December Seal Of Excellence

December 2012's RT Seal of Excellence — the editors' pick for best book of the month — is awarded to Katie Porter's male/male erotic romance Came Upon A Midnight Clear. 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. Additionally, this is the first male/male romance to ever win an RT Seal of Excellence!



Wealthy film producer Kyle Wakefield and ex-con-turned-stuntman Nathan Carnes once shared a passionate, secret relationship as teens, even though Kyle's conservative upbringing kept him in the closet. But after Nathan's self-destructive tendencies lands him in prison at a young age, Kyle puts aside his feelings and moves on — until Nathan's crew is hired to work on Kyle's latest Hollywood flick. As the two rekindle their romance on and off set, Kyle must decide if he's willing to risk his reputation for a second chance with the man who stole his heart years ago.

"Came Upon a Midnight Clear is downright dirty, in the absolute best way! From the moment Nate and Kyle reconnect, the chemistry is immediate and intense, and Porter’s frank dialogue is the perfect fit for her naughty yet complex characters. But the story is equally intense when these two lay their hearts on the line, too. A lot of erotica loses steam by the second or third sex scene, but that is definitely not the case here! Who needs hot chocolate and a roaring fireplace when you’ve got Katie Porter?" - Audrey Goodson Kingo, RT Editor 

"The writing duo of Carrie Lofty and Lorelie Brown are an explosive combination, and nowhere is that more apparent than Katie Porter's Came Upon a Midnight Clear, an incendiary holiday read with a steamy second chance at love plot that will stuff any m/m romance lover's stocking. But heat factor aside this is, at its core, a story about two old flames coming to terms with themselves and who they can be together. Kyle and Nathan's journey back together, amidst the snowy backdrop of a film set in London, will melt your defenses and warm your heart! - Mala Bhattacharjee, RT Editor

"The Katie Porter team has been blowing up the erotica scene lately, and Came Upon A Midnight Clear is another exceptional tale from the authors. Readers will get sucked into this story, eager to learn more about Kyle and Nathan's troubled pasts, and will root for the two as they each battle their inner demons. An entertaining cast of secondary characters rounds out this enjoyable, steamy holiday read!" - Elisa Verna, RT Editor

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


In a genre that has become more explicit over the years, Running Wild by Linda Howard and Linda Jones is a contemporary read that harkens back to the sweet romance that makes readers sigh with satisfaction. On the run from a murderous stalker, heroine Carlin gives new meaning to the word 'cautious'. And while a remote Wyoming ranch seems like the perfect place to live off the grid, Carlin is still skittish of everyone especially her new boss, Zeke. A cowboy with a heart, what Zeke lacks for in sensitivity he makes up for with his honesty, integrity and work ethic. A man's man, Zeke is as swoon worthy as they come, with just enough Alpha to make him irresistible. A long courtship makes Zeke and Carlin's hard won coupledom that much more rewarding. After reading this story, you will definitely looking forward to returning to Battle Ridge for the next story from romance legends Howard and Jones! - Morgan Doremus, RT Editor



Falsely accused of committing multiple murders, Jeremiah Hunt is living the life of a fugitive in Joseph Nassise's King of the Dead. But he's not alone. His companions, bear-shifter Dmitri and seer Denise, have set up house with him in a sleepy, out-of-the-way town. But when Denise is has a chilling vision of supernatural catastrophe in New Orleans, the trio sets out for the Big Easy. Within hours of their arrival, Hunt and his friends are summoned to see the city's Lord Marshal — Simon Gallagher. Gallagher escorts the group into his clinic, filled with victims of a mysterious disease afflicting the Gifted. No one knows what — or who — is responsible. In addition to this enigmatic enemy, FBI agent Dale Robertson has tracked him down — and is determined to take Hunt into custody. In this series second, Nassise manages to fill in new readers without getting mired in exposition, all while creating a world that feels authentic and accessible, even when the otherworldly action reaches fever pitch. - Regina Small, RT Editor


Longtime readers of  Alyssa Day's Warriors of Poseidon series finally get Alaric's story in Heart of Atlantis, and Day certainly delivers in this series closer! Alaric makes a promise to Quinn, the woman he loves, that he will save her tiger-shifter friend Jack. Although Alaric knows that if he succeeds he could lose Quinn to Jack, he's willing to do anything for her. But there's danger brewing beneath the sea when a jewel of Poseidon's Trident is stolen by Ptolemy Reborn, a self-proclaimed distant relative of Atlantean royalty. Set on becoming ruler of Atlantis and exposing the hidden kingdom to the world, power isn't the only thing Ptolemy is after — he also wants Quinn as his bride. This story is packed full of intense supernatural action that will satisfy paranormal fans, and although it's a series ender, is not difficult to follow for newcomers. However, it's definitely a story best enjoyed by followers of the series.  - Elisa Verna, RT Editor


Sometimes there’s nothing better than a good, old-fashioned enemies-to-lovers story, especially when it comes to creating immediate, combustible chemistry between the main characters. Day Leclaire does just that in Becoming Dante. Businessman Gabe hates heroine Kat for something she did in the past, and their initial repartee is witty and razor-sharp. But Gabe doesn’t know the full story about Kat, of course, and there are plenty of mysteries for these two to solve along the way. Readers will love going along for the ride!- Audrey Goodson, RT Editor


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

Shiver by Karen Robards

Woman in A Sheikh's World by Sarah Morgan

Edge of Black by J.T. Ellison


Visit The RT Seal of Excellence Index >>