My review of Stefanie Sloane's The Devil In Disguise just went up at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books:
So here’s a theory for you. The defining feature of historical romances is this edifice of manners and propriety within which the hero and heroine must find love. So you can divide historicals into two categories: books whose characters seek to belong, and books whose characters seek to rebel. Personally, I see the “ton” and its trappings as an obstacle, and I prefer books whose characters feel likewise. But it’s equally valid to take the reverse view, as Stefanie Sloane does.
Read the rest here.
In the past, when I'm hunting for a good book and my usual sources aren't providing any likely titles, I've googled up lists of RITA nominees and picked from there - and the results have always been great. The RITA shortlist doesn't include every great book that comes out in a given year, but in my experience the titles that do make the list are worth the time and attention.
SB Sarah explained the Challenge, now in its second year, in a post back in March:
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.
And it's true that with twelve categories, it's unlikely very many of us will be familiar with each one. I was excited to participate and think it will really pay off this year in Anaheim (it'll be my first time attending the RWA National conference).
And thanks again to Ms. Sloane, who sought me out and donated a copy of the book. It was a classy move. And thanks to Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, for coming up with such an awesome idea and then making it happen.