So, Have You Read Any RITA Winners?

rita_award The 2012 RITA winners were officially announced on the last full evening at the RWA convention, on July 28, 2012. Many of us like to compare the winners to what we have already read and AAR reviewers are no exception.

Here are the RITA winners:

Best Paranormal Romance –Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison

Best Romance Novella –I Love the Earl by Caroline Linden

Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements – First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

Best Historical Romance – The Black Hawk by Joanna Bourne

Best Inspirational Romance – The Measure of Katie Calloway by Serena Miller

Best Contemporary Series Romance: Suspense/Adventure – Soldier’s Last Stand by Cindy Dees

Best Contemporary Single Title Romance – Boomerang Bride by Fiona Lowe

Best Regency Historical Romance – A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare

Best Young Adult Romance – Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Best Contemporary Series Romance – Doukakis’s Apprentice by Sarah Morgan

Best Romantic Suspense – New York to Dallas by J.D. Robb

We started discussed books that all of us at AAR had read, and Leigh started off by saying that,” I can’t say that I have paid big attention to the RWA but this year it was fun and more real after I signed up to follow Lynn and Blythe on my dormant Twitter account. Sunday night I signed in again … to discover that the RITA winners had been posted.

Normally I have read one or two, but this year I was batting zero causing me to shoot off an e-mail to the AAR staff stating ‘It’s official, I haven’t read any of the winners. Unless I read the Barbara O’Neal -I sort of remember looking at it. However if I read it- it wasn’t memorable to me. Of course then everyone chimed in stating if they had read any of the books.’” And Leigh wasn’t alone.

The book that most of us had read was Joanna Bourne’s The Black Hawk. Lee, Lynn, Sandy, Blythe, Dabney, Jean and Rike have all read it. It was a favorite book for several reviewers in 2011, and they were happy to see her win in what was a very tough category.

Dabney had read I Love the Earl, and several of us – Blythe, Dabney, Lee and our newest reviewer, Elizabeth – had all read A Night to Surrender. Sandy and Wendy both read Dragon Bound, and very much enjoy it. Blythe and I have read From New York to Dallas, and I also read First Grave on the Right, which I enjoyed.

And then there are the neverending TBRs. I have the Barbara O’Neal book in mine, and Lynn already has First Grave on the Right, Boomerang Bride, Enclave, and A Night to Surrender all sitting in her TBR pile – and she plans to try a few more!

When it came to the RITA nominees, that’s where reviewers had read a lot more of the offerings. You can find the list of RITA finalists here. I won’t bore you with a long rundown of which reviewers read which books, but among us, we have read all of the following so far and several more lurk in TBR piles:

The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley

The Restorer by Amanda Stevens

Scandalous Desires by Elizabeth Hoyt

The Welcome Home Garden Club by Lori Wilde

When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James

The Devil in Disguise by Stefanie Sloane

Nightfall by Ellen Connor

Always a Temptress by Eileen Dreyer

Unveiled by Courtney Milan

At Hidden Falls by Barbara Freethy

Hidden Away by Maya Banks

When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James

The Doctor’s Deadly Affair by Stephanie Doyle

The Danger of Desire by Elizabeth Essex

The Many Sins of Lord Cameron by Jennifer Ashley

Love on the Line by Deeanne Gist

My Foolish Heart by Susan May Warren

Archangel’s Blade by Nalini Singh

Changeling Moon by Dani Harper

Envy by J.R. Ward

Heiress in Love by Christina Brooke

How to Marry a Duke and How to Seduce a Scoundrel, both by Vicky Dreiling

“Angel’s Wolf” by Nalini Singh, from the Angels of Darkness anthology

“Chaos in Death” by J.D. Robb and “Unforgiven” by Ruth Ryan Langan, from The Unquiet anthology

“One Wish:A Christmas Story” by Jodi Thomas, from the A Texas Christmas anthology

Secrets of Bella Tera by Christina Dodd

True Shot and True Colors, both by Joyce Lamb

Now it is your turn. How many of the nominees did you read? How many of the winners? Are you going to add any winners to your TBR pile? How do you find your tastes match up with the RITA nominees and winners lists?

– Maggie Boyd

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22 Responses to So, Have You Read Any RITA Winners?

  1. Lia says:

    Of the winners I read Doukakis’ Apprentice and Boomerang Bride. Both are excellent reads. 

    I hardly ever read series anymore, but I think Sarah Morgan’s writing is top notch. Definitely a very deserving winner. 

    Of the nominees I read The Restorer by Amanda Stevens, which was quite good, but not so much on terms of romance.

  2. The only book I had read was Joanna Bourne’s Black Hawk. I love her writing and her characters as well as her plot development.

  3. Maureen says:

    I saw all the hoopla on Facebook about this event..Loved the photos of all the wonderful authors having a party together…..I never read any of the winning authors with the exception of Barbara O’Neal…I will have to look at Boomerang Bride..I never heard of that book…My genre for books are Western Historicals, and Contempary Romance…I agree…I read more from the list of finalists…Lori Wilde, Jodi Thomas, and Barbara Freethy…xo, snowhugs

  4. Maureen says:

    Oh how bad..I spelled Contemporary wrong… sorry…xo, snowhugs

  5. Maggie AAR says:

    I read of the finalists- Love on the Line by Gist, Hourglass, Warped, How to Marry a Duke, Heart Strings and Diamond Rings, Silver Sparks, The Rose Garden, Nightfall as well as the winners First Grave on the Right and New York to Dallas.

  6. MEK says:

    Dragon Bound deserved its win. Great book, and its the only winner I’ve read. I’m sure I’ll add some others to my TBR pile.

  7. JB Hunt says:

    I’ve read a good number of the winners (and other nominees).

    Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison, First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones, The Black Hawk by Joanna Bourne, and A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare ARE ALL OUTSTANDING.

  8. farmwifetwo says:

    I’ve read Dragon Bound and thought it was excellent – the rest of the series has not measured up and I’ve stopped reading it.

    1st grave on the right – didn’t entice me to read the next

    New york to dallas – IMO wasn’t one of the best of the series but I still buy them in h/c and admit I’m addicted.

    • farmwifetwo says:

      Need to add The restorer – again haven’t bothered with the next and Secrets of Bella Terra I didn’t get past the first 50pgs.

      I’m a fussy reader, I know :)

      farmwifetwo: I’ve read Dragon Bound and thought it was excellent – the rest of the series has not measured up and I’ve stopped reading it.1st grave on the right – didn’t entice me to read the nextNew york to dallas – IMO wasn’t one of the best of the series but I still buy them in h/c and admit I’m addicted.

  9. Nathalie says:

    I’ve read the Black Hawk and really liked it. I also want to read New York to Dallas and Darynda Jones’s book.

  10. Barbara says:

    If the winners, I had read:
    The Black Hawk, I Love the Earl, and A Night to Surrender
    I gave 5*****+ to The Black Hawk and very high marks to the other two.

    Of the finalists, I had read:
    Scandalous Desires (loved it), When Beauty Tamed the Beast (one of my favorite Eloisa James’ books), The Devil in Disguise, Unveiled (really enjoyed), The Many Sins of Lord Cameron, Envy, Heiress in Love, How to Marry A Duke, and How to Seduce a Scoundrel.

    I am a regency/historical/JR Ward/vampire kinda girl and rarely read contemporary books so I don’t think I will add any of the others to my TBR.

  11. PatF says:

    New York to Dallas and “Chaos in Death” are the only winners I have read.

  12. LSUReader says:

    I’ve read several of the winners and more of the nominees. The winner I was most excited about was First Grave on the Right, by Darynda Jones. I love that book.

  13. Elaine C. says:

    I’ve read both winning books that were historicals and all but one of the full-length novels that were nominated for either historical category. I haven’t read the novella either, but on Monday I ordered “I Love the Earl” and will read it when it comes. I guess I just love historical romance! :-)

  14. Yuri says:

    Of the winners I’ve read The Black Hawk and Dragon Bound both of which I loved, and of the finalists I’ve read eight:

    Barbara O’Neal How to bake a perfect life (B-)
    Christina Brooke Heiress in Love (C+)
    Loretta Chase Silk is for Seduction (B-)
    J.R.Ward Envy (B)
    Nalini Singh Angel’s Wolf. In: Angels of Darkness (B)
    Nalini Singh Archangel’s Blade (B)
    Eloisa James When Beauty Tamed the Beast (B+)
    Jill Sorenson Stranded With Her Ex (B)

    I read all of these for the AAR Poll anyway and Jill Sorenson got added to my tbr authors, but I always put all the rita finalists on the- to-order-at-the-library list and I usually find a few new authors to put on my tbr list so it’s well worth it.

  15. Hannah E. says:

    I read Doukakis’s Apprentice, Dragon Bound, and First Grave on the Right. The first two were good, but I can’t understand the popularity of First Grave. The romantic elements are minimal at best (and very strange), and the writing style is way too cutesy-clever for me.

  16. Lynda X says:

    I’ve read some of these, but I think DRAGON BOUND is the best. Like Farmwifetwo, I’ve stopped reading the series which has descended into generic books, IMO. I am amazed that Courtney Milan did not win.

  17. Lynda X says:

    I looked up the winners, and I had read–or at least started. I did not finish Tessa Dare’s A NIGHT TO SURRENDER; it just didn’t appeal to me. I gave I LOVED THE EARL by Linden a C, again, it didn’t hold my interest, but I did finish it. I adored Bourne’s books, but did myself a disservice of rereading all her previous booksright before her BLACK HAWK came out, so I found it too much like her other books. I am usually amazed at the RITA winners, most often they are filled with mediocre books, IMO, and they often miss the great new writer, even those who make a big splash.

  18. Jane says:

    I’ve read DRAGON BOUND, FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT, NEW YORK TO DALLAS and THE BLACK HAWK. All of them are very good books and deserving of notice.

    For the couple people who gave up on Harrison, I’d recommend picking up her latest, ORACLE’S MOON. I too was getting a little discouraged after reading books two and three of the Elder Races series. I didn’t like book two all that much and while book three was better then two, I was beginning to worry that Harrison was a one-hit wonder. But book four, ORACLE’S MOON put her right back on my must-read list. It sparkles the way DRAGON BOUND did. It has a great alpha hero (a Djinn) and a strong, practical, give as good as she gets heroine. Great dialog between them and just all around the book most like DRAGON BOUND. I’m happy too to see that the next book in the series, LORD’S FALL returns to Pia and Dragos as protagonists.

  19. AAR Lynn says:

    I didn’t do too well on the winners, but I have read several of the finalists. The Kearsley is wonderful (needs a reread) and I also enjoyed The Restorer.

    Some years the RITA list just doesn’t match with my taste, but this year it mostly emphasized how many TBR books I have because I actually have a lot of the finalists and winners waiting to be read.

  20. Karat says:

    I have read only one of the winners: New York to Dallas, and a couple of the finalists: The Many Sins of Lord Cameron , Archangel’s Blade and the novellas Angel’s Wolf and Chaos in Death.
    From the ones I read, Archangel’s Blade was my favorite.
    I have a couple of others in my TBR: The Black Hawk, The Dark Enquiry, The Rose Garden, Envy, When Beauty Tamed the Beast, and the novella Unforgiven.

  21. kam lin says:

    yes, dragon bound is thea’s harrison debut anda marvellous book,love her series… highly recommended

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