We are thrilled that The Promise of Summer by Bella Osborne is the joint winner of the Jane Wenham-Jones Award for Romantic Comedy at the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s annual Romantic Novel Awards for 2022. The awards celebrate excellence in romantic fiction in all its forms.
The Promise of Summer was initially published as a four-part serial and follows the unlikely pairing of singleton Ruby and socially-awkward Curtis, as they work together to reunite a lost engagement ring with its owner. But can they find their own happy ever after along the way?
Bella commented, “I’m absolutely thrilled and honoured to have won. It means so much that readers enjoyed this romantic comedy about how first impressions can be so wrong. There’s nothing better than knowing you’ve made someone laugh and in current times we need happy endings more than ever. It takes a lot of people to get a book to publication, especially in the middle of a pandemic, so I am indebted to my fabulous publishing team at Avon, HarperCollins, my agent, Kate Nash, booksellers, librarians and book bloggers and my family who have been so supportive throughout my writing career.”
Sharon Ibbotson, the Awards Coordinator for the Romantic Novelists’ Association, added, “Bella Osborne has written a wonderfully funny and witty book which delighted our readers. We are thrilled to see her win (with joint winner Kathryn Freeman) the Jane Wenham-Jones Award for Romantic Comedy, and offer her our sincere congratulations.”
Since their inception in 1960, the Romantic Novel Awards have recognised outstanding romantic fiction and previous winners include Philippa Gregory, Joanna Trollope and Rosamunde Pilcher.
The award categories for this year were as follows: The Fantasy Romantic Novel Award, the Jackie Collins Award for Romantic Thrillers, the Katie Fforde Debut Romantic Novel Award, the Christmas/Festive Holiday Romantic Novel Award, the Shorter Romantic Novel Award, the Romantic Saga Award, the Jane Wenham-Jones Award for Romantic Comedy, the Historical Romantic Novel Award, the Contemporary Romantic Novel Award, and the Popular Romantic Fiction Award (voted by librarians, booksellers and book bloggers/reviewers). The Outstanding Achievement Award will be presented later this year.
The winners of the awards were announced and presented by actor Larry Lamb during the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Romantic Novel Awards ceremony, which was held at the Leonardo Royal Hotel London City, on Monday 7th March 2022.
Kathryn Freeman is also the joint winner of the Jane Wenham-Jones Award for Romantic Comedy with her novel, Mr Right Across the Street.