Romantic Novel of the Year

This prestigious award recognises the very highest standards of romantic fiction and attracts best-selling authors from around the world. Each year, more than one hundred novels are submitted by publishers in the hopes of winning this coveted title.

All eligible books must first be submitted to one of five specific categories of the RoNA (Romantic Novel Award).  The winners of these five categories, together with the winner of the RoNA Rose award, will then constitute the Romantic Novel of the Year shortlist.

The categories are:-

The RoNA for a Contemporary Romantic Novel
The RoNA for an Epic Romantic Novel
The RoNA for a Historical Romantic Novel
The RoNA for a Romantic Comedy Novel
The RoNA for a Young Adult Romantic Novel

(For further information on these categories, please click here)

The books are first assessed by members of the public - book-lovers who are not actively writing or members of the RNA.  The long list of up to ten top-scoring books for each category is generated by the scores these readers give.  Books on the long lists are then given a fourth read by selected RNA members who have no vested interest in that particular category or book.  The fourth score is added to the other three to make the final total and this determines both the short list (of up to six books per category) and the winner of each category, which is the book with the highest overall score.  The category winners are announced at our annual Awards Event.

The winner of the Romantic Novel of the Year is then selected from amongst the five RoNA award winners, and the winner of the RoNA Rose award, by an independent panel of judges, with the result announced at the Awards Event, after the other awards have been presented. 

Please note that entry for this award is only via an initial entry for one of the RoNAs. Rules and entry forms for the RoNAs may be downloaded from the links at the bottom of this page.
For latest information about the awards, please visit our News pages.

Further information

Please see ‘Downloads’ at the foot of this page to download a copy of the entry rules. If you are interested in being considered as a reader for the award, please download the application form at the foot of this page.

Please contact our Romantic Novel of the Year Administrator.

Previous winners

Previous winners of this award are:

  • 2014: A Night on The Orient Express by Veronica Henry (Orion)
  • 2013: Welcome to Rosie Hopkin's Sweetshop of Dreams by Jenny Colgan (Sphere, Little Brown)
  • 2012: Please Don't Stop The Music by Jane Lovering (Choc Lit)
  • 2011: The Last Letter From Your Lover by Jojo Moyes(Hodder & Stoughton)
  • 2010: Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts by Lucy Dillon (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • 2009: East of the Sun by Julia Gregson (Orion)
  • 2008: Pillow Talk by Freya North (Harper Collins)
  • 2007: Iris & Ruby by Rosie Thomas (Harper Collins)
  • 2006: Gardens of Delight by Erica James (Orion)
  • 2005: A Good Voyage by Katharine Davies (Chatto & Windus)
  • 2004: Foreign Fruit by Jojo Moyes (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • 2003: Playing James by Sarah Mason (Time Warner)
  • 2002: The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory (Harper Collins)
  • 2001: Someone Like You by Cathy Kelly (Harper Collins)
  • 2000: Dancing In The Dark by Maureen Lee (Orion)
  • 1999: Learning To Swim by Clare Chambers (Arrow)
  • 1998: Kiss And Kin by Angela Lambert (Bantam)
  • 1997: The Hours Of The Night by Sue Gee (Century)
  • 1996: Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • 1995: Change Of Heart by Charlotte Bingham (Doubleday)
  • 1994: Consider The Lily by Elizabeth Buchan (Macmillan)
  • 1993: Emily by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles (Sidgwick & Jackson)
  • 1992: Sandstorm by June Knox-Mawer (Weidenfeld)
  • 1991: Phantom by Susan Kay (Transworld)
  • 1990: Passing Glory by Reay Tannahill (Century)
  • 1989: The Peacock’s Feather by Sarah Woodhouse (Century)
  • 1988: The Juniper Bush by Audrey Howard (Century)
  • 1987: A Better World Than This by Marie Joseph (Century)
  • 1986: A Song Twice Over by Brenda Jagger (Collins)
  • 1985: Sunrise by Rosie Thomas (Piatkus)
  • 1984: A Highly Respectable Marriage by Sheila Walsh (Hurst & Blackett)
  • 1983: Magic Flutes by Eva Ibbotson (Century)
  • 1982: Zemindar by Valerie Fitzgerald (Bodley)
  • 1981: The Red Staircase by Gwendoline Butler (Collins)
  • 1980: Parson Harding’s Daughter by Joanna Trollope (Hutchinson)
  • 1980 - Best Modern Award: Mr Rodriguez by Mary Howard (Collins)
  • 1979 - Award Of Special Merit: The Emerald Peacock by Katharine Gordon (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • 1979: Countess by Josephine Edgar (Macdonald & Jane)
  • 1978: Merlin’s Keep by Madeleine Brent (Souvenir)
  • 1978 - Best Modern Award: It Was The Lark by Catherine Macarthur (Macdonald & Jane)
  • 1977: Every Man A King by Anne Worboys (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • 1976: The Look Of Innocence by Anna Gilbert (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • 1976 - Best Modern Award: The Moon Is Square by Margaret Maddocks (Hurst & Blackett)
  • 1975: Vote For A Silk Gown by Jay Allerton (Troubadour)
  • 1974: The Burning Lamp by Frances Murray (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • 1973: The House Of Kuragin by Constance Heaven (Heinemann)
  • 1972: The Pride Of Innocence by Maynah Lewis (Hurst & Blackett)
  • 1971: Flower Of Silence by Joanne Marshall (Harlequin Mills & Boon)
  • 1970: Cat On A Broomstick by Joanne Marshall (Herbert Jenkins)
  • 1970: Thea by Margaret Maddocks (Hurst & Blackett)
  • 1970: Broken Tapestry by Rona Randall (Hurst & Blackett)
  • 1969: Comfort and Keep by Doris E Smith (Ward Lock)
  • 1968: The Future Is Forever by Maynah Lewis (Hurst & Blackett)
  • 1967: The Truth Game by Anne Betteridge (Hurst & Blackett)
  • 1965: The Silver Answer by Margaret Maddocks (Hurst & Blackett)
  • 1964: Journey from Yesterday by Suzanne Ebel (Collins)
  • 1963: House Divided by Dorothy M Gray (Hurst & Blackett)
  • 1962: Larksbrook by Margaret Maddocks (Hurst & Blackett)
  • 1961: The Witches Sabbath by Paula Allardyce (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • 1960: More Than Friendship by Mary Howard (Collins)

Downloads

Related files available for download:

It's a fact

Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler are considered the third most romantic couple in fiction behind Elizabeth and Mr Darcy and Romeo and Juliet.