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  • Writer's picturePatti Callahan Henry

Becoming Mrs. Lewis Shortlisted for the 2020 Romantic Novel of the Year Awards

Updated: Jan 25, 2022

The RNA announces shortlists for the

2020 Romantic Novel Awards

Feb 3, 2020

Jenny Eclair to present Awards

We are delighted to announce the shortlists for the prestigious 2020 Romantic Novel Awards in what promises to be a spectacular year for the Association, as we celebrate our 60th (Diamond) Anniversary. Writer and performer Jenny Eclair will present the Awards during a ceremony at Leonardo Royal London City Hotel on Monday 2nd March.

The RNA’s awards are the only national literary prizes that recognise excellence in the genre of romantic fiction. In 2020 they comprise the Goldsboro Books Contemporary Romantic Novel Award, the Goldsboro Books Historical Romantic Novel Award, the Romantic Comedy Novel Award, the Sapere Books Popular Romantic Fiction Award, the Jackie Collins Award for Romantic Thrillers, the Romantic Saga Award, the Fantasy Romantic Novel Award, the Libertà Shorter Romantic Novel Award and the Katie Fforde Debut Romantic Novel Award.

Milly Johnson will also be presented with the 2020 Outstanding Achievement Award, in recognition of her extraordinary contribution to the field of romantic fiction.

Since its inception in 1960 the RNA has promoted excellence in romantic fiction and RNA Chair, Alison May, commented, “The shortlists this year show the fantastic range of romantic fiction being produced by hugely talented authors. In the RNA’s 60th year it’s heartening to see the genre in such good health, and to see such an exciting mix of established and up-and-coming writers taking romantic fiction forward into the next sixty years.”

The Category Shortlists

(authors are listed alphabetically)

  • The Katie Fforde Debut Romantic Novel Award:

  • The Forgotten Village, Lorna Cook, Avon, HarperCollins

  • Living My Best Life, Claire Frost, Simon & Schuster UK

  • The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker, Jenni Keer, Avon, HarperCollins

  • The Flatshare, Beth O’Leary, Quercus Fiction

  • The Million Pieces of Neena Gill, Emma Smith-Barton, Penguin

  • The Libertá Books Shorter Romantic Novel Award:

  • Christmas by The Lighthouse, Rebecca Boxall, Lake Union, Amazon Publishing

  • Surprise Baby for the Heir, Ellie Darkins, Mills & Boon True Love

  • Miss Amelia’s Mistletoe Marquess, Jenni Fletcher, Mills & Boon Historical

  • A Return, a Reunion, a Wedding, Annie O’Neil, Mills & Boon Medical

  • The Lord’s Inconvenient Vow, Lara Temple, Mills & Boon Historical

The Romantic Saga Award:

  • The Street of Broken Dreams, Tania Crosse, Aria Fiction, Head of Zeus

  • The Brighton Guest House Girls, Lesley Eames, Aria Fiction, Head of Zeus

  • A Ration Book Childhood, Jean Fullerton, Corvus

  • A Precious Gift, Rosie Goodwin, Bonnier Books

  • Secrets of the Homefront Girls, Kate Thompson, Hodder & Stoughton

The Romantic Comedy Novel Award:

  • A Question of Us, Mary Jayne Baker, Aria Fiction, Head of Zeus

  • Bring Me Sunshine, Laura Kemp, Orion Fiction

  • A Cornish Cottage by the Sea, Jane Linfoot, One More Chapter, Harper Collins

  • Honeymoon for One, Portia MacIntosh, Boldwood Books

  • Love Songs for Sceptics, Christina Pishiris, Simon & Schuster UK

The Jackie Collins Romantic Thriller Award:

  • The Uncompromising Lord Flint, Virginia Heath, Mills & Boon Historical

  • Tell Me Your Secret, Dorothy Koomson, Headline Review

  • The Butterfly Room, Lucinda Riley, Pan Macmillan

  • Knowing You, Samantha Tonge, Canelo

  • My Mother’s Silence, Lauren Westwood, Bookouture

  • The Fantasy Romantic Novel Award:

