Novelist Jane Lark, originally from Swindon, now living in Devizes, Wiltshire, has been shortlisted for the 2017 RoNAs (Romantic Novel Awards).

Jane’s novel The Reckless Love of an Heir has been put forward in the Historical Romantic Novel category, and could go on to contest the overall, most prestigious, award – The Goldsboro Books’ Romantic Novel of the Year 2017, sponsored by independent specialist bookshop Goldsboro Books.

Prue Leith, restaurateur, caterer, journalist, broadcaster, cookery writer and author, will announce the winners of the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) Awards for 2017 during a glittering ceremony in London on 13th March.

The awards comprise seven categories – Contemporary Romantic Novel, Epic Romantic Novel, Historical Romantic Novel, Paranormal or Speculative Romantic Novel, Romantic Comedy Novel, the RoNA Rose Award (for shorter and category romance) and Young Adult Romantic Novel – with a range of authors shortlisted for each one. For the first time in the awards’ history the shortlist includes both traditionally and independently published authors.

Jane Lark’s novel is one of five finalists in the Historical Romantic Novel category which features novels set in a period before 1960.

Lord Marlow is a character for whom no wager is too risky – until he is injured. Susan has always thought Henry arrogant. But an injured, vulnerable Henry brings out her natural compassion and a stolen kiss leads to a forbidden passion. Then Susan discovers what it’s like to be as reckless as he is.

Jane combines her writing with a day job, and a daily struggle with Ankylosing Spondylitis and Chronic Fatigue. She said, ‘This achievement feels even more special to me as it’s more evidence that things can be overcome and you can still fulfil dreams when you have a disability, even though it can be hard.”

“At the age of eight I was told by a teacher I’d write a book one day. At thirty when I hadn’t done it yet I put it on my ‘to do before I’m forty list’, and now in the year that I’m fifty, I’m shortlisted for an award!”

Commenting on her pleasure at being shortlisted for the RoNAs, Jane said; “I am so thrilled that The Reckless Love of an Heir has been shortlisted, it is very exciting as an author to achieve some acclaim when most of us journey through years of rejections along the way!”

The winners of the seven categories will be announced during the evening and those seven authors will then go forward to compete for the overall prize of The Goldsboro Books’ Romantic Novel of the Year Award which will be revealed later in the evening by Prue Leith.

Since its inception in 1960 the RNA has promoted excellence in romantic fiction and its Chairman, Eileen Ramsay, commented, “Romantic fiction appears in many guises and continues to dominate the best-seller lists. Our awards celebrate the many shades of romantic fiction, highlighting the wide appeal of the genre and some of the best examples from the last year.”

David Headley, Managing Director of Goldsboro Books, commented, “The romantic fiction genre continues to delight readers across the world and this award celebrates its many different facets. Goldsboro Books is delighted to be sponsoring the awards for a second year and bringing these wonderful books to readers’ attention.”