- Darcey Bussell CBE, herself the author of several children’s books, will present the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) Awards for 2014.
The winners of the shortlist categories for the Romantic Novel of the Year and the winner of the RoNA Rose Award for shorter fiction will be announced during a glittering ceremony in the Gladstone Library, One Whitehall Place, London SW1 on 17th March.
Once the category winners and RoNA Rose winner have been announced, and elegant star-shaped crystal trophies presented to mark their success, Darcey Bussell will reveal the overall author whose book has won the RNA’s most prestigious and coveted award, the Romantic Novel of the Year. In addition to the crystal trophy, the winner of the Romantic Novel of the Year will also receive a cheque for £5000 (five thousand pounds).
The RoNA Rose Award recognises authors of works of shorter fiction that focus on developing a love affair between the hero and heroine in category/series and magazine serials. Six books are competing for this award and the winner will receive a star shaped crystal trophy plus a cheque for £1000 (one thousand pounds). A silver rose bowl, which is kept for a year, will also be presented. This author does not go forward to contest the overall Romantic Novel of the Year Award.
The five category winners competing for the Romantic Novel of the Year are drawn from 30 finalists’ books; six each from the five categories – Contemporary Romantic Novel, Epic Romantic Novel, Historical Romantic Novel, Romantic Comedy Novel and Young Adult Romantic Novel.
The novels submitted this year cover a wide spectrum of topics and subjects and readers can expect anything from a hilarious comedy or a hot, steamy romance to bold, fearless heroines in highly charged dramatic situations.
Each book was read by a panel of three independent readers drawn from a list of approximately 100 volunteers. The readers, who are not members of the RNA, come from a variety of backgrounds and range in age from 20 to 85. All have one thing in common: they are passionate about romantic novels.
Since its inception in 1960 the RNA has set the benchmark in romantic fiction and its President, Katie Fforde commented, “The RNA came into being to encourage good writing of romantic fiction in all of its many forms.
“This year we’ve seen a record number of books submitted for our Awards, and this clearly demonstrates that romantic fiction plays a big part in the UK book industry. We are exceptionally proud to be part of such a dynamic industry sector and I’d like to thank those publishers who put their authors forward for these awards. We are also extremely proud of the shortlisted authors and congratulate them all.”
In previous years winners have included such well known and much loved names as Philippa Gregory, Joanna Trollope, Freya North and Rosamunde Pilcher.
The 2014 RNA Awards will be announced and presented by Darcey Bussell on 17th March in the Reading and Writing Room of the Gladstone Library in London.
The Category Shortlists
Listed in alphabetical order
The Contemporary Romantic Novel category is for mainstream romantic novels set post-1960 and includes genres such as chick lit, paranormal and romantic suspense.
Helen Chandler, Two for Joy, Hodder & Stoughton
Susan Elliot Wright, The Things We Never Said, Simon & Schuster
Veronica Henry, A Night On The Orient Express, Orion
Lisa J Hobman, Bridge Over The Atlantic, 5 Prince Publishing
Lisa Jewell, Before I Met You, Arrow
Pippa Wright, The Foster Husband, Pan
The Epic Romantic Novel category contains serious issues or themes, including gritty, multi-generational stories.
Jessica Blair, The Road Beneath Me, Piatkus
Mary Fitzgerald, The Love Of A Lifetime, Arrow
Emma Fraser, When Dawn Breaks, Sphere
Kate Lord Brown, The Perfume Garden, Atlantic (Corvus)
Jennifer McVeigh, The Fever Tree, Penguin
Lucinda Riley, The Midnight Rose, Pan
The Historical Romantic Novel category is for novels set in a period before 1960.
Charlotte Betts, The Painter’s Apprentice, Piatkus
Christina Courtenay, The Gilded Fan, Choc Lit
Liz Harris, A Bargain Struck, Choc Lit
Joanna Hickson, The Agincourt Bride, Harper Collins
Carol McGrath, The Handfasted Wife, Accent Press
Annie Murray, The Women Of Lilac Street, Pan
The Romantic Comedy Novel is for consistently humorous or amusing novels.
Jenny Colgan, Christmas At The Cupcake Café, Little, Brown
Jenny Colgan, The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris, Little, Brown
Margaret James, The Wedding Diary, Choc Lit
Milly Johnson, It’s Raining Men, Simon and Schuster
Ali McNamara, Step Back In Time, Little, Brown
Fiona Walker, The Summer Wedding, Sphere
The Young Adult Romantic Novel features protagonists who are teenagers or young adults.
Liz Bankes, Irresistible, Piccadilly Press
Christina Courtney, New England Rocks, Choc Lit
Alex Gutteridge, Last Chance Angel, Templar Publishing.
Imogen Howson, Linked, Quercus
Marie-Louise Jensen, Smuggler’s Kiss, Oxford University Press
Beth Reekles, The Kissing Booth, Corgi
RoNA Rose Award – the finalists do not contest the Romantic Novel of the Year Award – recognises the best in category/series and shorter romance that focus on developing a love affair between the hero and heroine.
Louise Allen, Forbidden Jewel of India, Harlequin Mills & Boon
Caroline Anderson, Snowed in with the Billionaire, Harlequin Mills & Boon
Liz Fielding, Anything But Vanilla, Harlequin Mills & Boon
Joanna Fulford, His Lady of Castlemora, Harlequin Mills & Boon
Kate Hardy, Bound by a Baby, Harlequin Mills & Boon
Kate Hardy, Her Real Family Christmas, Harlequin Mills & Boon
Cover images of all of the above mentioned novels and author pictures can be found one our Activities page – as a photo gallery.