Romance Writers of America® Announces 2015 Contest Finalists

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 The Golden Heart recognizes excellence in unpublished romance manuscripts.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 were announced at a black-tie awards ceremony on July 25 at the 2015 RWA Annual Conference in New York.

Congratulations to the 2015 finalists!

RITA  Finalists: Golden Heart  Finalists:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015 RITA Finalists

Best First Book

A Bollywood Affair Sonali Dev A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev
Kensington Publishing
Martin Biro, editor
The Dress Thief Natalie Meg Evans The Dress Thief by Natalie Meg Evans
Quercus Publishing
Kathryn Taussig, editor
Fake Beck Nicholas Fake by Beck Nicholas 
Harlequin, TEEN
Annabel Blay, editor
For Such a Time Kate Breslin For Such a Time by Kate Breslin
Baker Publishing, Bethany House
Raela Schoenherr, editor
Mind Sweeper AE Jones Mind Sweeper by AE Jones
Self-published
Faith Freewoman, editor
Purely Professional Elia Winters Purely Professional by Elia Winters
Harlequin, Carina Press
Kerri Buckley, editor
Run to You Clara Kensie Run to You by Clara Kensie
Harlequin, TEEN
Natashya Wilson, editor
The Smuggler Wore Silk Alyssa Alexander The Smuggler Wore Silk by Alyssa Alexander
Penguin Group USA, Berkley
Julie Mianecki, editor
To Scotland with Love Patience Griffin To Scotland with Love by Patience Griffin
New American Library, Signet
Tracy Bernstein, editor
Top
 

Contemporary Romance: Long

Baby It's You Jane Graves Baby, It's You by Jane Graves
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Michele Bidelspach, editor
The Best Medicine Tracy Brogan The Best Medicine by Tracy Brogan
Amazon Publishing, Montlake Romance
Kelli Martin, editor
Fever Pitch Heidi Cullinan Fever Pitch by Heidi Cullinan
Samhain Publishing, Ltd
Sasha Knight, editor
It's in His Kiss Jill Shalvis It's in His Kiss by Jill Shalvis
Grand Central Publishing
Alex Logan, editor
The Place I Belong Nancy Herkness The Place I Belong by Nancy Herkness
Amazon Publishing, Montlake Romance
JoVon Sotak, editor
Slow Tango with a Prince Nicole Burnham Slow Tango with a Prince by Nicole Burnham
Self-published
Valerie Susan Hayward, editor
Somebody Like You Beth Vogt Somebody Like You by Beth Vogt
Simon & Schuster, Howard Books
Jessica Wong, editor
The Sweetest September Liz Talley The Sweetest September by Liz Talley
Harlequin, Superromance
Megan Long and Wanda Ottewell, editor
To Scotland with Love Patience Griffin To Scotland with Love by Patience Griffin
New American Library, Signet
Tracy Bernstein, editor
The Vixen and the Vet Katy Regnery The Vixen and the Vet by Katy Regnery
Self-published
Chris Belden and Melissa Demeo, editors
Top
 

Contemporary Romance: Mid-Length

Carolina Man Virginia Kantra Carolina Man by Virginia Kantra
Penguin Publishing Group USA, Berkley Sensation
Cindy Hwang, editor
Her Cowboy Hero Tanya Michaels Her Cowboy Hero by Tanya Michaels
Harlequin, American Romance
Johanna Raisanen, editor
Her Kind of Trouble Sarah Mayberry Her Kind of Trouble by Sarah Mayberry
Harlequin, Superromance
Wanda Ottewell, editor
Her Temporary Hero Jennifer Apodaca Her Temporary Hero by Jennifer Apodaca
Entangled Publishing, Indulgence
Kate Fall and Alethea Spiridon Hopson, editors
Love with a Perfect Cowboy Lori Wilde Love with a Perfect Cowboy by Lori Wilde
HarperCollins Publishers, Avon Books
Lucia Macro, editor
Once a Family Tara Taylor Quinn Once a Family by Tara Taylor Quinn
Harlequin, Superromance
Paula Eykelhof, editor
One in a Million Jill Shalvis One in a Million by Jill Shalvis
Grand Central Publishing
Alex Logan, editor
Reforming the Playboy Inara Scott Reforming the Playboy by Inara Scott
Entangled Publishing, Indulgence
Alethea Spiridon Hopson, editor
Starting with June Emilie Rose Starting with June by Emilie Rose
Harlequin, Superromance
Wanda Ottewell and Karen Reid, editors
Worth the Fall Caitie Quinn Worth the Fall by Bria Quinlan writing as Caitie Quinn
Self-published
Jenn Harris, editor
Top
 

