Congratulations to the 2011 Readers’ Crown Winners!
Reader Judges. Reader Rated. Best of the Best. We congratulate this year’s fine selection of top authors!
Best First Book & Best Long Erotic Romance
Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning
It’s been months since Brian Sinclair, lead guitarist for the famous rock band, Sinners, composed anything. Unable to write the music that once flowed so naturally, Brian is lost without his musical mojo. But when sexy psychology professor Myrna Evans comes on tour to study groupie mentality, Brian may have found the spark he needs to reignite his musical genius. When lust turns to love, will Brian be able to convince Myrna that what they have is more than just a fling, and that now that he’s found his heart’s muse, he doesn’t want to live without her?
Best Long Contemporary Romance
Something About You by Julie James
Fate has thrown two sworn enemies…
Of all the hotel rooms rented by all the adulterous politicians in Chicago, female Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Lynde had to choose the one next to 1308, where some hot-and-heavy lovemaking ends in bloodshed. And of all the FBI agents in Illinois, it had to be Special Agent Jack Pallas who gets assigned to this high-profile homicide. The same Jack Pallas who still blames Cameron for a botched crackdown three years ago—and nearly ruining his career…
…into each other’s arms
Work with Cameron Lynde? Are they kidding? Maybe, Jack thinks, this is some kind of welcome-back prank after his stint away from Chicago. But it’s no joke: the pair is going to have to put their rocky past behind them and focus on the case at hand. That is, if they can cut back on the razor-sharp jibes—and smother the flame of their sizzling-hot sexual tension…
Best Long Historical Romance
The Chief by Monica McCarty
The ultimate Highland warlord and a swordsman without equal, Tor MacLeod has no intention of being drawn into Scotland’s war. Dedicated to his clan, the fiercely independent chief answers to no one—especially not his alluring new bride, bartered to him in a bid to secure his agreement to command the deadliest fighting force the world has ever seen.
The treacherous chit who made her way to his bed may have won his hand, but she will never claim his heart.
Best Long Paranormal Romance
A Highlander’s Destiny by Melissa Mayhue
When the worlds of Mortal and Fae collide, the magic of true love is put to the test.
JESSE CORYELL is a man adrift in life, searching for his destiny. He doesn’t trust women; too many have chased him for his money and power.
He’s tried to lose himself in his work, taking on the worst mankind has to offer, but as a Guardian and Fae descendent, what he really needs is to find his true love. When he sets out to help a mysterious woman find her sister, what he gets is much more than he bargained for, battling an undeniable attraction to his sexy new client while fighting to save her life and rescue her sister.
DESTINY NOBLE is desperately searching for her missing kid sister. Not even her own attempted abduction will stop her in her quest. Abandoned by everyone she’s ever loved, losing Leah is the last straw. Authorities have declared the girl a runaway, but Destiny knows better. Her dreams have shown her the truth. They’ve also shown her Jesse.
Jesse and Destiny race against time to save an innocent girl from a powerful ancient evil. Will true love be their only weapon or will they each sacrifice their own destiny in the process?
(TIE) Best Long Romantic Suspense
Risk No Secrets (Book 5 Black Ops Inc.)by Cindy Gerard
A RED-HOT ATTRACTION . . .
Twelve years of chasing bad guys didn’t erase beautiful Sophie Baylor from Wyatt Savage’s memory. If he had another chance, he’d never let her leave. So when she tracks him down from El Salvador and begs for help, he doesn’t ask questions—he just goes.
STARTS WITH A TERRIFYING THREAT . . .
Sophie is grateful her daughter survived a kidnapping attempt, but she won’t forgive herself until the girl who was mistakenly abducted is safe. Wyatt is the only man brave enough to take on the mysterious terrorists behind the crime—and the one irresistible man she wishes she had never let go.
. . . AND UNLEASHES AN UNFORGETTABLE ADVENTURE.
Sophie knows Central America’s steamy jungles and sticky politics better than anyone. Yet she refuses to hide in fear. Then she becomes the enemy’s number one target. Wyatt lost her once, and he won’t lose her again—even if he has to fight, kill, or die to save her.
(TIE) Best Long Romantic Suspense
White Heat by Brenda Novak
Paradise? In name only…
Nate Ferrentino and Rachel Jessop are operatives for Department 6, a private security company, and they’re going undercover to expose a new and dangerous cult.
This group has taken up residence in the Arizona desert, in a ghost town called Paradise. Members worship at the feet—and in the bed–of its charismatic leader, Ethan Wycliff. On his orders, they tried to stone a woman to death. And they’re implicated in the disappearance of a teenage girl.
To expose the Church of the Covenant, with its arcane rituals and debauched practices, Nate and Rachel must pretend to be married. That’s the only way they can get in—but being Nate’s “wife” is the last thing Rachel wants. She and Nate have a one-night history that’s just an embarrassment to her now. But they don’t have a choice. Wycliff has to be stopped.
