WINNER and Runner-Up of the 2015 Romance Book Award

Winner Romance

The 2015 Golden Rose Book Award for Romance went to

Lynne Shelby with French Kissing

Lynne Shelby and French Kissing

Meet Lynne

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing, and my ambition was always to be a published author. I write contemporary romance, because that’s what I like reading the most. In January 2015 I was thrilled to win the Accent Press & Woman Magazine Writing Competition with my debut novel ‘French Kissing.’ I love travelling and I’m inspired to write by the many wonderful foreign cities that I’ve visited and explored , with a camera and writer’s notebook in hand – Rome, Milan, Barcelona, Madrid, Venice, New York, Copenhagen, Berlin and of course Paris, the city which inspired me to write ‘French Kissing’

Discover Lynne on Twitter @LynneB1

Book Description – French Kissing published by Accent Press

Anna Mitchel has been writing letters to her French penfriend, Alexandre Tourville, for fifteen years, but hasn’t seen him since an exchange trip when they were at school. But when Alex, now a successful photographer, has the opportunity to work in London, Anna offers him a place to stay but is astounded that the small, geeky boy she remembers is now tall, broad-shouldered and gorgeous, and has just broken up with his long-term girlfriend.

Anna’s female friends are soon swooning over Alex’s Gallic charm, and Anna’s boyfriend Nick is becoming extremely jealous of their friendship. Then Alex has to return to Paris to oversee the hanging of his photographs in an exhibition, and invites Anna to accompany him so that he can show her the city he adores…

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The Silver Award went to

Patricia Sands and her book The Promise of Provence

Patricia and The Promise

Meet Patricia

Patricia Sands lives in Toronto, Canada, when she isn’t somewhere else. An admitted travel fanatic, she can pack a bag in a flash and be ready to go anywhere … particularly if it’s the south of France. Most winters are now spent in south Florida.

Patricia’s published novels include: The Bridge Club (2010) and the Love In Provence Book Series ~ The Promise of Provence (Book #1 – 2013) and Promises To Keep (Book #2 – 2014). She has been signed to a contract with the Lake Union Publishing (women’s fiction) arm of Amazon Publishing.

Her award-winning debut novel The Bridge Club was a finalist in the Foreword Reviews 2010 Book of The Year (general fiction), 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards (First Novel) and 2012 Indie Excellence Book Awards.

Her second novel, The Promise of Provence, released in April 2013, received a 2013 USA Best Book Award ~ Women’s Lit Finalist and a 2014 National Indie Excellence Book Award ~ Literary Fiction Finalist, #4 in the Amazon Kindle store and #1 in three Love & Romance categories.

With a happily blended family of seven adult children and, at last count, six grandchildren, life is full and time is short. Beginning with a Kodak Brownie camera at the age of six, she has told stories all her life through photography and is seldom without a camera. When time permits, sports are also a big part of her life.

Patricia is also a sought-after speaker with women’s groups. Her messages inspire women of all ages to believe in themselves and to develop the confidence to pursue their dreams. She feels that life offers opportunities no matter what our age. A strong advocate for the importance of friendship, her writing and talks stress the value of the connections women make in their lives and how we are able to empower each other.

With a focus on women’s issues and aging, her stories celebrate the feminine spirit and the power of friendship. Her passion is bringing her message of motivation and inspiration to encourage women to value their stories and to find the strength within to approach every challenge as an opportunity.

Also a Flash Fiction Finalist (Winter 2010) with Women on Writing, her work was recently included in the anthology “Canadian Imprints” published by the Writers and Editors Network. Her travel writing can be found on the The Good Life France website and in her popular Friday blog, “If it’s Friday, it must be France…” which can be found on her website.

Find Patricia on Twitter @patricia_sands

Book Description The Promise Of Provence published by Lake Union Publishing

On the evening of her twenty-second wedding anniversary, Katherine Price can’t wait to celebrate. But instead of receiving an anniversary card from her husband, she finds a note asking for a divorce.

Fifty-five and suddenly alone, Katherine begins the daunting task of starting over. She has her friends, her aging mother, and her career to occupy her, but the future seems to hold little promise—until, after a winter of heartbreak, Katherine is persuaded to try a home exchange holiday in the South of France.

In Provence, bright fields of flowers bloom below medieval hilltop villages with winding cobblestone streets. Charmed by the picturesque countryside, the breathtaking Côte d’Azur, and the enchantment-filled boulevards of Paris, Katherine feels life opening up once again. Lavender perfumes the air, and chance encounters hint at romance and passion. But memories of heartbreak and betrayal linger—and her former life waits for her back home. Can she find the courage to begin again?

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Final congratulations to all the Romance nominees.

Helen Pollard with HOLDING BACK

Heather Hill with THE NEW MRS D

Donna Brown with PLAYING HOUSE



Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Warm Hearts in Winter by @helenpollard147 #wwwblogs

Today’s team review is from Liz, she blogs at

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Liz has been reading Warm Hearts In Winter by Helen Pollard


Warm Hearts in Winter by Helen Pollard


Warm Hearts in Winter is exactly what you want to read while curled up in front of a warm fire as the nights get shorter and yet I read it lying on a sunbed in southern Europe with just as much pleasure.


