2012 Rita Reader Challenge

The RITA® and Golden Heart nominations have been announced! Congratulations to the nominated authors and editors!

Ready to rustle up some reader reviews?

Last year, I set up a public spreadsheet of all the RITA® nominees, and we reviewed every single one by the time the RITA® winners were announced in July .I would love to do it again – and I hope you're up for reading and reviewing a book!

Now that the nominees have been announced (congrats, y'all!), I've created a 2012 spreadsheet for everyone to use to coordinate the reviews.

Here's the deal: select a book on the spreadsheet you'd like to read and “claim” it on the Google Doc by writing your name/handle in a box to the right of each title. Then, read the book. If you're so inclined, send me a review of 250 words or less, by 10 July 2012. If someone else has claimed a book you want to read, feel free to grab it as well, up to three names per book. Not everyone has the time to read and write a review, despite their best intentions, so it's good to have backup!

You can skip the plot summary – that's often the hardest part. You can make it silly or serious, but please make sure to explain the ways in which the book worked for you, or didn't work for you, keeping in mind that the book you're reading has been nominated as one of the best of the past year.

If you'd like to submit a review for a book you've read and reviewed elsewhere, please make sure that what you submit is original content, and not a copy of what you've published elsewhere. You can quote yourself, but please make sure the majority of the review is original content. You can absolutely include a link to the review you've already written.

I'll start publishing the reviews as they come in, and collect them under the “RITA Reader Challenge” tag. I can't promise I'll print every review, but last year I ran most, if not all, of the submissions. Please send the review and your grade for the book to sarahATsmartbitchestrashybooksDOTcom with “RITA Reader Challenge” in the subject line so I can prioritize it. (My inbox, it is scarier than that novel that gave you nightmares.)

ETA: I just received a question about this, so let me clarify: if you elect to review a book, it's your responsibility to procure a copy. I, alas, do not have review copies of all the RITA books. My apologies if that was not clear! 

Last year this resulted in a LOT of reviews, but it also made the award ceremony a lot of fun because by the end, there was more than a passing familiarity with the different books. I had several email messages from people saying they appreciated all the RITA reviews because it not only gave them great ideas for what to read next, but it made them more attentive to the awards ceremony as the winners were announced.

I hope you'll join in the fun. Thank you to the Romance Writers of America for use of the RITA image, which is a registered service mark of Romance Writers of America, Inc. And big congratulations to the nominees, and happy dress and shoes shopping to you! 

Here's the complete list of nominees (please claim books to review on the Google Doc, not here, thanks!):

Best First Book:

  • Beautiful Disaster by Laura Spinella * * A | BN | K | S
  • The Darling Strumpet by Gillian Bagwell * * A | BN | K | S
  • The Devil in Disguise by Stefanie Sloane * * A | BN | K | S
  • First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones * * A | BN | K | S
  • Hourglass by Myra McEntire * * A | BN | K | S
  • How to Marry a Duke by Vicky Dreiling * * A | BN | K | S
  • I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler * * A | BN | K | S
  • Warped by Maurissa Guibord * * A | BN | K | S

Best Contemporary Series Romance:

  • A Bravo Homecoming by Christine Rimmer * * A | BN | K | S
  • Donovan's Child by Christine Rimmer * * A | BN | K | S
  • Doukakis's Apprentice by Sarah Morgan * * A | BN | K | S
  • How a Cowboy Stole her Heart by Donna Alward * * A | BN | K | S
  • I'll Catch You by Farrah Rochon * * A | BN | K | S
  • A Mother's Homecoming by Tanya Michaels * * A | BN | K | S
  • Rancher's Twins: Mom Needed by Barbara Hannay * * A | BN | K | S
  • The Texan's Bride by Linda Warren * * A | BN | K | S

Best Contemporary Series Romance Suspense/Adventure:

  • Cooper Vengeance by Paula Graves * * A | BN | K | S
  • The Man from Gossamer Ridge by Paula Graves * * A | BN | K | S
  • Nothing But the Truth by Kara Lennox * * A | BN | K | S
  • Soldier's Last stand by Cindy Dees * * A | BN | K | S
  • Stranded with Her Ex by Jill Sorenson * * A | BN | K | S
  • Taken to the Edge by Kara Lennox * * A | BN | K | S
  • The Doctor's Deadly Affair by Stephanie Doyle * * A | BN | K | S

Best Contemporary Single Title Romance: 

  • At Hidden Falls by Barbara Freethy * * A | BN | K | S
  • Black Ties and Lullabies by Jane Graves * * A | BN | K | S
  • Heartstrings and Diamond Rings by Jane Graves * * A | BN | K | S
  • Silver Sparks by Starr Ambrose * * A | BN | K | S
  • Slow Dancing on Price's Pier by Lisa Dale * * A | BN | K | S
  • The Welcome Home Garden Club by Lori Wilde * * A | BN | K | S
  • Boomerang Bride by Fiona Lowe * * A | BN | K | S

