Each month the RT editors select one book that is not only compelling, but pushes the boundaries of genre fiction. This book stands out from all the others reviewed that month, in the magazine issue and on the website. March 2014's RT Seal of Excellence — the editors' pick for best book of the month — is awarded to Sophie Littlefield's latest mainstream novel House of Glass.

February 2014 Seal of Excellence - Prince of Shadows by Rachel Caine (cover)

 

"Be warned: House of Glass may stop your heart. Sophie Littlefield's latest novel about a family coping with a home invasion is utterly gripping, tense and anxiety-inducing -- in all the best ways. Jen Glass's  largely absent, no-good father is dead, and she and her sister enjoy a brief reunion as they clear out his dingy apartment. But soon after Jen returns home to her currently unemployed husband, her distant teenage daughter and her mute son, they're held captive by two men who have broken into their home. Littlefield brilliantly uses the plot device of a home invasion to explore family dysfunction, trauma and the ever-present ghosts of childhood." — Regina Small

"Sophie Littlefield's home-invasion drama House of Glass explores not only the dangers that lurk outside the home, but those that fester within. Littlefield deftly captures the claustrophobia and tension of being trapped and held at gunpoint, and keeps the reader guessing as to the outcome of the stand-off. And rather than being a tale of how easily a glass house can shatter, Jen Glass's story becomes one of how glass is built in fire and it always cuts deep." — Mala Bhattacharjee

"It's no secret that Littlefield is a skilled writer. In House of Glass she gives each member of what is in many ways a typical suburban family an intriguing story, creating a gripping, suspenseful narrative. Right down to the dangerous men who invade the Glass household, Littlefield creates a multifaceted cast of characters, which makes for an unforgettable tale." — Elisa Verna

 

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

 

"Karina Cooper's Tempered sees collector Cherry St. Croix at the center of a gothic melodrama far from the wild madness of steampunk London, and shows the author at her best. A gripping mystery, an intriguing man and answers about Cherry's past will keep readers as enthralled as the haze of an opium high. Fortunately, an addiction to the St. Croix Chronicles is far less detrimental to your health." — Mala Bhattacharjee


   

  "The first in Tara Sue Me's new Partners in Play series, Seduced by Fire is is a short, sexy tale perfect for anyone looking to get their feet wet in the world of BDSM erotica. Hero Daniel is clearly dominant in and out of the bedroom, but doesn't cross the Alphahole line like many Dom heroes. He's encouraging without pushing Julie too far, and while she is new to the lifestyle, Julie isn't completely naive and has a refreshing sense of self. Me's portrayal of BDSM is well-researched and carefully written, and the issues she explores are presented with thoughtfulness and an appropriate level of sensitivity." — Elisa Verna
     
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"The Pingkang Li pleasure quarter is host to skullduggery and sensuality in spades in Jeannie Lin's The Jade Temptress, one of the most beautifully evocative historical romances of 2014. Lin's prose and her characters play in perfect concert, like a Tang Dynasty courtesan playing the pipa, as Mingyu and Wu Kaifeng — who met under dark circumstances in The Lotus Palace — search for a killer and discover love along the way. A truly exquisite tale!" — Mala Bhattacharjee

     
 

"Immortal Muse by Stephen Leigh is the perfect book for the fantasy lovers, for those who want a slow build up and great character development. Perenelle is an Immortal muse who must inspire and foster creativity in order to survive, but there’s a darker muse who fosters hatred and paranoia — and is after Perenelle. The story weaves present and past, a rich history following artists and sculptors, poets and musicians as the Immortal muse nurtures their growth. I definitely recommend this if you’re in the mood for fantasy, a little something different and a spark that follows centuries." — Jessie Potts


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

Panic by Lauren Oliver

The Woman Sent to Tame Him by Victoria Parker

Hard As You Can by Laura Kaye

Visit The RT Seal of Excellence Index >>

Tags: RT Daily Blog, Mainstream
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