Lovering's Please Don't Stop the Music triumphed over nominations from better known authors such as Katie Fforde and two-time winner Rosie Thomas.
The award, which recognises excellence in romantic novels, began in 1960.
Lovering received her prize from news anchor Kay Burley at the annual ceremony in London on Thursday.
The winner was chosen from a shortlist compiled of category winners from the Romantic Novelists' Association's annual RONA awards, which took place earlier this year.
Judges said it was "a narrow choice" between Lovering - winner of the Romantic Comedy Novel award - and Thomas's The Kashmir Shawl, winner of the Epic Romantic Novel award.
More at BBC