Contemporary Romance: Short

The Bachelor Doctor's Bride Caro Carson The Bachelor Doctor's Bride by Caro Carson
Harlequin, Special Edition
Gail Chasan, editor
Bad Girl Julie Miller Bad Girl by Julie Miller
Harlequin, Intrigue NOIR
Allison Lyons, editor
Blueprint for a Kiss Nancy Warren Blueprint for a Kiss by Nancy Warren
Self-published
Trish Milburn, editor
A Bride for the Blacksheep Brother Emily McKay A Bride for the Blacksheep Brother by Emily McKay
Harlequin, Desire
Charles Griemsman, editor
Enemies with Benefits Louisa George Enemies with Benefits by Louisa George
Harlequin Mills & Boon, Modern Tempted/KISS
Flo Nicoll, editor
The Headmaster Tiffany Reisz The Headmaster by Tiffany Reisz
Harlequin, E-Shivers
Danielle Padula, editor
Her Unforgettable Royal Lover Merline Lovelace Her Unforgettable Royal Lover by Merline Lovelace
Harlequin, Desire
Gail Chasan, editor
A Texas Rescue Christmas Caro Carson A Texas Rescue Christmas by Caro Carson
Harlequin, Special Edition
Gail Chasan, editor
What the Greek Can't Resist Maya Blake What the Greek Can't Resist by Maya Blake
Harlequin Mills & Boon, Presents
Suzanne Clarke, editor
Yours Forever Farrah Rochon Yours Forever by Farrah Rochon
Harlequin, Kimani Romance
Tara Gavin, editor
Top
 

Erotic Romance

Bonds of Denial Lynda Aicher Bonds of Denial by Lynda Aicher
Harlequin, Carina Press
Rhonda Helms, editor
Call Me Saffron Talia Surova Call Me Saffron by Talia Surova
Self-published
Purely Professional Elia Winters Purely Professional by Elia Winters
Harlequin, Carina Press
Kerri Buckley, editor
The Saint Tiffany Reisz The Saint by Tiffany Reisz
Harlequin, Mira
Susan Swinwood, editor
Wanted J. Kenner Wanted by J. Kenner
Random House, Ballantine Bantam Dell
Shauna Summers, editor
Top
 

Historical Romance: Long

Douglas: Lord of Heartache Grace Burrowes Douglas: Lord of Heartache by Grace Burrowes
Sourcebooks, Casablanca
Deb Werksman, editor
Fool Me Twice Meredith Duran Fool Me Twice by Meredith Duran
Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books
Lauren McKenna, editor
A Place Called Harmony Jodi Thomas A Place Called Harmony by Jodi Thomas
Penguin Group USA, Berkley
Wendy McCurdy, editor
Where the Horses Run Kaki Warner Where the Horses Run by Kaki Warner
Penguin Group USA, Berkley
Wendy McCurdy, editor
Worth: Lord of Reckoning Grace Burrowes Worth: Lord of Reckoning by Grace Burrowes
Self-published
Top
 

Historical Romance: Short

The Bells of Times Square Amy Lane The Bells of Times Square by Amy Lane
Riptide Publishing
Sarah Frantz Lyons, editor
The Cowboy’s Reluctant Bride Debra Cowan The Cowboy’s Reluctant Bride by Debra Cowan
Harlequin, Historical
Rachel Burkot, editor
Darling Beast Elizabeth Hoyt Darling Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt
Grand Central Publishing
Leah Hultenschmidt, editor
The Gentleman Rogue Margaret McPhee The Gentleman Rogue by Margaret McPhee
Harlequin Mills & Boon, Historical
Pippa Roscoe, editor
In Bed with a Rogue Samantha Grace In Bed with a Rogue by Samantha Grace
Sourcebooks
Cat Clyne, editor
Romancing the Duke Tessa Dare Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare
HarperCollins Publishers, Avon Books
Tessa Woodward, editor
Top
 

