Romantic Novelists' Association

Romantic Novelists’ Association Romantic Novel Awards 2022 Shortlists And One Winner Announced

1 February 2022

TUESDAY 1ST FEBRUARY 2022 We are delighted to announce the shortlists for this year’s Romantic Novel Awards, as well as the winner of the Popular Fiction Award for 2022. The awards celebrate excellence in romantic fiction in all its forms, and this year includes a new category, the Christmas / Festive Holiday Romantic Novel Award. In addition, the Romantic Comedy Novel Award has been renamed the Jane Wenham-Jones Award for Romantic Comedy, in honour of the late Jane Wenham-Jones, author, broadcaster and compère for the Romantic Novel Awards for the past eleven years.

The award categories for this year are as follows: The Fantasy Romantic Novel Award, the Jackie Collins Award for Romantic Thrillers, the Katie Fforde Debut Romantic Novel Award, the Christmas / Festive Holiday Romantic Novel Award, the Shorter Romantic Novel Award, the Romantic Saga Award, the Jane Wenham-Jones Award for Romantic Comedy, the Historical Romantic Novel Award, the Contemporary Romantic Novel Award, and the Popular Romantic Fiction Award (voted for by librarians, booksellers and book bloggers / reviewers). The Outstanding Achievement Award will be presented later this year.

The awards, which have been held since their inception in 1960, are highly respected in the UK publishing industry. Previous winners include Phillipa Gregory, Joanna Trollope and Rosamunde Pilcher. The awards are unique in that they are judged entirely by readers, without input from any industry professionals.

Sharon Ibbotson, the Awards Coordinator for the Romantic Novelists’ Association, commented, “During a difficult year, people needed escapism and romance more than ever. Our shortlisted authors for 2022, chosen by our readers, delivered both. The Romantic Novelists’ Association is proud to celebrate them and their achievement.”

The winners of the awards will be announced during the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Romantic Novel Awards ceremony, which is being held at the Leonardo Royal Hotel London City, 8-14 Cooper’s Row, London EC3N 2BQ, on Monday 7th March 2022 at 6.30pm. Best-selling novelist Jo Thomas will compère the ceremony, with BAFTA-longlisted film producer Lizzie Gillett presenting the Jackie Collins Award for Romantic Thrillers on behalf of sponsors Simon & Schuster, and actor Larry Lamb presenting the remainder of the awards. Novelist Liz Fenwick, who has won the Popular Romantic Fiction Award for her novel The River Between Us, will also receive her award at the ceremony.

Readers who are interested in becoming a reader-judge for next year’s awards should contact Sharon Ibbotson, the Awards Coordinator, at:

To purchase tickets, click here

(authors are listed alphabetically)

