Romance Is About Family

Narrators Justine Eyre, Rosalyn Landor, and Tanya Eby remind us of the joys of home

Family by the fireWe’re wrapping up our 2018 romance audiobook journey with titles about family. More than likely, you’ve spent some part of the last week with some portion of your family. And, more than likely, you have mixed feelings about that! You’re thrilled to see them, you love their kids, but then you remember, they never show up on time for dinner and they don’t make the gravy/mashed potatoes/green bean casserole the way mom/grandma/Aunt Mary used to. Family is this inescapable gift of stress and aggravation that you wouldn’t trade for anything. So, in the spirit of surviving your time with family in the best way possible, enjoy some romances that feature family dynamics. Love your family and love ALL your 2018 listening.

Promises and Primroses

PROMISES AND PRIMROSES: The Proper Romance Mayfield Family Regency, Book 1
by Josi S. Kilpack, read by Justine Eyre
Blackstone Audio

There’s no better way to tackle family dynamics than through the pleasantly remote lens of historical romance! Narrator Justine Eyre leads off the Mayfield Family series with her strong portrayal of family scion (and meddler) Lord Elliott Mayfield as he sets out on his “marriage campaign” on behalf of his single family members. Eyre pairs up widower Peter and his children’s governess Julia with a natural ease and the elan that marks her as a staple of the romance audio world. British accents and a varied cast of characters make this title an audio winner.

Highland Betrayal

HIGHLAND BETRAYAL: The Sons of Gregor MacLeod, Book 3
by Alyson McLayne, read by Rosalyn Landor
Recorded Books

Scottish romances have been thick on the ground this year, and how lovely to be able to round out the year with HIGHLAND BETRAYAL, narrated by the talented, humorous Rosalyn Landor. In McLayne’s series, five highland Lairds are fostered as brothers, each facing danger, a mystery, and a tempestuous love story. In the third installment, Landor plays up the gruff Scottish warriors’ deadpan humor with distinctive dialogue and zinging pacing. Managing the characters of the five brothers as well as clan members while moving Maggie and Callum’s challenging courtship forward takes a strong narrative style which Landor manages with a versatile grace. If you’ve been facing too much holiday stress, then then take a breather and enjoy all three titles currently available; you can’t go wrong with HIGHLAND CONQUEST and HIGHLAND PROMISE.

Why Not Tonight

WHY NOT TONIGHT (Happily Inc, Book 3)
by Susan Mallery, read by Tanya Eby
HarperAudio

Disclaimer: I do not play audio favorites. Addendum to disclaimer: I have too many audio favorites to choose one audio favorite. Disclaimers aside, when I was thinking about romances that rely heavily on family dynamics, I knew I had to include a Susan Mallery/Tanya Eby audio. Why? With charming intimacy, Eby shares the pros and cons of being part of a family as a way to make listeners fall in love with Mallery’s imperfect characters. And Ronan, the very flawed, very hurt, very broody main character is the perfect candidate for the Eby treatment. Whether or not you’ve enjoyed (okay, sat listening, rapt) to the rest of the series, you will be Team Ronan all the way. Ronan’s felt a distance from his loving, opinionated family, and he can’t seem to find a way out of his pain and longing. As Ronan’s art gallery manager, Natalie feels some responsibility for his well being, and then, once she falls for him, he’s the entire world. Eby takes Mallery’s sweet,  contemporary romances and flavors them with her unforgettable secret recipe of awesome sunshiney sugar cookie goodness—don’t miss out!

Well, I feel I’ve left you in good hands for the rest of 2018. This superb group of audiobooks has left me feeling grateful for family and grateful for those quiet moments where a good audiobook can ground you and transport you at the same time.

P.S. Thanks for reading and listening and sharing this past year—we’ll have many more audiobooks to share in 2019.

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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