Romantic Novelists' Association

The Shortlists For The 2020 Romantic Novel Awards

3 February 2020

The RNA announces shortlists for the 2020 Romantic Novel Awards

Jenny Eclair to present Awards

We are delighted to announce the shortlists for the prestigious 2020 Romantic Novel Awards in what promises to be a spectacular year for the Association, as we celebrate our 60th (Diamond) Anniversary. Writer and performer Jenny Eclair will present the Awards during a ceremony at Leonardo Royal London City Hotel on Monday 2nd March.

The RNA’s awards are the only national literary prizes that recognise excellence in the genre of romantic fiction. In 2020 they comprise the Goldsboro Books Contemporary Romantic Novel Award, the Goldsboro Books Historical Romantic Novel Award, the Romantic Comedy Novel Award, the Sapere Books Popular Romantic Fiction Award, the Jackie Collins Award for Romantic Thrillers, the Romantic Saga Award, the Fantasy Romantic Novel Award, the Libertà Shorter Romantic Novel Award and the Katie Fforde Debut Romantic Novel 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.

Since its inception in 1960 the RNA has promoted excellence in romantic fiction and RNA Chair, Alison May, commented, “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 Category Shortlists 

(authors are listed alphabetically)

The Katie Fforde Debut Romantic Novel Award:

The Forgotten Village, Lorna Cook, Avon, HarperCollins

Living My Best Life, Claire Frost, Simon & Schuster UK

The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker, Jenni Keer, Avon, HarperCollins

The Flatshare, Beth O’Leary, Quercus Fiction

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, Amazon Publishing

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 Fiction, Head of Zeus

The Brighton Guest House Girls, Lesley Eames, Aria Fiction, Head of Zeus

A Ration Book Childhood, Jean Fullerton, Corvus

A Precious Gift, Rosie Goodwin, Bonnier Books 

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 Fiction

A Cornish Cottage by the Sea, Jane Linfoot, One More Chapter, Harper Collins

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, Penguin Random House

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, Amazon Publishing

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, HarperCollins

A Walk in Wildflower Park, Bella Osborne, Avon, HarperCollins

Notting Hill in the Snow, Jules Wake, One More Chapter, HarperCollins

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, HarperCollins 

Moonlight Over Mayfair, Anton Du Beke, Bonnier Books UK

Bringing Down the Duke, Evie Dunmore, Piatkus (UK), Berkley Romance (USA)

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, Sphere

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 Fiction

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


About the Award Sponsors:

The Katie Fforde Debut Romantic Novel Award 

Bestselling 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 Libertà Shorter Romantic Novel Award

Libertà is a light-hearted website ( where readers and authors share their experience, discoveries, favourites and occasional oddities. Run by four multi-published authors, it has evolved to cover advice on writing and, in the real world, well-received workshops for both experienced and aspiring writers. Expect more innovations in 2020, both in the real world and the virtual.


The Jackie Collins Romantic Thriller Award             

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. Jackie was a wonderful friend, too, always there to offer advice, support and wisdom. We have long made a solemn commitment to ensure that her legacy endures and are incredibly proud to partner with the Romantic Novelists‘ Association and launch this wonderful award to support her fellow writers.” 


The Goldsboro Books Contemporary Romantic Novel Award, and the Goldsboro Books Historical Romantic Novel Award

Goldsboro Books is the UK’s leading independent bookshop, specialising since 1999 in first editions, signed, collectable and exclusive books. Situated in Cecil Court in London’s West End, it has gained a reputation for championing debut authors, as well as creating the UK’s largest book collectors’ club, and is influential in selling large quantities of hard-back fiction.  


The Sapere Books Popular Romantic Fiction Award

Sapere Books is a digital first publisher of romantic fiction, historical fiction, women’s fiction, crime fiction and thrillers. Sapere Books launched in 2018, and specialises in reissuing novels which have gone out of print and developing relationships with both new and established writers.