Read an Award-Winning Romance

If you've been thinking about dipping your toe into the romance genre pool, now is a particularly good time to do so. The Romance Writers of America recently handed out the annual Rita Awards, recognizing the best in romance fiction for 2016. With 13 categories, there's something for everyone. Take Sarah Morgan's Miracle on 5th Avenue, winner in the Best Contemporary Romance: Long category. It's Christmastime in New York City, and hopeless romantic Eva Jordan finds herself housesitting in the perfect penthouse. There's one small problem: the penthouse owner isn't going anywhere. Oh, and he's handsome, mysterious and a bit of a Grinch. A classic opposites attract story, Morgan's holiday tale is as delicious as it is endearing.

Winner in the Historical Romance: Short category, A Duke to Remember by Kelly Bowen is set in the Regency period, a tumultuous time in British history when the Prince Regent ruled as proxy for his father, the infamous Mad King George. Elise deVries is an actress by night and an undercover agent for a company that handles indiscreet matters by day. Tasked with finding Noah Ellery, the missing and feared dead Duke of Ashland, Elise locates the aristocrat, who is very much alive and unwilling to return to London--until he realizes he's fallen for the woman who threatens to destroy his hardwon peace of mind. A swift mystery fills out this satisfying romance perfect for fans who like their love stories infused with history.

Finally, Weina Dai Randel's The Moon in the Palace, winner of the Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance category, is based on the life of Empress Wu (624-705), China's only ruling female emperor. It's an impressive blend of romance, political intrigue, court machinations and self-discovery; our reviewer noted, "As Mei learns her way, she will capture readers' imaginations with the iron will that made a woman an emperor." --Stefanie Hargreaves, editor, Shelf Awareness for Readers

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