Holiday Romance is in the Air

4 New Holiday Audiobooks

A Very Merry Romance

A Very Merry RomanceApplaud my restraint. I have waited until November to post holiday audiobook reviews. Just ask my coworkers—it was June when I announced the schedule for a certain “Countdown to Christmas” holiday movie festival that I plan my weekends around. So for my fellow Christmas-philes, these audiobooks should add to your festive spirit.

A VERY MERRY ROMANCE
by Brenda Jackson, read by Ron Butler
Harlequin Audio
AudioFile Earphones Award

Narrator Ron Butler doesn’t take sides as he presents the romantic journey of Marilyn Bannister and Jonathan Madaris. A Houston principal, Jonathan can’t date his new teacher, so he secretly transfers her to begin his courtship. Butler embodies the suave confidence Jonathan uses to attract Marilyn’s attention and overcome her misgivings while subtly differentiating Marilyn’s dialogue. The holiday warmth comes near the end of the recording, so this is a good warm-up to the holiday season.    Read more…

Caitlin is a librarian from Connecticut who enjoys great narrators and happy endings. She has been reviewing audiobooks for Audiofile Magazine since 2006, and she has had the privilege of judging numerous Audie Award categories since 2009. Her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and whatever she's listening to right now!

4 Comfort Audiobooks That Make Everything Better

Have Cold, Will Listen

The Perfect Lover

The Perfect LoverI’ve been under the weather with a very bad cold, and there hasn’t been much that’s made me happy, with the exception of Simon Prebble’s narration of THE PERFECT LOVER by Stephanie Laurens. Whenever the misery gets especially miserable, I hit play and sink into his all-encompassing storytelling. THE PERFECT LOVER is one of Laurens’s early “Cynster” novels, recently recorded by Prebble, and it makes ideal comfort listening. The main character, Simon (okay, yes, two Simons), arrives at a Regency house party and is immediately intrigued by a longtime acquaintance, Portia. Prebble’s aloof yet dominant voice for Cynster embodies aristocratic arrogance without a smidge of overacting. (Important aside — I would really like that voice for the emergency alert system on the radio . . . and my GPS . . . and my voicemail.) Read more…

Caitlin is a librarian from Connecticut who enjoys great narrators and happy endings. She has been reviewing audiobooks for Audiofile Magazine since 2006, and she has had the privilege of judging numerous Audie Award categories since 2009. Her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and whatever she's listening to right now!

John Lane, Audie Award-Winning Romance Narrator

Meet the voice behind some of your favorites

John Lane

AudioFile Magazine was thrilled to catch up with narrator John Lane fresh off of his Audie Award win in the Erotica category for CLAIM & PROTECT by Rhenna Morgan. We know you’ll enjoy getting to know a bit more about him!

AudioFile Magazine: What was it like winning the Audie Award this year?

Claim & ProtectJohn Lane: Honestly, I was absolutely floored. It was a first Audie nomination and first win for me, for Harlequin Audio, and for the amazing producer Suzanne Mitchell who is just the most lovely person . . . it was really special to share that moment with all of them. The other narrators in the category were/are some of the absolute best in the business and even though I knew CLAIM & PROTECT was a really great title, there was no way any of us could have known it would end up where it did. I think when you try to do your 100% best on every single sentence of every single title, anything can happen. I was honored just to be nominated with that group but there was no way I expected to win. In fact, I think maybe the first thing I did after they called out the title at the Audies was turn to my good friend Neil Hellegers, who was sitting next to me, and say “no *gosh-darn* way!” (or, you know, something maybe a little less appropriate for print). Read more…

Caitlin is a librarian from Connecticut who enjoys great narrators and happy endings. She has been reviewing audiobooks for Audiofile Magazine since 2006, and she has had the privilege of judging numerous Audie Award categories since 2009. Her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and whatever she's listening to right now!

The Romantic Tropes That Listeners Love

Admit it—we all have our favorites

Romance Covers

Romance CoversWhile mystery and science fiction certainly have tropes that weave through the genres—romance rules for recognizable storylines. In the early years of Harlequin et al., certain romantic tropes could not be avoided: boss/secretary, nurse/patient, and teacher/widower-with-son stories were thick on the ground. (Some of the more random ones that I particularly enjoyed were woman inherits castle in remote location, person rescued from waves with amnesia, and man suspects woman of having May/December affair with his father, but really it’s platonic.) Read more…

Caitlin is a librarian from Connecticut who enjoys great narrators and happy endings. She has been reviewing audiobooks for Audiofile Magazine since 2006, and she has had the privilege of judging numerous Audie Award categories since 2009. Her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and whatever she's listening to right now!

Fall Preview — 5 Romances Not to Miss

Queue Up Your Player for Romance

The Proposal

I love getting romance previews, and it’s double the fun on audio. Great authors, great narrators, great storylines — it’s hard to wait until publication day! Here are some intriguing audiobooks coming soon to your fall playlist.

Read more…

Caitlin is a librarian from Connecticut who enjoys great narrators and happy endings. She has been reviewing audiobooks for Audiofile Magazine since 2006, and she has had the privilege of judging numerous Audie Award categories since 2009. Her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and whatever she's listening to right now!

