The Romantic Book of the Year Award, affectionately known as The Ruby, is our premier award and the only one of its kind in Australia. Voted on by Australian readers, this contest is open each year to any Australian or New Zealand romance author who has published a long or short romance novel.

RWA congratulates the finalists and winners in the Romantic Book of The Year and Romantic Novella of the Year 2017, for books published in 2016.

Long Romance

  • Escaping Mr Right by Avril Tremayne – Random Romance – WINNER 
  • The War Bride by Pamela Hart – Hachette Australia
  • The Grazier’s Wife by Barbara Hannay – Penguin Michael Joseph

Romantic Elements

  • Numbered by Amy Andrews and Ros Baxter – Harlequin MIRA – WINNER 
  • Mackenzie Crossing by Kaye Dobbie – Harlequin MIRA
  • Legacy of Hunters Ridge by Sarah Barrie – Harlequin MIRA
  • A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald by Natasha Lester – Hachette Australia

Short Romance

  • Breaking Good by Madeline Ash – Tule Publishing  – WINNER 
  • The Most Scandalous Ravensdale by Melanie Milburne – HM&B Sexy
  • Unwrapping His Convenient Fiancee by Melanie Milburne – HM&B Sexy


  • Unexplored by Anna Hackett – WINNER 
  • Swept Away by Fiona Marsden
  • Santa and the Saddler by Cathryn Hein

Overall Ruby 

  • Escaping Mr Right by Avril Tremayne – Random Romance

Long Romance

  • Rise by Karina Bliss – self-published
  • The Spring Bride by Anne Gracie – Berkley/Penguin Random House
  • Kakadu Sunset by Annie Seaton – Pan Macmillan Australia
  • Lethal in Love by Michelle Somers – Random House Australia  – WINNER

Romantic Elements

  • A Dangerous Arrangement by Lee Christine – Escape Publishing
  • The Patterson Girls by Rachael Johns – Harlequin MIRA – WINNER
  • Pay The Piper by Mary Brock Jones – self-published
  • Between the Vines by Tricia Stringer – Harlequin MIRA

Short Sexy

  • Tribal Law by Shannon Curtis – Australian Romance Readers Association
  • The Wedding Bargain by Yvonne Lindsay – Harlequin Desire
  • Pretend It’s Love by Stefanie London – Entangled Lovestruck
  • Never Surrender by Rosie Miles – Entangled Ignite – WINNER
  • Seducing His Enemy’s Daughter by Annie West – HM&B Sexy

Short Sweet

  • You For Christmas by Madeline Ash – Tule Publishing
  • Still Married To Her Ex! by Lucy Clark – HM&B Medical
  • Home to Bindarra Creek by Juanita Kees – self-published
  • The Secret Son by Joan Kilby – Tule Publishing – WINNER
  • Reach For The Stars by Kerrie Paterson – self-published


  • Mistletoe Maverick by Shannon Curtis – self-published
  • Silk & Scars by Cassandra Dean – Decadent Publishing
  • Pursued By The Rogue by Kelly Hunter – Tule Publishing
  • What A Bachelor Needs by Kelly Hunter – Tule Publishing – WINNER


Long Romance:
Risky Business – Amy Andrews – Escape Publishing – WINNER
Deadly Secrets, republished as Secrets of Whitewater Creek – Sarah Barrie  – Escape Publishing and Harlequin MIRA
Moonlight Plains – Barbara Hannay – Penguin Australia
Attraction – K.M. Golland – Harlequin MIRA

Romantic Elements:
Flight to Coorah Creek – Janet Gover – Choc Lit
The Trader’s Reward – Anna Jacobs – Hodder UK
Outback Ghost – Rachael Johns – Harlequin MIRA
The Lace Balcony – Johanna Nicholls – Simon and Schuster – WINNER
Riverboat Point – Tricia Stringer – Harlequin MIRA

Short Sweet:
Dr. Perfect On Her Doorstep – Lucy Clark – HM&B Medical
Waves of Temptation – Marion Lennox – HM&B Medical – WINNER
A Little Christmas Magic – Alison Roberts – HM&B Medical
The Maverick Millionaire – Alison Roberts – HM&B Sweet
The Tycoon and the Wedding Planner – Kandy Shepherd – HM&B Sweet

Short Sexy:
Wanting What She Can’t Have – Yvonne Lindsay – HM&B Desire
Romance For Cynics – Nicola Marsh – HM&B Sexy
Tycoon’s Temptation – Trish Morey – M&B Special Release
Damaso Claims His Heir – Annie West – HM&B Sexy – WINNER


Anna Hackett – Beneath a Trojan Moon – self-published – EQUAL WINNER
Anna Campbell – Her Christmas Earl – self-published – EQUAL WINNER
Fiona Greene – Home for Christmas – Escape Publishing
Kelly Hunter – Sympathy for the Devil – Tule Publishing

The winners were announced at the Awards Night at National Conference, Melbourne, Saturday 22nd August 2015.

