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 and writers, this contest is open each year to any Australian or New Zealand romance author who has published a long or short romance novel.

RUBY 2017 finalists and winners

RWA congratulates the finalists and winners in the Romantic Book of The Year 2017, for books published in 2016. All finalists go into a final round of judging by industry professionals from which an overall Romantic Book of the Year is chosen.


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

The winners were announced at the Awards Night at National Conference, Brisbane, Saturday 12th August 2017.

Check out past winners at the RUBY Past Winners!