SETTLE author Diane Allen has been shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s 2021 Romantic Novel Awards with her novel, The Girl from the Tanner’s Yard.

Diane is one of six finalists in the ‘romantic saga award’ category which will be announced at an event on March 8, held digitally because of the coronavirus pandemic, and presented by actor Larry Lamb.

The Girl from the Tanner’s Yard tells the story of Adam Brooksbank who after returning to his family home, employs Lucy Bancroft.

Lucy soon finds herself falling in love with Adam, despite her parents telling her no good will come of it. As rumours fly around the village, will love win the day?

Diane says she has always loved the romance of the Bronte sisters and their life in the wilds of nearby Haworth. She relates strongly to their love of their natural surroundings and how proud they were of their roots.

She said, “I’m absolutely gobsmacked to be shortlisted, but extremely honoured!”

Also shortlisted is Helen Pollard, from Ilkley, who is one of nine finalists in the Goldsboro Books Contemporary Romantic Novel Award category with her novel The Little Shop in Cornwall.

It tells the story of Heroine Claudia who has ditched her uncaring ex-husband and corporate career for a new start in beautiful Cornwall, but is shaken up when recently-widowed Jason and his teenage daughter Millie arrive in town.

Practical Jason is not thrilled about his daughter’s love of Claudia’s free-spirited ideas, and sparks fly.

Helen said, “One of the things I love most when writing my books is creating a fictitious setting within a real-life area. I love Cornwall, so creating my coastal village, Porthsteren, from scratch and making it exactly how I wanted it for my characters was such a pleasure. Having been a member of the RNA for several years, I’m delighted to be shortlisted for the contemporary romantic novel award - it’s an honour..”

Imogen Howson, chair of the RNA, said: “This year’s shortlists showcase the wonderful variety of romantic fiction, with books from publishers large and small, from some authors who are household names and others who may well be the next big thing. In difficult times, the sales of romantic fiction rise, and these books—with all their humour, drama, excitement, and romance—remind us exactly why.”