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Winners Of The RNA 2023 Announced

7 March 2023

The winners of the Romantic Novelists' Association (RNA) awards, which honour the very best in the romance genre, have been announced. You can find more information about Ulverscroft's winning titles below.

The Katie Fforde Debut Romantic Novel Award
For the best romantic novel by a first-time author. Entries may represent any aspect of the romantic genre.

Always By Your Side by Julie Haworth
Published in CD and MP3 CD audiobook and uLibrary eAudiobook in November 2022.
When schoolteacher Rose loses her job at a London primary school, her confidence takes a knock. Worse still, her stockbroker fiancé, Ollie, sees it as the perfect opportunity for her to join his firm, which only adds to the feelings Rose has that their relationship might be coming to an end. An unexpected phone call, and an elderly aunt who's taken a fall, means Rose must drop everything and return to Blossom Heath, the Sussex village she grew up in. Rose decides to stay in Blossom Heath for the summer and finds herself reconnecting to the village life of her childhood in more ways than one. So when her London life comes calling, Rose is faced with an impossible choice . . . to return to the high-pressure life of her past, or embrace the joy of a new life in the country.

The Christmas/Festive Holiday Romantic Novel Award
For the best romantic novel set in the winter festive season featuring Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Yule/New Year etc.

This Year's For Me And You by Emily Bell
Published in CD and MP3 CD audiobook in March 2023.
Hannah and Celeste have been best friends since they were eighteen, when they made a pact to spend every New Year's Eve together.

From Dublin to London, the two are inseparable: that is, until tragedy strikes.

When Celeste discovers a list of Hannah's New Year's Resolutions, she is determined to complete them. Little does she know that doing so will reunite her with someone from her past...

Through Hannah's last wishes Celeste begins to fall in love with life again, one adventure at a time.
But could the biggest adventure of all be falling in love again?

The Shorter Romantic Novel Award
For shorter romantic novels, serials or novellas. These may range from magazine serials, short stories of no less than 30,000 words to shorter novels of no more than 70,000 words approximately. Entries may represent any aspect of the romantic genre and can be set in any time period.

The Earl's Mysterious Lady by Louise Allen
Published in Large Print in December 2022.
An unexpected reunion...
With the Earl she left at the altar...

Viola fled her arranged marriage to Guy Thurlow, Earl of Easton, right at the altar steps. Now she is Cressida Williams, and greatly changed - so much so that when Guy finds her trespassing on his neglected estate he doesn't recognise his runaway bride. As they work together to restore his grounds, desire flares. But she must deny his temptation - because it would be socially ruinous if he discovers who she really is...

The Romantic Saga Award
For novels predominantly set in the past (pre 1970), usually featuring characters overcoming social pressures or hardships alongside or fully entwined with a romantic story thread. These may be part of a series but must be able to stand alone for readers who won’t have read the ones that went before.

A New Start For The Wrens by Vicki Beeby
Published in Large Print in July 2023.
Following a humiliating experience involving the man she thought she'd marry, Iris Tredwick signs up to the Wrens in order to escape - and please her mother by finding the right sort of man. After a bumpy start, she befriends outspoken Mary and dreamer Sally as they are sent to their first posting in Orkney.

There she meets mechanic Rob, whose flirtatious nature both charms and confounds strait-laced Iris. Much more appropriate for her is local doctor Stewart - if only she felt the same spark for him as she does for Rob...

As Iris, Mary and Sally work to interpret signals from incoming ships, they realise the enemy is somehow one step ahead of their manoeuvres, dropping sea mines under the cover of darkness. Could there be a spy on the island? And can the Wrens prevent disaster striking before it's too late?

The Contemporary Romantic Novel Award
For stories about the here and now, where romance forms a substantive part of the story; any novel set predominantly in the last 50 years.

A Cottage Full Of Secrets by Jane Lovering
Published in Large PrintCD and MP3 CD audiobook and uLibrary eAudiobook in February 2022.
Cottage Two, Bracken Ridge Farm sits at the end of a pitted track, with the glorious Yorkshire moors stretching behind it.

Just a simple two up, two down, the cottage holds the promise of a new start for two very different women, but it is also full of secrets.

Fifty years ago, newly-wed Stella is relishing making the little cottage a happy home. But for all the lovingly handmade curtains, and the hot dinners ready on the table for her husband, Stella's dreams of married life jar painfully with the truth.

Fifty years later, the cottage is a new beginning for Tamzin. Determined to get away from her previous life, she makes the move to the wild and vast Yorkshire countryside.
When Tamzin finds a sepia photo of a woman, Stella, standing in the cottage's garden, there's a sadness in her eyes that Tamzin recognises. As the cottage reveals more of its secrets, Tamzin is desperate to find out whether Stella got her happy ending. And as she gradually makes new friends, and starts to win over her mysterious neighbour Euan, Tamzin dares to dream about her own happy ending too...

Lifetime Achievement Award
Katie Fforde

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