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And the results of your favorite Western/Frontier romances are in!

best-of-the-west-imageThanks to the many readers who voted for their favorite Western/Frontier Romances in our Mini-Poll.  We can definitely say that Ellen O’Connell is very popular with AAR readers and receives top honors for capturing the top three spots with a fourth title coming in fifth place. Ms. O’Connell’s Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold was the overwhelming favorite title, receiving over 60% more points than the second place title, Dancing on Coals (also by Ms. O’Connell).

Texas Destiny by Lorraine Heath did give Sing My Name (also by Ms. McConnell) a run for its money but as you can see, Texas Destiny finally claimed fourth place while Beautiful Bad Man by Ms. O’Connell slid into fifth. Ms O’Connell’s wining streak is quite an impressive feat as her first books were only available in digital format but now she publishes with self-publisher Createspace so paperbacks of her titles can be found.

Congratulations also go to Lorraine Heath for having two of her titles, Texas Destiny and Always to Remember rank.  Both titles have received DIK reviews by AAR.  And two authors who have been retired from writing for many years, LaVyrle Spencer and Maggie Osborne, have books that still resonate with readers.  In fact, The Gamble by LaVyrle Spencer was published 30 years ago this year.  Clearly this book has stood the test of time along with Ms. Spencer’s DIK reviewed book Hummingbird (published 20 years ago) coming in eighth place.

Rounding up the list, Kaki Warner won the RITA for Best First Book in 2010 with Pieces of Sky.

Here are the Top Ten Favorite Western/Frontier Romances:

  1. Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold (2010) by Ellen O’Connell
  2. Dancing on Coals (2011) by Ellen O’Connell
  3. Sing My Name (2010) by Ellen O’Connell
  4. Texas Destiny (1997) by Lorraine Heath
  5. Beautiful Bad Man (2012) by Ellen O’Connell
  6. The Gamble (1984) by LaVyrle Spencer
  7. Always to Remember (1996) by Lorraine Heath
  8. Hummingbird (1994) by LaVyrle Spencer
  9. Silver Lining (2000) by Maggie Osborne
  10. Pieces of Sky (2010) by Kaki Warner

This list was last updated in October of 2007 and it’s clear that it was due for an update. Only one title from the 2007 Top Ten made it into the Top Ten this time around; Lorraine Heath’s Texas Destiny was in the 10th spot in 2007 and actually rose up to 4th this time. However, this doesn’t mean that only books published after the last poll was conducted filled the remaining spots. In fact, half of the books in this year’s top ten were published before the 2007 poll.

In comparing this list with the Top 10 from 2007 it became clear that we had to expand the list to show the Best of the Rest.

Best of the Rest:

  1. The Outsider by Penelope Williamson
  2. A Reason to Live by Maureen McKade
  3. Texas Glory by Lorraine Heath
  4. The Promise of Jenny Jones by Maggie Osborne
  5. Comanche Moon by Catherine Anderson
  6. Never Love a Lawman by Jo Goodman
  7. Open Country by Kaki Warner
  8. Logan’s Outlaw by Elaine Levine
  9. Keegan’s Lady by Catherine Anderson
  10. Her Hesitant Heart by Carla Kelly

  His Secondhand Wife by Cheryl St. John

  I Do I Do I Do by Maggie Osborne

  Into the Light by Ellen O’Connell

Please note that there was a four way tie for 20th place.

What is intriguing about listing all 24 titles ranked by AAR readers is that only 6 titles from 2010 match with 2007.  That means that if a reader reads through the 20 titles in 2007, the reader will have 18 completely new titles to add to their TBR list with this latest poll.