  • The Girl at the Window, Rowan Coleman, Ebury Press, Penguin Random House

  • The Ghost Garden, Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead, Totally Bound

  • Queenie Malone’s Paradise Hotel, Ruth Hogan, Two Roads

  • The Hotel Where We Met, Belinda Jones, Independently published

  • The Stone’s Heart, Jessica Thorne, Bookouture

  • The Goldsboro Books Contemporary Romantic Novel Award:

  • Where the Story Starts, Imogen Clark, Lake Union, Amazon Publishing

  • A Convenient Marriage, Jeevani Charika, Hera Books

  • I Owe You One, Sophie Kinsella, Transworld

  • Happiness for Beginners, Carole Matthews, Sphere

  • A Summer to Remember, Sue Moorcroft, Avon, HarperCollins

  • A Walk in Wildflower Park, Bella Osborne, Avon, HarperCollins

  • Notting Hill in the Snow, Jules Wake, One More Chapter, HarperCollins

  • Coming Home to Glendale Hall, Victoria Walters, Hera Books

The Goldsboro Books Historical Romantic Novel Award:

  • The Hidden Women, Kerry Barrett, HQ Digital

  • Becoming Mrs Lewis, Patti Callahan, Harper Inspire, HarperCollins

  • Moonlight Over Mayfair, Anton Du Beke, Bonnier Books UK

  • Bringing Down the Duke, Evie Dunmore, Piatkus (UK), Berkley Romance (USA)

  • Meet Me in Monaco, Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb, HarperCollins/William Morrow

  • The Light Over London, Julia Kelly, Orion Fiction

  • The French Photographer, Natasha Lester, Little, Brown Book Group

  • The Giver of Stars, Jojo Moyes, Michael Joseph

The Sapere Books Popular Fiction Award

  • The Glittering Hour, Iona Grey, Simon & Schuster

  • The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton, Anstey Harris, Simon & Schuster

  • The Flatshare, Beth O’Leary, Quercus Fiction

  • Poppy’s Recipe for Life, Heidi Swain, Simon & Schuster


About the Award Sponsors:

The Katie Fforde Debut Romantic Novel Award

Bestselling author Katie Fforde lives in the beautiful Cotswold countryside with her family, and is a true country girl at heart. Each of her books explores a different profession or background and her research has helped her bring these to life. She’s been a porter in an auction house, tried her hand at pottery, refurbished furniture, delved behind the scenes of a dating website, and she’s even been on a Ray Mears survival course. She loves being a writer; to her there isn’t a more satisfying and pleasing thing to do. She particularly enjoys writing love stories. She believes falling in love is the best thing in the world, and she wants all her characters to experience it, and her readers to share their stories., @KatieFforde.

The Libertà Shorter Romantic Novel Award

Libertà is a light-hearted website ( where readers and authors share their experience, discoveries, favourites and occasional oddities. Run by four multi-published authors, it has evolved to cover advice on writing and, in the real world, well-received workshops for both experienced and aspiring writers. Expect more innovations in 2020, both in the real world and the virtual.

The Jackie Collins Romantic Thriller Award

Jackie Collins was a creative force, a trailblazer for women in fiction, and, in her own words, ‘A kick-ass writer!’ Since her 1968 debut The World is Full of Married Men, her books have sold in their millions in more than 40 countries and she is one of the world’s top-selling novelists. Ian Chapman, CEO of Simon & Schuster UK and International, said “Jackie was kind, brilliantly astute, with a wicked, mischievous sense of humour. She was a consummate storyteller and made her craft look easy, like all great practitioners. I – along with many others – miss her still and often expect to see her appear suddenly in our midst. Jackie was a wonderful friend, too, always there to offer advice, support and wisdom. We have long made a solemn commitment to ensure that her legacy endures and are incredibly proud to partner with the Romantic Novelists‘ Association and launch this wonderful award to support her fellow writers.”