Ruby Past Winners:

Note: Due to incomplete records, some finalists may be missing. If you can provide us with additional information, please contact us and let us know!

Year Placing Author Title
Long Romance
Finalist Amy Andrews Holding Out for a Hero
Finalist Karina Bliss A Prior Engagement
Finalist Sasha Cottman Letter from a Rake
Finalist Sophia James The Dissolute Duke
Finalist Sophia James Mistress at Midnight
WINNER Sarah Mayberry Her Favourite Rival
Romantic Elements
Finalist Juanita Kees Under the Hood
Finalist Victoria Purman Nobody But Him
Finalist Jennifer Scoullar Currawong Creek
WINNER Kendall Talbot Lost in Kakadu
Short Sexy
WINNER Kelly Hunter What the Bride Didn’t Know
 Finalist Yvonne Lindsay One Secret Night
 Finalist Melanie Milburne Never Say No to a Caffarelli
 Finalist Trish Morey A Price Worth Paying
Short Sweet
 WINNER Lucy Clark One Life Changing Moment
 Finalist Fiona Lowe Gold Coast Angels: Bundle of Trouble
 Finalist Julie Mac A Father at Last
 Finalist Carol Marinelli Secrets of a Career Girl
Year Placing Author Title
Long Romance
 Finalist Anne Gracie Bride by Mistake
 Finalist Helen Lacey Marriage Under The Mistletoe
 Finalist Sarah Mayberry More Than One Night
 WINNER Stephanie Laurens The Lady Risks All
Romantic Elements
 Finalist Elise K Ackers Small Town Storm
 Finalist Fiona McCallum Wattle Creek
 Finalist Helene Young Burning Lies
 WINNER Tricia Stringer Queen of the Road
Short Sexy
 Finalist Anne Oliver The Morning After The Wedding Before
 Finalist Melanie Milburne Enemies at the Altar
 WINNER Nicola Marsh Marrying the Enemy
 Finalist Yvonne Lindsay A Forbidden Affair
Short Sweet
 Finalist Alison Roberts Sydney Harbour Hospital: Zoe’s Baby
 WINNER Emily Forbes Sydney Harbour Hospital: Bella’s Wishlist
 Finalist Fiona Lowe Newborn Baby For Christmas
 Finalist Madeline Ash Uncovered by Love
Short Sweet
WINNER Barbara Hannay Molly Cooper’s Dream Date
Finalist Leonie Knight How To Save a Marriage In a Million
Finalist Marion Lennox Abby and The Bachelor Cop
Finalist Fiona Lowe Single Dad’s Triple Trouble
Short Sexy
WINNER  Robyn Grady The Fearless Maverick
Finalist Kelly Hunter The Man She Loves to Hate
Finalist Melanie Milburne The Wedding Charade
Finalist Anne Oliver Her Not-So-Secret-Diary
Long Romance
WINNER Fiona Lowe Boomerang Bride
Finalist Anna Campbell Midnight’s Wild Passion
Finalist Sarah Mayberry The Best Laid Plans
Finalist Mardi McConnochie The Voyagers
Romantic Elements
WINNER Helene Young Shattered Sky
Finalist Anna Jacobs The Trader’s Wife
Finalist June Loves The Shelly Beach Writers’ Group
Finalist Nicola Marsh Busted In Bollywood
Short Sweet
WINNER Melanie Milburne The Doctor’s Rebel Knight
Finalist Margaret Way Outback Bachelor
Finalist Marion Lennox Cinderella: Hired by The Prince
Finalist Michelle Douglas The Cattleman, the baby and me
Short Sexy
WINNER Lindsay Armstrong The Socialite and the Cattle King
Finalist Emma Darcy The Billionaire’s Housekeeper Mistress
Finalist Melanie Milburne Scandal: Unclaimed Love Child
Finalist Natalie Anderson Hot Boss, Boardroom Mistress
Long Romance
WINNER Sophia James One Unashamed Night
Finalist Anne Gracie The Accidental Wedding
Finalist Elisabeth Rose Instant Family
Finalist Emily May The Unmasking of a Lady
Romantic Elements
WINNER Helene Young Wings of Fear (formerly Border Watch)
Finalist Dianne Blacklock The Right Time
Finalist Monica McInerney At Home with the Templetons
Short Sweet
WINNER Sharon Archer Marriage Reunited: Baby On The Way
