We’re so delighted to share that Mills & Boon Historical author Melissa Oliver won The Joan Hessayon Award for new writers at the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) online awards ceremony on Saturday 5th September, in this its 60th Anniversary year.
There was a record number of contenders this year and Melissa’s debut book for the Historical series, The Rebel Heiress and the Knight, was shortlisted alongside 20 other debut novels, which showcased a wide-range of stories across the romance genre – from rom-coms to romantic suspense stories to historical romantic fiction.
The RNA praised the novel’s ‘very real characters’ and enjoyed how ‘the history was beautifully woven into the story’, calling it ‘an excellent example of its genre’ and ‘a very strong debut’. And RNA Chair, Alison May commented ‘The Rebel Heiress and the Knight is a fantastic debut, combining action, intrigue and engaging emotion. In an incredibly strong year for the Joan Hessayon Award, with an unprecedented number of contenders, choosing a winner was a real challenge, but Melissa Oliver’s debut blew us away with the quality of the writing and the emotional depth of the romance depicted’.
Melissa’s editor Charlotte Ellis said: ‘I’m completely thrilled for Melissa winning this award with her fabulous debut! And so proud of her achievement. The Rebel Heiress and the Knight is a romantic tale of secrets and adventure packed with emotion and romance. With a strong, independent heroine at its heart, who finds herself a true partner in her incredibly – and irresistibly – sexy warrior hero, you won’t want to put this story down!’
Melissa Oliver said: ‘I’m elated and totally over the moon at becoming the 2020 Romantic Novelists’ Association, Joan Hessayon Award winner for The Rebel Heiress and the Knight. To get the ‘Call’ last November, affording me the incredible opportunity to write for Mills and Boon Historical was amazing enough but this is really the cherry on top- especially as my debut was amongst 20 other wide-reaching genres within romantic fiction. I’d like to thank the RNA, Dr Hessayon, who generously sponsors the award, the judges, my editor and the whole Mills and Boon team x’
Please join us in congratulating Melissa Oliver on Twitter! Make sure to head to our social media channels for your chance to win a copy of Melissa’s award-winning romance, The Rebel Heiress and the Knight, or purchase your own copy here.