RWA Announces 2019 RITA & Golden Heart Finalists

Romance Writers of America (RWA), the trade association for romance fiction authors, announces the finalists for the 2019 RITA® and Golden Heart® Awards. The RITA — the highest award of distinction in romance fiction — recognizes excellence in published romance novels and novellas. The Golden Heart recognizes excellence in unpublished romance manuscripts.

The winners will be announced at the 2019 RWA Annual Conference in New York City.
Congratulations to the finalists!


2019 RITA Finalists

Best First Book

Celebrity Spin Doctor by Celia Mulder
InkSpell Publishing
Audrey Bobak, editor

Lady in Waiting by Marie Tremayne
HarperCollins, Avon Impulse
Elle Keck, editor

The Last Wolf
by Maria Vale
Sourcebooks, Casablanca
Deb Werksman, editor

A Wicked Kind of Husband by Mia Vincy

With Love in Sight by Christina Britton
Diversion Books
Eliza Kirby and Mallory Soto, editors

Contemporary Romance: Long

Bad Bachelor by Stefanie London
Sourcebooks, Casablanca
Cat Clyne, editor

Best of Luck by Kate Clayborn
Kensington Publishing Corp., Lyrical Press, Shine
Esi Sogah, editor

The Heartless Boyfriend by Erika Kelly
Sharon Pochron, editor

Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan
Lauren Clarke, editor

Luck of the Draw by Kate Clayborn
Kensington Publishign Corp., Lyrical Press, Shine
Esi Sogah, editor

Melt for You by J. T. Geissinger
Amazon, Montlake Romance
Maria Gomez, editor

A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas by Maisey Yates
Harlequin, HQN
Allison Carroll, editor

Contemporary Romance: Mid-Length

Advanced Physical Chemistry by Susannah Nix
Julia Ganis, editor

Celebrity Spin Doctor by Celia Mulder
InkSpell Publishing
Audrey Bobak, editor

Give and Take by Lee Kilraine
Kensington Publishing Corp., Lyrical Press, Caress
Esi Sogah, editor

Knocked-Up Cinderella by Julie Hammerle
Entangled Publishing, LLC, August
Stacy Abrams and Kate Brauning, editors

Lennon Reborn by Scarlett Cole
St. Martin's Press, Swerve
Alexandra Sehulster, editor

Loving a Warrior by Melanie Hansen
Harlequin, Carina Press
Alissa Davis, editor

Part-Time Husband by Noelle Adams
Victory Editing, editor

Relay by Layla Reyne
Kristi Yanta, editor

Sergeant Sexypants by Tawna Fenske
Susan Bischoff, editor

Sleepover by Serena Bell
Penguin Random House, Loveswept
Sue Grimshaw, editor

Contemporary Romance: Short

A Baby to Bind His Bride by Caitlin Crews
Harlequin, Presents
Megan Haslam, editor

The Bachelor's Baby Surprise by Teri Wilson
Harlequin, Special Edition
Gail Chasan, editor

The Captain's Vegas Vows by Caro Carson
Harlequin, Special Edition
Gail Chasan, editor

Claim Me, Cowboy by Maisey Yates
Harlequin, Desire

Fair Game by Amy Andrews
Harlequin Escape Publishing
Kate Cuthbert, editor

A Fool and His Manny by Amy Lane
Dreamspinner Press, Dreamspun Desire
Anne Reagan, editor

The Million Pound Marriage Deal by Michelle Douglas
Harlequin Mills & Boon, Romance
Bryony Green, editor

A Safe Place to Land by Dee Ernst
235 Alexander Street

Tanner's Promise by Kaylie Newell
Tule Publishing, Montana Born
Sinclair Sawhney, editor

Erotic Romance

Picture Perfect Cowboy by Tiffany Reisz
8th Circle Press

Sinful Games by Shelly Alexander

Three-Way Split by Elia Winters
Entangled Publishing, LLC, Scorched
Tera Cuskaden, editor

Total Exposure by JA Huss
RJ Locksley, editor

Historical Romance: Long

An Earl Like You by Caroline Linden
HarperCollins, Avon Books
Lyssa Keusch, editor

Lady in Waiting by Marie Tremayne
HarperCollins, Avon Impulse
Elle Keck, editor

A Scandalous Deal by Joanna Shupe
HarperCollins, Avon Books
Tessa Woodward, editor

A Wicked Kind of Husband by Mia Vincy

Historical Romance: Short

The Devil to Pay by K. C. Bateman

A Duke in the Night by Kelly Bowen
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Alex Logan, editor

Hell's Belle by Annabelle Anders

Never Dare a Wicked Earl by Renee Ann Miller
Kensington Publishing Corp., Zebra Shout
Esi Sogah, editor

What Ales the Earl by Sally MacKenzie
Kensington Publishing Corp., Zebra
Esi Sogah, editor

With Love in Sight by Christina Britton
Diversion Books
Eliza Kirby and Mallory Soto, editors

Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance

Five Years Gone by Marie Force
HTJB, Inc.
Linda Ingmanson and Joyce Lamb, editors

A Girl Divided by Ellen Lindseth
Amazon, Lake Union
Christopher Werner, editor

How to Keep a Secret by Sarah Morgan
Harlequin, HQN
Flo Nicoll, editor

Mornings on Main by Jodi Thomas
Harlequin, HQN
Brittany Lavery, editor

Paranormal Romance

To Catch a Rogue by Bec McMaster
Olivia Ventura, editor

Dearest Ivie by J. R. Ward
Ballantine Bantam Dell, Ballantine Books
Kara Walsh, editor

