Friday, March 25, 2016

And the Finalists are...

Tessa Dare, 2015 RITA for Best Historical Romance: Short
It's that time again! Movie lovers have the Oscars, television lovers have the Emmys but for romance authors and readers, it's all about RITA!  Today, Romance Writers of America® (RWA) will announce the finalists for the best published books and unpublished manuscripts of 2015.  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, I'll be giving away some books too. 

I'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 2015 should be in those slots. 



Tell me about your favorite books published in 2015. 

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


If you were choosing the finalists, what book or books would you put in each category?


I've been cleaning again and have more books to give away. Three randomly chosen people who leave a comment will receive a package of books from my stash. (US only)

One randomly chosen international reader leaving a comment will receive their choice of one RITA nominated book from bookdepository.com. (value not to exceed $10)


Please include US or INT with your comments! 


 2016 RITA AWARD FINALISTS

Contemporary Romance: Long
Novels that are set from 1950 to the present that focus primarily on the romantic relationship and that are 84,000 or more words.

ONCE KISSED by Cecy Robson
FIRE ME UP by Kimberly Kincaid
SEARCHING FOR BEAUTIFUL by Jennifer Probst
LOVE SOMEBODY LIKE YOU by Susan Fox
REDEMPTION BAY by RaeAnne Thayne
LOVE ME SWEET by Tracy Brogan
SECOND CHANCE SUMMER by Jill Shalvis
BROKEDOWN COWBOY by Maisey Yates
RANSOM CANYON by Jodi Thomas
THE SECRET SISTER by Brenda Novak



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.

LOVE AFTER ALL by Jaci Burton
NOT A FAIRY TALE by Romy Sommer
FALLING FOR MR. WRONG by Lizzie Shane
ONCE PURE by Cecy Robson
HIM by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy
A COLD CREEK CHRISTMAS STORY by RaeAnne Thayne
ROMANCING MISS RIGHT by Lizzie Shane
DANCES UNDER THE HARVEST MOON by Joanne Rock
THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT by Katee Robert
JUST SAY YES by Elizabeth Hayley



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

HEATED MOMENTS by Phyllis Bourne
TEMPTING THE KNIGHT by Heidi Rice
ONE NIGHT WITH HER BACHELOR by Kat Latham
CHANCE OF A LIFETIME by Marissa Clarke
A BRAMBLE HOUSE CHRISTMAS by C.J. Carmichael
HIS LOST-AND-FOUND BRIDE by Scarlet Wilson
THE NANNY PLAN by Sarah M. Anderson
CARTER BRAVO'S CHRISTMAS BRIDE by Christine Rimmer
THE PRINCE SHE NEVER FORGOT by Scarlet Wilson
THREE NIGHTS BEFORE CHRISTMAS by Kat Latham


Erotic Romance
Novels in which strong, often explicit, sexual interaction is an inherent part of the love 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.)

SAY MY NAME by J. Kenner
BREAK ME DOWN by Roni Loren
SUGAR by Seressia Glass
THREE LITTLE MISTAKES by Nikki Sloane
FOR REAL: A SPIRES STORY by Alexis Hall


Historical Romance: Long
Novels that are set prior to 1950 and that are longer than 89,000 words.

TIFFANY GIRL by Deeanne Gist
TREMAINE'S TRUE LOVE by Grace Burrowes
EARLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN by Shana Galen
IF THE VISCOUNT FALLS by Sabrina Jeffries
BELLA AND THE BEAST by Olivia Drake

Historical Romance: Short
Novels that are set prior to 1950 and that are between 40,000 and 89,000 words.

SAY YES TO THE MARQUESS by Tessa Dare
THE SECRETS OF SIR RICHARD KENWORTHY by Julia Quinn
FALLING INTO BED WITH A DUKE by Lorraine Heath
SECRETS OF A SCANDALOUS HEIRESS by Theresa Romain
SWEETEST SCOUNDREL by Elizabeth Hoyt
IT STARTED WITH A SCANDAL by Julie Anne Long


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 RESCUED by Marta Perry
MISTLETOE JUSTICE by Carol J. Post
THE MOUNTAIN MIDWIFE by Laurie Alice Eakes
A LOVE LIKE OURS by Becky Wade
A NOBLE MASQUERADE by Kristi Ann Hunter

Paranormal Romance
Novels in which fantasy worlds or paranormal or science fiction elements are an integral part of the plot.

