2018 RITA and Golden Heart Winners

Romance Writers of America (RWA) announced the winners of the 2018 RITA® and Golden Heart® Awards on July 19 in Denver, Colorado. 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 The Golden Heart recognizes excellence in unpublished romance manuscripts.



2018 RITA Winners

Best First Book Winner

Take the Lead Alexis Daria

Take the Lead by Alexis Daria

St. Martin's Press, Swerve

Holly Ingraham, editor


Contemporary Romance: Long Winner

Falling Hard Lexi Ryan

Falling Hard by Lexi Ryan


Rhonda Merwarth, editor


Contemporary Romance: Mid-Length Winner

Tell Me Abigail Strom

Tell Me by Abigail Strom

Amazon, Montlake Publishing

Maria Gomez and Charlotte Herscher, editors


Contemporary Romance: Short Winner

Second Chance Summer Kait Nolan

Second Chance Summer by Kait Nolan


Susan Bischoff, editor


Erotic Romance Winner

Wicked Dirty J. Kenner

Wicked Dirty by J. Kenner

Martini & Olive Books

Martini & Olive, editor


Historical Romance: Long Winner

Between the Devil and the Duke Kelly Bowen

Between the Devil and the Duke by Kelly Bowen

Grand Central Publishing, Forever

Alex Logan, editor


Historical Romance: Short Winner

Waltzing with the Earl Catherine Tinley

Waltzing with the Earl by Catherine Tinley

Harlequin Mills & Boon, Historical

Julia Williams, editor


Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance Winner

Now that You Mention It Kristan Higgins

Now that You Mention It by Kristan Higgins

Harlequin, HQN

Susan Swinwood, editor


Paranormal Romance Winner

Hunt the Darkness Stephanie Rowe

Hunt the Darkness by Stephanie Rowe



Romance Novella Winner

Forbidden River Brynn Kelly

Forbidden River by Brynn Kelly

Harlequin, HQN

Allison Carroll, editor


Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements Winner

Then There Was You Kara Isaac

Then There Was You by Kara Isaac


Iola Goulton and Halee Matthews, editors


Romantic Suspense Winner

The Fixer HelenKay Dimon

The Fixer by HelenKay Dimon

HarperCollins, Avon Books

May Chen, editor


Young Adult Romance Winner

Seize Today Pintip Dunn

Seize Today by Pintip Dunn

Entangled Publishing, Entangled Teen

Liz Pelletier, editor




2018 Golden Heart Winners

Contemporary Romance Winner

Arianna James

Thrown by Arianna James


Contemporary Romance: Short Winner

Janet Raye Stevens

Cole for Christmas by Janet Raye Stevens


Historical Romance Winner

Scarlett Peckham The Duke of Charlotte Street by Scarlett Peckham

Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance Winner

Anna Murray Birds of a Feather by Anna Murray

Paranormal Romance Winner

Kay Hudson Jinn on the Rocks by Kay Hudson

Romantic Suspense Winner

Pamela Varnado Extreme Fear by Pamela Varnado

Young Adult Romance Winner

C.R. Grissom

Mouthful by C. R. Grissom