Romance Writers of America (RWA), the trade association for published and aspiring romance fiction authors, announced the winners of the 2019 RITA® Awards on Friday, July 26, at a black-tie awards ceremony at its 39th Annual Conference in New York New York. The evening was hosted by Sarah MacLean and was notable for its celebration of diversity within the genre. The entire ceremony can be seen here. RWA has also compiled a stellar list of Trailblazing romances that may be seen here.

The RITA® Award is the highest award of distinction in romance fiction and recognizes outstanding published romance novels and novellas.

Up to 2,000 romance novels and novellas from 13 different categories are judged each year in the RITA® competition. After the first round of judging by fellow published romance authors, the competition narrows to approximately 100 finalists. Then, final round judges, also published romance authors, select one winner in each category from among the finalists.

The 2019 RITA® Award winners are:

Romance Novella: Bad Blood by M. Malone

Contemporary Romance Long: Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan (our DIK review is here)

Young Adult Romance: My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma

Historical Romance Long: A Wicked Kind of Husband by Mia Vincy (our DIK review is here)

Romantic Suspense: Fearless by Elizabeth Dyer


Paranormal Romance: Dearest Ivie by J. R. Ward

Erotic Romance: Three-Way Split by Elia Winters


Historical Romance Short: A Duke in the Night by Kelly Bowen (0ur DIK review is here)

Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements: The Saturday Night Supper Club by Carla Laureano


Contemporary Romance Short: The Bachelor’s Baby Surprise by Teri Wilson

Contemporary Romance Mid-length: Advanced Physical Chemistry by Susannah Nix (our review is here)

Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance: How to Keep a Secret  by Sarah Morgan (our review is here)

Best First Book: Lady in Waiting by Marie Tremayne

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