Finalist Sharon Archer Single Father: Wife And Mother Wanted
Finalist CC Coburn Colorado Christmas
Finalist Emily Forbes Wanted: A Father For Her Twins
Short Sexy
WINNER Amy Andrews A Doctor, A Nurse: A Christmas Baby
Finalist Robyn Grady Bedded By Blackmail
Finalist Kelly Hunter Playboy Boss, Live-in Mistress
Finalist Tessa Radley Billion-Dollar Baby Bargain
Long Romance
WINNER Sophia James Mistletoe Magic
Finalist Stephanie Laurens Mastered By Love
Finalist Stephanie Laurens Temptation And Surrender
Finalist Christine Wells Wicked Little Game
Romantic Elements
WINNER Tracey O’hara Night’s Cold Kiss
Finalist Fleur McDonald Red Dust
Finalist Bronwyn Parry Dark Country
Finalist Katherine Scholes The Hunter’s Wife
Short Sweet
WINNER Marion Lennox His Island Bride
Finalist Claire Baxter The Single Dad’s Patchwork Family
Finalist Melissa James A Mother in a Million
Finalist Fiona McArthur The Midwife’s Baby
Short Sexy
WINNER Trish Morey The Italian Boss’s Mistress of Revenge
Finalist Miranda Lee The Millionaire’s Inexperienced Love-Slave
Finalist Carol Marinelli Expecting His Love-Child
Finalist Paula Roe Boardrooms & a Billionaire Heir
Long Romance
WINNER Anne Gracie The Stolen Princess
Finalist Karina Bliss Second Chance Family
Finalist Anna Campbell Untouched
Finalist Elizabeth Rolls A Compromised Lady
Romantic Elements
WINNER Suzanne Perazzini Beneath The Surface
Finalist Maggie Alderson How to Break Your Own Heart
Finalist Bronwyn Parry As Darkness Falls
Finalist Suzanne Perazzini Crash into Darkness
Long Category
WINNER Kimberley Freeman Duet
Finalist Anna Campbell Claiming the Courtesan
Finalist Melanie La’Brooy Serendipity
Finalist Sophia James Ashblane’s Lad
Finalist Anna Jacobs Tomorrow’s Promises
Finalist Tamara McKinley Lands Beyond the Sea
Short Category
WINNER Anne Oliver One Night Before Marriage
Finalist Robyn Donald The Prince’s Forbidden Virgin
Finalist Marion Lennox Their Lost and Found Family
Finalist Carol Marinelli The Single Dad’s Marriage Wish
Finalist Sarah Mayberry Island Heat
Finalist Margaret Way Outback Man Seeks Wife
Long Novel
WINNER Karina Bliss Mr Imperfect
Finalist Love Child
Finalist Anna Jacobs Bright Day Dawning
Finalist Anna Jacobs The Corrigan Legacy
Finalist Helen Kirkman
Finalist Margaret Way
Short Novel
WINNER Anne Oliver Behind Closed Doors
Finalist Marion Lennox The Doctor’s Proposal
Finalist Marion Lennox Rescue At Cradle Lake
Finalist Yvonne Lindsay The Boss’s Christmas Seduction
Finalist Fiona Lowe Her Miracle Baby
Finalist Carol Marinelli Needed: Full-Time Father
WINNER Anna Jacobs Pride of Lancashire
Finalist Anne Gracie The Perfect Rake
Finalist Anne Gracie The Perfect Waltz
Finalist Melanie La’Brooy The Wish List
Finalist Juliet Marillier Blade of Fortriu
Finalist Elizabeth Rolls His Lady Mistress
WINNER Trish Morey The Italian Boss’s Secret Child
Finalist Marion Lennox Bride by Accident
Finalist Marion Lennox Rescued by the Millionaire
Finalist Carol Marinelli Christmas on the Children’s Ward
Finalist Tricia McGill Shrinking Violet
Finalist Meredith Webber The Children’s Heart Surgeon
WINNER Dianne Blacklock Almost Perfect
Finalist Sandy Curtis Until Death
Finalist Juliet Marillier The Dark Mirror
Finalist Isolde Martyn Fleur-de-Lis
Finalist Rachael Treasure The Stockmen
WINNER Barbara Hannay Her Playboy Challenge
Finalist Emma Darcy The Outback Bridal Rescue
Finalist Miranda Lee The Passion Price
Finalist Marion Lennox Her Royal Baby
