November 2016 Seal of Excellence

A Date at the AltarEach 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. November 2016's RT Seal of Excellence — the editors' pick for best book of the month — is awarded to Cathy Maxwell's A Date at the Altar

Readers have been waiting for the jilted duke to meet his match, and Maxwell proves the third time's the charm in an utterly delightful, perfectly pitched third Marrying the Duke installment. With likable and engaging characters — whose repartee will have readers laughing out loud — this fast-paced romance has all the elements readers savor. Maxwell hits the mark once more. — Kathe Robin

There’s so much to love when it comes to Cathy Maxwell’s latest, A Date at the Altar! Gavin Whitridge, the Duke of Baynton, has had marriages fall through twice, which is not only a bit embarrassing, but has left him rather … inexperienced. He’s determined to find a wife, but knows it can never be Sarah Pettijohn, a struggling playwright and unhappy actress — who is now hiding from every man in London who wants to make her his mistress. Gavin needs a certain kind of wife — and Sarah can never be that woman. That he’s willing to put his needs aside and declare his love for Sarah regardless is remarkable. You’ll be rooting for this couple all the way till the end, and trust me, they get a wonderful Happily Ever After. — Emily Walton

Sarah Pettijohn is a strong, talented woman determined to make her own way in the world. But doesn't it also take a strong person to admit when they need help? After a scoundrel reveals Sarah's identity on the London stage, before much of "polite" society, she awakens to find a price has been put on her head. Enter Gavin, Duke of Baynton. Gavin has already spent a considerable amount of time with Sarah, as her niece is one of two fiancées that have jilted him. He has a great deal of respect and admiration for Sarah and while he understands her need for independence, he also refuses to sit idly by while she is in danger. Their journey to the altar is tumultuous to say the least, but you will so enjoy joining them for the ride! — Kristin Stec

The other Seal of Excellence nominees were:

Hold Me, Cowboy by Maisey Yates

Hold Me, Cowboy by Maisey Yates is a real treat. I love reading series romance, and Yates is a master at taking conventions — like a weekend at a cabin romance — and turning it on its head. I always think I know what's goign to happen next — and then I never do! The hero and heroine have genuine emotional baggage to overcome, and your heart will hurt as you root for them to make it to their HEA, a real sign of a winning romance. — Elissa Petruzzi

Death at First Sight by Lena Gregory

Cozy mysteries are so much fun and Death at First Sight by Lena Gregory has a lot of great elements: engaging characters, a setting you want to visit and murder. Cass's psychic tendencies and the fun cast of characters are a treat to read about as they search for a murderer and try to keep clear of conviction themselves. — Elissa Petruzzi

Congratulations to the winner and all of the nominees! You can find all of our Seal of Excellence winners here.