The Rita Award finalists for Short Contemporary Romance are novels that focus primarily on the romantic relationship and that are less than 65,000 words in length (within a 5% margin of error). The main focus of the novel and the resolution of the romance is emotionally satisfying and optimistic.
Below is a rundown of the finalists in this category for the 2014 award.
Short Contemporary Romance
A Conflict of Interest
by Barbara Dunlop
Charles Griemsman, editor
She tried to stay away from him….
More than once, White House PR specialist Cara Cranshaw has considered that reporter Max Gray might want her only because he can’t have her.
Given their work, a relationship is dicey—and impossible now that the president has taken office.
For Max, their relationship may be a lark, a fling—maybe she’s just another woman in the long line that forms a part of his bachelor lifestyle.
But for her, what they have is different. She’s all but given him her heart. And now she is having his baby.
by Karen Foley
Brenda Chin, editor
Lt. Commander Jack Callahan
A high-flying maneuver…with tantalizing perks!
Being stationed at a naval base on Whidbey Island is a dream come true for Navy pilot Jack Callahan. But when a late-night encounter on a beach with a stunning woman turns scorchin’ hot, Jack’s dream starts resembling an X-rated fantasy….
Three weeks in her hometown is nothing short of torture for photographer Maggie Copeland. The town hasn’t forgotten she was dumped at the altar by an aviator, and neither has she—until her naughty rendezvous with the oh-so-scrumptious stranger! But then Maggie learns that Jack is a pilot. Can she resist the force of their sexual chemistry…or will she find herself falling for another flyboy?
Her Accidental Boyfriend
by Robin Bielman
Entangled Publishing, Bliss
Stacy Abrams and Wendy Chen, editors
Kagan Owens has a secret. One she thought she’d escaped by leaving New York, but when her past follows her to her temporary new life, Kagan lets a teeny lie slip. And now the town’s biggest playboy and flirt, Shane Sullivan, has become her pretend boyfriend—just until she’s ready to return to NYC. But the handsome, fun-loving Shane makes it tough to determine where their friendly agreement begins and ends…
Shane has no intention of settling down—in fact, his job depends on it, and nothing’s more important than his work. Still, he can’t help but agree to Kagan’s scheme, if only to find out more about the mysterious beauty. But when every touch from her sets his heart and body on fire, he realizes playing an accidental boyfriend may be more than he bargained for—and more than he can give.
Her Secret, His Baby
by Tanya Michaels
Harlequin, American Romance
Johanna Raisanen, editor
Surprise! You’re a Daddy!
Life’s been full of surprises lately for rancher Garrett Frost-and not in a good way. His mother has just dropped a bombshell about his past, so Garrett takes some time away to come to terms with family secrets. And who should he run into but Arden Cade, the beautiful photographer who shared a single night of passion with Garrett six months ago. He is even more shocked when he discovers she’s pregnant-and he’s the daddy.
To make matters worse, Arden hadn’t even planned on telling Garrett about the baby. Despite her lies, Garrett is determined to be a good father. He’s not the type to cut and run, and he can’t deny that he’s falling for Arden all over again. But he’ll have to find a way to forgive her betrayal…and make peace with that skeleton in the family closet.
A Royal without Rules
by Caitlin Crews
Megan Haslam, editor
The most debauched man in the kingdom of Kitzinia— if not the entire world!
Royal PA Adriana Righetti is no stranger to scandal. But Prince Pato takes it to a whole new level. His infamous liaisons make for exceptionally disreputable reading!
Her latest assignment, keeping the playboy prince out of the headlines before his brother’s wedding, is mission impossible. Particularly as Pato is intent on ruffling her seemingly uptight feathers!
But when the cameras aren’t looking, Adriana sees behind his careless facade, and wonders—is there more to this rebel royal than the world knows?
Why Resist a Rebel?
by Leah Ashton
Meg Lewis, editor
Giving in to temptation never felt so good!
Ruby Bell has put scandal and relationships behind her to forge a successful career in film. Then the talk of Hollywood himself, actor Devlin Cooper, strolls onto her Outback set—fired from his two previous movies, and looking decidedly tempting! The last thing Ruby needs is Dev making outrageous demands and causing her to question her “no romance at work” rule .
But what’s a girl to do when Dev’s taking her on a lavish date one moment, then calling “cut” on their growing closeness the next? What exactly does he want with her—and what’s causing the shadows behind those famous blue eyes? Now she’s too intrigued to walk away .
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