February Seal Of Excellence

February 2011's RT Seal of Excellence is awarded to Jaci Burton's erotic romance, The Perfect Play. Here are some comments from the editors about why this erotica series starter won the honor.



Burton's newest series focuses on the world of professional athletes, in particular the athletes in the Riley family. First up is professional football player Mick Riley who meets his match in event planner Tara Lincoln in this month's The Perfect Play. Mick and Tara struggle to keep their fling simple but both fall head over heels. It doesn't help that Mick instantly forms a bond with Tara's teenage son, Nathan, or that Tara and Nathan fit seamlessly into the Riley family. A real relationship wasn't what Mick was looking for, but when he decides that he wants Tara, will he be able to convince her with The Perfect Play?

"Adorable! This erotic romance fully indulges the fantasy of being swept off your feet by a pro athlete. Fans of Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Deirdre Martin and Rachel Gibson's sports series that are looking for something extra steamy have a new author to check out." - RT Editor

"The first book in this new series is the perfect 'starter' erotica for someone who wants to get a taste of the genre. Burton heats up the pages but keeps the naughty factor pretty low in this sweet romance between a star athlete and an average Jane."- RT Editor

Read an interview with the author >> 


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


Readers eagerly awaiting Lady Minerva Sharp’s story were not disappointed by Sabrina Jeffries' February release How to Woo a Reluctant Lady. Minerva is a strong, spirited heroine who is proud of her unconventional behavior. And her hero, Giles, is equally intriguing as a working class hero with quite the reputation – all of it deserved. A special treat were the touches of legal facts that Jeffries includes while writing about Giles’ job as a barrister. But while we loved the hero and heroine, the idea that both characters would wait so long to act on their feelings towards each other was a bit of a stretch, especially since both Minerva and Giles make a habit of going after what they want. 

Watch the video interview with Sabrina Jeffries >>


 Author Nalini Singh’s immense talents shine with the third in her Archangel series Archangel’s Consort. Elena, the guild hunter turned angel, is one of the most intriguing heroines in urban fantasy writing today. Add the enigmatic Archangel Raphael and the coming of an ancient immortal who promises death and destruction and you have a recipe for a truly winning book. However, with intricate political maneuverings, not to mention huge leaps forward in the relationship between Elena and Raphael, we recommend that readers start with the first story in the series Angels’ Blood rather than trying to take on this complex novel on its own.

This month Tara Janzen reunites J.T. Chronopolous with the Special Defense Force that works out of Steele Street in Loose Ends. Fans have long awaited this installment of the long running series. Janzen keeps the pace fast and furious, and the story is action-packed with all of the antics of this car-loving group of warriors. Readers may want to take time for a Steele Street refresher before diving into the latest SDF adventure as Janzen brings back so many faces from the past. 

The author talks about the evolution of the series >>


Heather Gudenkauf's sophomore novel, These Things Hidden is a touching look at the way that motherhood can take many different forms. The story begins after twenty-something Allison serves time for murdering her newborn child. However it soon becomes clear that there are much larger forces at play when Allison's life intersects with the lives of two other women while the ex-convict tries to reconnect with her sister and rebuild her life. This is a touching tale about a contemporary issue. However, the twists in the story may fall flat for readers who are looking for them.

Read a message from the author >>

Read the excerpt >>



Fonda, the heroine in Jaime Rush's newest novel Burning Darkness, is a troubled heroine with a capital T. Her horrible childhood, which included abuse and neglect, negatively influence her choices as an adult. But at the same time, it is her past that allows Fonda to be so self-aware. She is a character who evolves quite a bit throughout the story in a believable way (not an easy thing to do in a paranormal romantic suspense tale). Hero Eric doesn’t have as much baggage to carry around, but he pairs nicely with the troubled Fonda. He accepts her for who she is and works his hardest to show her that she is no longer alone. Ultimately we felt that some of the heroine’s extreme problems, including cutting herself, combined with the way that the story's cast of characters left readers new to the series a little bit lost, kept this tale from taking the Seal. 

Go "backstage" with hero Eric Aruda >>


Other books the RT editors considered were:

When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Deadly Heat by Cynthia Eden


January Seal of Excellence >>

December Seal of Excellence >>

November Seal of Excellence >>