THE SHATTERED COURT by M.J. Scott
MIDNIGHT'S KISS by Thea Harrison
SOULBOUND by Kristen Callihan
POSSESSED BY A WOLF by Sharon Ashwood
STARS OF FORTUNE by Nora Roberts
VIKING WARRIOR RISING by Asa Marie Bradley
MUST LOVE CHAINMAIL by Angela Quarles

Romance Novella
Novellas that focus primarily on the romantic relationship.

"Her Secret Prince" by Madeline Ash
Blue Streak:A Blue Series Novella by Jules Barnard
"Let it Shine" by Alyssa Cole
Toward the Sunrise by Elizabeth Camden
All's Fair in Love and Scandal by Caroline Linden
One Little Kiss by Robin Covington
"Desert Heat" by Merline Lovelace
The Resurrection of Sam Sloan by Erin Quinn
Nice Girls Don't Ride by Roni Loren



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

FACING FIRE by HelenKay Dimon
SHE CAN KILL by Melinda Leigh
IN THE WANING LIGHT by Loreth Anne White
FLASH FIRE by Dana Marton
THE STRONGEST STEEL by Scarlet Cole
BAREFOOT WITH A BODYGUARD by Roxanne St. Claire
BAREFOOT WITH A STRANGER by Roxanne St. Claire
TARGET ENGAGED by M.L. Buchman
FATAL FRENZY by Marie Force



Young Adult Romance
Novels in which young adult life is an integral part of the plot.

UNSPOKEN by C.C. Hunter
THE ANATOMICAL SHAPE OF A HEART by Jenn Bennett
FOLLOWED BY FROST by Charlie N. Holmberg
RIKKI by Abigail Storm

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 commercially available in any format.

ALTERED by Marnee Blake
FORGET TOMORROW by Pintip Dunn
THE STRONGEST STEEL by Scarlett Cole
A NOBLE MASQUERADE by Kristi Ann Hunter
PAIRING OFF by Elizabeth Harmon
NIGHT HUSH by Leslie Jones
VIKING WARRIOR RISING by Asa Marie Bradley


2016 GOLDEN HEART FINALISTS

Contemporary Romance
Manuscripts that are set from 1950 to the present that focus primarily on the romantic relationship and that are greater than 65,000 words.

"Shelter Me" by Gabrielle Luthy
"Sometimes You Need a Sexy Scot" by Melonie Johnson
"Surrender to the Movie Star" by Melanie McCarthy
"Facade" by Susan Bickford 
"Welcome Home, Katie Gallagher" by Seana Kelly
"An Education" by Brooke Salisbury
"Off the Rails" by Monique Headley
"Smiling Underwater" by Sydney Carroll
"The Sniper's Second Shot" by Tracy Brody


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

Historical Romance
Manuscripts that are set prior to 1950.

"The Earl and the Pussycat" by Elizabeth King
"The Impetuous Miss Milton" by Renee Ann Miller
"A Curious Correspondence" by Amelia Ridley
"An Unbridled Gentleman" by Eileen Emerson
"Taming the Earl" by Elizabeth King
"My Lord Mercenary" by Tracey Amey
"Wild Women and the Blues" by Denny S. Bryce
"Besotted with the Viscount" by Susanna Malcolm
"Undone" by Elizabeth Rue


Inspirational Romance
Manuscripts in which religious or spiritual beliefs (in the context of any religious or spiritual belief system) are an integral part of the plot.

"For the Love of Termites" by Kimberly MacCarron
"One More Breath" by Pamela Kopfler
"Scottish Warrior" by Laura Stolmeier

Paranormal Romance
Manuscripts in which fantasy worlds or paranormal or science fiction elements are an integral part of the plot.

"Constant Craving" by Kari Cole
"Better Dead" by Pamela Kopfler
"Don't Call Me Cupcake" by Tara Sheets
"Kissed at Midnight" by Ainsley Wynter
"Taxing Courtship" by Janelle Lohr
"WOLFF:Rise of the Valdyr" by Alison Pritchard writing as Alyson McLayne


Romantic Suspense
Manuscripts in which suspense, mystery, or thriller elements constitute an integral part of the plot.

