Our task as judges was to go live six new lives. We hung out in a millionaire’s pad, the editorial department of a top magazine, a cake shop, an animal sanctuary, a regency theatre and we also went to the races. We met intelligent heroines, bright eyed and confident; we met intelligent heroines, bright eyed and absolutely convinced no man would give them a second glance. And the heroes? They weren’t all tall, dark and handsome (although some certainly were) but they did have one characteristic in common: they were all men you remembered after the story ended.
ALWAYS THE BRIDESMAID is a gentle love story. The heroine is a believable mix of contradictions: brave and shy, positive and indecisive, sexy and full of self doubt. And the cakes she bakes in her one woman business are as tempting as the handsome hero who captures her heart. Author: Nina Harrington
In contrast, CLAIMED FOR THE ITALIAN’S REVENGE is a story brimming with passion rather than love. Marco sweeps the heroine off her feet. He thinks it’s lust; he thinks it’s payback for something that happened in the past, but the reality is he has found the only woman he could ever love. Author: Natalie Rivers
A host of characters from a dyslexic wedding planner, to a teenager in a coma and a fifty something ex wife come together in THE WEDDING PARTY. This is an intriguing tale of love and loss that has many layers, all of them absorbing and all of them revolving around a second chance romance. Author: Sophie King
ANIMAL INSTINCTS is also a contemporary story. An animal sanctuary is on the brink of bankruptcy and a dashing property magnet shows a keen interest. But is it love or is it land that sets his pulse racing? A foul-mouthed parrot adds a running commentary to the on/off romance. Author Nell Dixon
The intelligent, compelling hero of THE NOTORIOUS MR HURST -- is matched by an equally intelligent, compelling heroine. In this Regency love story it is society and class prejudice that threatens to keep them apart and keeps the reader turning the page. Author Louise Allen
FAIR DECEPTION is also set in the Regency period but this time we go inside the world of touring theatre and meet a real villain. He’s not the kind you boo off the stage. He’s the kind you fear. The air of violence that surrounds everything the would-be seducer does brings real tension to a touching love story. Author: Jan Jones
And we had to choose the winner. It was a tough decision but the panel not only fell in love with the hero and heroine but also with the cast of characters: especially the celebrity-with-a-heart (and-a-drink-problem) and a parrot that just will not keep its beak shut. --- the Love Story of 2010 is Nell Dixon for ANIMAL INSTINCT