Valentine’s Day is coming around again, and it’s time to think about falling in love. Not with a person, but with an audiobook (of course). And a love affair with a romance audiobook is sort of a frame story — you’re relishing a captivating love story even as you have a serious crush on the narrator and the addictive performance they’ve just given to you as an additional gift.
Sometimes it’s love at first sight. Richard Armitage’s VENETIA had me at the introductory credits. It’s an elegant abridgment paired with Armitage’s melted butter voice.
by Georgette Heyer, Read by Richard Armitage
Other times, you fall in love with the whole package. Renee Raudman’s readings of Ilona Andrews’s fantasy romances build and weave to a crescendo. With so many memorable characters and scenes, there can’t be one favorite moment.
And then there are the surprises. I don’t know what I expected when I listened to Laura Kinsale’s UNCERTAIN MAGIC, read by Nicholas Boulton, but the exquisite mix of production quality and deeply developed vocal characterization impressed even this picky listener.
by Laura Kinsale, Read by Nicholas Boulton
AudioFile Earphones Award
I imagine you have your own audio crushes, too. Did I say that you should fall in love with an audiobook? I’ve changed my mind. Fall in love with all of them — it’s not cheating to spread your audio love around.
RT Book Reviews celebrates the awards season with the nominees for 2016 RT (Romantic Times) Awards that include the Reviewers’ Choice Best Book Awards and Career Achievement Best Author Awards. Two new awards are included for the first time: RT Review Source and AudioFile’s 2016 Best Romance Novel Narrator.
We are delighted to sponsor the Best Romance Narrator Award as part of our recent partnership with RT Book Reviews. AudioFile’s newest romance audiobook reviews now appear weekly on the RT Book Reviews website.
The focus for BEST ROMANCE NARRATOR is, of course, the audio performance. And the nominees for AudioFile’s first ever Romance NARRATOR Award 2016 are . . .
Nicholas Boulton brings a certain magic to his romance narrations. Sometimes intense, sometimes passionate, and sometimes inscrutable, Nicholas’s audiobook work in historical romance continues to garner raves from listeners and reviewers. His work with author Laura Kinsale has created remarkable audiobooks.
Jim Frangione intrigued listeners with his multilingual performance of Christine Feehan’s paranormal romance. As AudioFile‘s review raves, “Narrator Jim Frangione and author Christine Feehan are like chocolate and peanut butter — dark and delicious.” Frangione is equally well known for his narration of J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series, where “Frangione’s commanding narration shows listeners the ‘all-in’ nature of the characters.” Jim also narrates mystery, fiction, and children’s audiobook titles, including works by Dennis Lehane and Spencer Quinn.
Romantic fiction is a genre Landor has spent a lot of time with, narrating works by Lisa Kleypas, Johanna Lindsey, Julie Garwood, Mary Balogh, and Eloisa James. She feels passionate about it and embraces romance’s particular challenges for the narrator. “It requires a very specific discipline in giving voice to the male and female characters,” Landor says, “especially to switch in and out of the male and female roles and play both sides of an intensely passionate scene. It’s made me appreciate how well these authors understand the male/female perspective.”
Narrator of over 150 audiobooks, Saskia was raised in New Zealand and France and now lives in New York City. She’s able to switch seamlessly between accents and can often be heard speaking in British, Australian, New Zealand, and various European accents, in addition to her natural American accent. Her romance audiobooks include titles by Nora Roberts, Heather Graham, Maya Rodale, and Katharine Ashe.
London-born Steve West has an active film and stage career as well as more than 100 audiobook credits to his name. Steve can adopt a rich, rolling style for a nineteenth-century sea captain or embody a light, breathy, and genuine young heroine, then can switch easily to a menacing villain. His versatility is a great asset in his audiobook narrations. Steve’s audiography includes suspense, history, science fiction, and teen audiobooks.
The BEST ROMANCE NOVEL NARRATOR winner will be announced on Friday, May 5, 2017, at RT’s annual convention, held this year in Atlanta, Georgia. For information about the convention and its many events for romance lovers, authors, and industry professionals, see RTConvention.com
Good luck to these incredibly talented narrators, and thanks to the skilled writers who made their work possible.
Check out all nominees in all the RT Awards categories HERE
“A stunning rendition of what it really means to be in recovery.”—Narrator Julia Whelan
GIRL IN PIECES
Kathleen Glasgow, read by Julia Whelan
Earphones Award Winner
Julia’s ability to bring listeners inside a story is why we selected this teen title for an Editors’ Pick, as well as one of the 2016 Best Audiobooks. Delivering the contrasting and evolving emotions of Charlie’s battles, Julia delivers a listening experience that will not be soon forgotten. The author Kathleen Glasgow’s afterword tells of her personal trials and offers resources. Read AudioFile’s full review here.
Find more recent audiobooks narrated by Julia!
Want more new TEEN Audiobook choices? Check the latest reviews HERE.
Not your grandfather’s Holmes . . . AudioFile goes Behind the Mic to talk with narrator Kate Reading. We learn something surprising and delicious about the new Lady Sherlock series from author Sherry Thomas.
“Charlotte loves to eat, and there are the most wonderful descriptions of food—so delicious!”—Narrator Kate Reading
A STUDY IN SCARLET WOMEN
Sherry Thomas, read by Kate Reading
Earphones Award Winner
The novel is centered around Charlotte Holmes, and listeners learn about this remarkable young woman with a gift for “discernment” and for getting into trouble. Kate Reading’s aristocratic British voices are spot-on, depicting characters who are funny, touching, romantic, suspenseful, haughty, old, young, wealthy, or poor. Listen to a sound clip and read AudioFile’s full review here!
For more Holmes, check out the new anthology ECHOES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES, edited by Laurie R. King. Kate Reading join an ensemble of favorite narrators in this collection of short stories that relate to the original Sherlock Holmes.
And for more audiobooks by Kate Reading, explore her audiography of titles.
Don’t miss any of the newest audiobook Mystery reviews.
New mystery & suspense reviews published each week HERE.
As women in a secret investment club go missing, Claire and Max race the clock to locate a killer. Narrator Amanda Leigh Cobb matches Jayne Ann Krentz’s no-nonsense style in this tightly-plotted mystery with a second-chance romance.
When All the Girls Have Gone
Jayne Ann Krentz, read by Amanda Leigh Cobb
Narrator Amanda Leigh Cobb chronicles Charlotte Sawyer’s glorious escape from her staid comfort zone in Krentz’s romantic suspense novel. Charlotte convinces private investigator Max Cutler to collaborate as she seeks answers about her missing sister Jocelyn’s murky investment club. This is a great mystery, even if you don’t figure out “who done it” until the very end. [Trigger warning: a few moderately detailed episodes of sexual violence.] Hear a sound clip and read AudioFile’s full review here.
Browse more audiobooks narrated by Amanda Leigh Cobb!
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