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Jane Lovering has scooped this year's Romantic Novel of the Year award for Please Don't Stop the Music from a strong shortlist that included novels by Christina Courtenay, Katie Fforde, Caroline Green and Rosie Thomas. The panel of judges described Jane's voice as "fresh and new with an unexpected hero", and included WH Smith's Matt Bates, Foyles' Jonathan Ruppin, Jane Mays from The Daily Mail and The Bookseller's Sarah Broadhurst. Please Don't Stop the Music was singled out by the judges for its "dark undertones" and for engaging with "issues a lot of people recognise". Kay Burley from Sky News presented Jane Lovering with the large glass trophy at the RNA's Summer Party where the award was announced on Thursday evening along with the RNA New Writers' Award which went to debut novelist Evonne Wareham. “Don’t give me a big glass bowl," Jane said on receiving the presentation. "Me and a big glass bowl aren’t a good idea. If anyone had told me ten years ago in the middle of single parenthood and small children that I was going to win this award I would have wet myself. Quite frankly I still might!”
Please Don't Stop the Music tells of jewellery designer Jemima, whose attempts to keep her past a secret flounder when she runs into Ben, the former front man of a famous indie rock band with his own deep secret. Please Don't Stop the Music is published by indie publisher Choc Lit.
"I was overwhelmed to have won, given the company I was in," Jane told Romantic Fiction Online. "All the books were terrific, and I am amazed and delighted that the judges picked Please Don't Stop the Music. It was a truly fantastic evening and everyone will tell you how totally shocked I was to have won - so shocked I walked back across London (plus one Tube trip) with no shoes on and two balloons tied to my wrist...."
“It’s taken me 25 years of writing to publish a book," Jane said when she won the Romantic Comedy of the Year award earlier this year. "If I can do it, anybody can. So go for it, girls!”
Romantic Novel of the Year has been awarded by the RNA since 1960 and past winners include Jojo Moyes, Julia Gregson, Freya North and Philippa Gregory.
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