Romantic Novel of the Year 2013

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When the categary winners were announced on 26 February Sophie Kinsella was awarded a lifetime achievement award for her continued contribution to the wordl of romantic fiction.

The five category winners compete for the overall prize which will be announced at the RNA summer party on 16 May.

The Contemporary Romantic Novel

Recipe for Love by Katie Fforde

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When Zoe Harper arrives at Somerby, a lovely old mansion and the setting for the latest televised cookery contest, she is full of excitement. Before long, she finds herself rescuing one of the judges, Gideon Irving, from a ditch and realises that she is extremely attracted to him. Not long after, she meets her room mate and fellow competitor, Cher, for whom there is no immediate attraction as she comes across as shallow and devious. All the rest of the contestants are friendly though and they are soon all immersing themselves in the challenges of the various rounds. Full review...

The Epic Romantic Novel

Dearest Rose by Rowan Coleman

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Rose has finally escaped. For years she has put up with her bullying husband and lived with the sadness of her mother's suicide after her father left when she was a young girl. Only once, when she was heavily pregnant with her daughter Maddie, did anyone show her any warmth and kindness and treat her like a human being in her own right. That person was Frasier McCleod, an art dealer who had been trying to trace Rose's father, John Jacobs,who happened to be a very exciting artist. Although she couldn't help him, Frasier sent a postcard to thank her and it is the village pictured on that postcard that she makes her way to nine years later when she can put up with her husband's cruelty no more. Full review...

The Historical Romantic Novel

The Apothecary's Daughter by Charlotte Betts

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Susannah is an intelligent young woman in her twenties who assists her father in his pharmacy. But the date is 1665 so he's actually called an apothecary, creating herbal remedies from scratch; moreoever this is an era when women did not, generally, do work of this kind. However, London is in the grip of the bubonic plague. So apothecaries must work overtime to produce nosegays - supposedly to ward off evil humours - as well as plague preventative medicine, herbs for poultices, and so on. Full review...

The Romantic Comedy Novel

Welcome To Rosie Hopkins' Sweetshop Of Dreams by Jenny Colgan

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Rosie Hopkins is reluctant to leave her beloved London, Gerard, a live-in boyfriend of eight years and her work as auxiliary nurse. But when an elderly aunt who had spent her life running a traditional sweetshop in a small village in the North of England becomes just too elderly to cope, Rosie surprises everybody – even herself – by taking up the challenge. A 100% townie who can't ride a bike and doesn't seem to own a waterproof, a pair of wellies or even walking boots, Rosie soon discovers that the countryside has its charms, not least of which is the local supply of masculine eye candy. Soon she will find herself re-opening the shop (just to sell it as a running concern, you understand) as well as somewhat accidentally, saving and enriching lives all around, from a lady of the manor's Lab to her own dignified, but possessed of an acid tongue, great aunt Lillian. Full review...

The Young Adult Romantic Novel

Witchstruck by Victoria Lamb

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Meg Lytton comes from a family of witches. Her mother, who died in childbirth, renounced her gift in order to marry. But Meg's Aunt Jane continued to practise and has taught Meg to hone her skills. Sent to serve the Princess Elizabeth - in confinement at Woodstock, suspected of treason against her sister - Meg soon finds that her royal mistress has a strong interest in the occult and encourages her to continue. Elizabeth is beset by danger and must tread a delicate path through intrigues and religion. Meg, too, walks in peril. The ruthless witchfinder Marcus Dent has taken an uncomfortably close interest in her and if he were to discover her secret, he would send her straight to her death. Full review...

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