Sunday, April 29, 2007

And the winner of the Romance Prize 2007

This week our Pink Heart Society Roving Reporter Natasha Oakley has been to The Savoy Hotel in London for the Romance Novelist Associations Prize Giving Luncheon!!!! Tell us all about it Natasha...

What do you call a mass gathering of romance writers? A pen of writers? An embrace of romantic novelists??? It has to be something like that ...

Anyway, whatever we're called we gathered at the Savoy in London on Friday for the annual Romantic Novelists' Association's Award Luncheon. (As if you didn't know! We've been talking about it all month. )

The Savoy is a kind of scary place. It's the kind that has slippery floors interspersed with thick carpets, mirrors everywhere and subdued lighting. It makes you feel like you should speak in whispers and wish you'd concentrated on the Pink Heart Society Diet (that's because of all the mirrors btw).

I'd arranged to meet fellow nominee, and last year's winner, Jessica Hart off her train. We had time to grab a coffee (and change our shoes) at the National Gallery before making our way to The Savoy. With our comfortable shoes quietly stashed away in the cloakroom we glided through to the Lincoln Room.

I'm assuming you're all kindred spirits and are most interested in the food - so you're getting that in detail! The starter was Onion tomato tart tatin with orange and melted goat cheese. Not only was it melt-in-the-mouth-to-die-for, it was incredibly pretty. We should have taken a picture.

Carnivors then had Stuffed breast of chicken with wild mushrooms, Potato cakes with almonds, Mousseline of spinach and Baby winter vegetables. Vegetarians had Riccota-spinach ravioli with mushroom cream and parsley salad.

Dessert was Treacle and raspberry tart with vanilla ice-cream arranged as a work of art. Then we had Savoy blend coffee (except I was too busy talking to drink mine)and Petit fours (which I was too full for).

After a short 'comfort break' and the guest speaker, Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE, it was time for the awards.

First up was the Romantic Novel of the Year Award 2007.

We haven't much mentioned this award here at the Pink Heart Society because it's not for category fiction.

The shortlist this year was:

A Step in the Dark
by Judith Lennox (Headline)

Beyond the Blue Hills
by Katie Flynn (Heinemann)

Iris & Ruby
by Rosie Thomas (Harper Collins)

Learning by Heart
by Elizabeth McGregor (Transworld)

The Ex-Boyfriend's Handbook
by Matt Dunn (Simon & Schuster)

Welcome to the Real World
by Carole Matthews (Headline)

And the winner was ....... Iris & Ruby by Rosie Thomas. Rosie then gave a speech and was taken away to be devoured by reporters.

Meanwhile we moved on to the Romance Prize 2007.

Very lovely things were said about all the seven books on the shortlist and then they announced a short shortlist of three in alphabetical order.

Marrying Max
by Nell Dixon (The People's Friend Story Collection)

The Millionaire's Runaway Bride
by Catherine George (Harlequin Mills & Boon)

Accepting the Boss's Proposal
by Natasha Oakley (Harlequin Mills & Boon)

and custodian of the Betty Neels Rose Bowl is ......

Nell Dixon

for 'Marrying Max' published by The People's Friend Story Collection.

Then it was Nell's turn to make her way to the podium and make her acceptance speech. She did all lovers of category fiction proud. Absolutely wonderful!

With love


Do visit Nell's website and blog!


  1. Congrats, Nell!

    for more on her book, MARRYING MAX, check out her post just last week!


    And another round of congratulations for all the other nominees!

    Hope you all had a wonderful time at the Savoy.


  3. Congrats Nell!! And to everyone else who was nominated as well!


  4. Thanks for the report Natasha, it sounded amazing. And congratulations Nell! Well done!!!
    x Abby Green

  5. I thought interesting how Natasha has manged not to appear in pictures. She looked wonderful. Her dress was goregous -- teal blue silk. It went very well with her colouring.

    I was so pleased for Nell.
    It has been such an honour and a pleasure to be a finalist with writers that I admire.
    Catagory fiction is truly doing well!!!

  6. I spoke too soon. There is a lovely picture of Natasha on Fiona Harper's blog.

  7. LOL I did my best. And I thought Fiona like me!!

    Okay then, you can all go and see how much I need to re-start the PHS Diet and do I stay grey???

  8. Shows you where my mind is...I saw the pics on Fs blog and thought...did they find magic bras too? Y'all looked great!

  9. Have sent congrats via Nell's blog....but I'm thrilled to bits!!!!! Yay for Nell!


  10. Nell, a big congrats to you, and Natasha - Congrats on making the TOP 3 - what an honor!

  11. I'm still coming back down to earth. All the books were so good it must have been impossible for the judges. It was lovely to see everyone and to share the day with friends.