2015 RITA & Golden Heart Finalists Announced

Romance Writers of America (RWA), the trade association for aspiring and published romance fiction authors, announces the finalists for the 2015 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 The Golden Heart recognizes excellence in unpublished romance manuscripts.

Up to 2,000 romance novels are entered in the RITA competition each year. A novel may be entered either by the author or by the book's publisher in one of the contest categories. After the first round of judging by published romance authors, entries that meet the qualifications to become a finalist then advance to the final round.

The 2015 winners will be announced at a black-tie awards ceremony on July 25 at the 2015 RWA Annual Conference in New York.

Names of finalists will be posted to this page on March 26 as they're notified; a full list will be available by 2 p.m. CDT.

2015 RITA Finalists

Best First Book

A Bollywood Affair
by Sonali Dev
Kensington Publishing
Martin Biro, editor

The Dress Thief
by Natalie Meg Evans
Quercus Publishing
Kathryn Taussig, editor

Fake
by Beck Nicholas
Harlequin, TEEN
Annabel Blay, editor

For Such a Time
by Kate Breslin
Baker Publishing, Bethany House
Raela Schoenherr, editor

Mind Sweeper
by AE Jones
Self-published
Faith Freewoman, editor

Purely Professional
by Elia Winters
Harlequin, Carina Press
Kerri Buckley, editor

Run to You
by Clara Kensie
Harlequin, TEEN
Natashya Wilson, editor

The Smuggler Wore Silk
by Alyssa Alexander
Penguin Group USA, Berkley
Julie Mianecki, editor

To Scotland with Love
by Patience Griffin
New American Library, Signet
Tracy Bernstein, editor

 

Contemporary Romance: Long

Baby, It’s You
by Jane Graves
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Michele Bidelspach, editor

The Best Medicine
by Tracy Brogan
Amazon Publishing, Montlake Romance
Kelli Martin, editor

Fever Pitch
by Heidi Cullinan
Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Sasha Knight, editor

It’s in His Kiss
by Jill Shalvis
Grand Central Publishing
Alex Logan, editor

The Place I Belong
by Nancy Herkness
Amazon Publishing, Montlake Romance
JoVon Sotak, editor

Slow Tango with a Prince
by Nicole Burnham
Self-published
Valerie Susan Hayward, editor

Somebody Like You
by Beth Vogt
Simon & Schuster, Howard Books
Jessica Wong, editor

The Sweetest September
by Liz Talley
Harlequin, Superromance
Megan Long and Wanda Ottewell, editors

To Scotland with Love
by Patience Griffin
New American Library, Signet
Tracy Bernstein, editor

The Vixen and the Vet
by Katy Regnery
Self-published
Chris Belden and Melissa Demeo, editors

 

Contemporary Romance: Mid-Length

Carolina Man
by Virginia Kantra
Penguin Publishing Group USA, Berkley Sensation
Cindy Hwang, editor

Her Cowboy Hero
by Tanya Michaels
Harlequin, American Romance
Johanna Raisanen, editor

Her Kind of Trouble
by Sarah Mayberry
Harlequin, Superromance
Wanda Ottewell, editor

Her Temporary Hero
by Jennifer Apodaca
Entangled Publishing, Indulgence
Kate Fall and Alethea Spiridon Hopson, editors

Love with a Perfect Cowboy
by Lori Wilde
HarperCollins Publishers, Avon Books
Lucia Macro, editor

Once a Family
by Tara Taylor Quinn
Harlequin, Superromance
Paula Eykelhof, editor

One in a Million
by Jill Shalvis
Grand Central Publishing
Alex Logan, editor

Reforming the Playboy
by Inara Scott
Entangled Publishing, Indulgence
Alethea Spiridon Hopson, editor

Starting with June
by Emilie Rose
Harlequin, Superromance
Wanda Ottewell and Karen Reid, editors

Worth the Fall
by Caitie Quinn
Self-published
Jenn Harris, editor

 

Contemporary Romance: Short

The Bachelor Doctor’s Bride
by Caro Carson
Harlequin, Special Edition
Gail Chasan, editor

Bad Girl
by Julie Miller
Harlequin, Intrigue NOIR
Allison Lyons, editor

Blueprint for a Kiss
by Nancy Warren
Self-published
Trish Milburn, editor

A Bride for the Blacksheep Brother
by Emily McKay
Harlequin, Desire
Charles Griemsman, editor

Enemies with Benefits
by Louisa George
Harlequin Mills & Boon, Modern Tempted/KISS
Flo Nicoll, editor

The Headmaster
by Tiffany Reisz
Harlequin, E-Shivers
Danielle Padula, editor

Her Unforgettable Royal Lover
by Merline Lovelace
Harlequin, Desire
Gail Chasan, editor

