Announcing Mills & Boon’s shortlisted books for the Romantic Novel Awards 2021

Announcing Mills & Boon’s shortlisted books for the Romantic Novel Awards 2021

We are delighted to announce that not one, but SIX Mills & Boon books have been shortlisted for this year’s Romantic Novel Awards! The RNAs celebrate the very best in romantic fiction and the awards are judged by readers, making them an even more impressive accolade. Congratulations to all the shortlisted authors, and especially to our very own authors who are on these prestigious lists! Read on to find out more about each shortlisted story…


The Return of the Disappearing Duke by Lara Temple (Mills & Boon Historical)

Shortlisted in the Shorter Romantic Novel Category

Rafe has spent years running from his true identity. He’s a lone wolf, living far from aristocratic England and his violent father. Then unconventional Cleopatra Osbourne requests his protection as she crosses the Egyptian desert. In Cleo he discovers a fellow outcast – and a fierce desire! Cleo must return to London, and here lies Rafe’s dilemma – because following his heart means claiming the title he’s avoided for so long!

About Lara Temple: Lara Temple writes strong and sensual Regency romances about complex individuals who give no quarter but do so with plenty of passion. She lives with her husband, two children, and one very fluffy dog and they are all very understanding about her taking over the kitchen table so she can look out over the garden as she writes and dreams up her Happy Ever Afters.

Lara’s editor Nic Caws says: I always adore slipping into the beautifully told, escapist stories that Lara weaves. This book is a prime example of her fabulous storytelling with two wonderfully witty characters and descriptions of Egypt that are simply stunning. I’m beyond thrilled for her getting this nomination!


Cinderella and the Surgeon by Scarlet Wilson

Shortlisted in the Shorter Romantic Novel Category

In this London Hospital Midwives story, when Harry Beaumont, Duke of Montrose, arrives at Queen Victoria Hospital, down-to-earth midwife Esther McDonald clashes with the buttoned-up neonatal surgeon! They’re from different worlds, but when Harry invites Esther to a glittering ball, she begins to see beyond his title to the man inside. Independent Esther’s life has never been a fairy-tale – dare she let gorgeous Harry sweep her off her feet?

About Scarlet Wilson: Scarlet Wilson wrote her first story aged eight and has never stopped.  She’s worked in the health service for 20 years, trained as a nurse and a health visitor.  Scarlet now works in public health and lives on the West Coast of Scotland with her fiancé and their two sons.  Writing medical romances and contemporary romances is a dream come true for her.

Scarlet’s editor Carly Byrne says: Huge congratulations to Scarlet Wilson on being shortlisted in RNA’s 2021 Romantic Novel of the Year Awards, Shorter Romantic Novel category with her beautifully written and emotionally poignant Medical Romance Cinderella and the Surgeon.  Such a wonderful modern-day romance between her midwife/Cinderella and her very sexy surgeon/Duke!  We are thrilled to see this fabulous story receive a nomination from the RNA, and so thrilled for Scarlet.


A Will, A Wish and a Wedding by Kate Hardy

Shortlisted in the Shorter Romantic Novel Category

When Hugo Grey’s aunt leaves her house to Alice Walters – a complete stranger! He is baffled. Especially as the will states Hugo must help Alice convert it into a butterfly centre! He and Alice clash over everything, except his attraction to the captivatingly feisty butterfly expert which is hard to ignore…

About Kate Hardy: Kate Hardy has been a bookworm since she was a toddler. When she isn’t writing Kate enjoys reading, theatre, live music, ballet and the gym. She lives with her husband, student children and their spaniel in Norwich, England. You can contact her via her website:

Kate’s editor Julia Williams says: We are delighted to be able to congratulate Kate Hardy on her shortlisting for the RNA’s 2021 Romantic Novel of the Year Awards, Shorter Romantic Novel category with her gorgeous True Love Romance, A Will, A Wish, A Wedding. This sweet romantic tale featuring a secret heir and a couple who are made for each other is the perfect feel good-story! We are thrilled that this gorgeous story has been nominated for the RNA award and are delighted for Kate!


Second Chance for the Single Mum by Sophie Pembroke

Shortlisted in the Shorter Romantic Novel Category

Gwen Phillips focuses on her daughter and late husband’s foundation, burying her pain deep. Until maverick rugby legend Ryan Phillips walks back into her life, determined to live up to his estranged brother’s golden reputation. He’s the one man who can bring joy back to Gwen’s life – if she’ll give him the chance…

About Sophie Pembroke: Born in Abu Dhabi, Sophie grew up in Wales and now lives in Herfordshire with her scientist husband, her incredibly imaginative daughter and her adventurous, adorable little boy. In Sophie’s world, happy is for ever after, everything stops for tea and there’s always time for one more page.

Sophie’s editor Megan Haslam says: We are just delighted that Sophie Pembroke’s True Love story Second Chance for the Single Mum has been shortlisted by the RNA in their 2021 Romantic Novel of the Year Awards, Shorter Romantic Novel category. This tender and passionate romance of a single mum’s journey to HEA with a gorgeous, wayward sports star, is an absolute triumph.  Many congratulations on your well-deserved nomination, Sophie.


The Warrior Knight and the Widow by Ella Matthews

Shortlisted in the Shorter Romantic Novel Category

Racing cross-country pursued by danger, widow Lady Ellena Swein isn’t best pleased to be taken back to her father’s castle. But with his knight ‘The Beast’ Sir Braeden Leofric as her captor, she has little choice! Ellena is surprised by his honour and protective nature, even if she shouldn’t trust him. When all conspires against them, Braeden’s secret could either extinguish the spark between them – or make it burn brighter…

About Ella Matthews: Ella Matthews lives and works in beautiful South Wales. When not thinking about handsome heroes she can be found walking along the coast with her husband and their two children (probably still thinking about heroes but at least pretending to be interested in everyone else).

Ella’s editor Chere Tricot says: I was so thrilled to see Ella Matthews’s nomination for an RNA Award. Ella is such an exciting, unique new voice in the Mills & Boon Historical line, and it’s wonderful to see the recognition and glowing response she continues to receive for her emotional debut, The Warrior Knight and the Widow. It’s medieval romance at its very best!


Rags-to-Riches Wife by Catherine Tinley

Shortlisted in the Historical Romantic Novel Category

Lady’s maid Jane Bailey’s life is turned upside down by the arrival of wealthy gentleman Robert Kendal. He’s come to take Jane to visit her long-lost, aristocratic grandfather. Travelling together, they succumb to a mutual attraction. Yet Jane knows a maid should not hope to love a gentleman, even if she’s suddenly wearing silk dresses and dining with the Family. Society decrees they cannot marry, but how long can Jane deny her heart?

About Catherine Tinley: Catherine Tinley is an award-winning writer of witty, heartwarming Regency love stories. Her first novel, Waltzing with the Earl, won the prestigious Rita(R) Award for Best Historical Romance 2018. She lives in Ireland with her family and can be reached at and on social media.

Catherine’s editor Julia Williams says: We are thrilled to congratulate Catherine Tinley on being shortlisted for the RNA’s 2021 Historical Romantic Novel of the Year Awards, Shorter Romantic Novel category with her gorgeous Historical Romance Rags-To-Riches Wife. A fabulous Regency featuring a Cinderella heroine and her wealthy gentleman. We are delighted that this wonderful story has received this well-deserved nomination and couldn’t be more pleased for Catherine!