The shortlists for the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year shortlist has been announced, with independent publisher Choc Lit leading the nominations with four selected titles.
Little, Brown and Pan follow with three nominated titles apiece, while Piatkus, Simon & Schuster, Arrow and Sphere each have two.
Author Jenny Colgan has two nominations in the romantic comedy novel category, and Kate Hardy two in the RoNa Rose Award category, recognising shorter fiction. Meanwhile Beth Reekles' The Kissing Booth (Corgi), first published by the teenaged writer on Wattpad, is nominated for the YA award.
Also shortlistlisted is Piatkus' Jessica Blair, revealed last year to be 90-year-old World War Two veteran, Bill Spence, and the only man included on this year's RNA shortlists.
Six titles have been announced in each of the awards categories; contemporary romantic novel, epic romantic novel, historical romantic novel, romantic comedy novel and young adult romantic novel [full shortlists below). The winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on 17th March, in a ceremony presented by Darcey Bussell. An overall winner, chosen from the category winners, will then be announced, winning £5,000. The RoNA Rose Award will also be given out, with the winner receiving £1,000.
RNA president Katie Fforde said: "The RNA came into being to encourage good writing of romantic fiction in all of its many forms. This year we've seen a record number of books submitted for our Awards, and this clearly demonstrates that romantic fiction plays a big part in the UK book industry."
The full shortlists are:
The Contemporary Romantic Novel
Helen Chandler, Two for Joy, Hodder & Stoughton
Susan Elliot Wright, The Things We Never Said, Simon & Schuster
Veronica Henry, A Night On The Orient Express, Orion
Lisa J Hobman, Bridge Over The Atlantic, 5 Prince Publishing
Lisa Jewell, Before I Met You, Arrow
Pippa Wright, The Foster Husband, Pan
The Epic Romantic Novel
Jessica Blair, The Road Beneath Me, Piatkus
Mary Fitzgerald, The Love Of A Lifetime, Arrow
Emma Fraser, When Dawn Breaks, Sphere
Kate Lord Brown, The Perfume Garden, Atlantic (Corvus)
Jennifer McVeigh, The Fever Tree, Penguin
Lucinda Riley, The Midnight Rose, Pan
The Historical Romantic Novel
Charlotte Betts, The Painter's Apprentice, Piatkus
Christina Courtenay, The Gilded Fan, Choc Lit
Liz Harris, A Bargain Struck, Choc Lit
Joanna Hickson, The Agincourt Bride, Harper Collins
Carol McGrath, The Handfasted Wife, Accent Press
Annie Murray, The Women Of Lilac Street, Pan
The Romantic Comedy Novel
Jenny Colgan, Christmas At The Cupcake Café, Little, Brown
Jenny Colgan, The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris, Little, Brown
Margaret James, The Wedding Diary, Choc Lit
Milly Johnson, It's Raining Men, Simon and Schuster
Ali McNamara, Step Back In Time, Little, Brown
Fiona Walker, The Summer Wedding, Sphere
The Young Adult Romantic Novel
Liz Bankes, Irresistible, Piccadilly Press
Christina Courtney, New England Rocks, Choc Lit
Alex Gutteridge, Last Chance Angel, Templar Publishing.
Imogen Howson, Linked, Quercus
Marie-Louise Jenson, Smuggler's Kiss, Oxford University Press
Beth Reekles, The Kissing Booth, Corgi
RoNA Rose Award
Louise Allen, Forbidden Jewel of India, Harlequin Mills & Boon
Caroline Anderson, Snowed in with the Billionaire, Harlequin Mills & Boon
Liz Fielding, Anything But Vanilla, Harlequin Mills & Boon
Joanna Fulford, His Lady of Castlemora, Harlequin Mills & Boon
Kate Hardy, Bound by a Baby, Harlequin Mills & Boon
Kate Hardy, Her Real Family Christmas, Harlequin Mills & Boon