A Texas Rescue Christmas
by Caro Carson
Harlequin, Special Edition
Gail Chasan, editor

What the Greek Can’t Resist
by Maya Blake
Harlequin Mills & Boon, Presents
Suzanne Clarke, editor

Yours Forever
by Farrah Rochon
Harlequin, Kimani Romance
Tara Gavin, editor

 

Erotic Romance

Bonds of Denial
by Lynda Aicher
Harlequin, Carina Press
Rhonda Helms, editor

Call Me Saffron
by Talia Surova
Self-published

Purely Professional
by Elia Winters
Harlequin, Carina Press
Kerri Buckley, editor

The Saint
by Tiffany Reisz
Harlequin, Mira
Susan Swinwood, editor

Wanted
by J. Kenner
Random House, Ballantine Bantam Dell
Shauna Summers, editor

 

Historical Romance: Long

Douglas: Lord of Heartache
by Grace Burrowes
Sourcebooks, Casablanca
Deb Werksman, editor

Fool Me Twice
by Meredith Duran
Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books
Lauren McKenna, editor

A Place Called Harmony
by Jodi Thomas
Penguin Group USA, Berkley
Wendy McCurdy, editor

Where the Horses Run
by Kaki Warner
Penguin Group USA, Berkley Sensation
Wendy McCurdy, editor

Worth: Lord of Reckoning
by Grace Burrowes
Self-published

 

Historical Romance: Short

The Bells of Times Square
by Amy Lane
Riptide Publishing
Sarah Frantz Lyons, editor

The Cowboy’s Reluctant Bride
by Debra Cowan
Harlequin, Historical
Rachel Burkot, editor

Darling Beast
by Elizabeth Hoyt
Grand Central Publishing
Leah Hultenschmidt, editor

The Gentleman Rogue
by Margaret McPhee
Harlequin Mills & Boon, Historical
Pippa Roscoe, editor

In Bed with a Rogue
by Samantha Grace
Sourcebooks
Cat Clyne, editor

Romancing the Duke
by Tessa Dare
HarperCollins Publishers, Avon Books
Tessa Woodward, editor

 

Inspirational Romance

Deceived
by Irene Hannon
Baker Publishing Group, Revell
Jennifer Leep, editor

For Such a Time
by Kate Breslin
Baker Publishing Group, Bethany House
Raela Schoenherr, editor

Hope at Dawn
by Stacy Henrie
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Lauren Plude, editor

Huckleberry Summer
by Jennifer Beckstrand
Kensington Publishing
John Scognamiglio, editor

The Widow’s Suitor
by Rose Ross Zediker
Harlequin, Heartsong Presents
Kathy Davis, editor

 

Paranormal Romance

Be Careful What You Kiss For
by Jane Lynne Daniels
Boroughs Publishing Group
Jill Limber, editor

Bitter Spirits
by Jenn Bennett
Penguin Group USA, Berkley Sensation
Leis Pedersen, editor

Burn for Me
by Cynthia Eden
Kensington Publishing, Brava
Esi Sogah, editor

The Darkest Touch
by Gena Showalter
Harlequin, HQN
Emily Ohanjanians, editor

Evernight
by Kristen Callihan
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Alex Logan, editor

Forged By Desire
by Bec McMaster
Sourcebooks, Casablanca
Mary Altman, editor

Mind Sweeper
by AE Jones
Self-published
Faith Freewoman, editor

My Lady, My Lord
by Katharine Ashe
Self-published
Martha Trachtenberg, editor

 

Romance Novella

10 Rules to Sex Up a Blind Date
by Heidi Rice
Harlequin, Cosmo Red-Hot Reads
Bryony Green, editor

“A Game of Brides”
by Megan Crane
in Love Me True
Tule Publishing Group, LLC
Sinclair Sawhney, editor

Her Best Laid Plans
by Cara McKenna
Harlequin, Cosmo Red-Hot Reads
Malle Vallik, editor

His Road Home
by Anna Richland
Harlequin, Carina Press
Rhonda Helms, editor

Kiss and Tell
by Grace Burrowes
Self-published

The Last Wicked Scoundrel
by Lorraine Heath
HarperCollins Publishers, Avon Impulse
May Chen, editor

“A Love Letter to the Editor”
by Robin Lee Hatcher
in Four Weddings & a Kiss
Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Traci Depree and Ami McConnell, editors

Pushing the Line
by Kimberly Kincaid
Self-published
Curtis Brown Digital, editor

“Will You Be My Wi-Fi?”
by Caroline Linden
in At the Billionaire’s Wedding
Self-published, The Lady Authors
Martha Trachtenberg, editor

“A Yorkshire Christmas”
by Kate Hewitt
in All I Want For Christmas
Tule Publishing Group, LLC
Sinclair Sawhney, editor