Best Sci-Fi, Futuristic, Time-Travel Romance
Body Master by CJ Barry
Her world under siege…
Seneca Thomas is an agent with XCEL, a secret government taskforce charged with capturing the dangerous shapeshifters that have infiltrated New York City , passing for humans. Her Native American heritage gives her a special gift—the ability to see the shapeshifters for what they are. Unfortunately, this doesn’t make killing them any easier…
…his life on the line.
Max Dempsey was on a refugee transport that crashed to Earth, setting thousands of shapeshifters free to do what they do best—replicate the local population in order to survive. Among them is the shifter who murdered Max’s wife. Now Max’s only desire is to find him and destroy him—until he gets partnered with Seneca, a sexy, fearless agent who would kill every one of his kind—including Max—if given the chance.
A dangerous liaison.
As a criminal army of shifters assembles under the city determined to wreak havoc and destroy humanity, Seneca and Max will have to embrace their explosive chemistry, for only by trusting in each other and their power can they hope to stop the growing evil.
Best Mainstream Women’s Fiction
Sleep No More by Susan Crandall
DANGER NEVER RESTS
The night was always Abby Whitman’s enemy. As a young girl she walked in her sleep, and one night, started a fire that scarred her sister for life and left Abby with unbearable guilt, and a loneliness that echoes within her
AND EVIL NEVER CLOSES ITS EYES
Now Abby has begun blacking out again—with apparently fatal results. A car accident has killed the son of a prominent family. Even though the evidence seems to exonerate her, Abby is plagued by doubts—and soon by mysterious threats. A young psychiatrist, Dr. Jason Coble, is intrigued by Abby and offers to help her explore the dark recesses in her mind. Through this terrifying journey, Jason’s interest turns to passion, and he yearns to give her the love she craves. But first, Abby must trust him—and shed light on secrets that will rock this Southern town and reveal a danger that threatens them both.
Best Short Contemporary Romance
One of a Kind Family by Holly Jacobs
Anna Chapel believes in people. She believes in helping them lead exceptional lives. Now the dedicated life coach wants to do that for different yet special Colm Franklin. If Colm’s breath-stopping, overprotective brother, Liam, will let her.
But the guilt-ridden computer programmer refuses to believe, to dream. Or could it be Liam simply needs to learn how? Anna’s biggest challenge may be ahead: can one woman with a head full of wayward curls and a smile a mile long convince Liam that they have a fighting chance? That, together, they can overcome anything to create a family that’s truly one of a kind.
Best Short Erotic Romance
Codename Courtesan – Winter by Aubrey Ross
After surviving the horrors of a salt refinery, Winter is convinced she’s prepared for anything. Her mission is simple, seduce Ulrick Brant and convince him to reveal the location of the mysterious Chemist. Ulrick is handsome, sexy, and heroic. How hard can this be?
Ulrick doesn’t mind helping the Resistance, but he won’t tolerate being used. Before Winter realizes she’s caught, he has her naked and in restraints. He arouses her slowly, commanding her body with skill and tenderness until they both forget it’s a game.
Winter is dazzled by the pleasure they share, but the Resistance won’t wait forever. Danger is closing in, and Ulrick must choose his final role, ruthless invader, or freedom fighter.
Best Short Historical Romance
To Tempt A Saint by Kate Moore
First in the Sons of Sin trilogy Introducing the three sons of an infamous London courtesan-and the strong-willed women who love them…
Despite being knighted for saving the Prince Regent’s life, Sir Alexander Jones will never truly be accepted by the nobility. But if he’s to find his long lost brother, Xander must win the first willing heiress he can find.
Only by marrying can Cleo Spencer access her funds. Making a bargain with Xander is her chance to provide for her younger brother. But when her uncle accuses them of fraud, they discover that love is the best part of their bargain.
Best Short Romantic Suspense
Along Came A Husband by Helen Brenna
Missy Charms just got the shock of her life. The man she thought was dead has turned up on her doorstep.
Her ex-husband—Jonas Abel.
Four years ago, Missy Charms fell hard for Jonas. But his FBI job always came first. Missy only wanted—still wants—a home and family. Jonas isn’t husband material, not even close. And now his latest undercover mission has trailed him to Mirabelle Island. With both their lives on the line, Missy knows she’s been fooling herself. She loves Jonas as much as she ever did—maybe more. His return also means finally admitting the truth: she can’t lose him again….
Best Romantic Novella
No Ordinary Man (One in a Million anthology) by Abby Gaines
Jeb Stallworth has always had too much going on in his life to worry about settling down. Sure, one day he’ll want to do the family thing…and luckily he has just the right woman waiting in the wings: Cara Rivers, beautiful widow, three great kids, Jeb’s best buddy. But when Jeb decides that one day is right now, it turns out he might have forgotten to keep Cara on the same page. She’s convinced Jeb’s not husband or father material – the memory of a kiss is nowhere near enough for her.
Congratulations to all of the winners!!