The contenders have been announced for the RoNAs (Romantic Novel Awards) 2015 and the overall, most prestigious, award – The Romantic Novel of the Year 2015.
The awards comprise six categories – Contemporary Romantic Novel, Epic Romantic Novel, Historical Romantic Novel, Romantic Comedy Novel, Young Adult Romantic Novel and the RoNA Rose Novel (for shorter and category romance) – with six authors shortlisted for each one.
Barbara Taylor Bradford, herself the author of thirty novels, will present the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) Awards for 2015 during a glittering ceremony in London on 16th March.
Once the category winners have been announced, and elegant star-shaped crystal trophies presented to mark their success, the winner of each category will go forward to compete for the overall prize of The Romantic Novel of the Year Award. Barbara Taylor Bradford will reveal the author whose book has won the RNA’s most prestigious and coveted award.
In addition to a special glass trophy, which is passed on from the previous year’s recipient, the winner of the Romantic Novel of the Year will also receive a cheque for £5000 (five thousand pounds).
There were a record number of entries this year and 2015 also sees three male authors amongst those contesting the awards. Novels submitted cover a wide spectrum of topics and subjects. Readers can expect anything from ditzy romantic comedies, and hot steamy contemporary romance to intrigue, suspense and bold, fearless heroes in highly charged dramatic or historical situations.
Each book was read by a panel of three independent readers drawn from an ever-growing list of over 100 volunteers. The readers, who are not members of the RNA, come from a variety of backgrounds and range in age from 18 to 85. All have one thing in common: they are passionate about romantic novels.
Since its inception in 1960 the RNA has promoted excellence in romantic fiction and its Chairman, Pia Fenton, commented, “The shortlists show that romantic fiction covers an amazing array of different sub-genres, all equal as far as we are concerned. I love the diversity of the shortlisted books and authors, and I am thrilled that we had such a high number of entries this year, showing the popularity of this type of fiction. We are very grateful to all the publishers who supported these awards by sending us their entries. Huge congratulations to all the authors who are shortlisted this year, it’s a great achievement!”
In previous years winners have included such well known and much loved names as Joanna Trollope, Freya North, Rosie Thomas, JoJo Moyes and Rosamunde Pilcher.
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.
Julie Cohen, Where Love Lies, Bantam Press
Jenny Colgan, Christmas at Rosie Hopkins’ Sweet Shop, Sphere (Little, Brown)
Lucy Dillon, A Hundred Pieces of Me, Hodder & Stoughton
Ciara Geraghty, Now That I’ve Found You, Hodder & Stoughton
Jill Mansell, The Unpredictable Consequences of Love, Headline Review
Katy Regan, The Story of You, Harper Fiction
The Epic Romantic Novel category contains serious issues or themes, including gritty, multi-generational stories.
Elizabeth Buchan, I Can’t Begin to Tell You, Penguin Michael Joseph
Barbara Erskine, The Darkest Hour, Harper Fiction
Emma Fraser, We Shall Remember, Sphere (Little Brown)
Ella Harper, Pieces of You, Avon
Rosanna Ley, Return to Mandalay, Quercus
Alison McQueen, Under the Jewelled Sky, Orion Fiction
The Historical Romantic Novel category is for novels set in a period before 1960.
Charlotte Betts, The Spice Merchant’s Wife, Piatkus, (Little, Brown)
Stephen Burke, The Good Italian, Hodder & Stoughton
Marina Fiorato, Beatrice and Benedick, Hodder & Stoughton
Hazel Gaynor, The Girl Who Came Home, William Morrow, (Harper Collins)
Susan Lanigan, White Feathers, Brandon (O’Brien Press)
Isabel Wolff, Ghostwritten, Harper Fiction
The Romantic Comedy Novel is for consistently humorous or amusing novels.
David Atkinson, Love Byte, Buried River Press
Jane Costello, The Time of Our Lives, Simon & Schuster
Lucy-Anne Holmes, Just a Girl, Standing in Front of a Boy, Sphere (Little, Brown)
Milly Johnson, The Teashop on the Corner, Simon & Schuster
Mhairi McFarlane, It’s Not Me, It’s You, Harper Fiction
Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice, The Best Thing That Never Happened To Me, Corgi
The Young Adult Romantic Novel features protagonists who are teenagers or young adults.
Cat Clarke, A Kiss in the Dark, Quercus
Keren David, Salvage, Atom, (Little, Brown)
Imogen Howson, Unravel, Quercus
Sarra Manning, The Worst Girlfriend in the World, Atom, (Little, Brown)
Joss Stirling, Misty Falls, Oxford University Press
Joss Stirling, Struck, Oxford University Press
The RoNA Rose Award recognises the best in category/series and shorter romance that focus on developing a love affair between the hero and heroine.
Louise Allen, Scandal’s Virgin, Harlequin Mills & Boon Historical
Caroline Anderson, Risk of a Lifetime, Mills & Boon Medical Romance
Fiona Harper, Taming Her Italian Boss, Harlequin Romance/Mills & Boon Cherish
Margaret McPhee, The Gentleman Rogue, Harlequin Mills & Boon Historical
Carol Townend, Unveiling Lady Clare, Harlequin Mills & Boon Historical
Scarlet Wilson, The Heir of the Castle, Harlequin Romance/Mills & Boon Cherish
A gallery of images of authors and books can be found at https://www.romanticnovelistsassociation.org/activities/photo_galleries