I love the RITA finalist day on twitter. It is so fun to see author reacting to getting their calls or eagerly congratulating others. I know it must be hard to send your book out and not get that call but the overwhelming responses seem to be celebration and discovery.
Romance is a huge genre with many niches and it never more evident than when I sit and read through the list and see how many books I haven't even heard of and I read a lot of books and pay way more attention than I should to what is published.
On this year'a list: RWA RITA 2017 Finalists, there are 83 books, I have read 5 all in different categories. I have own several more but just haven't gotten to them yet.
I haven't read a single one. =(
Contemporary Romance: Long: 0/7
I do have Alexis Hall's "Pansies" in my gigantic TBR.
Contemporary Romance: Mid-Length: 1/10
I adored "Fast Connection" by Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell. I reviewed it along with "Strong Signal", the first book in that CyberLove series in July. *(Note: 3.9.18 -- Since this was published allegations have come to light that the author known as Santino Hassell, Catfished and mislead, co-authors, fans and others)
In this category I plan on tracking down Virginia Kantra and Roni Loren's books. I have enjoyed Kantra's books in the past and I saw a lot of love for Loren's books on twitter from readers I trust.
Contemporary Romance: Short: 0/10
I have Lorelie Brown's "Far from Home" on my TBR. I bought it after reading Jazz Baby (her m/f 1920's set historical). I love the fake relationship trope so a f/f green-card romance should be right up my alley.
Erotic Romance: 0/5
Historical Romance: Long: 0/4
Loretta Chase is hit or miss with me. I have to be in just the right mood, so I didn't pick up this one. Maybe I should have.
Historical Romance: Short: 1/6
I am saving the Tessa Dare entry, "Do You Want to Start a Scandal" for my next reading slump. The Castles Ever After series has been tons of fun. (It is currently on sale for $1.99, so this is a good time to snap it up).
I did read and enjoy "Duke of Sin" by Elizabeth Hoyt. I loved how Hoyt didn't attempt to reform Val as much as redirect him. He is terrible person with very little empathy, but he does truly fall for Bridget and she loves and understands him, without condoning his past bad actions. There were a couple of thing I didn't love in this book. The one POC character, a young Turkish boy's poor understanding of English is played for laughs, and he adores Val as his white savior (Val rescued him from a terrible situation). That whole storyline was hugely uncomfortable. I was also disappointed that Hoyt teased us with rumors that VaI might be bisexual, and then back away. I didn't ever review it, but talked about it plenty on twitter. I also exchanged enough DMs about it with Elisabeth Lane that she can spot me talking about it without context.
Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance: 0/4
I am sort of surprised I have nothing in this category, since I really enjoy books in other genres that have strong romantic elements.
I read the "Leopard King" by Ann Aguirre but I didn't review it because it I didn't get it as an ARC and I didn't love it and I hard time figuring out why. There was a lot of cool things happening in this book, very interesting world building but romance didn't really work for me. It has a lot of tropes I usually enjoy, widower falling in love again, fake relationships, and political intrigue but I didn't like how much guilt played into both their feelings and the whole storyline with her ex's jealousy after stringing her along for years because she couldn't shift and she still struggled with having hurt him was infuriating. I am curious to read more in this world however.
Romance Novella: 1/7
I adore Alyssa Cole and this novella "Let us Dream" appeared in "Daughters of a Nation" a great anthology that reunited her with Kianna Alexander, Piper Huguley and Lena Heart, whose previous anthology, "The Brightest Day" was also fantastic. It pairs a black cabaret owner in Harlem and dedicated suffragette and Muslim Indian immigrant chef. Politics, social action and a love fused into a delicious romance.
In this category I also have "Her Every Wish" by Courtney Milan deep into my TBR. I'm not sure why I didn't read it when I bought it, but I am going to simply thank my past-self for buying it.
Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements: 0/4
I haven't read a single one these, or much of any that would fall under this category.
"Mr. & Mr. Smith" by HelenKay Dimon is part of her m/m Tough Love series and I've enjoyed reading reading that series a ton. Great action, conflict and romance.
Young Adult Romance 0/4
None here either!
Best of luck to all the RITA and Golden Heart Finalists. May many readers find your books, this year and in the future.