Congratulations to this year’s RITA winners!
Romance fiction’s most prestigious awards, the RITAs, were awarded yesterday at the annual Romance Writers of America conference at Atlanta (USA). The RITAs are peer-judged and awarded to published novels and novellas. Also awarded were the Golden Heart awards, which recognise excellence in unpublished manuscripts. The Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Mary Jo Putney.
SHORT CONTEMPORARY SERIES
A Night of No Return by Sarah Morgan
Wild parties, wanton women, relentless work — nothing helps tycoon Lucas Jackson escape his dark and haunting past.Arriving at his rural castle in a snarling snowstorm, he craves only complete isolation. But it seems oblivion can take an unexpected and highly intoxicating form!
Personally delivering a vital file left on her boss’s desk, secretary Emma Gray starts seriously to regret her dutiful overtime mission. She never expected that the dark side of the usually controlled Lucas could generate such a primitive, powerful…and entirely inappropriate reaction.
LONG CONTEMPORARY SERIES
A Gift for All Seasons by Karen Templeton
Hiring Patrick Shaughnessy to landscape her new inn was strictly a business arrangement. Until April Ross got to know the war-scarred single father…and his irrepressible little girl.
The lively, widowed blonde might be the most tempting woman Patrick had ever known, but he knew a happy ending wasn’t in the cards. Still, that was before April started working her magic on his daughter…and on him. Maybe this Christmas was a time for new beginnings – if Patrick had the courage to go with the powerful feelings April had awakened in him…
CONTEMPORARY SINGLE TITLE ROMANCE
The Way Back Home by Barbara Freethy
Ex-Marine Gabe Ryder is fulfilling the last request of his best friend, Rob, who was killed in a firefight during their final days of service. He promised to help Rob’s family— especially Rob’s twin sister, Alicia—with their struggling river rafting business. Gabe has a hidden past with Alicia, though. She’s the woman who taught him that love might exist, yet he walked away from her.
Alicia has more than enough on her plate with her brother’s death, her father’s injury from a tragic rafting accident, the entire town turning against them, and a series of dangerous attacks on her business. She doesn’t need this rugged loner who broke her heart. But passion flares between them, and this time, they can’t walk away. Alicia can’t help wondering: did Rob really send Gabe to watch over her—or did he want her to show Gabe the way home?
A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean
A decade ago, the Marquess of Bourne was cast from society with nothing but his title. Now a partner in London’s most exclusive gaming hell, the cold, ruthless Bourne will do whatever it takes to regain his inheritance – including marrying perfect, proper Lady Penelope Marbury.
A broken engagement and years of disappointing courtships have left Penelope with little interest in a quiet, comfortable marriage. How lucky that her new husband has access to such unexplored pleasures. Bourne may be a prince of London’s underworld, but he vows to keep Penelope untouched by its wickedness – a challenge indeed as the lady discovers her own desires and her willingness to wager anything for them…even her heart.
Shadow’s Claim by Kresley Cole
Shadow’s Claim features Prince Trehan, a ruthless master assassin who will do anything to possess Bettina, his beautiful sorceress mate, even compete for her hand in a blood-sport tournament— to the death.
HE WON’T BE DENIED
Trehan Daciano, known as the Prince of Shadows, has spent his life serving his people—striking in the night, quietly executing any threat to their realm. The coldly disciplined swordsman has never desired anything for himself—until he beholds Bettina, the sheltered ward of two of the Lore’s most fearsome villains.
SHE’S BOUND TO ANOTHER
Desperate to earn her guardians’ approval after a life-shattering mistake, young Bettina has no choice but to marry whichever suitor prevails—even though she’s lost her heart to another. Yet one lethal competitor, a mysterious cloaked swordsman, invades her dreams, tempting her with forbidden pleasure.
A BATTLE FOR HER BODY AND SOUL
Even if Trehan can survive the punishing contests to claim her as his wife, the true battle for Bettina’s heart is yet to come. And unleashing a millennium’s worth of savage need will either frighten his Bride away—or stoke Bettina’s own desires to a fever pitch…
Scorched by Laura Griffin
Kelsey Quinn has traveled the world unearthing heartbreaking secrets, but nothing prepares her for the trauma of her latest discovery. While on a dig in the Philippines, the forensic anthropologist uncovers a set of human remains, touching off a chain of deadly events back on American soil. After a terrifying attack, Kelsey goes into hiding while she tries to unravel the mystery of two seemingly unconnected murders. The odds are stacked against her, but Kelsey has the help of her colleagues at the Delphi Center crime lab…and the unexpected protection of the only man she ever loved.
Navy SEAL Gage Brewer knows his relationship with Kelsey is over and done. But when he learns she’s being targeted by a killer, he risks everything—including his career as a spec ops warrior—to keep her safe. Gage tracks down Kelsey and believes he’s accomplished his goal. But as the threats against her escalate, it becomes clear that the enemy they’re fighting is more lethal than anyone ever imagined. And their most dangerous mission is only beginning.
Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden
After a childhood rampant with uncertainty, Lydia Pallas has carved out a perfect life for herself. She spends her days within sight of the bustling Boston Harbor, where her skill with languages has landed her an enviable position as a translator for the U.S. Navy.
Lydia’s talents bring her to the attention of Alexander Banebridge, a mysterious man in need of a translator. Driven by a campaign to end the opium trade, Bane is coolly analytical and relentless in his quest. He cannot afford to fall for Lydia and must fight the bittersweet love growing between them.
When Bane’s enemies gain the upper hand, he is forced to turn to Lydia for help. Determined to prove her worth, Lydia soon discovers that carrying out Bane’s mission will test her wits and her courage to the very limits.
When forces conspire against them from without and within, can their love survive?
‘Seduced by a Pirate’ by Eloisa James (later released in print in As You Wish)
Sir Griffin Barry leapt out of the bedchamber window at age seventeen after a very disappointing wedding night, drank a bit too much at the pub…and woke to find that he’d joined the crew of a pirate ship! Years later, he’s become one of the most feared pirates on the high seas, piloting the Flying Poppy, a ship he named after the wife whom he fondly (if vaguely) remembers.
What happens when a pirate decides to come home to his wife…if she is his wife, given that the marriage was never consummated? And what happens when that pirate strolls through his front door and is met by…
Well, that’s a surprise!
YOUNG ADULT ROMANCE
The Farm by Emily McKay
Life was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are—holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other…
And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible.
Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices—like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help…
Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race…
ROMANTIC ELEMENTS and BEST FIRST BOOK
The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James
Sarah Piper’s lonely, threadbare existence changes when her temporary agency sends her to assist a ghost hunter. Alistair Gellis-rich, handsome, scarred by World War I, and obsessed with ghosts- has been summoned to investigate the spirit of nineteen-year-old maid Maddy Clare, who is haunting the barn where she committed suicide. Since Maddy hated men in life, it is Sarah’s task to confront her in death. Soon Sarah is caught up in a deperate struggle. For Maddy’s ghost is real, she’s angry, and she has powers that defy all reason. Can Sarah and Alistair’s assistant, the rough, unsettling Matthew Ryder, discover who Maddy was, whereshe came from, and what is driving her desire for vengeance-before she destroys them all?