12 Things I’ve Learned About Romance – from an ARRA Newbie

by Kendall Talbot

Romance readers are a crazy bunch. I don’t mean in a psycho nutty kind of way. I mean in a passionate, live-it-up kind of way. When I registered to attend my first ever Australian Romance Readers Association Annual Awards night, I knew I needed to be prepared for a big event. I wasn’t wrong.

Here’s what I learned at the ARRA night of nights:

  1. The ARRA community loves romance, champagne, killer heels, and bling. No nail polish, lipstick, or handbag colour is too bright.

  2. It’s exciting enough to win one award but when it comes to Helene Young, Anna Cowan, and Kylie Scott, each of these lovely, talented ladies won two.

  3. Twenty strangers preparing for their first kiss is guaranteed to keep an ARRA audience enthralled for at least five minutes.

  4. Bronwyn Parry’s weapon of choice is a knitting needle and Anna Campbell accepted her Continuing Romance Series Award even after she was ‘murdered’ in the mock who-done-it.

  5. Shannon Curtis may be fussy about the colour of her leather jacket, but she’s quick at finding all the handsome men in a crowd.

  6. Amy Andrews should be Holding Out For A Hero after her Contemporary Romance Award, because her medical skills may now be in question after failing to dress in appropriate nurses uniform.

  7. It’s completely acceptable to bring pink hand cuffs and a riding whip to an ARRA event.

  8. Of course, Kelly Hunter’s Short Category Romance Award was The One That Got Away.

  9. ARRA is now Allegiance Sworn to Kylie Griffin for her Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Futuristic Romance Award.

  10. I’m pretty sure Captain G and the other men in the crowd had something titillating to tell their workmates on Monday.

  11. Rachael Johns will have Outback Dreams forever with her Sexiest Hero Award.

  12. And Nalini Singh’s night of reckoning was completed with a Paranormal Romance Award.

The ARRA awards was a wonderful, fun, interesting and unpredictable night. A night that would never have begun without the support from all the passionate ARRA members and of course the sponsors: Harlequin Australia, Galaxy Bookshop, Steam eReads, Bronwen Evans, Escape Publishing, eXtasy Books, Imogene Nix, Booktopia.

There is one thing that was predictable though: When it comes to romance you can always guarantee you’ll have a ‘Happy Ending.’

Cheers to ARRA.

Kendall Talbot has played a number of roles in her life, and loves to visit new and exciting places. Her first novel Lost in Kakadu was nominated for three ARRA awards.

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