Inspirational Romance

Deceived Irene Hannon Deceived by Irene Hannon
Baker Publishing Group, Revell
Jennifer Leep, editor
For Such a Time Kate Breslin For Such a Time by Kate Breslin
Baker Publishing Group, Bethany House
Raela Schoenherr, editor
Hope at Dawn Stacy Henrie Hope at Dawn by Stacy Henrie
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Lauren Plude, editor
Huckleberry Summer Jennifer Beckstrand Huckleberry Summer by Jennifer Beckstrand
Kensington Publishing
John Scognamiglio, editor
The Widow's Suitor Rose Ross Zediker The Widow's Suitor by Rose Ross Zediker
Harlequin, Heartsong Presents
Kathy Davis, editor
Top
 

Paranormal Romance 

Be Careful What You Kiss For Jane L Daniels Be Careful What You Kiss For by Jane Lynne Daniels
Boroughs Publishing Group
Jill Limber, editor
Bitter Spirits Jenn Bennett Bitter Spirits by Jenn Bennett
Penguin Group USA, Berkley Sensation
Leis Pedersen, editor
Burn for Me Cynthia Eden Burn for Me by Cynthia Eden
Kensington Publishing, Brava
Esi Sogah, editor
The Darkest Touch Gena Showalter The Darkest Touch by Gena Showalter
Harlequin, HQN
Emily Ohanjanians, editor
Evernight Kristen Callihan Evernight by Kristen Callihan
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Alex Logan, editor
Forged by Desire Bec McMaster Forged by Desire by Bec McMaster
Sourcebooks, Casablanca
Mary Altman, editor
Mind Sweeper AE Jones Mind Sweeper by AE Jones
Self-published
Faith Freewoman, editor
My Lady, My Lord Katharine Ashe My Lady, My Lord by Katharine Ashe
Self-published
Martha Trachtenberg, editor
Top
 

Romance Novella

10 Rules to Sex Up a Blind Date Heidi Rice 10 Rules to Sex Up a Blind Date by Heidi Rice
Harlequin, Cosmo Red-Hot Reads
Bryony Green, editor
A Game of Brides Megan Crane “A Game of Brides” by Megan Crane
in Love Me True
Tule Publishing Group, LLC
Sinclair Sawhney, editor
Her Best Laid Plans Cara McKenna Her Best Laid Plans by Cara McKenna
Harlequin, Cosmo Red-Hot Reads
Malle Vallik, editor
His Road Home Anna Richland His Road Home by Anna Richland
Harlequin, Carina Press
Rhonda Helms, editor
Kiss and Tell Grace Burrowes Kiss and Tell by Grace Burrowes
Self-published
The Last Wicked Scoundrel Lorraine Heath The Last Wicked Scoundrel by Lorraine Heath
HarperCollins Publishers, Avon Impulse
May Chen, editor
A Love Letter to the Editor Robin Lee Hatcher "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 Kimberly Kincaid Pushing the Line by Kimberly Kincaid
Self-published
Curtis Brown Digital, editor
Will You Be My Wi-Fi? Caroline Linden "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 Kate Hewitt "A Yorkshire Christmas" by Kate Hewitt
in All I Want for Christmas
Tule Publishing Group, LLC
Sinclair Sawhney, editor
Top
 

Romantic Suspense

Concealed in Death J.D. Robb Concealed in Death by J.D. Robb
Penguin Group USA, G.P. Putnam's Sons
Leslie Gelbman, editor
Forged in Ash Trish McCallan Forged in Ash by Trish McCallan
Amazon Publishing, Montlake Romance
Charlotte Herscher and JoVon Sotak, editors
Grave Danger Katy Lee Grave Danger by Katy Lee
Harlequin, Love Inspired Suspense
Emily Rodmell, editor
Honor Reclaimed Tonya Burrows Honor Reclaimed by Tonya Burrows
Entangled Publishing, Select
Heather Howland, editor
Into the Shadows Carolyn Crane Into the Shadows by Carolyn Crane
Self-published
Deb Nemeth and my fabulous critique partners, editors
Lock and Load Kimberley Troutte Lock and Load by Kimberley Troutte
Self-published
Georgia Woods, editor
Midnight Action Elle Kennedy Midnight Action by Elle Kennedy
New American Library, Signet
Laura Fazio, editor
You're Not Safe Mary Burton You're Not Safe by Mary Burton
Kensington Publishing, Zebra
John Scognamiglio, editor
Top
 

