For all the epic romantics ..

image-medium (83)#RomanticReads final lists from the shortlists for the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year. Surely the best nomination must be Jessica Blair, revealed last year to be 90-year-old World War Two veteran, Bill Spence!! The only man included.

The Epic Romantic Novel

Jessica Blair, The Road Beneath Me

When Kate Swan’s overbearing father demands that she marry a man she despises, she refuses and is cast out of her comfortable home in Whitby. Fortunately, a kindly local widow is looking for a lady companion and, for the moment, Kate’s future is assured

Mary Fitzgerald, The Love Of A Lifetime

Can love survive the worst betrayal of all? From the moment Elizabeth Nugent arrives to live on his family’s farm in Shropshire, Richard Wilde is in love with her. And as they grow up, it seems like nothing can keep them apart. But as the Second World War rages, Richard is sent to fight in the jungles of Burma, leaving Elizabeth to deal with a terrible secret that could destroy his family

Emma Fraser, When Dawn Breaks

Two women. One secret. A heart-breaking choice. Skye, 1903. Jessie, the young daughter of a local midwife, is determined to become a nurse one day, but family loss and heartache jeopardise her dreams. Isabel, the doctor’s daughter, is planning to follow in her father’s footsteps – even though medicine is not considered a fitting career for a woman. And then there’s Archie, Jessie’s older brother, who Isabel just can’t stay away from. After one encounter in the woods, Archie disappears, and all their lives are irrevocably changed

Kate Lord Brown, The Perfume Garden

High in the hills of Valencia, a forgotten house guards its secrets. Emma Temple is the first to unlock its doors in 70 years. It is the perfect retreat. However, for her grandmother, Freya, a British nurse who stayed there during the Spanish Civil War, Emma’s new home evokes terrible memories

Jennifer McVeigh, The Fever Tree

Frances Irvine, destitute in the wake of her father’s sudden death, is forced to abandon her life of wealth and privilege in London and emigrate to the Cape. In this remote and inhospitable land she becomes entangled with two very different men. One driven by ambition, the other by his ideals

Lucinda Riley, The Midnight Rose

Filled with unforgettable characters, ‘The Midnight Rose’ is a multi-layered, heart-breaking tale, and marks Lucinda Riley’s most ambitious novel to date. Spanning four generations and two very different cultures, it sweeps from the glittering palaces of the great maharajas of India to the majestic stately homes of England, following the extraordinary life of a girl, Anahita Chaval, from 1911 to the present day

The Historical Romantic Novel

Charlotte Betts, The Painter’s Apprentice

1688. Beth Ambrose has lead a sheltered life within the walls of her home in London; a place where her parents provide a sanctuary for melancholic souls. A passionate and gifted artist, Beth shares a close bond with Johannes who nurtures her talents and takes her on as his apprentice. But political tensions rise in the capital

Christina Courtenay, The Gilded Fan

How do you start a new life, leaving behind all that you love? It’s 1641, and when Midori Kumashiro, the orphaned daughter of a warlord is told she has to leave Japan or die, she has no choice but to flee to England on a ship with a lecherous crew and an untrustworthy but attractive captain

Liz Harris, A Bargain Struck

Widower Connor Maguire advertises for a wife to raise his young daughter, Bridget, work the homestead and bear him a son. Ellen O’Sullivan longs for a home, a husband and a family. On paper, she is everything that Connor needs. However, it soon becomes clear that Ellen has not been entirely truthful

Joanna Hickson, The Agincourt Bride 5 stars

This is the epic story of the queen who founded the Tudor dynasty, told through the eyes of her loyal nursemaid. Her beauty fuelled a war. Her courage captured a king

Annie Murray, The Women Of Lilac Street

Birmingham, almost a decade after the end of the Great War, and the women of Lilac Street have had more than their fair share of troubles. Rose Southgate is trapped in a loveless marriage. Jen Green is desperately struggling to make ends meet, with a sick husband, and five children to support. And Phyllis Taylor is a widow who has managed to put a dark and traumatic past behind her