Thursday, March 26, 2015

And The Finalists Are...

For romance authors and those of us who love reading their books, today is the day!  Today, Romance Writers of America® (RWA) will announce the finalists for the best books and best unpublished manuscripts of 2014. Authors hover anxiously over their phones while readers excitedly surf websites and social media to discover which books make the finals...and which don't.  We'll be following the announcements here at TRD and dishing about our favorite books published last year.  And, because today is all about favorite romance books, we'll be giving away some books too.  We hope you'll stop by frequently throughout the day!

We'll fill in the finalists for each of the categories below as they are announced but I'm sure we all have our own thoughts about what books published in 2014 should be in those slots. 


Tell us about your favorite books published in 2014 and which of them you'd like to see listed below. 

Tell us about the books you think will be listed below. 

Share your thoughts about the books that are announced today as finalists.  Which ones do you think are favorites to win? 

The more comments you leave, the more chances you have to win!  

Three randomly chosen people who leave a comment will receive a package of books. (US only)

One randomly chosen person who leaves a comment will receive a book of our choice from bookdepository.com. (International)



 


RITA® FINALISTS

Category descriptions are from the RWA RITA® guidelines.

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE: MID-LENGTH
Novels that are set from 1950 to the present that focus primarily on the romantic relationship and that are between 56,000 and 84,000 words in length.

Her Kind of Trouble by Sarah Mayberry
Starting With June by Emilie Rose
Carolina Man by Virginia Kantra
Reforming the Playboy by Inara Scott
Love with a Perfect Cowboy by Lori Wilde
Her Cowboy Hero by Tanya Michaels
Worth the Fall by Catie Quinn
Once a Family by Tara Taylor Quinn
Her Temporary Hero by Jennifer Apodaca
One in a Million by Jill Shalvis



CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE: SHORT
Novels that are set from 1950 to the present that focus primarily on the romantic relationship and that are between 40,000 and 56,000 words in length.


Enemies With Benefits by Louisa George
Her Unforgettable Royal Lover by Merline Lovelace
The Bachelor Doctor's Bride by Caro Carson
A Texas Rescue Christmas by Caro Carson
What the Greek Can't Resist by Maya Blake
Yours Forever by Farrah Rochon
Bad Girl by Julie Miller
Blueprint for a Kiss by Nancy Warren
The Headmaster by Tiffany Reisz
A Bride for the Blacksheep Brother by Emily McKay





CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE: LONG

Baby, It's You by Jane Graves
The Best Medicine by Tracy Brogan
Fever Pitch by Heidi Cullinan
The Vixen and the Vet by Kate Regnery
Somebody Like You by Beth Vogt
Slow Tango with a Prince by Nicole Burnham
The Place I Belong by Nancy Herkness
The Sweetest September by Liz Talley
It's in His Kiss by Jill Shalvis 
To Scotland With Love by Patience Griffin





EROTIC ROMANCE
Novels in which strong, often explicit, sexual interaction is an inherent part of the story, character growth, and relationship development and could not be removed without damaging the storyline. These novels may contain elements of other romance subgenres (such as paranormal, historical, etc.).

Wanted by J. Kenner
Purely Professional by Elia Winters
Call Me Saffron by Talia Surova
Bonds of Denial by Lynda Aicher
The Saint by Tiffany Reisz

HISTORICAL ROMANCE: LONG
Novels that are set prior to 1950 and that are longer than 89,000 words

A Place Called Harmony by Jodi Thomas
Douglas: Lord of Heartache by Grace Burrowes
Worth: Lord of Reckoning by Grace Burrowes
Where the Horses Run by Kaki Warner
Fool Me Twice by Meredith Duran


HISTORICAL ROMANCE: SHORT
Novels that are set prior to 1950 and that are between 40,000 and 89,000 words.

Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare
Darling Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt
The Gentleman Rogue by Margaret McPhee
The Bells of Times Square by Amy Lane
The Cowboy's Reluctant Bride by Debra Cowan
In Bed with a Rogue by Samantha Grace 



INSPIRATIONAL ROMANCE
Novels in which religious or spiritual beliefs (in the context of any religious or spiritual belief system) are an integral part of the plot.

The Widow's Suitor by Rose Ross Zediker
Deceived by Irene Hannon
Hope at Dawn by Stacy Henrie
Huckleberry Summer by Jennifer Beckstrand
For Such a Time by Kate Breslin



PARANORMAL ROMANCE
Novels in which the future, a fantasy world, or paranormal elements are an integral part of the plot.