Finalist Carol Marinelli The Baby Emergency
Finalist Alison Roberts The Recovery Assignment
WINNER Ashleigh Bingham Palace of the Winds
Finalist Keri Arthur Circle of Desire
Finalist Dianne Blacklock Wife for Hire
Finalist Lucinda Brant A Deadly Engagement
Finalist Joanna Challis Silverthorn
Finalist Posie Graeme-Evans The Innocent
WINNER Marion Lennox Dr Blake’s Angel
Finalist Laurey Bright Shadowing Shahna
Finalist Barbara Hannay A Bride At Birralee
Finalist Marion Lennox To the Doctor: A Daughter
Finalist Marion Lennox A Millionaire For Molly
Finalist Marion Lennox Stormbound Surgeon
WINNER Tricia McGill Traces of Dreams
Finalist Dianne Blacklock Call Waiting
Finalist David Crookes Children of the Sun
Finalist Julie D’Arcy Silverdawn
Finalist Cory Daniells The Shadow Kingdom
Finalist Isolde Martyn The Silver Bride
WINNER Fiona Brand Marrying McCabe
Finalist Lindsay Armstrong Marriage on Command
Finalist Daphne Clair His Trophy Mistress
Finalist Emma Darcy The Hot-Blooded Groom
Finalist Joan Kilby Child of His Heart
Finalist Marion Lennox Their Baby Bargain
WINNER Janet Woods Daughter of Darkness
Finalist Keri Arthur Dancing With The Devil
Finalist Ashleigh Bingham The Dream Hunter
Finalist Sandy Curtis Dance With The Devil
Finalist Beverley Harper The Forgotten Sea
Finalist Allison Rushby
WINNER Anne Gracie Tallie’s Night
Finalist Lindsay Armstrong The Hired Fiancee
Finalist Fiona Brand Blade’s Lady
Finalist Emma Darcy The Pleasure King’s Bride
Finalist Marion Lennox A Child In Need
Finalist Marion Lennox Tom Bradley’s Babies
WINNER Isolde Martyn The Knight and the Rose
Finalist Ann Clancy Rebel Girl
Finalist David Crookes Someday Soon
Finalist Julie D’Arcy Time of the Wolf
Finalist Anna Jacobs Like No Other
Finalist Linden Slater The Lady and the Luddite
WINNER Alison Kelly The Baby Deal
Finalist Emma Darcy A Marriage Betrayed
Finalist Miranda Lee The Blackmailed Bridegroom
Finalist Marion Lennox Bachelor Cure
Finalist Marion Lennox (w/as Trisha David) Marriage for Maggie
Finalist Alison Roberts Definitely Daddy
WINNER Cory Daniells The Last T’En
Finalist David Crookes The Light Horseman’s Daughter
Finalist Louise Grant The Dangerous Game
Finalist Anna Jacobs Our Lizzie
Finalist Juliet Marillier Daughter of the Forest
WINNER Fiona Brand Cullen’s Bride
Finalist Trisha David Falling For Jack
Finalist Trisha David Marrying William
Finalist Miranda Lee The Boss’s Baby
Finalist Marion Lennox The Baby Affair
Finalist Susan Napier Honeymoon Baby
WINNER Isolde Martyn The Lady and the Unicorn
Finalist Frances Burke Hold High the Flame
Finalist Astrid Cooper Crystal Dreams
Finalist Jennie Davis Dear Heart
Finalist Clarissa Garland Return to Opal Reach
WINNER Alison Kelly Boots in the Bedroom
Finalist Lucy Clark Delectable Diagnosis
Finalist Trisha David McTavish and Twins
Finalist Emma Darcy Marriage Meltdown
Finalist Miranda Lee A Nanny Named Nick

Anna Hackett – Beneath a Trojan Moon – self-published – EQUAL WINNER
Anna Campbell – Her Christmas Earl – self-published – EQUAL WINNER
Fiona Greene – Home for Christmas – Escape Publishing
Kelly Hunter – Sympathy for the Devil – Tule Publishing

Ask Me To Stay – Elise Ackers
Worth the Risk – Sarah Mayberry – WINNER
Christmas at the Gingerbread Cafe – Rebecca Raisin
Christmas Cinderella (in ‘A Sprinkling of Christmas Magic’ anthology) – Elizabeth Rolls

Wish – Kelly Hunter
The Rose’s Bloom – Danielle Lisle
A Bush Christmas – Margareta Osborn
Diplomat’s Daughter – Carolyn Wren – WINNER