Tag Archives: thrillers

Shortlists: Romantic Novel of the Year Awards 2024

Now updated with winners in Bold
Sarah Mallory RNA RNOTY 24


The Night She Met the Duke, by Libertà hivie Sarah Mallory, is in the shortlists (in the Historical Romantic Novel category) for this year’s Romantic Novel of the Year Awards.

These awards are judged entirely by readers, without input from any industry professionals and there are some great books on the lists, including many by good friends of Libertà.

Woman in a bare-shouldered party dress with champagne glass in her hand looks across a night time city scape and smiles.Congratulations to each and every one!

The winners of the awards will be announced during the 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 20th May 2024 at 6.30pm.

(authors are listed alphabetically in shortlists)
Winners in bold green (updated 21st May)

Because of the number of books listed, we can’t give you cover images or buy links but we’re sure you’ll find the books if you want to. You can, can’t you 😉 ?

Shortlists 1: The Fantasy Romantic Novel Award

Janus opens doors to all directionsGirl, Goddess, Queen, Bea Fitzgerald (Penguin)
One Christmas Morning, Rachel Greenlaw (Harper Collins)
Maybe Next Time, Cesca Major (Harper Fiction)
Ghosted, Rosie Mullender (Sphere)
The Wicked in Me, Suzanne Wright (Piatkus)

Shortlists 2: The Jackie Collins Award for Romantic Thrillers

Viscount in Hiding, Caitlyn Callery (The Wild Rose Press)
Julie Mae Cohen, Bad men (Bonnier Zaffre)
The Secret of Villa Alba, Louise Douglas (Boldwood)
The Dance Teacher of Paris, Suzanne Fortin (Embla Books)
Masquerade on the Riviera, Evonne Wareham (Choc Lit/Joffe)

Shortlists 3: The Debut Romantic Novel Award

cartoon number oneOne Moment, Becky Hunter (Corvus (Atlantic))
Be More Octopus, Suzanne Lissaman (Octosulis Publishing)
The Little Board Game Cafe, Jennifer Page (Aria (Head of Zeus))
A Mother’s War, Helen Parusel (Boldwood Books)
The Accidental Housemate, Sal Thomas (One More Chapter)

Shortlists 4: The Christmas/Festive Holiday Romantic Novel Award

Only for Christmas, Tracy Corbett (Canelo)
One Winter’s Night, Kate Frost (Boldwood)
The Christmas Season, Ally Sinclair (Hera)
Three Holidays and a Wedding, Marissa Stapley (Atlantic Books)
Snowed In, Catherine Walsh (Bookouture)

Shortlists 5: The Shorter Romantic Novel Award

Becoming the Earl’s Convenient Wife, Louise Allen (Harlequin Mills Boon)
Cinderella’s Deal With the Colonel, Jenni Fletcher (Harlequin Mills Boon)
Tempted by her Fake Fiance, Kate Hardy (Harlequin Mills Boon)
The Housekeeper’s Forbidden Earl, Laura Martin (Harlequin Mills Boon)
Lonely in Paris, Lisa Stanbridge (Crystal Brook Publishing)

Shortlists 6: The Romantic Saga Award

The Secret Sister, Jan Baynham (Choc Lit/Joffe Books)
A Woman of Courage, Rita Bradshaw (Pan Macmillan)
The Distant Legacy, Anne Marie Brear (self-published)
A New Start at the Beach Hotel, Francesca Capaldi (Hera Books)
A Wedding for the Cornish Girls, Betty Walker (Avon Books)

Shortlists 7: The Romantic Comedy Award

alpaca having a bad hair dayChasing the Light, Julia Boggio (self-published)
The Break Up Clause, Niamh Hargan (HarperCollins)
Jana Goes Wild, Farah Heron (Piatkus Books-Little Brown Book Group)
Looking Out for Love, Sophia Money-Coutts (Harper Collins (HQ)
You’ve Got This, Maxine Morrey (Boldwood Books)

Shortlists 8: The Historical Romantic Novel Award

Léon_Bonvin_-_Cook_with_Red_ApronThe Flame Tree, Siobhan Daiko (Indie)
The Secret Shore, Liz Fenwick (HQ Harper Collins)
Never Wager With a Wallflower, Virginia Heath (MacMillan)
A Secret Garden Affair, Erica James (HQ)
The Night She Met the Duke, Sarah Mallory (Harlequin Mills Boon)