 

Romantic Suspense

Concealed in Death
by J. D. Robb
Penguin Group USA, G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Leslie Gelbman, editor

Forged in Ash
by Trish McCallan
Amazon Publishing, Montlake Romance
Charlotte Herscher and JoVon Sotak, editors

Grave Danger
by Katy Lee
Harlequin, Love Inspired Suspense
Emily Rodmell, editor

Honor Reclaimed
by Tonya Burrows
Entangled Publishing, Select
Heather Howland, editor

Into the Shadows
by Carolyn Crane
Self-published
Deb Nemeth and my fabulous critique partners, editors

Lock and Load
by Kimberley Troutte
Self-published
Kimberley Troutte, editor

Midnight Action
by Elle Kennedy
New American Library, Signet
Laura Fazio, editor

You’re Not Safe
by Mary Burton
Kensington Publishing, Zebra
John Scognamiglio, editor

 

Young Adult Romance

Boys Like You
by Juliana Stone
Sourcebooks, Fire
Leah Hultenschmidt and Aubrey Poole, editors

Plus One
by Elizabeth Fama
Macmillan, Farrar, Straus and Giroux BYR
Simon Boughton, editor

Run to You
by Clara Kensie
Harlequin, TEEN
Natashya Wilson, editor

Some Boys
by Patty Blount
Sourcebooks, Fire
Aubrey Poole, editor

 

2015 Golden Heart Finalists

Contemporary Romance

“Call Me Mrs. Whitlock”
by Kimberly Buckner

“Caught on Film”
by Arianna James

“Chasing Crazy”
by Kelly Siskind

“Good Girl’s Guide to Talking Dirty”
by Alice Faris

“His Perfect Partner”
by Priscilla Kissinger

“Homecoming”
by Jo Anne Banker

“The House of D’Innocenzi”
by Susan J. Bickford

“Mace, Men, and Margaritas”
by Jennifer Brodie

“Port Fairlight Summer”
by Jen Gilroy

“Puppy Love”
by Kelly Farmer

 

Erotic Romance

“A Deal for Love”
by Michele Arris

“Indulge My Fantasy”
by Caroline Bradley

“Sorting Out the Kinks”
by Elle Mason

 

Historical Romance

“A Convenient Engagement”
by Kimberly Bell

“A Dangerous Chemistry”
by Marnee Blake

“Dragon’s Lair”
by Lori Sanders Foley

“Never Dare a Wicked Earl”
by Renee Ann Miller

“A Proper Scandal”
by Laurie Benson

“A Question of Loyalty”
by Ellen Lindseth

“Rescuing Mr. Gracey”
by E K Barnes

“The Reunion”
by Sara Leyton

“Sawyer’s Rose”
by Kim Turner

 

Paranormal Romance

“Better Dead”
by Pamela Kopfler

“Coyote Walks”
by Maria Powers

“Demons Don’t”
by Jeanne Oates Estridge

“Howlin Hearts”
by Kristal Hollis

“Magic City”
by Heather Leonard

“The Magical Librarian of Tulsa, Oklahoma”
by Nancy Coiner

“Mapping Fate”
by Kimberly MacCarron

“Stone Hunter”
by Tara Sheets

“Undercover Enchanter”
by Melanie McCarthy

 

Romantic Suspense

“Deception Island”
by Bronwyn McEvoy

“Every Unworthy Thing”
by Sharon Wray

“Hope Craves an Execution”
by Sharon Wray

“Murder, Curlers, and Cream”
by Arlene McFarlane

“Scandal”
by Jessica Darago

“A Shot Worth Taking”
by Tracy Poole

 

Short Contemporary Romance

“At Her Service”
by Mia Sosa

“A Night at the Rosemont”
by Mary Oldham

“Waiting for Meggie”
by Debra Moser

“Welcome Home, Katie Gallagher”
by Seana Kelly

“Winning Her Over”
by Alexa Rowan

 

Young Adult Romance

“The Culloden Immortals”
by T L Sumner

“The Jade Quest”
by Mary Sullivan

“Mind Traveler”
by Diana Munoz Stewart

“Our Souls to Keep”
by Stephanie Winkelhake

“Sharing Hunter”
by Julie Glover

“When I Wake”
by Stephanie Winkelhake

2 Comments
4 Likes

Congratulations

March 26, 2015 09:15 PM by Sherri Lupton Hollister

What a wonderful line up, they are all winners. Just to be named a finalist is such an honor. Whatever the outcome from here, you should all be proud. I am awed and inspired, best wishes to you all.

 

Congratulations!

March 28, 2015 07:43 AM by Brenda Davis

Congratulations and Best of Luck to everyone in the Finals!  You are all one step closer to your dreams!!!  ;)

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