It is the Romantic Novelists Association's Awards Event on Monday 5th March, with nibbles and bubbly and the announcement of the RoNAs, the RNA's awards announcing the best romantic novels of the year. There is a category for the outstanding love story of the year, the RoNA Rose, for category romance and the shorter romantic novel, that focuses on the developing love story between the hero and heroine, and I am thrilled that my book, The Dangerous Lord Darrington is one of the six titles shortlisted for the RoNA Rose. The list is impressive, with some really good, established authors here, so I decided I would read them all (no real hardship, after all, in fact it is a labour of love)
I started with Liz Fielding's Flirting with Italian, a beautiful, contemporary love story set in Italy. I couldn't put it down and it had me reaching for the holiday brochures. Next it was Jessica Hart's Ordinary Girl in a Tiara, a very topical story of the girl who falls in love with a prince – or is he a frog? This story is charming, funny and poignant, and I found myself rooting for the characters right up to the end.
I followed these with Mary Nichols' Winning the War Hero's Heart, a Regency romance with a twist – the heroine is a working woman and the hero is, well, a wounded war hero. It is set in 1816, the year without a summer, and my goodness do those poor characters have some wet weather to put up with! A lovely, warm romance that also has its more serious moments, but with all the loose ends nicely tied up at the finish.
I have just finished Kate Hardy's A Christmas Knight – a medical romance that definitely requires a box of tissues close by. I fell in love with the hero immediately and when the heroine is a kind, warm-hearted working mum and a generous nurse who is so good with her patients, how could you not want her to be happy?
The final book is Jan Jones' The Kydd Inheritance, another historical romance. I am still waiting for that one to arrive, but having read other works by this author I know I am in for a real swashbuckling romantic adventure .
So, I shall be there on Monday, and I hope to see the other five authors there, too. And for me, it doesn't really matter who wins, surely just to be shortlisted amongst such august company is enough. Well, it is for me, although, of course I shall be keeping my fingers crossed……