Best Historical Romance: 

  • The Black Hawk by Joanna Bourne * * A | BN | K | S
  • The Danger of Desire by Elizabeth Essex * * A | BN | K | S
  • Heartbreak Creek by Kaki Warner * * A | BN | K | S
  • The Many Sins of Lord Cameron by Jennifer Ashley * * A | BN | K | S
  • Scandalous Desires by Elizabeth Hoyt * * A | BN | K | S
  • Silk is For Seduction by Loretta Chase * * A | BN | K | S
  • Unveiled by Courtney Milan * * A | BN | K | S

Best Inspirational Romance:

  • The Christmas Child by Linda Goodnight * * A | BN | K | S
  • Deadly Pursuit by Irene Hannon * * A | BN | K | S
  • Katie's Way by Marta Perry * * A | BN | K | S
  • The Ladies' Room by Carolyn Brown * * A | BN | K | S
  • Love on the Line by Deeanne Gist * * A | BN | K | S
  • The Measure of Katie Calloway by Elizabeth Hoyt * * A | BN | K | S
  • My Foolish Heart by Susan May Warren * * A | BN | K | S
  • Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones * * A | BN | K | S
  • To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer * * A | BN | K | S

Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements:

  • The Dark Enquiry by Deanna Raybourn * * A | BN | K | S
  • Death Magic by Eileen Wilks * * A | BN | K | S
  • First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones * * A | BN | K | S
  • Goodnight Tweetheart by Teresa Medeiros * * A | BN | K | S
  • How to Bake a Perfect Life by Barbara O'Neal * * A | BN | K | S
  • The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley * * A | BN | K | S
  • Shadow Walker by Allyson James * * A | BN | K | S
  • Song of the Nile by Stephanie Dray * * A | BN | K | S
  • Spider's Revenge by Jennifer Estep * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S

Best Paranormal Romance:

  • Archangel's Blade by Nalini Singh * * A | BN | K | S
  • Changeling Moon by Dani Harper * * A | BN | K | S
  • Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison * * A | BN | K | S
  • Envy by JR Ward * * A | BN | K | S
  • Lord of the Abyss by Nalini Singh * * A | BN | K | S
  • The Lost by Caridad Pineiro * * A | BN | K | S
  • Nightfall by Ellen Connor * * A | BN | K | S
  • The Restorer by Amanda Stevens * * A | BN | K | S

Best Regency Historical Romance:

  • The Devil in Disguise by Stefanie Sloane * * A | BN
  • Heiress in Love by Christina Brooke * * A | BN
  • How to Marry a Duke by Vicky Dreiling * * A | BN
  • How to Seduce a Scoundrel by Vicky Dreiling * * A | BN
  • Lady Sophie's Christmas by Grace Burrowes * * A | BN
  • A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare * * A | BN
  • To Seduce an Angel by Kate Moore * * A | BN
  • When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James * * A | BN


Best Novella: 

  • “Angel's Wolf” from Angels of Darkness,  by Nalini Singh * * A | BN
  • “Chaos in Death” from The Unquiet,  by JD Robb * * A | BN
  • “Compassion Can't Wait” from More than Words Vol 7,  by Carly Phillips * * A | BN
  • I Love the Earl by Caroline Linden * * A | BN
  • “One Wish: A Christmas Story” from A Texas Christmas,  by Jodi Thomas * * A | BN
  • “Resolution” from The Heart of Winter,  by Linda Winstead Jones * * A | BN
  • “The Storm Within” from A Royal Engagement,  by Trish Morey * * A | BN
  • “Unforgiven” from The Unquiet,  by Ruth Ryan Langan * * A | BN

Best Romantic Suspense: 

  • Hidden Away by Maya Banks * * A | BN | K
  • Hot Zone by Catherine Mann * * A | BN | K
  • Hush by Cherry Adair * * A | BN | K
  • New York to Dallas by JD Robb * * A | BN | K
  • Secrets of Bella Terra by Christina Dodd * * A | BN | K
  • True Colors by Joyce Lamb * * A | BN | K
  • True Shot by Joyce Lamb * * A | BN | K
  • Where All the Dead Lie by JT Ellison * * A | BN | K

Best YA Romance:

  • Enclave by Ann Aguirre * * A | BN | K
  • Flawless by Lara Chapman * * A | BN | K
  • Hourglass by Myra McEntire * * A | BN | K
  • I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler * * A | BN | K
  • Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep * * A | BN | K
  • Warped by Maurissa Guibord * * A | BN | K

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    library addict says:

    I’ve got quite a few of the category books and others in my TBR pile. But I’ll wait a few days to see what doesn’t get claimed.

