Romance Audio Spotlight: 2019 Reviewer Favorites

7 Memorable Listens from AudioFile’s Romance Reviewers

Romance Audio Spotlight 2019 Reviewer Favorites

As I was starting to put together my last Tease post of the year, I realized that what I really wanted to spotlight was our AudioFile romance reviewer family. Our reviewers get excited about every genre of romance, and we share a love of love-themed audiobooks! As 2019 comes to a close, I would like to thank our reviewers for their professionalism and their commitment to long hours of listening. In addition, I’ve polled a couple of our reviewers about their personal favorite listens of the past year—the titles that made us supremely happy—so that we can share them with you.

From Katie:

The Bride Test
Band Sinister

Like just about everyone else, I fell in love with Esme in THE BRIDE TEST by Helen Hoang. Her journey is so wonderful, and it really made the book a standout for me. Emily Woo Zeller is a great narrator who did an amazing job with Esme and Khai and is someone who I always enjoy listening to. 

BAND SINISTER introduced me to both author KJ Charles and narrator Cornell Collins, and I absolutely swooned. The story is a surprisingly sweet one about found family and pokes gentle fun at the fabulous, overwrought excesses of Gothic novels. It was a great introduction to Charles’s work, and I’m now slowly working my way through her oeuvre. 

From Stephanie:

The One Who Stays
Down & Dirty

I had four favorites. In THE ONE WHO STAYS by Toni Blake, narrator Ann Marie Gideon really makes you feel like you are on summer island.

Narrator John Lane does super sexy very well, especially the hero’s sexy Scottish accent in Rhenna Morgan’s DOWN & DIRTY.

The Best Of Us
Gimmie Some Sugar

In Robin Carr’s THE BEST OF US, narrator Thérèse Plummer deftly handles all the characters in the book’s three different romances.

Finally, GIMME SOME SUGAR by Molly Harper and narrated by Amanda Ronconi is the perfect marriage between narrator and author. This is my book crack. Ronconi perfectly matches Harper’s snarky humor.

From Caitlin:

Sprig MuslinI picked an older recording that my mother and I shared in the car together this year. My mom is not a huge audiobook person, but she knows that when we’re in the car, that’s the deal. So any audio that she praises is worth noting. Thanks for being a great road trip passenger, Mom! 

When we started Georgette Heyer’s classic historical romantic adventure SPRIG MUSLIN, narrator Siân Phillips’s arch tone immediately filled the car. Gareth’s misadventures with an opinionated young heiress lead to sparks and an unexpected resolution. 

We approach 2020 with a festive and grateful spirit—let us know the audiobooks that made you happy this year as we look forward to new listening in the new year!

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!

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