In which everyone played a game called Have A Drink Each Time Anna Campbell Accepts An Award…and everyone ended up drunk.
This year’s Australian Romance Reader Awards was dominated by historical romance author Anna Campbell, who took home the award for Favourite Australian Author, which she has won since 2010*. Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed won Favourite Historical Romance, a category in which Campbell has never lost. She also won all three minor awards for Favourite Meeting Between Hero and Heroine, Favourite Love Scene, and Favourite Cover. Since 2010*, she has not lost an award for she has been nominated.
Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series was awarded Favourite Continuing Series. Singh remains undefeated in this category since it was first awarded in 2010*.
The biggest upset of the night was in the Favourite Sci-Fi, Fantasy or Futuristic Romance, which was awarded to Kylie Griffin for Alliance Forged (accepted by Anna Campbell) and breaks Nalini Singh’s three-year run in this category. In a similar vein, Kaz Delaney won Favourite Paranormal Romance for Dead, Actually (accepted by Paula Roe), beating an impressive list of finalists, including J. R. Ward, Nalini Singh and Kresley Cole. Favourite Erotic Romance went to the only non-Australian winner of the night, Sylvia Day, for Bared to You (accepted by ARRA).
Two categories featured all-Australian finalists. The Favourite Short Category Award went to Kelly Hunter for Cracking the Dating Code, despite three other authors being twice-nominated in category. Rachael Johns won Favourite Contemporary Romance for Jilted and gave a somewhat teary but very gracious acceptance speech.
Bronwyn Parry also gave an emotional speech when she accepted the award for Favourite Romantic Suspense for Dead Heat. She previously won this award in 2010* and this year beat Nora Roberts, who was nominated three times (twice as J. D. Robb) in the same category.
The awards were presented at the 2013 Australian Romance Readers Convention at The Mercure, Brisbane. Titles for the major awards were nominated by readers, and the winners were voted on by members of the Australian Romance Readers Association (ARRA). This year, three members’ choice awards were given out for the first time. The categories as well as the winners for these minor awards were chosen by ARRA members.
In the minor awards, which were all won by Anna Campbell, the runners-up were Taming the Tycoon by Amy Andrews for Favourite Meeting Between Hero and Heroine, Bride by Mistake by Anne Gracie for Favourite Love Scene, and Blood Kin by M. J. Scott for Favourite Cover.
ARRA members only prizes were presented. Winners included Aimee, who won the the Member of the Year competition, and Barbara, who won the Reader Challenge competition.
The Bling Off tiara was passed on by outgoing Queen of Bling, Melissa Craig (Tracey O’Hara, who tied for the prize last year, was unable to attend), to Melissa, whose outfit included a hand-beaded overdress and bra, home-made fascinator, and dazzling shoes. Apparently, she took about a week to bling-ify her outfit. Our very own Allison (Decadence) and Nas won the runner-up prizes. Kate Cuthbert and I selected the prize winners based on a variety of factors, all of which were completely subjective.
* Note: Awards presented in 2010 were for the previous year’s books