"Escape from the Harem" by Diana Belchase
"Four Tragedies" by Layla Reyne
"In the Wrong Sights" by Tracy Brody
"The Truth is in the Tango" by Arianna James
"Love in Hiding" by Diane Holiday
"Ruby Red by Melanie Novak

Short Contemporary Romance
Manuscripts that are set from 1950 to the present that focus primarily on the romantic relationship, and that are less than 65,000 words in length.

"Rescuing Riley" by Carrie Nichols

Young Adult Romance
Manuscripts in which young adult life is an integral part of the plot.  

"The Accidental Boyfriend" by Lori Freeland
"The Beekeeper" by Meg Kassel
"Senior Tag: The Underwear Games" by Sheri Adkins
"The Other Cheek" by McCall Hoyle




69 comments:

  1. I have been remiss in keeping "my read books" list for last year. Am pretty sure this book was a 2015 release - I Want to Hold Your Hand" by Marie Force was the favorite that came to mind. It had a wonderful dog in it that passed on to Rainbow Bridge. I cried my eyes out; it was such a warm story that I will always remember. I basically read all contemps so really cannot help with the other categories and cannot remember even with those which was a specific category.
    ladbookfan

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    1. That was a 2014 release. I haven't read it yet but have heard good things about it. Glad you warned us about the rainbow bridge scene. I'll be sure to have the tissues handy!

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    2. All of her Green Mountain romances are good.

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  2. Whoops, I forgot - am a US resident. Sorry.
    ladbookfan

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  3. Back again for another year, PJ! You know I love this morning! Went through my reviews and here are my picks for this year. Please, please let this be Julie Anne Long's year. She so deserves it.

    Lord Dashwood Missed Out- Tessa Dare
    Only a Kiss - Mary Balogh
    It Started with a Scandal - Julie Anne Long

    Can't stay with you all morning because I'm driving out of town, but I will pick up again later.

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    1. I'm with you on Julie Anne Long, Diane. Fingers crossed!

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  4. I really don't keep track... because I'm usually still reading the previous year's books!!! But I do appreciate your efforts in tracking all the above awards!!! Thanks

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    1. I know what you mean about still reading the previous year's books. You should see my tbr mountain!

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  5. I'm always a fan of Jill Shalvis and Kristin Higgans and their recent books!

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    1. Me too, too! Saw Jill was nominated.

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  6. Oh dear, I haven't read any of the books you have indicated so far. I had better get reading... contemporary here, mainly, too. From Bridget Internationally ;)

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    1. Lots of new ones for me too, Bridget.

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    2. Hurray! Tracy Brogan "Love Me Sweet". I have that one!

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    3. I loved it, Bridget! Laughed out loud. Many times!

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  7. I know it is early and more names I love will be added but as of right now I am happy to see Dare, Burrowes, Galen and Heath recognized.
    Also have to admit there are quite a few new to me names in all the categories. TBR list is growing.

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    1. Several names are new to me too, Knye. My book budget is going to take a hit!

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  8. I'm listing my (many!) choices for best contemporaries, historicals, suspense, paranormals and novellas published in 2015. (I don't have them categorized according to word length.) Thanks for the post and giveaways. (US)

    Contemporary
    Anything for You--Kristan Higgins
    This Heart of Mine--Brenda Novak
    Montana Cherries--Kim Law
    Still the One--Jill Shalvis
    The Girls of Mischief Bay--Susan Mallery
    If You Only Knew--Kristan Higgins

    Historical
    The Legend of Lyon Redmond--Julie Anne Long
    The Rogue Not Taken--Sarah MacLean
    Earls Just Want to Have Fun--Shana Galen
    True Pretenses--Rose Learner
    Dearest Rogue--Elizabeth Hoyt
    When a Scot Ties the Knot--Tessa Dare

    Romantic Suspense
    Beyond Limits--Laura Griffin
    Behind the Mask--Carolyn Crane
    Shadow Fall--Laura Griffin
    What Lies Behind--J.T.Ellison

    Paranormal
    The Other Side of Midnight--Simone St. James
    A Curious Beginning--Deanna Raybourn
    Spider's Trap--Jennifer Estep
    Eighth Grave After Dark--Darynda Jones

    Novella
    Lord Dashwood Missed Out--Tessa Dare
    Her Highland Fling--Jennifer McQuiston
    A Little Thing Called Love--Cathy Maxwell

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    1. I have a lot of favorites on that list too, LSUReader.

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  9. The Duke and the Lady in Red by Lorraine Heath needs to be nominated. Eloisa James Four Nights with a Duke
    also agreed with several of LSU readers books

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    1. Buried Secrets Irene Hannon Inspirational
      The Rock and Striker Monica Macarty

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    2. I have the feeling there are a lot of historical titles yet to come. At least, I hope so!

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  10. A love like ours that is nominated for inspirational is really good

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  11. Yeah, Sabrina Jeffries got nominated

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  12. I'm excited to see SECOND CHANCE SUMMER by Jill Shalvis on the list. I really loved that book!

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  13. The Secret Sister I enjoyed this book glad it got nominated

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    1. I must have really liked it I gave it a 5 * on goodreads

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  14. Sad to say I've only read one so far - Theresa Romain's Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress and I hope it wins Historical romance Short. For Historical Romance Long I have to go with Grace Burrowes - I've enjoyed many of her books and hope to catch up on more. I also enjoy Shana Galen's stories. I'm usually a historical reader but Jill Shalvis is always a great read for Contemporary.

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    1. I thought Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress was exceptional. I'm so glad to see Theresa Romain get the RITA nomination!

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  15. Is it weird that I'm sitting here crying over Julie Anne Long's nomination? ;-)

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    1. I've been baby-gift shopping all day and just saw the list, and I got teary over the JAL nomination too, PJ. I've believed that she belonged in the top tier of authors since I read her first book, and I am delighted to see her finally getting the recognition she deserves. I'm pleased to see five of my autobuy authors on the long contemporary list. I don't read many short contemporaries, but I did read The Nanny Plan when Wendy the Super Librarian recommended it. I loved it and was pleased to see it nominated. I see many favorite authors on the two historical lists. In addition to JAL, I'm especially happy to see Theresa Romain nominated. And I'm absolutely thrilled that Marnie Blake was nominated for Best First Book. All in all, an exciting day!

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    2. I'm so bummed out that I missed when it was revealed, but I'm ecstatic for her nomination! I truly believe that It Started with a Scandal was the best of the series. I have high hopes for July -- and I'm going this year! YEA!

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  16. This is always a fun post!

    Of the contemporaries,I have read Searching for Beautiful which was just an okay read for me. Second Chance Summer was another great one from Jill Shalvis, and several of the others are on my TBR list.

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    1. I haven't read Searching for Beautiful but Second Chance Summer was one of my best books of 2015. I loved it!

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  17. I have read more of the historicals than the contemporaries. Tessa Dare's and Julia Quinn's books were really good, and I am absolutely delighted to see Julie Ann Long on this list! As for the best first book, I have had Viking Warrior Rising on my radar for a while. Have you read it?

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    1. I haven't read Viking Warrior Rising, Cheryl. It sounds interesting!

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  18. I have only read Tiffany Girl by Deanne Gist which I really enjoyed.

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    1. I loved Tiffany Girl! It was one of my best books of 2015. I'm so glad to see it receiving the recognition it deserves.

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  19. I was happy to see Theresa Romain, Julie Anne long & Lorraine Heath were nominated. The latter should have been nominated for The Duke & the Lady in Red, too.

    I was sorry to see that Julie James was not nominated again. I can't believe that none of her books have ever been nominated. Meredith Duran should also have been nominated.

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    1. I agree about Duke and the Lady in red

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  20. The only one that I read was Jaci Burton: Love After All and I liked it very much.
    Karen T.

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    1. I haven't read that one yet. Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

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  21. For reviewing, I read mostly mysteries and erotica. None of the eroticas I've read made the list, but a couple historicals I read for pleasure did. They are worthy of the nomination. First is Sabrina Jeffries' If the Viscount Falls. I enjoyed that entire series and squeezed it in for a second time. The other I read was Lorraine Heath's Falling Into Bed With a Duke. There's never been a Heath I didn't enjoy Congratulations to all the nominees and best of luck. I'll have to survey the list and add them to my ever-growing TBR pile.