The main characters are Jack Blane, a slightly gruff, handsome writer in his mid-30s and Abby a capable young woman who has driven through dreadful winter weather to Jack’s remote house in Yorkshire, to be his PA while he writes his latest novel. Both characters have baggage; Jack tragically lost his wife 3 years earlier and Abby is trying to rebuild her professional and personal life after an unfortunate incident while with her previous employer.


From the start there are misunderstandings between Jack and Abby, especially as they are confined to the house by thick snow, but their working relationship flourishes although they are both determined not to become personally involved. However there is an undercurrent of menace from silent phone calls, a figure seen in the woods and something nasty found on the doorstep. Jack decides to ignore it but Abby is increasingly anxious.


This element of mystery and danger widens the appeal of the novel which is also a heart-warming romance. No-one could resist the strength and kindness shown by Jack, while Abby, though independent, is vulnerable and caring.   The chemistry between them is palpable, however much they fight their inclinations. They are blessed by a guardian angel in the form of Mrs Macintosh whom everyone should have in their life!


Helen Pollard engages her readers by allowing us to see events through the eyes of both main characters and describing their location effectively. I very much enjoyed reading this lovely story.

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Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Holding Back by Helen Pollard @helenpollard147 #bookreview

Today’s team review comes from Joanne, she blogs at

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Joanne chose to read and review Holding Back by Helen Pollard


My review:

Holding Back is a light romance, beautifully written, with characters that engage you from the first page. Told from two points of view, Laura and Daniel deal with the kinds of misunderstandings you might expect on the road to true love – and a few you might not expect! I found the characters believable, the storyline interesting, and the addition of the sumptuous setting of Portugal lifted the book out of the ordinary. I would have liked to have seen the ‘voices’ of the characters a little better differentiated, and the nature of the two-viewpoint narrative did occasionally have you going over the same event twice, albeit seen through a different character’s eyes. But the writing carries you through, and the author clearly has a talent for bringing romance alive on the page. My main niggle was the formatting of the Kindle version I read – each paragraph was separated by a line break, usually reserved for section breaks, which made the experience of reading a little irritating until you got used to it. I’ve no idea why it was formatted this way, and it was a shame. All in all, however, a good read for romance lovers, and an author on top of her game.

4 Stars

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Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Holding Back by @helenpollard147 #romance #bookreview

Today’s team review comes from Liz, she blogs at

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Liz chose to read and review Holding Back by Helen Pollard


Holding Back by Helen Pollard

It should have been instant attraction for Laura when she met tall, suntanned Daniel Stone at Porto airport but they both behaved rudely over a misunderstanding involving luggage and seeing him arrive at the hotel she was helping to run, was not good news.

Every year, language teacher Laura used part of her summer holiday to help out at Quinta Maria, a country Hotel in the Costa Verde region of northern Portugal. While her friends Rachel and Paulo visited family in England, Laura helped Paulo’s mother to run the hotel. But who was this evasive man, who wore suits while on holiday and asked so many questions?

Despite many disagreements, Laura and Daniel find themselves drawn together. We see the situation through both their perspectives and we enjoy the beautiful countryside and beaches of the Viana do Castelo area via Helen Pollard’s vivid descriptions.

Both Laura and Daniel are likeable but frustrating characters. Kind and considerate to others, they demonstrate the classic refusal to admit their feelings for each other, knowing that their personal circumstances are too complicated.

I read this book while staying in southern Portugal and wanted to jump in the car and head north to explore the setting of the story. A really enjoyable holiday romance with depth and credibility.

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Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Holding Back by @helenpollard147 #Romance #Bookreview

Today’s team review is from Luccia, she blogs at

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Luccia chose to read and review Holding Back by Helen Pollard


Review of Holding Back by Helen Pollard by Luccia Gray

Pleasant Holiday Romance

If you fancy a pleasant journey and holiday romance in sunny Portugal in summer, this is a novel for you.

Laura is a dedicated teacher who helps her best friend from college at her husband’s family’s delightful hotel, in exchange for a room and the run of the place for a few weeks of her summer holidays. Although she’s contented with her life, she has some unsolved personal issues which are obstructing her chances of happiness.

Daniel is an assertive and hard-working hospitality company manager who is tiring of travelling and avoiding his ex-girlfriend.

Daniel and Laura meet at the airport, and later at the hotel where he’s a guest.

They’re both afraid of emotional commitment, yet missing a more meaningful relationship, and although they meet at the right place and the right time, for a romantic interlude, they’re both reluctant to take their unexpected attraction any further than friendship. However the intervention of their family back home, months after the holiday will give them a second chance.

I read it in one enjoyable sitting. The main characters are authentic and likeable, the plot is plausible and unassuming. The setting is idyllic, small coastal towns in northern Portugal, and the happy ever after ending brings a tear of relief to the eye. What’s not to like about it?

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