The RITA Award is the premiere award given to romance novels each year and is sponsored by the Romance Writers of America (RWA) association. As a published member of RWA, I get to participate in the process as a judge. A couple weeks ago I received a box full of seven novels ready to be read. We are instructed to score the books in 4 major areas: The Romance, The Plot/Story, The Writing, and The Characters. I keep these elements in mind as I read, but truly what influences my score most of all is the experience I have as a reader.
If you read as much as I do, you’re bound to come up with some favorite elements. Perhaps a favorite type of heroine (feisty, bookish, tomboy, impulsive, etc.) or a favorite plot (marriage of convenience, beauty and the beast, Cinderella story, secret baby, etc.). You probably also have a few pet peeves. I, for example, am not a big fan of love triangle stories. I prefer my hero/heorine to have no other love interest competing for them while they are falling in love with each other. However, other readers might have this scenario on the top of their favorite plots list.
Reading is subjective. But that’s what makes it so fun. Everyone has their own preferences, and there are authors available to fit each reader’s list.
Since we focus on western romances here at the Junction, I thought I’d share some of my all-time favorite western romances (not including those written by my sister fillies – that would make this post waaaaay too long).
Favorite Christian Western Romances:
Favorite General Market Western Romances:
So if you were a judge for the RITA contest, what elements would you be looking for?
What type of characters and plots are your favorite to read about?
What are some of your favorite western reads?