Forged by Desire by Bec McMaster
The Darkest Touch by Gena Showalter
Evernight by Kristen Callihan
My Lady, My Lord by Katharine Ashe
Be Careful What You Kiss For by Jane Lynne Daniels
Bitter Spirits by Jenn Bennett
Burn for Me by Cynthia Eden
Mind Sweeper by AE Jones



ROMANCE NOVELLA
Novellas that focus primarily on the romantic relationship.

"A Yorkshire Christmas" by Kate Hewitt in ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS
Pushing the Line by Kimberly Kincaid
Kiss and Tell by Grace Burrowes
"A Love Letter to the Editor" by Robin Lee Hatcher in Four Weddings & a Kiss
"Will You Be My Wi-Fi?" by Caroline Linden in At the Billionaire's Wedding
Ten Rules to Sex Up a Blind Date by Heidi Rice
"A Game of Brides" by Megan Crane in Love Me True
His Road Home by Anna Richland
The Last Wicked Scoundrel by Lorraine Heath
Her Best Laid Plans by Cara McKenna



ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Novels in which suspense, mystery, or thriller elements constitute an integral part of the plot.

Concealed in Death by J.D. Robb
You're Not Safe by Mary Burton
Into the Shadows by Carolyn Crane
Midnight Action by Elle Kennedy
Honor Reclaimed by Tonya Burrows
Forged in Ash by Trish McCallan
Grave Danger by Katy Lee
Lock and Load by Kimberley Troutte




YOUNG ADULT ROMANCE
Novels in which young adult life is an integral part of the plot.

Boys Like You by Juliana Stone
Plus One by Elizabeth Fama
Run to You by Clara Kensie
Some Boys by Patty Blount


BEST FIRST BOOK
A Novel entered in another contest category. To be eligible, the author (or authors in the case of a writing team) shall not have had any other novel or novella previously published in any format.

The Smuggler Wore Silk by Alyssa Alexander
A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev
Purely Professional by Elia Winters
Mind Sweeper by AE Jones
Run to You by Clara Kensie
To Scotland With Love by Patience Griffin

The Dress Thief by Natalie Meg Evans
Fake by Beck Nicholas
For Such a Time by Kate Breslin








GOLDEN HEART® FINALISTS

EROTIC ROMANCE

"Sorting out the Kinks" by Elle Mason
"Indulge My Fantasy" by Caroline Bradley
"A Deal for Love" by Michele  Arris


HISTORICAL ROMANCE

"The Reunion" by Sara Leyton
"A Proper Scandal" by Laurie Benson
"Sawyer's Rose" by Kim Turner
"A Question of Loyalty" by Ellen Lindseth
"A Dangerous Chemistry" by Marnee Blake
"A Convenient Engagement" by Kimberly Bell
"Never Dare a Wicked Earl" by Renee Ann Miller
"Rescuing Mr. Gracey" by E K Barnes


PARANORMAL ROMANCE

"Better Dead" by Pamela Kopfler
"Undercover Enchanter" by Melanie McCarthy
"Howlin Hearts" by Kristal Hollis
"The Magical Librarian of Tulsa, Oklahoma" by Nancy Coiner
"Demons Don't" by Jeanne Oates Estridge
"Magic City" by Heather Leonard
"Mapping Fate" by Kimberly MacCarron
"Coyote Walks" by Maria Powers
"Stone Hunter" by Tara Sheets


ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

"Deception Island" by Bronwyn McEvoy
"Murder, Curlers, and Cream" by Arlene McFarlane
"Scandal" by Jessica Darago
"A Shot Worth Taking" by Tracy Poole
"Every Unworthy Thing" by Sharon Wray
"Hope Craves an Execution" by Sharon Wray


CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

"Call Me Mrs. Whitlock" by Kimberly Buckner
"Chasing Crazy" by Kelly Siskind "Port Fairlight Summer" by Jen Gilroy
"Puppy Love" by Kelly Farmer
"Mace, Men and Margaritas" by Jennifer Brodie
"The House of D'Innocenzi" by Susan J. Bickford
"His Perfect Partner" by Priscilla Kissinger
"Good Girl's Guide to Talking Dirty" by Alice Faris
"Homecoming" by Jo Anne Banker
"Caught on Film" by Arianna James


SHORT CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

"At Her Service" by Mia Sosa
"A Night at the Rosemont" by Mary Oldham
"Winning Her Over" by Alexa Rowan
"Waiting for Meggie" by Debra Moser
"Welcome Home, Katie Gallagher" by Seana Kelly


YOUNG ADULT ROMANCE

"Our Souls to Keep" by Stephanie Winkelhake
"When I Wake" by Stephanie Winkelhake
"Mind Traveler" by Diana Munoz Stewart
"The Culloden Immortals"  by TL Sumner
"The Jade Quest" by Mary Sullivan
"Sharing Hunter" by Julie Glover







96 comments:

  1. Am waiting to see the list. Hope some that I have read are on there. Have to check what I have read to see what I would like to see nominated. Thanks for the contest.
    patoct

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    1. The names are starting to trickle in. We'll update as we get them. Such an exciting day!