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  22. I haven't read any of these books :D,but I see books from authors that I have read :)
    New titles on my TBR :D
    Congratulations to all finalists :)

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  23. So, is that it? There aren't nearly as many historicals as contemporaries.

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    1. I know right, there are a few more that should have been on that list in my opinion

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    2. Yes, there are several that I wish had made the list.

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  24. I loved Fatal Frenzy by Marie Force. Glad to see she was a finalist. I was also very surprised to see that I read very few of the romances selected. Happy though because I have a lot of good books to choose from now.

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  25. There's some great titles here and many more books to add to my TBR.

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  26. There's some great titles here and many more books to add to my TBR.

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  27. Will be adding some of these books to my list. Most of the authors are unfamiliar to me and I cannot believe that I have not read any of the nominated books but have read many of their other books. Am from The US.
    PattyB43

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  28. I've read so many books great books and many are still on my TBR that I truly don't know which ones to choose to pick to win the RITA. So many great ones! I'm glad I don't have to make the hard choice =D

    Joanna M

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  29. I'm rooting for Marnee Blake's Début novel 'Altered' ... brilliant first effort!

    A favourite author that hasn't made these lists is Lexi Revellian. She didn't published in 2015 so I can't complain, but her latest 'Trouble with Time' has just been released and is a stunning time travel romantic suspense. I nominate her for 2016!

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    1. Assuming non-American authors qualify?

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    2. I haven't heard of Revellian but I love both romantic suspense and time travel. Off to check it out!

      And yes, non-American authors qualify. Many UK, Australian, New Zealand, and Canadian authors, to name a few, have won the RITA.

      I'm also rooting for Marnee's debut, ALTERED. I too thought it was brilliantly written!

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  30. I am way behind on my reading. (I love that there are so many great books I will never catch up.) I haven't looked at recent books yet. Busily taking notes though.

    INT

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    1. I've been taking notes all day, Mary. There are several finalists with whom I am unfamiliar.

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  31. All I can say is that I'm glad I don't have to choose a winner from these nominees! I pretty much loved everyone of the books that I've read and have a ton on my TBR. I'll be honest that Historical and Contemporary are the ones I'm most familiar with...

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  32. Thanks for taking the time out to list all the nominees. I see so many great books and authors on the list. I think they are all so deserving but my favorites are Julie Anne Long, Jaci Burton, Jill Shalvis and Julia Quinn. I'm INT.

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  33. Peeked in off and on all day long!! Thanks for all of this! Copy/paste & Print for my TBR list!

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  34. There's so geat books on this list. In the YA catogary, I think The Anatomical Shape of a Heart should win :-) Contact @WordsThatStay on twitter

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  35. I;m a fan of the Contemporary (especially Jill Shalvis, Emily March, Sherryl Woods, Robyn Carr) and Historicals (especially Mary Balogh, Grace Burrows). I'm going to have to print out the list of these any try those I haven't read - plus check the comments for other suggestions.

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  36. Wow, I'm going to have so many more books to add to my wish list. So glad to see some of my favorites like Jill Shalvis, Julie Anne Long, Julia Quinn, Theresa Romain, Tessa Dare, Jennifer Probst and Kimberly Kincaid as nominees.

    I'm INT

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  37. Am US resident.
    I have not read any from your list. But you gave me a nice list to check out.
    Cuzie Dawn

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  38. Am United State of America resident for 73 years!!! LOL!!! Have not read any of the books on the list but L-O-V-E- Jodi Thomas Harmony series and can't wait for the next book to show up!!!.Mickey Mac

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  39. I've recently discovered Shannon Stacey HEAT EXCHANGE and Controlled Bur. I like Vicki Lewis Thompson's Thunderstruck, Kelli Ireland Cowboy Proud. Jill Shalvis' Second Chance Summer. I enjoy Bella Andre, Marie Force and Rocki St Claire. Also Karen Hawkins and Alexandra Hawkins.

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  40. I've never read any of the books that there boy I'm wayyyyy behind although I have read other books by some of the authors
    I'm US

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