Thursday, February 07, 2008

RNA Romance Prize

And to present the prize Natasha Oakley.

Well, sort of. It's already been presented but I want to get to wear an Oscar style-dress and do a little speech. For those of you who are really only here for the fashion I've grabbed back the dress I loaned Reese Witherspoon for last year's Oscars - and I look very thin!

Sometimes, not so very often I admit, it really is glamorous being a romance author. This week is one of those delightful weeks when there's a point in wearing something other than jeans.

Last year the UK's Romantic Novelists' Association converged on the Savoy. Monday it was the turn of the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington to host the annual awards' luncheon.

Of all the awards up for grabs the one that concerns us here is the Romance Prize, which is for 'short' fiction.

So, the nominees are ...........

KATE HARDY for 'Breakfast at Giovanni's'

Her new Italian boss is the sexiest man alive!

Having just been fired, Francesca has three immediate requirements: a coffee, an extremely calorific pastry and a new job. Stopping off at her favourite cafe, Giovanni's, she manages to pick up all three!

Fran's new job working for darkly handsome Giovanni Mazetti is fantastic - except she soon discovers it comes with a tantalising caveat: pretending to be his adoring girlfriend! It's all to get Gio's interfering grandmother off his back, not to mention his parents, sisters, aunts... It's a tough life, but someone's got to kiss the oh-so-sexy Gio, and it might as well be her... if only it could be for real! But when the kisses start happening in private, Fran discovers that breakfast at Giovanni's has a whole new meaning... (Back blurb)

JULIE COHEN with 'Driving Him Wild'

Destination: desire...

When smart-mouthed New York City cab driver Zoe Drake finds a tall, dark and brooding man on her doorstep, she doesn't know what to think - does he want something, or has Christmas come early this year?

Nick Giroux is looking for his long-lost father - not a new-found woman! But there's something about him that makes Zoe let down her ice-cool defences. She'll use her profession to drive Nick to Maine...

...and maybe drive him wild on the way!

(Back Blurb)

FIONA HARPER with 'English Lord, Ordinary Lady'

Restoring his family's ancestral home is a huge undertaking for developer Will Roberts, but it comes with the title he's just inherited. As does Josie Harrington-Jones, who manages the tearoom on the premises. A single mother and reformed party girl, Josie has a real knack for the business end of things -- but she also has a few issues, and a secret. Her professional partnership with Will turns personal eventually, but Josie's not sure he's in love with the real her -- and it's a deal-breaker. (Romantic Times magazine review)

FIONA HARPER with 'Her Parenthood Assignment'

Divorced after seven years with an emotionally abusive man, Gaby Michaels is trying to find herself again. Taking a job as nanny to Dr. Luke Armstrong's teenage daughter, Heather, is a strong first step. Noticing and then falling in love with Luke should be another, but Gaby finds herself trying to compete with his dead wife -- and more mixed up than ever. Then Luke tells her the truth about his marriage. (Romantic Times magazine review)

LUCY GORDON with 'The Mediterranean Rebel's Bride'

Two years ago, motorbike manufacturer Ruggiero Rinucci had a magical fling with a mysterious woman, "Sapphire." Never able to forget -- or find -- her, Ruggiero's completely unprepared when nurse Polly Hanson informs him that "Sapphire" was her recently deceased cousin, Freda -- and he's a father. Paralyzed by grief, Ruggiero agrees to financially support the baby -- period. But Polly, who's attached to the child and has tender feelings for Ruggiero, doesn't let him off that easily. (Romantic Times Magazine review)


LIZ FIELDING with 'The Secret Life of Lady Gabriella'

When the fictional alter ego she created to prove a point is offered a lifestyle column in a high-profile magazine, widowed writer Ellie March decides to go with the flow and take the job. House-sitting for an absent boss while she writes it should be the perfect situation -- until Dr. Benedict Faulkner returns home unexpectedly. They slowly adjust to each other's quirks, but Ellie isn't ready to deal with her growing feelings for Ben -- she's still grieving for her husband. (Romantic Times Magazine review)

Top row: Fiona Harper, Lucy Gordon, Joanne Carr, Maddie Rowe. Middle row: Kim Young, Liz Fielding, Bryony Green, Julie Cohen. Front row: Sheila Hodgson and Kate Hardy.

And the winner is ..........

Because this is the bit where I'm fumbling with the golden envelope I was going to give you a picture of a golden envelope and then I remembered - you really only want to see my dress.

Fumble. Fumble.

The winner is ..............

Kate Hardy for 'Breakfast at Giovanni's'

Those of you who live in North America will get a chance to read it in April when Kate's book is being released as a Promotional Presents under the new title of 'In Bed With Her Italian Boss'. So, don't miss it.

Huge congratulations, Kate!!!

Sadly, this year, there were less M&B authors at the RNA's Award luncheon to give Kate a hug in person, but the reason for it is anything but sad.

Today, is Mills and Boon's Centenary. Now I would tell you all about it but the big party is tonight at the Wallace Collection in London. So, you'll need to come back on Saturday to hear how it all went ..........

Now what shall I wear????????????????????

With love

July saw the start of a brand-new series in the Presents line - The Royal House of Niroli - and it concludes this month.

"The Mediterranean island of Niroli has prospered for centuries under the Fierezza men. But now, as the King’s health declines, and his 2 sons have been tragically killed, the crown is in jeopardy. Who will rule? "

Book 1: The Future King's Pregnant Mistress - Penny Jordan
Book 2: Surgeon Prince ... Ordinary Wife - Melanie Milburne
Book 3: Bought By the Billionaire Prince - Carol Marinelli
Book 4: The Tycoon's Princess Bride - Natasha Oakley
Book 5: Expecting His Royal Baby - Susan Stephens
Book 6: the Prince's Forbidden Virgin - Robyn Donald
Book 7: Bride By Royal Apointment - Raye Morgan
Book 8: A Royal Bride At The Shiekh's Command - Penny Jordan

Natasha's book, 'The Tycoon's Princess Bride', is available NOW in the UK and North America - and is a Romantic Times Magazine Top Pick and nominated for the Romantic Times Best Presents Award of 2007.

Come visit Natasha at her blog!


  1. Great blog Natasha! Thanks for letting me imagine what it was like to be there. And great dress--you look like a total celebrity! *grin*

    Desperately looking forward to your Saturday blog about the M&B party. Sitting here in my sweatshirt with my hair a mess and piles of laundry everywhere, I really need a vicarious hit of glamour!

    And Kate, you're positively glowing over that trophy. Congratulations! Way to go, girl!

  2. Just wanted to say how thrilled I was to hear that Kate won the award — okay, I'll admit there was a bit of vicarious pleasure going on as I'm a fellow modern heat author (hey, I'm allowed to bask in her reflected glory too you know!).

    I met her for coffee that morning and she was so happy just to be nominated (bless!). I absolutely loved Breakfast at Giovanni's (Giovanni is a real hottie — and there's all those delicious lattes to enjoy too). And I also adored Julie Cohen's Driving Him Wild so I know what tough competition Kate had. Congrats again woman. And well done Natasha for bringing the event to life for those of us who couldn't be there.

  3. Great post, Nathasha. Congratulations to all the nominees, and especially to the winner, Kate!

  4. Thanks so much, Natasha. I'm still beaming my head off, four days later. Just thrilled.

    Hope you all had a fab time at the party last night. I was thinking of you :o) (and wishing I was there, too!)

    Kate H xx