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  2. Good morning, PJ and Andrea! Back again for another year! I'l jump in with a book I'm cheering for -- Fool Me Twice by Meredith Duran. Can't wait to see all the finalists!

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    1. Hi Diane! Meredith Duran is such a gifted writer. I love her books!

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  3. Other than at least one of Grace Burrowes' Captive Hearts trilogy books being nominated in historical category, I'm not sure. I can't even decide on one from the trilogy all were excellent and dealt with tough issues.

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    1. Grace Burrowes is another wonderful writer. I'd love to see her get a nomination.

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  4. Pulling for Eloisa James 3 Weeks With a Lady

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    1. Me too, regencygirl. It was one of my top books of 2014.

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  5. Grace Burrowes is having a great day

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    1. I read and enjoyed the Irene Hannon book nominated Decieved

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  6. have read 5 of the nominated books so far

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  7. The books for Grace were sublime but surprised at the ones nominated. Her contemporaries are so good also. Tessa, and a few others. I have read many this year that are on the list so far. I also am patiently waiting on a few others. I think Romance had a great year. I particularly loved Eloisa James and Sarah MaCleans books. Of course Grace's and well, many many others. I must admit to one author that I think is just so good and I particularly want her to get some notice. I adore the writing of Manda Collins. She is a very good writer, mixes in great characters, a suspenseful story and much more. I have loved her for a number of years now. As for Contemporary, I also think Terri Osburn hit it out of the park with her books in 2014. Home to Stay was so good.

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    1. I wanted to add that I was glad to see Tracy Brogan on the list!

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    2. I agree, Hope. All terrific authors!

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. So far, I have only read 2 of the nominated books. "My Lady, My Lord" is one of my favorites for its originality. I am hoping to see other favorites added to the list.

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    1. I'm delighted to see Katharine Ashe get a nod for that book. I thought it was very deserving.

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    2. This is the first of Katharine's books that I've read. It was great!

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    3. This is the first of Katharine's books that I've read. It was great!

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  10. I basically only read contemps; read the Graves book. Am away, so will have to check my books read list when I get home. I know that whatever Robyn Carr and Susan Mallery books came out in 2014, I would probably nominate as I always enjoy her books.
    patoct

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  11. happy that Kaki Warner got a nom. I loved that book

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  12. I am so happy to see nominations for The Vixen and the Vet by Katy Regnery and The Smuggler Wore Silk by Alyssa Alexander. Two of my favorite books from last year.

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    1. I'm going to have to check out The Vixen and the Vet. I hadn't heard of that one before.

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    2. Katy published it herself ... a retelling of the beauty and the beast.

      Happy to see Carolina Man by Virginia Kantra and His Road Home by Anna Richland on the list now!

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  13. Some of my favorite authors have gotten nods, and I'm delighted for them. But I'm going to be so disappointed if Three Weeks with Lady X is not nominated.

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    1. Three Weeks was one of the top romances of 2014... and one of Eloisa James best. I agree.

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    2. I agree, Janga. Three Weeks with Lady X is one of the best historical romances I've read...from any year!

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    3. I'm with you ladies - was my favorite romance of the year and was hoping to see it win some awards.

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  14. The Kate Breslin novel is exceptional and a choice I would make for sure.

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  15. my to read pile is going to get bigger.

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  16. Put me on the Grace Burrowes bandwagon. I've read many of her books and they are my favorites!

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    1. I'm glad to see so much recognition coming her way, catslady.

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  17. I am cheering for any of the authors I do graphics for. Thrilled that Tessa Dare and Katharine Ashe were nominated. Hoping for Eloisa James's Three Weeks with Lady X.

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  18. Am just logging on, so I have lots of catching up to do. First off, congrats to all the nominees. What a honor it must be for each of them.