Debriefing the Dead by Kerry Blaisdell
The Wild Rose Press, Black Rose
Callie Lynn Wolfe, editor

Haunted Hearts by Kimberly Dean

The Last Wolf by Maria Vale
Sourcebooks, Casablanca
Deb Werksman, editor

Out of Body by Suzanne Brockmann

Wretched by Cara Crescent
Theodora O'Brian, editor

Romance Novella

Bad Blood by M. Malone
Angela Ramey, editor

Catching Irish
by Katy Regnery
Tessa Shapcott, editor

Dragon Lord by Dana Marton
Diane Flindt and Linda Ingmanson, editors

"The Dragons of Summer" by Jeffe Kennedy
in Seasons of Sorcery

"Lead Counsel" by Aurora Rey
in The Boss of Her: Office Romance Novellas
Bold Strokes Books, Inc.
Ashley Tillman, editor

Loving the Secret Billionaire by Adriana Anders
Kim Cannon and Nancy Smay, editors

Saved by the Cowboy by A. J. Pine
Grand Central Publishing, Forever Yours
Madeleine Colavita, editor

Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements

Home on Huckleberry Hill by Jennifer Beckstrand
Kensington Publishing Corp., Bouquet
John Scognamiglio, editor

A Mother for His Family by Susanne Dietze
Harlequin, Love Inspired Historical
Emily Rodmell, editor

The Saturday Night Supper Club by Carla Laureano
Tyndale House Publishers
Sarah Rische and Jan Stob, editors

Their Amish Reunion by Lenora Worth
Harlequin, Love Inspired
Patience Bloom, editor

Romantic Suspense

The Bastard's Bargain by Katee Robert
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Leah Hultenschmidt, editor

Before We Were Strangers by Brenda Novak
Harlequin, MIRA
Emily Ohanjanians, editor

Consumed by J. R. Ward
Simon & Schuster, Gallery Books
Lauren McKenna, editor

Cut and Run by Mary Burton
Amazon, Montlake Romance
Alison Dasho and Charlotte Herscher, editors

Fearless by Elizabeth Dyer

Reckless Honor by Tonya Burrows
Entangled Publishing, LLC, Amara
Heather Howland, editor

Relentless by Elizabeth Dyer
Amazon, Montlake Romance
Alison Dasho, editor

Young Adult Romance

Cry Baby by Ginger Scott
Billijoy Carson, editor

My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma
Crown Books for Young Readers
Phoebe Yeh, editor

Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter
David Levithan, editor

2019 Golden Heart Finalists

Contemporary Romance

The Cinderella Factor by Elly Kate

Focused on a Cowboy by Makenna Lee

He Owns My Heart by Evie Drae

Home to You by Sandra Marine

Hot Raider by Joy Adare

Never Have I Ever by Rosie Danan

Page Six by Alexis De Girolami

Rough Around the Edges by Margot Pierce

Salt + Stilettos by Janet Walden-West

Tempting Talk by Sara Whitney

The To-Do List by Denise Williams


Contemporary Romance: Short

Billionaire for Hire by Melanie McCarthy

Chasing Home by Priscilla Cook

Love on the Books by Betsy Gray

Murphy's Debt by Becke Turner

Wounded Martyr by Courtney Maguire

You'll Never Love in This Town Again by McKinley Reed

Historical Romance

A Dangerous Affinity by Emily Sullivan

Dangerous Pursuit by Ann Chaney

Every Time You're Near by Shannon Gallagher

Intriguing the Irishman by Emily Sullivan

A Season for Scandal by Kate Pembrooke

Tempting the Heiress by Emily Sullivan

An Unloved Earl by Eileen Emerson

Wylde at Heart by Elizabeth King

Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance

Broken White Lines by Melissa Wiesner

Everything Comes Back to You by Melissa Wiesner

Jane Darling's Rules of Inheritance by Megan McGee

Learning Curve by Sharon M. Peterson

Lolita's Muse by Claire DeWolf

Playing Nice by Evi Kline

Resurrecting Annie Wolff by Anna Collins

The Soda Fountain Sister and the Flower Lady by Sheri Taylor-Emery

Paranormal Romance

Bless Your Heart and Other Southern Curses by Heather Leonard

Inherent Lies by Alicia Anthony

Touch 3.3 by Valen Cox

The Transformation of Alexis Doe by Jilly Wood

Warrior of Eden by Fenley Grant

Witch Way Down by Chelly Pike

Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements

Counterfeit Love by Crystal Caudill

The Inn at Mill Creek
by Kellie Parker

The Promise of Spring by Martha Hutchens

Romantic Suspense

All Your Broken Pieces by Evie Drae

Deadly Aim by Tracy Brody

Dirty Money by Monique Headley

Free My Heart by Diane Wiggs

High Heels and Handguns by Lisa Heartman

The Hustler
by Angie Hockman


Young Adult Romance

After I Bid You Adieu by Sammi Spizziri

Dragged! by Susan Lee

The Nascent Bloom by Janet Raye Stevens

Song of the Sophos
by A. Y. Chao

The Walls Between by Christine Gunderson