Smart Bitches book. Other than that, never heard of the others.

  13. Jessica
    Dec 07, 2009 @ 11:44:03

    Great list! I also really enjoyed the Dahl novella.

  14. jmc
    Dec 07, 2009 @ 12:34:20

    I’m looking forward to reading your review of ePistols at Dawn…which I loved :D Z.A. Maxfield is one of the best new authors I found last year.

    ETA: Um, Alex Beecroft and James Buchanan, too. But ZAM probably is my favorite among the three for new-to-me authors this year.

  15. Remastering Jerna by Ann Somerville - Book Thingo
    Jan 18, 2010 @ 17:34:07

    […] All I can say is that they’d be missing out on one of my most unexpected keepers of 2009. (And I’m not the only one who thinks so.) […]

  16. lcd
    Jan 25, 2010 @ 09:55:41

    Ah, the land of the free!
    You have the right to free speech as long as you speak English.

%d bloggers like this: