It’s that time of year again, when we all excitedly wait to see which books have been finalised for the Romance Writers of Australia Romantic Book of the Year award (the RuBy).
Without further ado… here are the 2020 finalists, as announced here by the RWA.
Leah Ashton – Out Run the Night (previously ‘Defiant’)
The biker and his ex-school teacher. For one – hot – night only…
Except he’s undercover. She has no idea who he is. And then… they’re kidnapped.
With action and heat that will leave you breathless, Out Run the Night is the second book in the intoxicating Elite SWAT series by RITA® Award winning author, Leah Ashton.
Claire Boston – Nothing to Lose
A murder brought them together. Will the killer rip them apart?
Nothing to Lose is the final standalone novel in The Blackbridge Series of romantic suspense. If you like tough women, stoic men, and small-town romance, you’ll love Claire Boston’s nail-biting tale.
Claire Boston – Shelter
She’s desperate to fit in. He’s searching for forgiveness. Can they break their emotional chains to free true love?
Shelter is the first book in an enthralling romantic suspense series. If you like wounded heroes, small-town Australian settings, and fast-paced action, then you’ll love Claire Boston’s gripping tale.
Emma Lea – Hide and Seek
Shiloh was living her best life. She had a career she loved, she lived in a penthouse apartment in one of Sydney’s most exclusive areas, and she was practically engaged to one of the country’s most eligible bachelors. She was living the fairy tale she’d always imagined.
Until it all started to unravel.
Brandt wasn’t the man she thought he was and their life wasn’t the fairy tale he’d led her to believe. How could her life go from idyllic to life threatening in almost an instant?
Running was her only option. That and praying that Brandt would never find her because if he ever got his hands on her again…her life would be forfeit.
Amy Andrews – Nothing But Trouble
For five years, Cecilia Morgan’s entire existence has revolved around playing personal assistant to self-centered former NFL quarterback Wade Carter. But just when she finally gives her notice, his father’s health fails, and Wade whisks her back to his hometown. CC will stay for his dad—for now—even if that means ignoring how sexy her boss is starting to look in his Wranglers.
Ann Penny – Capturing Love
Living and working in New York City, is all Josie Spencer needs to shake the sadness of her past. She lives for the simple things; pizza, good tunes, bad movies and watching the world go by through the lens of her camera.
William ‘Grayson’ Harlow IV, is anything but simple. He’s gorgeous, clever, extremely wealthy and completely controlled by the expectations of his family.
From the moment they meet, the sparks are undeniable. The hitch? Josie has a boyfriend, and Grayson is engaged to be married to heiress and socialite, Melanie Warren.
Janet Elizabeth Henderson – Can’t Stop the Feeling
The local branch of the Scottish Women’s Institute want to use Kintyre Mansion to hold their annual fundraising ball. There’s only one problem—its owner.
Duncan Stewart is a young widower, still reeling from grief two years after losing his wife, and making the town suffer while he does it. The artist doesn’t paint anymore—he’s become a bad-tempered recluse. The only person he can tolerate for any length of time is his housekeeper—whom he feels overly protective toward, in a professional sort of way…mostly. It seems his grief is coming to an end, and the only woman who interests him in the slightest is the one who’s off limits. The one who works for him. And, the one who’s very much up to something…
Sarah Williams – The Legacies of Brigadier Station
Can Lachie be the father Hannah needs? And the man Abbie deserves?
Return to the Outback for the third instalment in the bestselling Brigadier Station series which is set near Julia Creek in the isolated Queensland Outback of Australia.
Stella Quinn – Stowaway
Sabrina Gray runs away to the Caribbean to escape the trauma of her sister’s suicide and the wreckage of her surgical career. An accident results in her waking, far out to sea, on a yacht with a handsome stranger.
Ben Ryan, out-of-work billionaire and turtle conservation volunteer, is sailing to an isolated coral cay with much needed equipment. He is both suspicious of, and drawn to, the sad-eyed stowaway on his boat.
Doubts rise, as does the tension between them. Why won’t he turn the boat around? Why is she so cagey about her life?
Fiona McArthur – The Desert Midwife
What if the love of your life forgot who you were?
Against the majestic backdrop of Australia’s Red Centre, old dreams are shattered, new babies are born and true love takes flight.
Anne-Marie Brear – The Slum Angel
Orphan, Victoria Carlton is brought up by her uncle, a banker, to be a lady and make a good marriage. Yet, she is drawn to help the poor families in the slums, much to her family’s disgust. When her uncle dies suddenly, her cousins blame Victoria, and she is thrown out of the house with nothing.
Victoria flees to the poor side of York to start again in a world that is full of perils. To combat the heartache of being without her family, she befriends the destitute women and children in the slums, but such friendships come with the danger of disease, and increasing poverty, and the threat of a brutal man could cost her everything.