All in all, 161 titles received votes.  Many authors had several books that received votes.  So if you are inclined to search out more authors who write Western/Frontier romances, check out the following authors (the number of titles receiving votes is listed in parentheses after their name along with their top vote-getter not appearing in the above Top 10):

Maggie Osborne (8 titles, The Promise of Jenny Jones)

Lorraine Heath (7 titles, Texas Splendor)

LaVryle Spencer (7 titles, The Endearment)

Catherine Anderson (6 titles, Comanche Moon)

Elaine Levine (6 titles, Logan’s Outlaw)

Elizabeth Lowell (6 titles, Only His)

Linda Howard (5 titles, The Touch of Fire)

Merline Lovelace (5 titles, The Captain’s Woman)

Ellen O’Connell (5 titles, Into the Light)

Jodi Thomas (5 titles, The Texan’s Wager)

Sandra Brown (4 titles, Hidden Fires)

Cheryl St. John (4 titles, His Secondhand Wife)

Kaki Warner (4 titles, Open Country)

If you love Western and Frontier romances, we hope these results provide you with some new reading possibilities. In the meantime, we’re checking through the other Top Ten Polls and hope to update another one soon.


Cindy, Lee, and LinnieGayl



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Rosheen Arthur
Rosheen Arthur
05/13/2014 2:29 am

Thanks AAR for doing a repoll . Good to see some favourites (new and old, indi and old style publishers) on the list (and also those I voted for most in the top 10. I agree with some of the other replies suggestions for additions as well. I look forward to checking out the rest of the list. Thanks again.

05/08/2014 9:45 am

Love these results! Almost right on with my picks. Go Ellen O’Connell!

I am disappointed that more of Elaine Levine’s westerns didn’t make the poll. Besides Logan’s Outlaws, there is Rachel and the Hired Gun, Leah and the Bounty Hunter and more in the Men of Defiance Series. They are really good.

05/04/2014 9:22 am

I’m delighted to see Spencer, Osborne, Goodman and St John on the list, but sorry to see no Morsi. How can Simple Jess not be there, for instance. I think the confusion over western/frontier thoughts may possibly have had an effect?? That said, this is an excellent list, except for Ellen O’Connell who is a no-go whatsoever for me, which I realize places me out of the mainstream. To each his own.

Thank you to the pollsters. Again! I also really appreciate the “”best of the rest,”” along with the authors who had many votes. A real service! I love mini-polls and wouldn’t complain if you did others like this. ;)

Reply to  Eliza
05/04/2014 5:48 pm

You’re welcome Eliza! This list was such a change from the 2007 list that we couldn’t help but list the next 10 titles.

I love mini-polls and wouldn’t complain if you did others like this. ;)

Keep watching the blog – we’ll be looking for input very soon.

CindyS (pollster)

05/03/2014 10:40 am

I had every, every, every intention of sending my picks in. In fact I even had my ballot over half way filled in and then lost it when I went out to check something out and then I went on vacation and by the time I had my head out of the clouds, I was too late. But the list I was filling in was almost identical to this one. I had EOSEOG listed first and all the other books listed by Ms. O’Connell on my list too, maybe in a slightly different order. I would have replaced Maggie Osborne’s with others by Cheryl St John and added Maureen McCade somewhere and Patricia Potter. But other than those few changes, this is a wonderful representation of a genre I adore. Thanks for doing this list even though I totally screwed up and didn’t get mine sent.

Reply to  KristieJ
05/03/2014 4:43 pm

LOL, KristieJ. I guess it worked out almost the way you would’ve wanted it to….but it seems that means this list provides you with no new reading suggestions. I hope it gives others some ideas. I rarely read westerns but am considering downloading an Ellen O’Connell book.

Reply to  LinnieGayl
05/03/2014 4:50 pm

LinnieGayl, oh you simply must try her. I know I’ve read Eyes 5 times, Dancing & Sing My Name three times. She writes wonderful Westerns.

Reply to  KristieJ
05/03/2014 9:52 pm

Kristie – I was surprised that Ride the Fire by Pamela Clare fell off the list but I now have a bunch of new westerns to try for sure.


Reply to  KristieJ
05/04/2014 6:32 am

Okay, just purchased Eyes. Will read when I finish latest book.