Authors including Liz Fenwick, Adele Parks and Milly Johnson will battle it out to win the Romantic Novel of the Year Award after the shortlists have been revealed.
Fern Britton will host this year’s award ceremony at Gladstone Library in Whitehall Place, London on 7th March.
The Romantic Novelists' Association (RNA) has revealed the shortlists for its six awards, comprising of the categories: Contemporary Romantic Novel, Epic Romantic Novel, Historical Romantic Novel, Romantic Comedy Novel, the RoNA Rose Award (for shorter and category romance) and Young Adult Romantic Novel – with five authors shortlisted for each one.
The winner of the overall Romantic Novel of the Year, sponsored by Goldsboro Books, will receive a £5,000 cheque.
In the Contemporary Romantic Novel category for mainstream romantic novels set post-1960 including genres such as chick lit, paranormal and romantic suspense, Liz Fenwick’s Under a Cornish Sky, (Orion) will compete with Veronica Henry’s High Tide, (Orion), Melanie Hudson’s The Wedding Cake Tree, (Choc Lit), Bella Osborne’s It Started at Sunset Cottage, (HarperImpulse) and Georgina Troy’s A Jersey Kiss (Accent Press).
In The Epic Romantic Novel category for books on serious issues or themes, including gritty, multi-generational stories, The Book of Lost and Found by Lucy Foley (Harper Collins) will battle it out with The Secrets We Share by Emma Hannigan, (Headline Review), The Years of Loving You by Ella Harper (Avon) After the Last Dance by Sarra Manning (Sphere) and If You Go Away by Adele Parks (Headline Review). The shortlist for the Historical Romantic Novel category, for novels set before 1960, includes The Secret Kiss of Darkness by Christina Courtenay (Choc Lit), Dangerous Entrapment by Lesley Field (MuseItUp), Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey (Simon & Schuster), At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen (Two Roads) and The Consul's Daughter by Jane Jackson (Accent Press).
The Romantic Comedy Novel, for consistently humorous or amusing novels, will go to one of: One Wish In Manhattan by Mandy Baggot (Bookouture), The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan (Head of Zeus), Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Café by Milly Johnson (Simon & Schuster), How To Get Ahead in Television by Sophie Cousens (Corvus) and Love From Paris by Alexandra Potter (Hodder & Stoughton).
Meanwhile, The RoNA Rose Award, which recognises the best in category or series and shorter romances, will be fought for by The Wedding Reject Table by Angela Britnell (Choc Lit), From Wallflower to Countess by Janice Preston (Mills & Boon Historical), Doctor... To Duchess? by Annie O'Neil (Mills & Boon Medical Romance), Cora's Christmas Kiss by Alison May (Choc Lit) and His Lost-and-Found Bride by Scarlet Wilson (Mills & Boon Cherish).
The last category, The Young Adult Romantic Novel, features protagonists who are teenagers or young adults, and will go to one of: Crow Mountain by Lucy Inglis (Chicken House), Did I mention I love you by Estelle Maskame (Black & White Publishing), Angel Dares by Joss Stirling (Oxford University Press), Lainey's Lot by Lisa Tenzin-Dolma (Accent Press) and Anya and the Shy Guy by Suze Winegardner (Entangled Teen).
RNA chairman, Eileen Ramsay, said: “The announcement of the shortlist is always an occasion for celebration, when we reveal the best in romantic fiction from the last year.”
David Headley, m.d of Goldsboro Books, added: “The success of Goldsboro Books has come from the very close relationships that we’ve built with publishers and authors over the years. It’s therefore rather fitting that we sponsor an award that celebrates the best in one of the most popular genres of fiction.”
Previous years winners have included Joanna Trollope, Freya North, Rosie Thomas, JoJo Moyes and Rosamunde Pilcher.