With a strong shortlist of 6 books we are looking for our readers help to let us know which they think should win this literary award.

Voting is easy - just visit the special section on Lovereading and scroll down to the poll in the right hand column of the page. 

Find out more about the prize by reading on.


Bestselling author Cecelia Ahern is one of the six authors shortlisted for the Romantic Novel of the Year 2009, which is organised by the Romantic Novelists’ Association. The final six novels are currently being read by a panel of three judges, who will select the winner in time for the presentation at the Awards Lunch to be held on 10th February 2009 at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington. The Award was inaugurated in 1960 to recognize excellence in romantic novels and thereby enhance the standing of the genre. Any novel which is published in the UK (or simultaneously with other countries) in 2008 is eligible for the Award.


This year’s award has a truly international flavour, with authors living far afield and books set in Japan, Canada, India, Dublin and Skye.  Cecelia Ahern, whose hero is American, comes from Ireland. She is joined by Susanna Kearsley, who hails from Canada, and Linda Gillard, who lives in Glasgow. England is well represented by Lesley Downer, based in London, Judith Lennox from Cambridgeshire and Julia Gregson, whose shortlisted novel was one of Richard and Judy’s summer reads, from Monmouthshire.


Read a Free Opening Extract of all of the shortlisted novels by visiting the special section on our site.


The shortlisted novels are:

Thanks for the Memories - Cecelia Ahern (Harper Collins)

The Last Concubine - Lesley Downer (Transworld/Bantam)

Star Gazing - Linda Gillard (Little, Brown/Piatkus)

East of the Sun - Julia Gregson (Orion)

Sophia’s Secret - Susanna Kearsley (Allison & Busby)

Before the Storm - Judith Lennox (Headline Review)

The panel with the difficult task of picking a winner from this page-turning collection of romantic novels comprises Alice O’Keeffe, Books Editor at the Bookseller, Fanny Blake, Books Editor of Woman & Home, and Peter Crawshaw, who runs Lovereading.co.uk.