Shortlists 9: The Contemporary Romantic Novel Award

A Midnight Kiss on Ever After Street, Jaimie Admans (Boldwood)
Evergreens, Liam Brown (Legend Press)
Summer at the Chateau, Annabel French (Avon/HarperCollins)
Summer Wedding, Sarah Morgan (HQ Harper Collins)
The Start of Something Wonderful, Jessica Redland (Boldwood Books)

Shortlists 10: The Popular Fiction Romantic Novel Award

The Wedding Dress Repair Shop, Trisha Ashley (Bantam)
One Night in Hartswood, Emma Denny (Harlequin Mills Boon)
Thirty Days in Paris, Veronica Henry (Orion)
Fly Me to Paris, Helga Jensen (Hera Books)
Bridget’s War, Shirley Mann (Zaffre)

Congratulations to the winners

PS Apologies for the lack of a blog last Sunday. Because of Joanna’s bout of Covid, things got a bit entangled in the Libertà hive and, somehow, nobody blogged. We will try to do better in future…

Puppy Love : Guest Blog by Jane Godman

Jane Godman, author, Libertà Award Winner

Jane Godman
Libertà Award Winner

Cover of Secret Baby, Second Chance by Jane Godman

Jane’s Prizewinning Book
Click image for Amazon

This month, we’re delighted to welcome a new guest, the winner of the Libertà Books Shorter Romantic Novel Award, Jane Godman. Jane writes thrillers and paranormals for Harlequin Mills & Boon and St Martin’s Press and self-publishes historical and gothic stories as well! Quite a range and certainly enough to keep her very busy.

Jane Godman is much travelled too. Born in Scotland, she’s lived in Germany, Wales, Malta, South Africa, and England. Jane says she still gets the urge to travel, but these days she prefers to head for a Spanish beach, or a European city that is steeped in history.

When she isn’t reading or writing romance, Jane likes cooking, spending time with her family, and enjoying the antics of her dogs, Gravy and Vera. For more about them, read on…

Puppy love — Vera’s Story

Jane Godman's Cairn terrier, Gravy


He was unlike anyone she’d ever met before. A darkly handsome Highlander, with perfect features and melting brown eyes.

She wasn’t even going to try to pronounce his name, but it was intensely attractive to her.

Aloof and distant, he ignored her efforts to be friendly, turning away when she approached, and sometimes even leaving the room when she walked in. Continue reading

Love among the Thrillers: Alison Morton guests

Alison Morton, author of Roma Nova series of thrillersToday, we welcome our first guest blogger of 2017, Alison Morton, author of the acclaimed Roma Nova series. Her novels are set in the alternate reality of a breakaway Roman state that survived the fall of the rest of the Empire — and it’s run by women! There are six novels in the series, all edge-of-the-seat thrillers, but all involving at least one love story as well. So Alison is well qualified to blog here on the subject of…

lovers - but can love survive in thrillers?Love among the Thrillers

Love. Ah, love! Nothing like a breathless heroine falling into the arms of her strong, yet conquered hero.

Yes, heroes are conquered by that heart-pounding, visceral but tender feeling as much as heroines are. But that’s just in romances, isn’t it? The classic “happy ever after” ending?

Er, no. Continue reading

Wanna Wallow, Dear Reader?

Georgette Heyer’s endings

Re-reading some of my favourite Georgette Heyer novels recently — Dame Isadora snagged me as the minion to do the research for her blogs because she, being a Very Important Personage, had Better Things To Do — I was struck by how often Heyer brings her lovers together at the very end of her novels, sometimes on the very last page.

bride and groom pre wallow
Heyer might give us a chaste embrace. She might even give us a fierce kiss or two. And she often adds a shared joke.
But that’s about it.

What we don’t get in Heyer is a lovers’ wallow.

What’s a wallow?

I’d describe the wallow as a shortish section at the end of a love story where the reader sees the lovers together and passionately in love — both of them trusting and relaxed and happy. Sometimes the lovers are married, sometimes they have had children, sometimes they are simply enjoying each other.

wallow on tropical beach



It’s the Happy Ever After ending shown right there on the page for the reader to savour.



Some readers love a wallow. Some readers even feel shortchanged if a novel doesn’t have one at the end. But readers still love all those Heyer novels that don’t have the merest hint of a wallow. So…

Does a love story need a wallow?

Continue reading