Welcome, it is my honour to present to you the 2020 yearly wrap up of the Romance genre. Despite the setbacks and challenges we have faced in this unprecedented year we should all be applauded for the valuable contributions we have made to the romance genre arm of the Australian Women Writers Challenge. Personally, I have really enjoyed the process of reporting all the trends in romance to our supportive reader base. This is my third year of compiling an annual wrap up for the challenge and it is always interesting to observe the new and continuing trends coming through.

In 2020 we continued to embrace to the romance genre with gusto, which is demonstrated by the sheer volume and quality of reviews from the romance category added to our broadening database. In 2020 we received a wide selection of reviews from sub genres such as contemporary romance, historical romance, mature age romance romantic suspense, erotica, diversity in romance, paranormal romance and rural romance. Romance is undoubtedly a generous and well represented genre!

Our official stats for 2020 indicate that romance collected in a grand total of 386 reviews of 227 books by 141 authors. I’m really pleased with this end result, thanks everyone!

Onto the specifics. The most popular books logged in by our romance specialists for 2020 were:

  • The Cake Maker’s Wish by Josephine Moon (9 reviews)
  • Fool Me Once by Karly Lane (9 reviews)
  • The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams (8 reviews)
  • When Grace Went Away by Meredith Appleyard (7 Reviews)
  • Charlotte Pass by Lee Christine (6 Reviews)
  • The Farm at Peppertree Crossing by Leonie Kelsall (6 Reviews)
  • Something to Talk About by Rachael Johns (6 Reviews)

As was the case in previous years, romance does cross over to a number different genres, so do expect to see some of these titles to appear again in other yearly wrap ups.

The author that collected the most reviews for the romance category in 2020 was Fiona McArthur, who received a whooping 22 entries linked to her name, across eight different books. Maggie Christensen notched up an impressive 15 entries across seven different titles. This was followed by Karly Lane (14 entries), Josephine Moon (9 entries), Mandy Magro (8 entries), Pip Williams (8 entries) and Meredith Appleyard (8 entries).

The top romance reviewer title for 2020 goes to Helen Sibbritt, who managed to log in over 90 reviews for this genre alone! Congratulations Helen on achieving romance crown for another year! Our second top reviewer was Claire’s Reads and Reviews, with a wonderful grand total of 49 reviews linked to romance. Following just a step behind was Mrs B’s Book Reviews, Brenda Telford and Sharon Hill. Hats off to these reviewers, along with each and every challenge participant for their efforts in diligently linking reviews to our site.

Moving on, it is now time to dip into our December 2020 results for Romance.

Our December 2020 stats for romance indicate that we had 42 reviews, of 34 books by 35 authors. I think this a really nice set of numbers to conclude 2020, a year like no other!

A brief overview of the general trends for the month of December 2020 reveal that Darry Fraser’s The Last Truehart, which is the author’s sixth historical romance release was the most reviewed book in December. The Last Truehart collected in 4 reviews, via Brenda, Denise Newton Writes, Claire’s Reads and Reviews and Helen Sibbritt. There was also a feature interview with Darry Fraser on Mrs B’s Book Reviews.

Karly Lane was also a popular face last month, thanks to her latest rural romance rendition, Something Like This. Lane’s new title received positive feedback from Book’d Out, Brenda, and Helen Sibbritt.

Fiona McArthur was the flavour of the month, with three separate entries for her Lyrebird Lake series.  These titles included, Misty, Montana and Mia.

We also saw two entries from an author I have not have been acquainted with before, Cassie Laeyln. Thanks to entries submitted by Eleni’s Library for Unforsaken and Claire’s Reads and Reviews for Unseen I was intrigued by the Fallen Guardians series. Eleni’s Library assures us that these books are a must for paranormal romance fans.

To get us into the Christmas spirit a number of romances reads with festive themes made an appearance in December. Christmas Among the Gum Trees, a special bind up edition of five Aussie Christmas stories was enjoyed by both Mrs B’s Book Reviews and Helen Sibbritt.

Crowd favourite in the mature age romance category Maggie Christensen delivered a festive themed novella in her well received Granite Springs small town romance series with, A Granite Springs Christmas, which was applauded by Helen Sibbritt.

An adorable and heart-warming Christmas read also fell into the hands of Claire’s Reads and Reviews. Renee Dahlia’s His Christmas Pride proved to be a winner for Claire.

There were so many attractive romance books this month and I would dearly love to showcase many more, but it is now time to close off this bumper edition!

Thank you so much for following this very special annual wrap up and for your continued support of the Australian Women Writers Challenge in the face of such a trying year. It is also with a heavy heart that I announce my departure from my role as Romance Editor, a position I have thoroughly enjoyed over the last three years. I will truly miss the wonderful team at The Australian Women Writers Challenge. I will now pass the baton over to a most capable new editor, please make Jess from The Never Ending Bookshelf welcome! Although I won’t be working behind the scenes on the challenge, I have signed up for #aww2021, so I will continue to continue to read and review books for the challenge via my own blog. On a final note, I do hope 2021 brings many great romance books your way! Signing off and goodbye to you all, Mrs B.

About me: I am a mum of two young boys, an early childhood teacher, dressaholic, book reviewer and self-confessed book geek. In 2016, I turned my passion for reading into my own blog, Mrs B’s Book Reviews. I blog daily and love nothing more than to showcase books by our talented crop of Australian women writers, especially rural romance, along with a number of other genres. Check my reviews out at the following sites, Mrs B’s Book Reviews, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram and Twitter.