If you stop to think about it, romance is a genre that constantly reinvents itself. Within the required structure of the couple’s journey and a happy (or happy-for-now) ending, authors find endless ways to make the familiar new and exciting. Even the word novel—as in romance novel— means a story that is new or original. This group of audiobooks—as diverse as they are delightful—features characters who have to let go of the past to find something new. Our narrators have the challenge of realistically depicting the regret and reservations characters feel as they leave their old lives behind. Leave the past behind you and check out these new romance audiobooks.
In A LOT LIKE ADIÓS, narrator Seraphine Valentine delves into Gabe and Michelle’s backstory in Alexis Daria’s rom-com sequel to YOU HAD ME AT HOLA. Valentine’s delivery of the dialogue for this second-chance-at-love romance ranges from smoking hot to hilarious.
Narrator Tyla Collier escorts listeners through HOW TO MARRY KEANU REEVES IN 90 DAYS by K.M. Jackson. Determined to meet actor Keanu Reeves, Lu Carlisle undertakes a fun road trip with her BFF Truman Erikson. Perhaps her celebrity fantasy is standing in the way of a potential relationship that's closer at hand? Collier convincingly delivers all of Lu's entertaining musings.
THE SINGLES TABLE by Sara Desai and read by Soneela Nankani is another example of how leaving the past behind you sometimes takes a healthy dollop of humor. Zara and Jay meet while participating in friends’ wedding activities, and Nankani handles their distinct worldviews with an appealing mix of wit and sympathy. Zara may need to leave her matchmaking plans for Jay behind and say yes to their unlikely romance.
For our final recommendation, we step back into the past. Narrator Robert Ian Mackenzie takes on the challenging task of following two different timelines in eighteenth-century Scotland in Susanna Kearsley’s THE VANISHED DAYS. Mackenzie’s dignified portrayal of a widow who is seeking her husband’s military pension rings out in a clear yet magical Scottish accent that will entrance listeners.