October Seal of Excellence

October 2011's RT Seal of Excellence — the editors' pick for best book of the month — is awarded to Jill Shalvis' new contemporary romance, Animal Attraction. Each month the RT editors select one book that is not only compelling, but stands out from all the other books that are reviewed in that issue and on the website. 


After suffering a major scare in big-city Chicago, Jade Bennett has hidden herself away in small-town Sunshine, Idaho. Now her wealthy family wants her to return home, but Jade is reluctant to leave her new life. Working at the Belle Haven Animal Clinic has been the perfect place to recuperate — and she has fallen in love with it all the scenery, adorable animals and a certain good-looking vet named Dell! When Jade finally announces her plans to leave, Dell realizes that he doesn't want her to go and he uses every trick in the book (and in the bedroom) to convince her to stay. 

"Contemporary romance readers will flip for this darling tale about a woman with a plan and the man and the kitten that are determined to make her life more complicated by teaching her how to love!" - RT Editor

"Shalvis will wow fans with the newest addition to her Sunshine, Idaho-set series. There are cute animals, a sexy hero and buildup for the next book in the series. What more could a reader want?" - RT Editor

"This book had me laughing out loud at some of the outrageous (and outrageously funny) dialogue. And the love story (and sexy vet Dell) had me swooning with delight." - RT Editor



In Deadly Desires author Anne Christopher crafts an intriguing relationship between two unlikely lovers. Readers are able to see into Kira and Dexter’s emotional cores and know beyond a doubt this pair is meant to be together. However, the rest of the world isn't so sure about the couple. As the estranged wife of a nasty drug lord, Kira has a lot to overcome, especially after she starts a relationship with Dexter, the DEA agent assigned to her husband’s case. The story contains several interesting twists and turns and the author doesn’t develop the couple’s bond overnight. Instead, the complexities involved in their relationship are nuanced and realistic. Kudos to the author for immersing readers in a gritty, urban landscape while at the same time keeping the story's characters relatable and sympathetic.



Mercedes Lackey's Beauty and the Werewolf, the sixth novel in the author's Five Hundred Kingdoms series, offers a modern twist on "Little Red Riding Hood" (with just a dash of "Beauty and the Beast"). After suffering a nearly fatal wolf attack on her way home from Granny’s house, the young, red-cloaked herione Isabella “Bella” Beauchamp discovers that the wolf who mauled her is really a mysterious nobleman hiding a dark secret. With the aid of her fairy godmother will Bella be able to help the bewitched Duke Sebastian break his curse? A whimsical, fun read, this story is one part coming of age, one part fairy tale, and an all-around solid tale with just the right amount of romance. Readers will delight in Bella’s sharp wit and no-frills attitude!


Maureen Johnson's The Name of the Star starts the author's new Shades of London series on the right foot. Readers will adore the engaging heroine Rory Deveaux, as the transplanted American teen tries to get accustomed to life at her new boarding school across the pond. But when a killer begins recreating Jack the Ripper's brutal crimes in perfect detail, Rory gets pulled into a mystery that is more strange than she ever thought possible. This novel will thrill paranormal YA fans who are searching for a change of pace.


Suzanne Enoch's newest historical romance, A Beginner's Guide to Rakes, is an absolute delight! As ex-lovers Oliver and Diane reluctantly work together to start a gentlemen's gaming club staffed only by ladies, Enoch skillfully fans the embers of the couple's romance into an encompassing blaze of love. Thankfully, the story never dips into territory that is sappy or tired. Instead, the action will have readers cheering as the author bridges the "old school" and "new school" styles of the genre. Bad boy Oliver conjures up the dark — and at times menacing — heroes of some of the greatest names of romance, particularly Georgette Heyer, Catherine Coulter and Anne Stuart. At the same time readers will be charmed by the worldly heroine Diane's determination to survive against all odds. There also is the perfect balance of quips, quibbles and suspense to make this memorable story one that readers will want to savor!


Altered Destiny by Shawna Thomas is the kind of book you don't expect when you pick it up — even the appealing cover doesn't do it justice. The tale includes nonstop action, distinctively strong characters and a subtle romance woven throughout. Furthermore, the politics of the fantasy era are well done and the intriguing plot of the two different cultures clashing carries the entire story. It's meaty, with plenty of pages to hold readers' attention. Most of all, everything feels real when you're reading, nothing is contrived and the plotline and action simply flow.


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

Serpent's Kiss by Thea Harrison

The Dark at the End by F. Paul Wilson

The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley


September Seal of Excellence >>

August Seal of Excellence >>

July Seal of Excellence >>