Independent publisher Choc Lit has scored two prizes at the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s (RNA) annual awards, the Ronas, while Katie Fforde’s Summer of Love won the Contemporary Romantic Novel award.
Choc Lit took home two accolades, with Highland Storms by Christina Courtenay winning the Historical Romantic Award, and Jane Lovering’s Please Don’t Stop the Music winning Romantic Comedy.
Fforde’s story of countryside passions (Century) beat titles by Freya North and Jill Mansell among others, to the Contemporary Romantic Novel award at last night’s ceremony in central London, while Rosie Thomas’ decade-spanning The Kashmir Shawl (HarperCollins) won the Epic Romantic Novel category.
Piccadilly Press won the inaugural Young Adult Romantic Award for Caroline Green’s Dark Ride.
“In the big sky of romantic fiction today's winners are among the brightest stars,” said Annie Ashurst, RNA Chair. “Their talent, diversity and commitment are awe inspiring and we congratulate them all on their success."
Each category winner will now go on to form the shortlist for the Romantic Novel of the Year Award, which will be announced on 17th May.
Sarah Mallory’s The Dangerous Lord Darrington (Mills & Boon) won the Rona Rose Award for category and shorter romance, while the Harry Bowling Prize for unpublished authors, worth £1,000, went to Natalie Lloyd-Evans for A Dark Flowering, and runner-up Aline P’Nina Taya took home £100 for Island of Dreams.
Karin Stocker, editorial director for Harlequin Mills & Boon from 1994-2011, was given the RNA’s Outstanding Achievement Award