  2. 2
    SB Sarah says:

    I’m working on getting the rest of the nominees to display. My apologies that it’s cut off in the middle. It’s a back-end error (huh huh).

    Thanks for signing up Library Addict!

  3. 3

    AHH! I just bought a $9.99 Kindle version of Nightfall by Ellen Connor because it looks fantastic and I want to review it… It’s a good cause to spend my money, right?

    But still… $9.99! Ack! I did check the library first. It looks like a fantastic book. I hope I’m happy, haha!

  4. 4
    Joanne says:

    Oops. I made my selection red. And Bold. Fortunately I didn’t make the type size HUMUNGUS. Sorry. Thanks. I’m going now.

  5. 5

    I was wondering. If the book I chose is in two different categories, do I highlight the title in both categories or just in the first one?

  6. 6
    PhyllisLaatsch says:

    I picked a few. One I’ve read already, but will re-read, one novel I haven’t read yet in a category where I’ve read almost everything else, and a novella. I love reading! And reviewing! And Ritas! And Smart Bitches! OK, fangirl squee will now be set to OFF.

  7. 7
    R.Savage says:

    Oh yay! I’ve already read one on the list…and I believe I have two or three others in my TBR pile I could work on … and actually get more than one review done this year to make up for failing so bad last time around. /blush

  8. 8
    Lakefrontmuse says:

    Great idea and I think I’ve picked a fabulous read. Oops… no preconceived bias here…

  9. 9
    Modokker says:

    I picked two that i have on my TBR pile but ketp pushing back. lol Now to push them forward!

    Lisa B

  10. 10
    Modokker says:

    I was lucky and won a copy and loved it but tracking them down in the library system is almost impossible. Been trying to get the 2nd one for weeks now.

    You’ll love it. enjoy!

    Lisa B

  11. 11
    ksattler says:

    If the previous review was on goodreads, does that count as published?

  12. 12
    Emily says:

    OMG! I am so excited! I loved the Rita challange last year, and I so look forward to doing it this year. I am so happy! Yay!

  13. 13
    Julie Brannagh says:

    Okay, so I signed up for a back-up review. I hope that’s okay. ;-) In the meantime, lots of these books are in my TBR stack already, so I’m in good shape!

  14. 14
    library addict says:

    This 250 words limit is hard.

  15. 15
    Annie Q. says:

    Great idea, love it! Chose two books from the list but, as it’s usually the case with me, had problems doing what I had to do with the spreadsheet, sorry if I did anything wrong :(

  16. 16
    Melinda Smith says:

    Thank you for the opportunity to do this, Sarah!

  17. 17
    kkw says:

    I picked a couple I haven’t read by authors I don’t know.  Which served me very poorly last year, but I’ve done such a great job never learning from my mistakes that I’d hate to quit now.

  18. 18
    Dane R. says:

    Managed to sign up for a book that I already have! Of course, then I signed up for a couple that I don’t, but hey, one out of a few isn’t bad, right?

  19. 19
    SB Sarah says:

    Yup. That counts as published elsewhere. Thanks for asking!

  20. 20
    SB Sarah says:

    I know! But if you go over by a bit, I won’t throw things. :)

  21. 21
    corizzo says:

    Hooray! I’m excited to submit my first review here. Love reading this site. Thanks for the opportunity to be a part of it.

  22. 22

    Super excited – I just put my name on for two.  I love reading romances anyway, but RITA is such a great way to find books that may be outside of your comfort zone but are really enjoyable.  I’ll drink to that. 

  23. 23
    ADL says:

    Love this; thank you for publishing and putting it together. It’s always a good way for me to fill my book coffers.

  24. 24
    Bnbsrose says:

    Wow, you people work fast! Luckily there was a slot open for a book that was so excrutiatingly bad I can’t wait to get started on it. Cause we all know I can barely string a paragraph together about Joanne Bourne or Nalini Singh or any book I love, but a bad book? Oh, yes, it is ON!

  25. 25
    MissB2U says:

    This is great!  Adding to my TBR pile as we speak…

  26. 26
    Tiona says:

    This is great! Some I haven’t even heard of but might have to try.

  27. 27
    Ren says:

    There’s category entirely comprised of books I couldn’t force myself to finish, and “excruciatingly bad” sums it up nicely, thank you.

  28. 28
    ToppysMom says:

    So it appears that all the books have been nabbed, which is cool. Although I am concerned about what it says about my reading habits that I’ve read oh, TWO of the books on the list?!?!

    BTW, is “New York to Dallas” really nominated in the novella category? Because on my library’s website (where I’m on the endless request list for the audiobook), it says it’s 12 CDs, which is about 13 hours … that’s one heck of a novella!

  29. 29
    Hannah E. says:

    Why isn’t there a LGBT category?

  30. 30
    Itgirl says:

    Everything looks like it has been picked.  But I want to point out that you put New York to Dallas under novella.

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