January Seal of Excellence

Each month the RT editors select one book that is not only compelling, but stands out from the hundreds of books that are reviewed in the magazine and on the website. We are excited to announce that January 2012's RT Seal of Excellence — the editors' pick for best book of the month — has been awarded to the romantic suspense novel Sleepwalker by Karen Robards


Micayla "Mick" Lange is expecting to have a relaxing evening housesitting for her father's best friend, her honorary Uncle Nicco. But when she walks in on a robbery in progress and sees evidence that Uncle Nicco is actually a mob boss, Mick realizes that her life is at risk. Thankfully, while Jason Davis may be a thief and a scoundrel, there is no way that he will let an innocent woman get hurt. With a backup plan for almost any contingency, Jason helps Mick escape capture. But as the situation goes from bad to worse, will they be able to survive? 

"Robards' latest book is pitch perfect. Her characters are dynamic, her villain jumps off the page and the story takes several unexpected twists. A prime example of everything a romantic suspense should be." - RT Editor

"You won't read this book, you will devour it!" - RT Editor

"The author's smooth writing style and ear for dialogue makes this story cinematic. I felt like I was 'watching' Mick and Jason's flight from the bad guys. This definitely qualifies as a one sitting read, so don't start this story too late because you'll be up all night to see what happens next." - RT Editor



An excellent addition to Marjorie M. Liu’s Hunter Kiss series, The Mortal Bone further explores the relationship between Maxine Kiss and her five demons. During the day, “the boys” are bound to Maxine's body in the form of tattoos that give her immortal powers. But at night, they are free to roam the earth and Maxine becomes human. When the bond between Maxine and the boys is severed, the turmoil that ensues — and the secrets Maxine uncovers about her family lineage — will astound readers. What is especially notable is Maxine’s conflicting attitude towards her boys, and how she grapples between despising the evil acts demons do and her love for the five demons that share her heart. Full of raw emotion and exquisitely written, The Mortal Bone is a phenomenal book.



Trouble At The Wedding by Laura Lee Guhrke matches the passionate Southern belle Annabel with the rakish Duke of Scarborough. Can this irreverent lord convince Annabel that she should not go through with her marriage of convenience and instead marry for passion? With Guhrke's signature humor and well-developed hero and heroine, it's a pleasure to watch these hard headed characters get their happily ever after. This novel is the third in Guhrke's Abandoned at the Altar series and is sure to delight genre fans!

 Sudden Insight by Rebecca York is a perfect start to a series. Readers quickly learn about a "mad scientist" who genetically altered children to make them more intelligent. However, rather than only affecting IQ, these gene modifications created psychic abilities in the patients. Sudden Insight focuses on two of these now grown up children, Rachel and Jake. Due to their corresponding powers, the couple forges an instantaneous connection. Readers looking for a story of love at first sight are definitely in for a treat. And the best part is that we can expect many more Harlequin Intrigue books set in this world.

Teresa Medeiros' newest historical romance, The Pleasure of Your Kiss, is a spellbinding tale of love lost and found. Ashton Burke spends a decade traveling the world trying to forget Clarinda Cardew, but no matter where he goes or how many women he meets, no one can compare to his English Rose. So when Ashton learns that Clarinda has been captured by a desert sultan and held prisoner in a harem, he risks his life to save her. Imagine Ashton's surprise when Clarinda shows no interest in being rescued! The story's unusual setting is both exotic and luxurious. The lush descriptions of Middle Eastern food, dress and culture will absolutely enchant readers. But beware, what starts out as a quick, fun read, turns into a much deeper story that will have you reaching for the tissues.


A strong contender for this month's Seal, Juliet Dark's genre-bending story won favor with two RT editors that agree, "Demon Lover is something special, you can't find anything similar to it anywhere." This is a modern gothic tale that follows city girl Callie as she relocates to upstate New York for a new job. It turns out that not only is the college that she works at populated by magical creatures, but her home is also occupied. Callie finds herself in a battle of wills with a dangerous succubus that is determined to win her love ... even if it means her death. The story has a gripping plotline, unusual cast of characters and intriguing mythology. However, few rough patches in the story's language choice kept this Top Pick from taking home the prize.


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

Queen of Kentucky by Alecia Whitaker

The Burning Edge by Rick Mofina

Copper Beach by Jayne Ann Krentz

Visit The RT Seal of Excellence Index >>