Jera’s Jamboree : Christina Courtenay wins Historical Romantic Novel Category

RONAJJ is delighted to be sharing this fabulous news!


Christina Courtenay, who divides her time between London and Hereford, was declared the winner of the Historical Category of the Romantic Novel of the Year Award on 17th March 2014.

The announcement, made by Darcey Bussell CBE, was for her novel The Gilded Fan, and to mark her success Christina was presented with a star-shaped crystal trophy by Ms Bussell during a glittering ceremony held in the Reading and Writing Room of the Gladstone Library, One Whitehall Place in London.

Christina Courtenay and Darcey Bussell_RONAS 2014

The Historical Novel Category is for books set in a period before 1960, and time slip novels can be included. Christina won in the face of fierce competition from Charlotte Betts, who was successful last year, Liz Harris, Joanna Hickson, Carol McGrath and Annie Murray.

Published by Choc Lit, The Gilded Fan is set in 1641 and follows the story of Midori Kumashiro, orphaned daughter of a warlord, who has to leave Japan or die; so flees to England. Although trained in the arts of war, will that be enough to help Midori survive a journey with a lecherous crew and an attractive captain that she doesn’t trust?

Having come to Nagasaki to trade, the last thing Captain Nico Noordholt wants is a female passenger, especially a beautiful one. How can he protect her from his crew when he can’t keep his own eyes off her? During the journey Nico and Midori form a tentative bond, but they both have secrets that can change everything. When they arrive in England a civil war is brewing, and only by standing together can they hope to survive.


The Gilded Fan was a ‘keeper’ for me.  You can read my review here.

The judges said of Christina’s novel, “Historically well done and accurate. The Japanese element was riveting, it was a compelling read.”

Congratulations to Christina Courtenay (and all the category winners!)

The category winners’ novels –

*A Night on the Orient Express – Veronica Henry
Contemporary Category

*The Fever Tree – Jennifer McVeigh
Epic category

*It’s Raining Men – Milly Johnson
Romantic Comedy

*Linked – Imogen Howson
Young Adult

For the past 50 years the RNA has set a benchmark in romantic fiction. Its President, Katie Fforde, commented, “The RNA was set up in 1961 to encourage the good writing of romantic fiction in all its many genres. We congratulate all of our category winners. To get this far and compete against some of the best authors in the land is no mean feat.”

Cover images for all the above novels, together with author photographs, can be found at:

High resolution pictures of the Romantic Novel of the Year Awards can be found in the media section of our website

About the Romantic Novelists’ Association

The RNA was formed in 1960 to promote romantic fiction and encourage good writing and now represents more than 700 writers, agents, editors and other publishing professionals. The Romantic Novel of the Year Award was launched in the same year, and recognises excellence in romantic novels thereby enhancing the standing of the genre.

The RNA has always involved readers in judging the awards. Keen readers are asked to rate nominated books on a number of criteria including romantic content, readability, characters, plot, dialogue, style and ending. These readers’ favourites are then presented to the expert independent judges, who decide the overall winners.

The 2013 Romantic Novel of the Year Award winner was Jenny Colgan, for Welcome to Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop of Dreams, published by Sphere. Other recent winners include Jane Lovering, Julia Gregson, Freya North, Rosie Thomas, Jojo Moyes and Philippa Gregory.

A list of past winners of RNA awards can be found at

Follow us on Twitter @RNATweets and on Facebook: Romantic Novelists’ Association, #TheRoNAs.


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