The Fantasy Romantic Novel Award

Space Hopper, Helen Fisher, Simon & Schuster

Daughter of the Sea, Elisabeth J Hobbes, One More Chapter

A Marvellous Light, Freya Marske, Pan Macmillan

Beneath Cornish Skies, Kate Ryder, Aria

Children of Shadows, N J Simmonds, BHC Press

The Jackie Collins Award for Romantic Thrillers

The Last Daughter, Nicola Cornick, HQ

All That We Have Lost, Suzanne Fortin, Aria

Chasing Flames, January James, Independent

A Mother’s Lie, Leah Mercer, Bookouture

A Villa in Portofino, Evonne Wareham, Choc Lit

The Katie Fforde Debut Romantic Novel Award

Uncoupling, Lorraine Brown, Orion

Love at Café Lompar, Anna and Jacqui Burns, Honno

One Month of You, Suzanne Ewart, Orion

The Viking Chief’s Marriage Alliance, Lucy Morris, Mills & Boon

Two Metres From You, Heidi Stephens, Headline Accent

The Christmas / Festive Holiday Romantic Novel Award

The Winter of Second Chances, Jenny Bayliss, Pan Macmillan

A Bookshop Christmas, Rachel Burton, Aria

The Christmas Escape, Sarah Morgan, HQ

Winter at Cliff’s End Cottage, Sheila Norton, Little, Brown Book Group

Snowflakes Over the Starfish Café, Jessica Redland, Boldwood Books

The Shorter Romantic Novel Award

A Proposal to Risk Their Friendship, Louise Allen, Mills & Boon

The Highlander’s Inconvenient Bride, Terri Brisbin, Mills & Boon

A Ration Book Christmas Broadcast, Jean Fullerton, Atlantic Books

Cinderella and the Scarred Viscount, Sarah Mallory, Mills & Boon

Hawaiian Medic to Rescue His Heart, Annie O’Neil, Mills & Boon

The Romantic Saga Award

A Distant Horizon, AnneMarie Brear, Independent

A Songbird in Wartime, Karen Dickson, Simon & Schuster

The Mother’s Day Club, Rosie Hendry, Little, Brown Book Group

Her Wartime Secret, Emma Hornby, Transworld

Angel of Liverpool, Elizabeth Morton, Pan Macmillan

The Jane Wenham-Jones Award for Romantic Comedy

That Jewish Thing, Amber Crewe, Coronet, Hodder and Stoughton

Mr Right Across the Street, Kathryn Freeman, One More Chapter

Life’s a Beach, Portia MacIntosh, Boldwood Books

The Promise of Summer, Bella Osborne, Avon

Love on Location, Lynne Shelby, Headline Accent

The Historical Romantic Novel Award

The Fading of the Light, Charlotte Betts, Little, Brown Book Group

The Return, Anita Frank, HQ

The Marquess Next Door, Virginia Heath, Mills & Boon

The Night Train to Berlin, Melanie Hudson, One More Chapter

A Waltz with the Outspoken Governess, Catherine Tinley, Mills & Boon

The Contemporary Romantic Novel Award

An Endless Cornish Summer, Phillipa Ashley, Avon

A Sky Full of Stars, Dani Atkins, Head of Zeus

One Summer Sunrise, Shari Low, Boldwood Books

Back to You, Tammy Robinson, Little, Brown Book Group

The Frequency of Us, Keith Stuart, Little, Brown Book Group


The River Between Us, Liz Fenwick, HQ



The Jackie Collins Award for Romantic Thrillers

Jackie Collins was a creative force, a trailblazer for women in fiction, and, in her own words, ‘A kick-ass writer!’ Since her 1968 debut The World is Full of Married Men, her books have sold in their millions in more than 40 countries and she is one of the world’s top-selling novelists. Ian Chapman, CEO of Simon & Schuster UK and International, said, “Jackie was kind, brilliantly astute, with a wicked, mischievous sense of humour. She was a consummate storyteller and made her craft look easy, like all great practitioners.  I – along with many others – miss her still and often expect to see her appear suddenly in our midst.  We have long made a solemn commitment to ensure that her legacy endures and are incredibly proud to partner with the Romantic Novelists’ Association again to sponsor the Jackie Collins Romantic Thriller award to support her fellow writers.”

The Katie Fforde Debut Romantic Novel Award

Best-selling author Katie Fforde lives in the beautiful Cotswold countryside with her family and is a true country girl at heart. Each of her books explores a different profession or background and her research has helped her bring these to life. She’s been a porter in an auction house, tried her hand at pottery, refurbished furniture, delved behind the scenes of a dating website, and she’s even been on a Ray Mears survival course. She loves being a writer; to her there isn’t a more satisfying and pleasing thing to do. She particularly enjoys writing love stories. She believes falling in love is the best thing in the world, and she wants all her characters to experience it, and her readers to share their stories., @KatieFforde

The Jane Wenham-Jones Award for Romantic Comedy

Not only was Jane Wenham-Jones a novelist, comedienne, columnist and agony aunt, she was also a stalwart of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and compère of the Romantic Novel of the Year Awards for many years. Whether dressed for the occasion in a figure-hugging gown, or dispensing words of wisdom through her razor-sharp wit, she was always kind, always caring and always spectacularly on point. Katie Fforde, President of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, said, “She was funny, with perfect comic timing. She was so warm and so welcoming that one felt embraced by her charm the moment she began to speak. Having the Romantic Comedy Award named after her is entirely fitting. Her own books were full of humour, while not ignoring the more serious aspects of life. Having an awards ceremony without her is going to be very hard.”