April Seal of Excellence

April 2012's RT Seal of Excellence — the editors' pick for best book of the month — is awarded to Suzanne Enoch's new historical romance, Taming an Impossible Rogue. Each month the RT editors select one book that is not only compelling, but pushes the boundaries of genre fiction and stands out from all the other books that are reviewed in that issue and on the website. 

 

Enoch's series second Taming an Impossible Rogue, picks up a year after Lady Camille Pryce fled rather than marry the man she'd been betrothed to since birth. Subsequently, she was cast out of society and found a position working at the Tantalus Club, an unusual gentlemen's club ran entirely by women. But when her fiancé decides that he's willing to let Camille have a second chance, he sends his charming cousin Keating Blackwood to collect her. It's not long before these two outsiders have formed a special connection — but what does that mean for their future?

"Humor, wit, a truly heroic hero and a heroine who rarely does what is expected of her. If there ever was a formula for an unforgettable romance then this is it!" - RT Editor

"It took me about 3 pages to start to fall in love with this hero and throughout the rest of the book, I never stopped falling!" - RT Editor

"I absolutely loved Keating and thought Enoch did a great job portraying him as a world-weary, not-quite-reformed bad-boy, and I felt like the conflict that kept Camille and Keating apart was very real. Even though they began as flawed characters, Camille and Keating continued to grow throughout the novel, learning from one another. Plus, the plot was paced perfectly, revealing one surprise after another, all leading to a very touching, satisfying conclusion."- RT Editor

 

So which other books were contenders for the April Seal of Excellence? Here is a look at the titles the RT editors considered.

 

The first in an Urban Fantasy trilogy, White Horse by Alex Adams is a shockingly realistic depiction of the end of the world. The story is told in first person by Zoe, an unassuming janitor who is at ground zero of the epidemic that will soon wipe out the human species. No unreliable narrator here, Zoe is self-aware and in the midst of unimaginable death and destruction she retains her humanity and her capacity to love. The story is compelling with a plot that keeps readers on their toes as the narrative shifts between "now" and "then." This format shows both the incredible changes that take place throughout the world as well as the subtle changes that Zoe undergoes during this trying time. Furthermore, the story's ideas ring like philosophy and the prose reads like poetry. An absolutely triumphant novel!


   

 

The Witness is Nora Roberts' 200th novel and the author is showing no signs of slowing down. In this outing, readers are introduced to a teenage heroine who is rebelling against her strict mother. Unfortunately, this one night of freedom lands the girl in trouble with the law — and with the Russian mafia. Fast-forward a decade, and "Abigail" has finally stopped running; she's found a home for herself in the Ozarks. But her hard won safety is upset when the curious (not to mention handsome) chief of police starts asking questions. While the story's plot may be improbable, Roberts writing is outstanding and her talent for writing flawed, yet likable characters is on full display. Abigail, with her severe social awkwardness and deep insecurities, is an intensely interesting protagonist who readers won't soon forget.

     
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The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck is an inspirational fiction novel that includes elements of the contemporary romance, mystery, mainstream and historical fiction genres. Even readers who have never tried an inspirational story before will enjoy this taste of the genre. As heroine Charlotte searches for her roots on the eve of her wedding, she is visited by a mysterious man who gives her the perfect vintage dress, but it has a shadowy history. Little does Charlotte know that hunting for the dress' past may just lead her to her own. Readers will enjoy this sweet tale and connect with the characters' struggle to follow the path that will lead them to happily ever after. Hauck's skill shines particularly bright in the historical passages, which are full of emotion and portent.

     
 

About That Night by Julie James is a delightful contemporary tale about the assistant U.S. Attorney Rylann Pierce who must work with the "Twitter Terrorist", billionaire Kyle Rhodes. (Readers will remember Rhodes is the brother of the heroine of James' 2011's novel, A Lot Like Love.) As Kyle and Rylann strike sparks off each other, will the couple decide that the second time's the charm for their romantic relationship? Kyle steals the show as the character you won't forget, despite his history in jail, he remains carefree and fun loving — until he discovers that he doesn't want to go back to life without Rylann. With some signature laugh out loud James moments, this modern day love story is sure to please genre fans!


   

 

Throw out everything you think you know about heroes, because Phaeton in The Seduction of Phaeton Black by Jillian Stone is like no character you have ever read about before. He is rude and crude most times, but these traits help him hide his genius as a paranormal investigator. And at his side is a most suitable partner, Miss America Jones, daughter of a Cajun witch. The two may not always get along, but they are perfectly paired in their hunt to stop a female vampire that is stalking London's streets. Readers picking up this fast-paced steampumk novel should get ready for a very wild ride!

     

Some of the additional titles that the RT editors nominated are:

A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare

Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal

172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

 

Visit The RT Seal of Excellence Index >>