Romantic Novelists' Association

Jackie Collins Award For Romantic Thrillers Category

14 February 2022

Evonne Wareham – A Villa in Portofino

Evonne is an award-winning Welsh author of romantic suspense – more crime and dead bodies than your average romance. She likes to set her books in her native Wales, or for a touch of glamorous escapism, in her favourite holiday destinations in Europe. She has a PhD in history and is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Crime Writers’ Association and Crime Cymru. She lives in South Wales.

She commented, “I’ve been a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association for many years, and have attended awards ceremonies and dreamed that one day a book of mine might be nominated. For A Villa in Portofino to be a finalist in the 2022 awards really is a dream come true.”


When Megan Morrison finds out she’s inherited an Italian villa from her estranged great-great aunt Olwen, she travels to Portofino to see the place – and faIls in love. But having long-lost relatives also means long-lost secrets – some of them stretching back as far as the Second World War. Could those secrets and a jealous obsession be powerful enough to drive Megan from her new life in the home of her dreams?


Leah Mercer – A Mother’s Lie

Leah was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the east coast of Canada. Her first ambition was to be a journalist, but after completing a master’s in journalism, she soon realised she preferred anything other than reporting the news. After trying her hand at public relations, teaching and recruitment in various countries around the world, she finally settled in London and returned to writing … fiction, this time. Her first two novels, Who We Were Before and The Man I Thought You Were, were shortlisted for the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association Awards. Leah loves books, running and visiting historic houses with her husband and their son.

She commented, “I am absolutely thrilled to be shortlisted – and to be in such great company. To have my latest novel chosen by a panel of readers as a contender for such a prestigious award is a real honour.”

A MOTHER’S LIE BOOK BLURB (Publisher: Bookouture)

Heartbroken and alone, Ali arrives at her grandmother’s old house on the beach. Perhaps here, she can escape her past, and make a home for her unborn child. Greeted by the familiar scent of roses and the sounds of the waves, Ali feels instantly safe. The couple next door, Michael and Meg, welcome Ali into their seemingly perfect world with their glamorous home and beautiful baby. Ali feels an instant connection and knows she has made the right choice for herself and her baby. But Meg is holding onto a dark secret. As a powerful bond grows between the two women, Michael leaves suddenly for a work trip, and Meg becomes impulsive – unpredictable. As Meg’s behaviour becomes ever more erratic, Michael shows no signs of returning, and Ali begins to worry. Are she and her unborn child safe? And what about her own devastating secret … the one she ran from?

Suzanne Fortin – All That We Have Lost

Suzanne writes historical fiction, predominantly dual timeline and set in France. Her books feature courageous women in extraordinary circumstances with love and family at the heart of all her stories. She also writes mystery and suspense as Sue Fortin where she is a USA Today bestseller and Amazon UK #1 bestseller. She has sold over a million copies of her books and been translated into multiple languages.

She commented, “Having been a member of the RNA for over 10 years, I’m absolutely thrilled my book has been shortlisted for this award and especially the Jackie Collins Thriller category which represents romantic suspense. It’s a massive compliment and wonderful to have written a book that has resonated with readers.”

ALL THAT WE HAVE LOST BOOK BLURB (Publisher: Aria Fiction)

2019. After the death of her husband, Imogen Wren finds a beautiful abandoned chateau and starts to rebuild her life among its ruins. But a dark web of secrets surrounds the house, and it all seems to centre on the war …

1944. Simone Varon’s sole aim in life is to avoid the German troops stationed in her village. That is until one soldier befriends her and she gets to know the man behind the uniform. Then the Resistance comes calling and she must choose between love and duty – with devastating consequences that will echo through the decades.

As Imogen restores the chateau, she’s determined to uncover the truth – and set to rest the ghosts of the past.

Twitter: suefortin1
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Nicola Cornick – The Last Daughter

Nicola is an international bestselling and award-winning novelist who has written over thirty romantic historical novels in a career spanning twenty years. She studied History at the University of London and later at Ruskin College Oxford, where she was awarded a MA in Public History with Distinction for her work on heroes and hero myths. Fusing storytelling with a non-fiction level of historical research, Nicola specialises in examining the lives of women who are so often mentioned only in the footnotes of the historical record, and draws on the local history of Wessex for inspiration. She gives talks and seminars on a number of historical and writing-related topics and in her spare time is a puppy raiser for the Guide Dogs charity.

She commented, “To be shortlisted for such a prestigious award is a huge accolade and an honour. It means such a lot to me. The last couple of years have presented a lot of personal challenges for me, as they have for so many people. Not long ago I was wondering whether I would ever write again. For such positive recognition to come out of such a difficult time is wonderful and inspiring.”

THE LAST DAUGHTER BOOK BLURB (Publisher: Harper Collins HQ)

Ever since her sister disappeared eleven years ago, Serena Warren has been running from a ghost, haunted by what she can’t remember about that night. When Caitlin’s body is discovered, Serena returns to her grandfather’s house, nestled beside the ruins of Minster Lovell Hall in Oxfordshire, determined to uncover the truth. But in returning to the place of her childhood summers, Serena stands poised at the brink of a startling discovery – one that will tie her family to a fifteenth century secret and one of the most famous disappearances in history.





January James – Chasing Flames

January lives in the smallest cottage in East Sussex with her husband, daughter and imaginary cockapoo (she will get one, one day!). Until recently, she inhabited the fast-paced, adrenalin-fuelled workplaces she writes about as a communications professional. Now, she spends her days dreaming up new characters and stories and trying her best to avoid indoor soft play.

She commented, “I feel incredibly honoured to have been shortlisted for this award. For someone who grew up reading Jackie Collins’ books and only recently ventured into novel writing and self-publishing, I feel both completely unworthy and immensely validated! Above all, I’m grateful to the Romantic Novelists’ Association for providing so many opportunities to improve and stand out, and to the readers who chose my book as one of their favourites. I’m going to be pinching myself for a very long time.”

CHASING FLAMES BOOK BLURB (Publisher: Independent)

Chasing Flames is Book 3 in the Square Mile series of interconnected standalones. A luxury retail empire with a dirty secret. A security guard with a murky past. Can Eliza keep her hands clean when she falls for them both? “When I land a job as PR Director for Jackson’s, London’s brand new luxury department store, I can’t believe my luck. But the deeper into the business I go, the dirtier the secrets I discover. Mariella Jackson is not the retail angel I thought she was. And the business I’m selling is a lie. So, when the dark and intoxicating Sam Le Beux appears from nowhere, I have to wonder if it is fate that sent me the distraction, or Mariella. We fall for each other hard and fast. Or at least I think we do. Until he disappears. My heart aches but my head knows it’s for the best. Because Sam’s story is darker than I could ever have imagined.”