5 Audiobooks to Satisfy the Crazy Rich Asians Fix

We’ve got you covered

Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich AsiansSo you fell in love with the lavish, over-the-top Cinderella story set in Singapore—portrayed in the popular movie Crazy Rich Asians and in the audiobooks of the series

If you’re looking to recreate some part of the joyful film experience, we’ve picked some superb audiobooks that just might fit the bill. They’re loosely categorized by thematic similarity so that you can easily find the perfect audiobook to suit your mood. Read more…

Caitlin is a librarian from Connecticut who enjoys great narrators and happy endings. She has been reviewing audiobooks for Audiofile Magazine since 2006, and she has had the privilege of judging numerous Audie Award categories since 2009. Her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and whatever she's listening to right now!

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

Money Can’t Buy Happiness, But It Makes for a Great Story

A Duke by Default

Up In FlamesGod rest Robin Leach, who brought the show “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” (1984-1995) to television. During the show, Leach’s outsized personality narrated tours of opulent palaces and pads, the likes of which ordinary people couldn’t imagine existed. As a gentle homage, here are a few recent romance audiobooks that mix wealth, fame, and falling in love. Celebrity romances may not last, but these will! As Leach used to say, may you have “champagne wishes and caviar dreams.”  Read more…

Caitlin is a librarian from Connecticut who enjoys great narrators and happy endings. She has been reviewing audiobooks for Audiofile Magazine since 2006, and she has had the privilege of judging numerous Audie Award categories since 2009. Her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and whatever she's listening to right now!

Do I Have to Listen in Order?

4 New Romance Series Starters

The Start of Something Good

The Start of Something GoodI am, usually through every fault of my own, a person who reads series out of order. I’ve started in the middle of series by Elizabeth Peters, Marissa Meyer, Lemony Snicket, and JD Robb (all on audio, mind you), and I’ve lived to tell the tale. So, far be it from me to judge, but I do pay attention to “Book 1” reviews — that is to say, a review of the first audiobook in a new romance series. A Book 1 review gives you, the discerning listener (because you can see that I’m a hopeless cause) the chance to start from the beginning and enjoy an ongoing romance experience that makes chronological, logical sense. And, yay, here are four new ones! Three contemporaries and a historical by mostly big-name authors and well known narrators, so you can’t go wrong here. I hope you love your listening, in whatever order you choose. Read more…

Caitlin is a librarian from Connecticut who enjoys great narrators and happy endings. She has been reviewing audiobooks for Audiofile Magazine since 2006, and she has had the privilege of judging numerous Audie Award categories since 2009. Her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and whatever she's listening to right now!

4 Romance Earphones Winners

Good Narration Is Always Sexy

Nicholas Boulton
Nicholas Boulton
Nicholas Boulton

How many times have you listened to a narrator, and thought, “I could listen to that person read the telephone book”? (Yes, there are still telephone books at my house . . . like old-school Yelp.)

Maybe it’s the gritty timbre of his voice. Maybe it’s her turn of phrase, or the hint of humor he manages to insouciantly toss into dialogue. Maybe it’s her sweet tone that draws you into the recording. All of which is to say —when a narrator has IT, you know.

Mary Jane Wells
Mary Jane Wells

So, here IT is — two romance AudioFile Earphones Award-winning titles — A MATCH MADE IN BED and BESOTTED WITH THE VISCOUNT. And to sweeten the pot, we’ve paired them with two more Earphones titles from these same narrators.

Imagine I’ve just handed you four delicious chocolate bars — there’s no possible way you can go wrong with any of these audiobooks. Of course, I recommend you listen to all four of them. Click through on each review below to hear a clip of the audiobook and sample them for yourself! Your audioshelf awaits — so be sure to love your listening. Read more…

Caitlin is a librarian from Connecticut who enjoys great narrators and happy endings. She has been reviewing audiobooks for Audiofile Magazine since 2006, and she has had the privilege of judging numerous Audie Award categories since 2009. Her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and whatever she's listening to right now!

A Summer Listening Vacation

Do you have guilty pleasure audiobooks, too?

Caitlin Augusta blueberry picking

As a librarian, I tend to avoid summer vacations. It’s a busy time at work, so I live vicariously through my patrons’ vacations, asking them where they are going and making a mental map in my head of their journeys.

Caitlin Augusta blueberry picking
Mini vacation — blueberry picking

But . . . there are all kinds of vacations. So last week I took a “vacation” from my generally ginormous AudioFile listening queue. Going “off list” is a big deal for me. It always feels like a guilty pleasure. But where to start? I still have the goal of listening to all the Elizabeth Peters Amelia Peabody titles, and I’d like to re-listen to A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES, since it features Oxford’s Bodleian Library.

Influenced by the stack I splurged on from the Audiobookstand closing-shop clearance sale (sad, very sad), I decided to go with Ilona Andrews’s CLEAN SWEEP (Innkeeper Chronicles, Book 1), narrated by Renee Raudman. Read more…

Caitlin is a librarian from Connecticut who enjoys great narrators and happy endings. She has been reviewing audiobooks for Audiofile Magazine since 2006, and she has had the privilege of judging numerous Audie Award categories since 2009. Her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and whatever she's listening to right now!