Romantic Novel Awards shortlists revealed

Romantic Novel Awards shortlists revealed

The Romantic Novelists’ Association has announced the shortlists for its annual Romantic Novel Awards, in a year that sees the RNA celebrate its 60th anniversary.

The shortlist sees Lorna Cook, Claire Frost, Jenni Keer, Beth O’Leary and Emma Smith-Barton all do battle for the Katie Fforde Début Romantic Novel Award. 

This year’s other categories are the Libertá Books Shorter Romantic Novel Award, the Romantic Saga Award, the Romantic Comedy Novel Award, the Fantasy Romantic Novel Award, the Goldsboro Books Contemporary Romantic Novel Award, the Goldsboro Books Historical Romantic Novel Award and the Sapere Books Popular Fiction Award.

Milly Johnson will also be presented with the 2020 Outstanding Achievement Award, in recognition of her extraordinary contribution to the field of romantic fiction.

Presented by Jenny Éclair, the ceremony will take place at Leonardo Royal London City Hotel on 2nd March. The awards are the only national literary prizes that recognise excellence in the genre of romantic fiction. 

RNA chair Alison May said: “The shortlists this year show the fantastic range of romantic fiction being produced by hugely talented authors. In the RNA’s 60th year it’s heartening to see the genre in such good health, and to see such an exciting mix of established and up-and-coming writers taking romantic fiction forward into the next sixty years.”

The full shortlists:

The Katie Fforde Début Romantic Novel Award:

The Forgotten Village, Lorna Cook (Avon)

Living My Best Life, Claire Frost (Simon & Schuster)

The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker, Jenni Keer (Avon)

The Flatshare, Beth O’Leary (Quercus)

The Million Pieces of Neena Gill, Emma Smith-Barton (Penguin)


The Libertá Books Shorter Romantic Novel Award:

Christmas by The Lighthouse, Rebecca Boxall (Lake Union)

Surprise Baby for the Heir, Ellie Darkins (Mills & Boon True Love)

Miss Amelia’s Mistletoe Marquess, Jenni Fletcher (Mills & Boon Historical)

A Return, a Reunion, a Wedding, Annie O’Neil (Mills & Boon Medical)

The Lord’s Inconvenient Vow, Lara Temple (Mills & Boon Historical)


The Romantic Saga Award:

The Street of Broken Dreams, Tania Crosse (Aria)

The Brighton Guest House Girls, Lesley Eames (Aria)

A Ration Book Childhood, Jean Fullerton (Corvus)

A Precious Gift, Rosie Goodwin (Bonnier)

Secrets of the Homefront Girls, Kate Thompson (Hodder & Stoughton)


The Romantic Comedy Novel Award:

A Question of Us, Mary Jayne Baker, Aria Fiction, Head of Zeus

Bring Me Sunshine, Laura Kemp (Orion)

A Cornish Cottage by the Sea, Jane Linfoot (One More Chapter)

Honeymoon for One, Portia MacIntosh (Boldwood Books)

Love Songs for Sceptics, Christina Pishiris (Simon & Schuster UK)


The Jackie Collins Romantic Thriller Award:

The Uncompromising Lord Flint, Virginia Heath (Mills & Boon Historical)

Tell Me Your Secret, Dorothy Koomson (Headline Review)

The Butterfly Room, Lucinda Riley (Pan Macmillan)

Knowing You, Samantha Tonge (Canelo)

My Mother’s Silence, Lauren Westwood (Bookouture)


The Fantasy Romantic Novel Award:

The Girl at the Window, Rowan Coleman (Ebury Press)

The Ghost Garden, Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead (Totally Bound)

Queenie Malone’s Paradise Hotel, Ruth Hogan (Two Roads)

The Hotel Where We Met, Belinda Jones (Independently published)

The Stone’s Heart, Jessica Thorne (Bookouture)


The Goldsboro Books Contemporary Romantic Novel Award:

Where the Story Starts, Imogen Clark (Lake Union)

A Convenient Marriage, Jeevani Charika (Hera Books)

I Owe You One, Sophie Kinsella (Transworld)

Happiness for Beginners, Carole Matthews (Sphere)

A Summer to Remember, Sue Moorcroft (Avon)

A Walk in Wildflower Park, Bella Osborne (Avon)

Notting Hill in the Snow, Jules Wake (One More Chapter)

Coming Home to Glendale Hall, Victoria Walters (Hera Books)


The Goldsboro Books Historical Romantic Novel Award:

The Hidden Women, Kerry Barrett (HQ Digital)

Becoming Mrs Lewis, Patti Callahan (Harper Inspire)

Moonlight Over Mayfair, Anton Du Beke (Bonnier)

Bringing Down the Duke, Evie Dunmore (Piatkus)

Meet Me in Monaco, Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb (HarperCollins/William Morrow)

The Light Over London, Julia Kelly (Orion Fiction)

The French Photographer, Natasha Lester (Little, Brown)

The Giver of Stars, Jojo Moyes (Michael Joseph)


The Sapere Books Popular Fiction Award

The Glittering Hour, Iona Grey (Simon & Schuster)

The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton, Anstey Harris (Simon & Schuster)

The Flatshare, Beth O’Leary (Quercus)

Poppy’s Recipe for Life, Heidi Swain (Simon & Schuster)