RITA Award Winners

Many of you who read this blog regularly know that I like romance novels, good romances.  I think some people look down on romances without having read a good one or maybe none at all.  I usually suggest that the cover can tell you a lot about the book.  Is there one (or more) scantily clad person on the cover?  I might not read it unless it was recommended to me by someone whose opinion I trust or it’s an author I like.  But, here is another way to choose a romance.  Romance Writers of America gives out awards every year to the best of the best.  This is taken from their website…

“Romance Writers of America proudly sponsors the romance-publishing industry’s highest award of distinction — the RITA Award. RITA awards are presented annually to the best published romance novels of the year.  Up to 1,200 romance novels from 12 different categories are entered each year in the RITA competition. Novels can be entered either by their authors or by the books’ publisher.”

Although I haven’t read any of these yet, I will choose one or two to read soon.  If you haven’t tried a romance novel or it has been a while maybe you should try one too.

And the RITA Awards go to…

Best First Book…Dead Girls Are Easy by Terri Garey

Best Contemporary Series Romance…Snowbound by Janice Kay Johnson

Best Contemporary Series Romance:Suspense/Adventure…Treasure by Helen Brenna

Best Contemporary Single Title Romance…Catch of the Day by Kristan Higgins

Best Historical Romance…Lessons of Desire by Madeline Hunter

Best Inspirational Romance…A Touch of Grace by Linda Goodnight

Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements…Silent in the Graveby Deanna Raybourn

Best Paranormal Romance…Lover Revealed by JR Ward

Best Regency Historical Romance…The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever by Julia Quinn

Best Romance Novella…”Born in My Heart” by Jennifer Greene in Like Mother, Like Daughter

Best Romantic Suspense…Ice Blue by Anne Stuart

Best Young Adult Romance… Wicked Lovelyby Melissa Marr


Splendor, by Brenda Joyce

Cover ImageFinished 8-19-08, rating 4.5/5, romance, pub. 1997

Brenda Joyce’s historical romances are always top notch and this is no exception.  It’s the summer of 1812 in England and Napoleon is on the move across Europe.  The Russian Prince, Nicholas Sverayov, is in London to broker a treaty, but he finds himself the target of malicious gossip.  Carolyn Browne, the daughter of a bookshop owner, is the anonymous columnist that writes about the foibles of the powerful and Nicholas is her latest target.  Nicholas finds her out and begins a dangerous game of cat and mouse.

Nicholas is married to a beautiful woman and while Carolyn knows this she is drawn to him and unable to stop herself from loving him.  Nicholas, for his part, is falling in love with Carolyn too, and offers her the job as companion to his young daughter which she accepts with trepidation.  As war continues, Nicholas must go back to Russia to lead his men to battle and the story moves to St. Petersburg and Moscow.  The setting and the history make the story all that more compelling.

There is no shortage of obstacles for the two of them.  Her father is embroiled in the war, but on the wrong side and her grandmother has entered her life after disowning her mother before Carolyn was born.  Nicholas and Carolyn are two great characters and I was sorry to see their story end.  Carolyn is smart, audacious and witty, while Nicholas is strong, powerful and smart.  If you like romances, especially historicals I think you’ll fall in love with Carolyn and Nicholas and their story.