Mar 21 2017 3:03pm

RWA Announces 2017 RITA and Golden Heart Finalists!

Fast Connection by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

Find out the 2017 RITA and Golden Heart Finalists! 

Every year in March we wait with bated breath as many of our favorite authors get the call that they have been nominated for a RITA—the prestigious award presented by the Romance Writers of America organization to outstanding romances in a given category. While the winners won't be announced until July at the annual RWA conference, we're so thrilled for these authors. We hope you see a few familiar names on this list and will find plenty to add to your TBR pile also!

Congrats to the nominees!

2017 RITA Finalists

Best First Book

  • Alterations by Stephanie Scott
  • Before Goodbye by Mimi Cross
  • The Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt
  • Once and For All: An American Valor Novel by Cheryl Etchison
  • Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods

Contemporary Romance: Long

  • Always a Bridesmaid by Lizzie Shane
  • Hot in Hellcat Canyon by Julie Anne Long
  • Make Me Sin by J. T. Geissinger
  • Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan
  • Pansies by Alexis Hall
  • Snowfall on Haven Point by RaeAnne Thayne
  • Tender Is the Night by Barbara Freethy

Contemporary Romance: Mid-Length

  • Back in the Saddle by Karen Templeton
  • Barefoot at Midnight by Roxanne St. Claire
  • Carolina Dreaming by Virginia Kantra
  • Fast Connection by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell
  • Lone Heart Pass by Jodi Thomas
  • Off the Hook by Laura Drewry
  • Once and For All: An American Valor Novel by Cheryl Etchison
  • Tell Me How This Ends by Victoria De La O
  • Wanderlust by Roni Loren

A Malibu Kind of Romance by Synithia Williams

Contemporary Romance: Short

  • APB: Baby by Julie Miller
  • Breaking Good by Madeline Ash
  • Christmas on Crimson Mountain by Michelle Major
  • Falling for the Rancher by Tanya Michaels
  • Far from Home by Lorelie Brown
  • His Stolen Bride by Barbara Dunlop
  • A Malibu Kind of Romance by Synithia Williams
  • Overwhelming Force by Janie Crouch
  • Searching for Disaster by Jennifer Probst
  • Two Doctors & a Baby by Brenda Harlen

Erotic Romance

  • The Dirty Secret by Kira A. Gold
  • The Master by Tara Sue Me
  • Off the Clock by Roni Loren
  • Ravenous by M. S. Force
  • Three Sweet Nothings by Nikki Sloane

Historical Romance: Long

  • How I Married a Marquess by Anna Harrington
  • No Mistress of Mine by Laura Lee Guhrke
  • Susana and the Scot by Sabrina York
  • Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta Chase

Taming the Highlander by May McGoldrick

Historical Romance: Short

  • Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare
  • Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt
  • A Duke to Remember by Kelly Bowen
  • Left at the Altar by Margaret Brownley
  • The Study of Seduction by Sabrina Jeffries
  • Taming the Highlander by May McGoldrick

Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance

  • The Color of a Promise by Julianne MacLean
  • The Moon in the Palace by Weina Dai Randel

Paranormal Romance

  • Bayou Shadow Hunter by Debbie Herbert
  • The Beast by J R Ward
  • The Champion of Barésh by Susan Grant
  • Enchanted Warrior by Sharon Ashwood
  • Ghost Gifts by Laura Spinella
  • The Leopard King by Ann Aguirre
  • The Pages of the Mind by Jeffe Kennedy
  • Where the Wild Things Bite by Molly Harper

Romance Novella

  • Her Every Wish by Courtney Milan
  • “The Husband Manuever” by Karen Witemeyer in With This Ring
  • Let It Snow by Jeanette Grey
  • “Let Us Dream” by Alyssa Cole in Daughters of a Nation
  • Searching for Mine by Jennifer Probst
  • Tycoon by Joanna Shupe
  • Wild in Rio by Lyssa Kay Adams

Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements

  • Keeper of the Stars by Robin Lee Hatcher
  • My Hope Next Door by Tammy L. Gray
  • Trust My Heart by Carol J. Post

One Minute to Midnight by Nico Rosso

Romantic Suspense

  • Field of Graves by J. T. Ellison
  • Mr. and Mr. Smith by HelenKay Dimon
  • One Minute to Midnight by Nico Rosso
  • Repressed by Elisabeth Naughton
  • Tall, Dark and Damaged by Sarah Andre

Young Adult Romance

  • Affective Needs by Rebecca Taylor
  • The Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt
  • The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods

2017 Golden Heart Finalists
 The Golden Heart is awarded to unpublished manuscripts

 Contemporary Romance

  • Always Sunny by Kimberly MacCarron
  • Framed by Susan J. Bickford
  • No Man Left Behind by Penelope Leas
  • Sometimes You Need a Sexy Scot by Melonie Johnson
  • Take the Lead by Alexis Daria 
  • Tempting Fate by Jeri Black
  • Things I'll Never Say by Christina Hovland
  • This Child Is Mine by Jo Anne Banker

Contemporary Romance: Short

  • A Love Wide Open by JoAnn Sky
  • What Would Ginger Do? by Kimberly MacCarron

Historical Romance

  • How to Train Your Baron by Diana Lloyd
  • Lord Lion and the Lady Publisher by Laurel Kerr
  • With Love in Sight by Christina Britton

Paranormal Romance

  • Beryl Blue, Time Cop by Janet Halpin
  • Bless Your Heart and Other Southern Curses by Heather Leonard
  • Constant Craving by Kari W. Cole
  • Fire's Rising by Grace Adams
  • The Mer Chronicles: Love's Diplomatic Act by Kate Ramirez

Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements

  • Fair Haven by Laura Conner Kestner

Romantic Suspense

  • The Fire Beckons by Lynette Labelle
  • The Guide by Sarah Morgenthaler
  • Seductive Strokes by Patty Hoffman
  • Semper Fi by Meta Carroll
  • Shot Down by Tracy Brody
  • Vengeance by Diana Belchase

Young Adult Romance

  • All the Feels by Kimberly MacCarron
  • Listen by Jennifer Camiccia
  • Swimming through Fog by Nicole Hohmann 

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. BetsyC
Are you kidding me?! The Hating Game and Wall of Winnipeg are not nominated? They were far far far beyond the BEST contemporary romance novels of this year... Historical romances were mostly duds.

In my opinion, Hating Game was the best rom-com to come out in years, and WOW was on nearly every best of 2016 list. What about Promise of Fire? Innkeeper? Also surprised not to see Dumplin' and First & Then in Young Adult category.

Huge snubs this year.
2. bookana
Could not agree more - where is The Hating Game? And YES on The Promise of Fire - two truly beuatiful books.
3. CM1T
Presumably, no one submitted those other books? This isn't actually a "best of the industry" award; it's a "best of the books who paid a fee to enter this competition" award. Pretty different.
4. TanyaLK
also something to note, if you didn't get it in on the first day submissions were available, then it may have been too late. There's only so many submissions they can take per category. Then, it closes. So it's possible they tried to submit but it was already full.

I'm still excited to read them! And congrats to the nominees :)
5. Kareni
How exciting for those nominated! I'll be interested to learn who wins in each category.
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