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Romance Reader Awards

15th Nov 2013

Romance Reader Awards
Last weekend the only UK-based Romance Festival took place in Bedford – we look at the books that won its annual awards.

It has long been a bugbear of For Books’ Sake that romance, chick lit and erotica are belittled in the UK, with very few events to celebrate the diversity and sheer impressiveness of the industry’s output.

Things seem, however, to be changing. With Eroticon coming up to its third year in March and the Festival of Romance celebrating its third year as the UK’s only romance conference, things are looking up for fans of the genre.

Here’s the 2013 winners of the FoR’s annual Romance Reader awards:

Reader Award for Best Romantic Read (contemporary set romantic novels)
Set, like her debut novel, in Cornwall, Liz Fenwick’s A Cornish Affair stars a runaway bride who takes on the mammoth task of cataloguing the Trevillion family’s library. With a mysterious twist, this was a very popular choice for a fairly new author and it’s really good to see lesser known writers be given a real chance in major awards.

Reader Award for Best Historical Read (romantic novels set prior to 1961 including time slip)
Well-respected in the romance community for her award-winning depictions of the impact of the Plague and the Great Fire of London, in ‘The Spice Merchant’s WifeCharlotte Betts returns to London in the aftermath of the Great Fire. Kate, a penniless widow, is just putting her life together again (complete with lover) when her husband’s murderer comes looking for her.

Reader Award for Best Romantic Ebook
Beyond Grace’s Rainbow is a poignant tale of a single mother, whose diagnosis of cancer coincides with the return of her alcoholic ex-boyfriend. Carmel Harrington treats each of the issues raised (alcoholism, adoption and the big C) with sensitivity and humour. Well worth a read.

Reader Award for Best Short Romantic Novel
We’re a massive fan of Mills & Boon’s new ModernTempted imprint and Fiona Harper‘s The Rebound Guy was on our TBR list pretty much from the outset. Kelly is another in M&B’s line of divorced heroines, busting the myth that M&B always classes marriage as a Happily Ever After, and her entanglement with Jason reboots the boss/PA trope.

Reader Award for Best Author Published Read
A one night stand gone wrong – it’s not exactly Austen – but No One Ever Has Sex on a Tuesday by Tracy Bloom is charming, witty and takes a look at what unexpected pregnancies can do to the parties involved.