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  19. I'm dancing with glee for Patience Griffin! Her debut book, TO SCOTLAND WITH LOVE, received a RITA nomination for Best First Book and Best Long Contemporary. This was one of my top five books of 2014!

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    1. I'm really pleased with her double nomination too, PJ.

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    2. I met her last summer. What a lovely person. So happy for her.

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  20. I'm back! Had to leave for a while. Soooo happy about Fool Me Twice. One of my very favorites from 2014.

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  21. Contemporary Nominees...
    I enjoyed the Shalvis books. (In fact I'm enjoying the newest Shalvis--Still the One--now!) I'm not familiar with many of these. How does It Happened One Wedding by Julie James miss getting nominated? Huh!

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    1. She still has a chance, LSU. All nominations will be posted by 2:00 CST.

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  22. So excited for Jill Shalvis, another one of my authors, can you tell I am excited for them.

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    1. I love that you're so excited for them! :)

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  23. I'm glad that Fool Me Twice was nominated, but I was hoping My Beautiful Enemy by Sherry Thomas would be, too. I also can't understand how Julie James is never nominated. Her books have strong and intelligent heroines with great careers.

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    1. I understand, Kim. I love Julie James's books too. Another I don't feel gets the recognition her books deserve is historical author Julie Anne Long.

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  24. Okay, I'm surprised that Sarah MacLean's Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover didn't final but I'm absolutely STUNNED that Three Weeks with Lady X by Eloisa James didn't. That book was exceptional!

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  25. I wonder why there are so few nominations in the historical category? There were only 5, yet the long contemporary has 10. Also, why is there a Harlequin Superromance nominated in both the long & short conemporary? Shouldn't it be in only one category?

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    1. Correction: in the long and mid-length

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    2. The finalists are the top 4% of the books entered in each category. If there were fewer historical romances entered than there will be fewer finalists.

      I believe Superromances extended the number of words for their imprint so there could be a book published with the lower word count and another with a higher one. That's the only reason I can think of for there being finalists in both categories.

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    3. Thanks for the explanation. That historical category looks so small, but the trend in romance writing must be contemporaries right now.

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    4. There are a lot of contemporaries out there. Also, books are submitted by authors and/or publishers and maybe there just weren't that many who decided to submit this year.

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  26. Very excited to see Sarah Mayberry on the list!

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  27. Very excited to see Sarah Mayberry on the list!

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  28. Very excited to see Sarah Mayberry on the list!

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  29. Wow. Considering I read 140 romance novels last year (most of them published during 2014) I am surprised I haven't read more of the nominees in my go-to categories--historical, contemporary, suspense, paranormal. I wonder what would happen if "regular readers" got to vote? Other comments...

    APPLAUSE FOR:
    Jill Shalvis contemporaries
    Grace Burrowes--I love her Lonely Lords series, and Douglas and Worth were two of my favorites.
    Tessa Dare--Romancing the Duke was one of my 2014 top ten books.

    DISAPPOINTMENT OVER:
    My favorite book of the year, Sherry Thomas' My Beautiful Enemy, being left off the list.

    AMAZED THAT:
    These books were passed over for nomination...
    Julie James, It Happened One Wedding (contemporary)
    Eloisa James, Three Weeks With Lady X (historical)
    The Suffragette Scandal, Courtney Milan (historical)
    Burn for Me, Ilona Andrews (paranormal)

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    1. I'd have to agree with all of those, LSU.

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  30. Great books. Grace Burrowes and Sarah Mayberry. Lovely and special authors and books.

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    1. I agree. Both very talented and lovely people!

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  31. LSUReader, I agree it would be interesting to have a Reader's Choice Award.

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  32. I've read the list and I'm so pleased to say some of my fave authors made the list! Other great ones are on my TBR that I just have to read and the sooner the better!
    I'm glad to see:

    The Saint by Tiffany Reisz
    Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare
    Darling Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt
    Forged by Desire by Bec McMaster
    The Darkest Touch by Gena Showalter
    My Lady, My Lord by Katharine Ashe
    Burn for Me by Cynthia Eden
    The Cowboy's Reluctant Bride by Debra Cowan
    In Bed with a Rogue by Samantha Grace
    The Smuggler Wore Silk by Alyssa Alexander
    A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev
    To Scotland With Love by Patience Griffin

    I'd have love to see Jennifer Ashley, Katie Reus, Miranda Neville, and Lauren Smith, Ilona Andrews, among others but hey, those that made the list are already winners in my book ;)

    JoannaM

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    1. There's always going to be disappointments sprinkled in among the enthusiasm. Sometimes, an author decides not to submit a book or misses the submission deadline and that's why it's missing from the list. I know Jennifer McQuiston didn't submit this year because she was working with the CDC in Sierra Leone and missed the deadline.

