We're featuring six romance audiobooks with different twists—public image, family pressure, and more—on the fake relationship motif. But while the romantic relationships in these audiobooks may start out fake, the narrator talent on display here is real.
In narrator Weruche Opia’s Earphones Award-winning performance of HONEY & SPICE by Bolu Babalola, college student and radio host Kiki Banjo sees a fake relationship with filmmaker Malakai Korede as essential to her present image and future prospects. Opia re-creates factions within the Afro-Caribbean society of an English college with perfect verisimilitude.
Nowhere is public perception more important than in the entertainment industry. Listeners can digest the intricacies of Hollywood showmanship in Ava Wilder’s HOW TO FAKE IT IN HOLLYWOOD, narrated by Thérèse Plummer and Andrew Eiden. The publicity-driven relationship and the complicated emotions behind it are well showcased by the narrators.
A superb example of nontraditional gender roles pairs a female protection agent and her male celebrity client in THE BODYGUARD by Katherine Center, read by Patti Murin. Explaining Hannah’s presence in a small Texas ranch town involves the fake girlfriend story. Murin spins voices for a varied cast of characters that serve as a backdrop to Hannah and Jack’s unexpected romance.
HOPELESSLY BROMANTIC by Lauren Blakely and narrated by Shane East, Teddy Hamilton, and a full cast starts with a fun meet-cute—TJ and Jude meet in London after TJ loses his luggage and needs new threads. Hamilton’s self-deprecating voice for TJ is a great foil for East’s deeper voice for Jude, and listeners will find it easier to believe in their chemistry than in their fake relationship.
In another across-the-pond romance, narrator Zara Hampton-Brown performs NO RINGS ATTACHED by Rachel Lacey. Lia, an Englishwoman in New York, needs a date to her brother’s wedding in England. Enter Grace, an ex-pat American living in England, who steps in to save the day. Hampton-Brown has a lovely, lilting British accent that has a rhythmic pace in dialogue. She’s able to switch quickly to American voices, too.
Family pressure is also a factor in A PROPOSAL THEY CAN'T REFUSE by Natalie Caña and read by Valentina Ortiz. Kamilah’s Puerto Rican Chicago grandfather wants her to date his Irish American friend’s grandson Liam Kane. To take the restaurant to the next level, Kamilah agrees to a fake relationship with Liam. Ortiz has a warm, deeper voice and runs through Spanish phrases and Irish accents with ease.