July Seal of Excellence

July 2011's RT Seal of Excellence — the editors' pick for best book of the month — is awarded to Gregg Hurwitz's new thriller, You're Next. 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.


Contractor Mike Wingate survived the horror of his childhood in the foster care system and is now a well-respected figure in the community. But when mysterious men threaten his wife and daughter, Mike races against the clock to unravel a decades-old mystery and ensure the safety of his family.

"I know this is going to sound hyperbolic, but seriously — this book is AMAZING. At times I was reading it with my hand partially over my eyes, the same way I watch every horror movie, because the violent scenes are written so incredibly well that I almost couldn't bear to keep reading, but of course, I had to keep reading. On top of the first-rate chills and suspense, Hurwitz has created such rich, completely realized characters. Mike's daughter is precocious but never saccharine, and his foster-brother Shep pretty much steals the book. The plot and the writing derive their power from these relationships. I felt like I'd run 10 miles by the time I put this book down." - RT Editor

"I don't think I've ever been so scared by fictional villains. These guys literally had me double checking my locks at night! But what made the story so enjoyable was Mike Wingate's loving relationship with his wife and daughter. This family man with a troubled past is a hero who will stay with readers long after they've turned the last page." - RT Editor

"You're Next is a twisty, turn-y roller coaster of a book that will have readers quite literally on the edges of their seats. But along with the thrills, Hurwitz delivers believable characters with a lot of heart and more than a few could-come-in-handy-someday safe-cracking tips." - RT Editor

Look between the covers of You're Next >>

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


We can guarantee that you have never read anything even remotely like Dead Iron by Devon Monk. This is a steampunk, action-adventure tale set in the old-west with several supernatural protagonists including a werewolf, witch and a man who cannot die. While it takes the author a bit of time to introduce all of the characters and this unusual world, when the pieces are all put together, Monk’s tale is impossible to put down. Between the imaginative elements of the setting, the sparse yet intriguing dialogue and characters that have never before encountered, readers will be engrossed with this truly unique tale.




Anne Rainey's latest erotic romance, So Sensitive, will get your pulse racing as PI hero Wade tries to protect the feisty heroine Gracie from a deranged stalker. When Wade and Gracie give in to the attraction that has been simmering between them, the chemistry they have in the bedroom — and outside of it — will have even long-time erotica readers blushing. Although there's little more to the plot than the stalker storyline, Rainey does an excellent job of creating a cast of characters fans will want to spend more time with. 

Read The Message From The Author >>

Read The Excerpt >>


Romantic suspense lovers will enjoy Darkness at Dawn by Elizabeth Jennings. It is a tale of fast-paced action, stunning adventure and international intrigue. Some readers may find a few of the scenarios a bit too far fetched. However the ultra alpha military hero, who is prepared for anything, will have genre fans ready to partake in their own adventures. 


Beg for Mercy by Jami Alden features a heroine who is racing against the clock to prove that her brother is not guilty of the heinous murder he has been sentenced to die for. Along the way heroine Megan enlists the help of Detective Cole, one of the cops who originally worked her brother's case. The heat sizzles between Cole and Megan, and the couple's tortured past only adds another element to this gripping read. But what propels this romantic suspense to the front of this month's pack is the gruesome killer who has just set his sights on Megan.

Morgan And Whitney Dish About Beg For Mercy >>



Soraya Lane’s Soldier on her Doorstep is a wonderfully touching tale of redemption and healing. Lisa has come to terms with the loss of her military husband, however, when faced with a new love, she has a big choice to make. But, Alex is so wonderful and caring that he is hard to resist even if he is facing demons from his past. The author treats both of her characters as people and not caricatures, so while Lisa is a grieving widow and Alex an emotionally wounded soldier, there are many other layers to these complex characters.


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

Cover Me by Catherine Mann

Lady's Lesson in Scandal by Merdith Duran

Ringer by Brian M. Wiprud

June Seal of Excellence >>

May Seal of Excellence >>

April Seal of Excellence >>