Anne Gracie – Marry in Secret
A rugged and ruined naval officer comes to claim his bride in an unforgettable tale of love, revenge and redemption from the national bestselling author of Marry in Scandal.
Bronwyn Parry – The Clothier’s Daughter
Duty to family and country prevented their youthful love. Now malice and murder threaten their second chance…
Rachel Johns – Just One Wish
Three women, three secrets, one life-changing journey.
At a crossroads in each of their lives, Alice, Sappho and Ged embark on a celebratory trip together, but instead of bringing them closer, the holiday sparks life-changing consequences and lifts the lid on a fifty-year-old secret.
Can Ged rescue her family if their story is built on a betrayal?
From bestselling, ABIA award-winning author Rachael Johns comes an engrossing and wise novel about ambition, choices and what it means to be a woman.
Jenn J McLeod – House of Wishes
A story about the choices we make, the connections that matter, the secrets we keep, and the power of a wish.
Should Dandelion House keep its last, long-held secret?
Cindy Williams – The Silk Merchant of Sychar
One woman, five husbands and a weary rabbi at the well who knows everything she ever did.
From the olive groves of Samaria to the bloodied sand of a Roman stadium to the exquisite silks brought from the East, The Silk Merchant of Sychar weaves colour into the biblical account of the woman at the well.
Anna Hackett – Heart of Eon
Okay, maybe hijacking an alien commander’s warship wasn’t her best idea…
Genius computer geek Wren Traynor prefers her high-tech comp lab to socializing with people, and she definitely prefers it over crawling through the bowels of the huge Eon warship she’s hijacked. When Earth’s Space Corps blackmails her into this deadly mission, Wren will do anything to help her beloved sisters and save the Earth from invasion by the insectoid Kantos aliens. That includes entering into a dangerous game of cat and mouse with the tall, hunky, and seriously enraged Eon war commander who captains the Rengard.
War Commander Malax Dann-Jad is a born protector and has forged a successful career in service to the Eon Empire. Haunted by an early mission where he lost good warriors, he’s dedicated to protecting his ship and its crew. Especially since his warship is carrying a special, top-secret cargo. But one tiny, infuriating Terran puts all that at risk when she commandeers his ship and refuses to listen to reason.
Lana Pecherczyk – Envy
Deadly sin has consumed Cardinal City. Violence, murder, and mayhem are only the beginning. A family of genetically modified heroes is the city’s only hope…. if only they can resist sin long enough, they just might stand a chance.
Disgraced hero Evan Lazarus punishes himself in the underground cage fighting scene. He blames himself for the tragedy that tore his family apart and left the city without its saviors. Traveling a dark path toward vengeance, if he’s not careful, he’ll become the evil he was created to fight. And then he meets her—a woman who embodies his sin’s opposing virtue. She’s smart, relentless, and electrifying… She’s everything he secretly craves.
Lana Pecherczyk – Sloth
She’s a hacker, a legendary gamer, a badass vigilante… if she can get herself out of bed.
Nothing much appeals to Sloan Lazarus, except the burning hatred for the man who stole her heart and then ghosted her—right after she confessed her crime-fighting secret. When he turns up two years later, completely complacent and hot-as-sin, Sloan is determined to make his life a living hell. Then she discovers he is her lifemate… and her unstable powers kick in.
Marianne Bayliss – Unwrapping Her Heart
A childhood accident has left Alexandra Jones disfigured and fearful of a life outside Cathedral Springs. She loves using her business degree to reinvigorate her recently inherited B&B, but she craves more. How can she fulfil her big city dreams when she’s too scared to leave her hometown limits?
It’s time for executive chef Jake Ross to open his own restaurant, but with zero business acumen and a fear of failure, he can’t imagine doing it without Alexandra by his side. How can their relationship move from platonic to romantic when he caused the accident that ruined her life?
Monique McDonell – A Christmas Arrangement
Most people would move to a big city to get lost. I decided to move to a small town, Cinnamon Bay to get lost…in the magic of Christmas.
Georgia Tingley – Whistler Wonderland
Cherise really, really loves Christmas. So, when she wins her perfect holiday for two, a white Christmas at Whistler Ski Resort in Canada – all her dreams come true. There’s only one downside to her ‘12 Days of Whistler’ vacation … her boyfriend of six months has dumped her only weeks before they’re due to fly out.
Then her brother’s friend Hunter offers her a deal she can’t refuse. They’ll share the holiday, and with him paying for half, Cherise has plenty of spending money. However, there were conditions. One, Hunter must escort her to all the couple events the holiday entails, and two, absolutely NO SEX!