The Goldsboro Books Contemporary Romantic Novel Award, and the Goldsboro Books Historical Romantic Novel Award

Goldsboro Books is the UK’s leading independent bookshop, specialising since 1999 in first editions, signed, collectable and exclusive books. Situated in Cecil Court in London’s West End, it has gained a reputation for championing debut authors, as well as creating the UK’s largest book collectors’ club, and is influential in selling large quantities of hard-back fiction.

The Sapere Books Popular Romantic Fiction Award

Sapere Books is a digital first publisher of romantic fiction, historical fiction, women’s fiction, crime fiction and thrillers. Sapere Books launched in 2018, and specialises in reissuing novels which have gone out of print and developing relationships with both new and established writers.

Read More: Feb 3, 2020


Instagram Post from Patti

"LONDON was the first place Joy lived when she made the brave choice to change her life. She fell in love with the history, the landscape, and the people (and the pubs), as did I. We are so happy about this. In a very bad fake British accent, I want to say I am so flipping excited to be shortlisted in the Historical Fiction Category. Thank you England and thank you @harperinspire. Now...what to wear in London ??? I love this company Joy is keeping too. @jojomoyesofficial @msheatherwebb @hazelgaynor and on. Joy would be thrilled. I am so thrilled."


About the Author and Podcast Host

Patti Callahan Henry is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of fifteen novels, including the (Historical Fiction), BECOMING MRS. LEWIS—The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis (writing as Patti Callahan). In addition, she is the recipient of The Christy Award—A 2019 Winner "Book of the Year.” ; The Harper Lee Distinguished Writer of the Year for 2020 and the Alabama Library Association Book of the Year for 2019.

The author is also the host of the popular seven-part original "Behind the Scenes of Becoming Mrs. Lewis Podcast Series" launched, October 2019. The podcast audiobook collection including bonus material was released on January 7, 2020, and available now. The new expanded Becoming Mrs. Lewis paperback edition will launch on March 24, 2020, and available for pre-order now.

In March of 2021, a new historical fiction novel based on the true story of the Steamship Pulaski wreck will be released.

THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER (writing as Patti Callahan Henry—Southern Contemporary Fiction) was launched on June 4, 2019, and THE PERFECT LOVE SONG—A Christmas Holiday novella released October 8, 2019, and available now.

A full-time author and mother of three children, she now resides in both Mountain Brook, Alabama and Bluffton, South Carolina with her husband. Website


About Becoming Mrs. Lewis

'Luminous and penetrating' —Paula McLain

A heart-rending historical romance, and a glimpse into the life of a writer

Poet, atheist and communist, New Yorker Joy Davidman is an unconventional woman – and an unlikely partner for an English academic and theologian.

And when she starts a correspondence with Narnia author C. S. Lewis, she isn't looking for love. Her own marriage crumbling, she seeks refuge in her work, and guidance from a writer she admires.

But in Joy's letters Lewis discovers a kindred spirit, and an intellect to equal his own. Bonding over a shared love of literature and ideas, a deep connection is forged between the two.

Embarking on the adventure of a lifetime, Joy travels from America to England and back again. Facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, against all the odds, the couple struggle to secure a love that will endure forever.

About Behind the Scenes of Becoming Mrs. Lewis Podcast

Publisher Harper Inspire and HarperCollins



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Unknown member
Nov 23, 2022

I love Katie Fforde. She writes wonderfully and I love her love stories. And knowledge about dating sites adds realism to her books. I have not previously turned to such resources for help. But after a girl left me, I decided to go to the site and change my life. I began to communicate with many girls and began to go on dates. And on one I met my love. It's an incredible feeling.


Unknown member
Nov 23, 2022

It's interesting, thanks!

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