Young Adult Romance

Boys Like You Juliana Stone Boys Like You by Juliana Stone
Sourcebooks, Fire
Leah Hultenschmidt and Aubrey Poole, editors
Plus One Elizabeth Fama Plus One by Elizabeth Fama
Macmillan, Farrar, Straus and Giroux BYR
Simon Boughton, editor
Run to You Clara Kensie Run to You by Clara Kensie
Harlequin, TEEN
Natashya Wilson, editor
Some Boys Patty Blount Some Boys by Patty Blount
Sourcebooks, Fire
Aubrey Poole, editor
Top
 

 

 

2015 Golden Heart Finalists

Contemporary Romance

Kimberly Buckner “Call Me Mrs. Whitlock” by Kimberly Buckner
Arianna James “Caught on Film” by Arianna James
Kelly Siskind “Chasing Crazy” by Kelly Siskind
Alice Faris “Good Girl’s Guide to Talking Dirty” by Alice Faris
Priscilla Kissinger “His Perfect Partner” by Priscilla Kissinger
Jo Anne Banker “Homecoming” by Jo Anne Banker
Susan J. Bickford “The House of D’Innocenzi” by Susan J. Bickford
Jennifer Brodie “Mace, Men, and Margaritas” by Jennifer Brodie
Jen Gilroy “Port Fairlight Summer” by Jen Gilroy
Kelly Farmer “Puppy Love” by Kelly Farmer
Top

Erotic Romance

Michele Arris "A Deal for Love" by Michele Arris
Caroline Bradley "Indulge My Fantasy" by Caroline Bradley
Elle Mason "Sorting Out the Kinks" by Elle Mason
Top
 

Historical Romance

Kimberly Bell "A Convenient Engagement" by Kimberly Bell
Marnee Blake "A Dangerous Chemistry" by Marnee Blake
Lori Sanders Foley "Dragon’s Lair" by Lori Sanders Foley
Renee Ann Miller "Never Dare a Wicked Earl" by Renee Ann Miller
Laurie Benson "A Proper Scandal" by Laurie Benson
Ellen Lindseth "A Question of Loyalty" by Ellen Lindseth
Eileen K Barnes "Rescuing Mr. Gracey" by Eileen K Barnes
Sara Leyton "The Reunion" by Sara Leyton
Kim Turner "Sawyer's Rose" by Kim Turner
Top
 

Paranormal Romance

Pamela Kopfler "Better Dead" by Pamela Kopfler
Maria Powers "Coyote Walks" by Maria Powers
Jeanne Oates Estridge "Demons Don’t" by Jeanne Oates Estridge
Kristal Hollis "Howlin Hearts" by Kristal Hollis
Heather Leonard "Magic City" by Heather Leonard
Nancy Coiner "The Magical Librarian of Tulsa, Oklahoma" by Nancy Coiner
Kimberly MacCarron "Mapping Fate" by Kimberly MacCarron
Tara Sheets "Stone Hunter" by Tara Sheets
Melanie McCarthy "Undercover Enchanter" by Melanie McCarthy
Top
 

Romantic Suspense

Brynn Kelly "Deception Island" by Brynn Kelly
Sharon Wray "Every Unworthy Thing" by Sharon Wray
Sharon Wray "Hope Craves an Execution" by Sharon Wray
Arlene McFarlane "Murder, Curlers, and Cream" by Arlene McFarlane
Jessica Darago "Scandal" by Jessica Darago
Tracy Poole "A Shot Worth Taking" by Tracy Poole
Top
 

Short Contemporary Romance

Mia Sosa "At Her Service" by Mia Sosa
Mary Oldham "A Night at the Rosemont" by Mary Oldham
Debra Moser "Waiting for Meggie" by Debra Moser
Seana Kelly "Welcome Home, Katie Gallagher" by Seana Kelly
  "Winning Her Over" by Alexa Rowan
Top
 

Young Adult Romance

TL Sumner "The Culloden Immortals" by TL Sumner
Mary Sullivan "The Jade Quest" by Mary Sullivan
Diana Munoz Stewart "Mind Traveler" by Diana Munoz Stewart
Stephanie Winkelhake "Our Souls to Keep" by Stephanie Winkelhake
Julie Glover "Sharing Hunter" by Julie Glover
Stephanie Winkelhake "When I Wake" by Stephanie Winkelhake
Top