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  33. Patience Griffin's book has been on my TBB list for a while. I need to move it to the top of the list!

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  34. Some of my favorites from last year are Fatal Jeopardy by Marie Force, Protecting Caroline by Susan Stoker, I Saw Her Standing There by Marie Force, No Limits by Lori Foster, Grayson by Lisa Eugene, The Vixen and the Vet by Katy Regnery, Saving Sophie by Cate Beauman.

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  35. I am pleased to see nominations for Jill Shalvis and Lori Wilde, but I am very surprised not to see Julie James' and Eloisa James' names.

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  36. congrats to all the nominees! :) some of my fave reads made it & there's a few I'll need to look into adding to the tbr ;)

    I'll have a hard time picking a winner in the historical short category -- read both Tessa Dare & Elizabeth Hoyt's books which made my list of hits for 2014. another that would be on the ballet if I drew it up would be Joanna Bourne's Rogue Spy in the historical category to round out my top 3 there.

    under paranormal none of my 2014 made the cut :( Thea Harrison's Night's Honor, Dianne Duvall's Night Unbound & Shannon Butcher's Willing Sacrifice would be my top 3 in that category.

    no matter how you look at it though, I'm glad I don't have to make the final decision as to the winner

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    1. Me too, gamistress. That would be an incredibly difficult decision!

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  37. I love anything by Jill Shalvis and Virginia Kantra. Discovered Cate Beauman last year and LOVE her entire body guard series. Laura Griffin had her latest Tracer book, Beyond Limits which was awesome. I have a list, don't I?

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  38. I love anything by Jill Shalvis and Virginia Kantra. Discovered Cate Beauman last year and LOVE her entire body guard series. Laura Griffin had her latest Tracer book, Beyond Limits which was awesome. I have a list, don't I?

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  39. I also would have liked to see Joanna Bourne's "Rogue Spy" nominated. Just like the Oscars, the RITA nominations and exclusions don't always make sense.

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  40. You are so right, Cheryl!

    I should add that I am delighted to see Marnee Blake get a second Golden Heart nom. Go, Marnee!

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  41. So happy that Grace had 3 books nominated!

    So many deserving authors, so many awesome books! I've read several of the nominees. Have several on my wish list or tbr. And will be adding more to both wish and tbr!

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  42. So happy that Grace had 3 books nominated!

    So many deserving authors, so many awesome books! I've read several of the nominees. Have several on my wish list or tbr. And will be adding more to both wish and tbr!

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  43. I have Lori Wilde, Jill Shalvis and Virginia Kantra books on my tbr. Am sure one of them will win something.
    patoct

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  44. I wish I was home to ck my list of books read last year. Will more books be listed? Shannon Stacey's Kowalski series has such fantastic, funny dialogue.
    patoct

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  45. "Three Weeks With Lady X" by Eloisa James has to be there surely. So many books I am taking note of.

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  46. Jill shalvis, Lori
    Kimh

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  47. Walking on air Catherine Andersen-how to marry a cowboy-carolyn Brown. Am sure jill shalvis will win something.

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  48. Did not see Robyn Carr nor susan mallery, sigh-Pattyb43

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  49. Walking on air and how to marry a cowboy was my comment,-Pattyb43

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  50. Really surprised no Toni Blake or Julie James-Pattyb43

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  51. Like Jill Shalvis, Tessa Dare and Grace Burrows. I wan to read Patience Griffin.

    I would like to see Susan Wiggs, Belle Andre and Linda Lael Miller nominated.

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  52. Would have liked to have seen Julie Ann Walker - Full Throttle and Hell for Leather.
    Natalie'sMama

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  53. Was happy to see One in a Million by Jill Shalvis and the Elle Kennedy book.
    Natalie's Mama

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  54. Yeah for Patience Griffin. I loved To Scotland With Love. I'm all sdmiles for Grace Burrows and Khaki Warner. So many talented Authors. BUT where is Eloisa James Three Weeks. Unbelievable. Well, congrats to all the nominees.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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  55. Yeah for Patience Griffin. I loved To Scotland With Love. I'm all sdmiles for Grace Burrows and Khaki Warner. So many talented Authors. BUT where is Eloisa James Three Weeks. Unbelievable. Well, congrats to all the nominees.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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