RITA Award-I’m Watching You


  • Who: Rita Clay Estrada, Romance Writer’s of America’s first president
  • What: Novels and novellas – best first book; contemporary; historical; erotic; romanic suspense; paranormal; young adult; religious or spiritual elements
  • When: 1982-2019
    • replaced by the Vivian Award in 2020 because it was receiving criticism for a lack of diverse authors
  • Prize: NA
  • Other winners: https://www.rwa.org/Online/Awards/RITA/Past_RITA_Winners.aspx


I’m Watching You by Karen Rose won this award in 2005 for Best Romantic Suspense. I decided on this genre because it’s not something I read a lot of but still enjoy. I’m more of a historical and paranormal romance kind of person.

A public defender has a stalker who kills the criminals she isn’t able to put behind bars. It might be triggering for some people because the plot revolves around sexual assault and has some violence.

It has all the markings of a good romantic suspense novel: the good characters have a great mixture of strength and vulnerability and the bad characters are as bad as they come. Rose packs a lot of suspense into this book and there are a lot of twists and turns right up until the very end. The romance between the two characters is very well played out and not over done, and I enjoyed how they were drawn together. All in all it is a very good book.

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