VIP Books: The Best Romantic Novels

There are reasons why romance novels are popular –  they have happy endings, we can relate to the ups and downs on the path to true love and they’re often packed with sex. But how do you choose one to read from the many books in the genre?

A panel of expert judges at The Romantic Novelists Association’s annual awards (the RoNAs) have picked the best novels so you don’t have to waste time searching for an epic read. Hundreds of entries were received before five books per category were shortlisted. The winners of each category have stood out for being particularly attention-grabbing and beautifully written.

I attended the 2016 awards in the Gladstone Library of One Whitehall Place, and had a thoroughly enjoyable evening thanks to hosts Fern Britton and Jane Wenham-Jones, who were bright and sparkly just like the books they were introducing.


The winners we need to put on our reading lists are:

Melanie Hudson, The Wedding Cake Tree, Choc Lit

Winner Contemporary Category Romantic Novel of the Year
(for mainstream romantic novels set post-1960, and can include chick lit, paranormal and romantic suspense)

Emma Hannigan, The Secrets We Share, Headline Review

Winner Epic Category Romantic Novel of the Year
(for novels containing serious issues or themes, including gritty, multi-generational stories)

Iona Grey, Letters to the Lost,Simon & Schuster

Winner Historical Category Romantic Novel of the Year
(for novels set in a period before 1960)

Milly Johnson, Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Café, Simon & Schuster

Winner Romantic Comedy Category Romantic Novel of the Year
(for consistently humorous or amusing novels)

Annie O’Neil, Doctor… To Duchess?, Mills & Boon Medical Romance
Winner RoNA Rose Award
(for category/series and shorter romance)

Lucy Inglis, Crow Mountain, Chicken House

Winner Young Adult Category Romantic Novel of the Year
(featuring protagonists who are teenagers or young adults)

And the overall winner of The Goldsboro Books Romantic Novel Of The Year, which picks a stand out winner out of the winners of all six categories was Iona Grey’s Letters to the Lost. Here’s Iona collecting her award:


Iona gave a sweet speech, saying how it was her daughter’s 18th birthday and this award would make it up to her family for the stresses they put up with living with a writer. Writing isn’t as easy as people assume it is, especially romantic fiction, so it was really touching to see Iona collect her prize and all the other shortlisted authors recognised for their talent and hard work.

For more information about the Romantic Novelists Association, visit their website.

Zoe Griffin

Editor In Chief

Editor In Chief at Live Like A VIP. Author, Journalist & Copywriter. Often found with a glass of Champagne in hand!

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