Romantic Novelists' Association

Meet The Contenders For The Libertá Books Shorter Romantic Novel Award: 2020

6 February 2020

Congratulations to the contenders for The Libertá Books Shorter Romantic Novel Award:


Christmas By The Lighthouse, Rebecca Boxall, Lake Union, (Amazon Publishing)
Life is short – we know that. But sometimes it takes for everything to be turned upside down for us to really make the most of it. That’s what Summer and Jude discover as they find themselves falling in love just when time is running out …

What was your inspiration for Christmas By the Lighthouse?
I was inspired to have my two protagonists meet by taking home each other’s suitcases after I heard a news story about that happening. The weirdest thing is that when I went on holiday last summer someone else took home my suitcase from the airport … when we swapped our bags over I gave them a copy of my book!

How does it feel to be a contender for the Romantic Novel Awards 2020?

I was told my book had been nominated when I’d only just had a baby and didn’t think any more about it. So it’s been a really wonderful surprise to hear this news!


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

One night with a gorgeous stranger is the perfect distraction for Elspeth from the happy-ever-after that will never be hers. The trainee doctor and carer has no room in her life for romance, until a surprise pregnancy catapults her back into Fraser’s world.

What was your inspiration for Surprise Baby for the Heir?
I love Edinburgh – it is one of my favourite cities – which is why I wanted to set so many of the scenes here. I visited the highlands for the first time while I was writing the book, and was overawed by the incredible scenery. I took a break from writing the book mid-way through to have a baby. So when I drove up to the highlands it was with a three and one year old in the car. It took us 13 hours.

How does it feel to be a contender for the Romantic Novel Awards 2020?
I am beyond excited to be shortlisted for this award, and for the opportunity to share Elspeth and Fraser’s story with a wider audience.


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

When Amelia Fairclough seeks refuge in a blizzard, a brooding stranger gives her shelter. She tries to soothe him of his demons in return, but as she scurries home at dawn, she’s spotted. He offers to do the honourable thing – if only she wanted to marry the Marquess of Falconmore!

What was your inspiration for Miss Amelia’s Mistletoe Marquess?
The book is part of a four book series (Secrets of a Victorian Household) so I got to collaborate with three other wonderful authors, including Virginia Heath. I really wanted to write a ‘good girl’ heroine who gets to rebel and have some fun for a change – I did a PhD in English Lit and it always frustrated me that Victorian heroines always seemed to be punished for enjoying themselves!

How does it feel to be a contender for the Romantic Novel Awards 2020?
Thank you so much RNA! I’m thrilled and excited and honoured all at the same time.


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

Second chance with her GP?
Jayne Sinclair left behind the man she loved to fulfil her late twin sister’s dreams. Now a paediatric cardiologist, Jayne has hit crisis point – and coming home to heal reminds her of her own dream, a life with Sam Crenshaw.

What was your inspiration for A Return, A Reunion, A Wedding?
I once ate the best croissant I’ve ever had in the Cotswolds and decided I had to write a story there. I raise cows, used to be a cameraman for Associated Press Television News and have a rather impassioned opinion about dill pickles.

How does it feel to be a contender for the Romantic Novel Awards 2020?
I am absolutely over the moon! It’s such an honour to be shortlisted with such a tremendous group of writers.


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

Samantha Sinclair put her impetuous past behind her long ago after a disastrous encounter with her childhood nemesis Lord Edward Edgerton. Then why is she in the middle of the desert, proposing marriage to the man who broke her heart eight years ago?

What was your inspiration for The Lord’s Inconvenient Vow?
I love taking my heroes and heroines out of the traditional ballrooms and making them work extra hard for their Happily Ever Afters. The Lord’s Inconvenient Vow does this in spades. Samantha Sinclair is part of the dysfunctional Sinclair family and half the book takes place in the land where she spent much of her childhood – Egypt. I’ve travelled the length and breadth of Egypt and it was a pleasure to include my memories of that amazing country in Sam and Edge’s tale.

How does it feel to be a contender for the Romantic Novel Awards 2020?
It’s always heart wrenching to say goodbye to a favorite series, so it’s such a pleasure to have the last of my Sinful Sinclairs shortlisted for the RNA’s 202