Tease: Pairing Up for the New Year

Finding that perfect match

My niece (a smart cookie!) received a matching game for Christmas. All of her animal shapes in neat matching pairs made me think about how none of us like to be alone for New Year’s. If we’re going to jump into this brand new, perilous endeavor of 2018, we want company.

Surely, the same must be true of your audiobook collection. If one audiobook is good, then a pair must be better. So, in the spirit of starting the new year off right, here are some romance audiobook pairs. They all have something in common, some reason to be together in your playlist. And, if you have no other New Year’s resolutions, then keep it simple and Love Your Listening.

Pair THE LADY TRAVELERS GUIDE TO SCOUNDRELS & OTHER GENTLEMEN by Victoria Alexander, read by Marian Hussey
with VIRGIN’S SECRET by Victoria Alexander, read by Xanthe Elbrick

Both Victoria Alexander titles share her signature naughtiness. Her heroines manage to skirt the edges of proper behavior while remaining a part of society. THE VIRGIN’S SECRET was my first Xanthe Elbrick audiobook, and I still have fond feelings toward the book because of her superb accents and smooth-as-silk voice. If you like historical romance that keeps you on your toes, this pairing will suit nicely.

Pair HIS LADY BRIDE by Shayla Black writing as Shelley Bradley, read by Tim Campbell
with THE WINTER SEA by Susanna Kearsley, read by Rosalyn Landor

Unusual historicals with standout narrators — that’s my pairing for these two audiobooks. We have a new Shayla Black historical set in medieval times, narrated by Tim Campbell, and a time-slip Scottish Jacobite historical by the incomparable Susanna Kearsley, narrated by Rosalyn Landor. Honestly, it was superbly hard to choose just one Susanna Kearsley, so I will also recommend A DESPERATE FORTUNE, narrated by Katherine Kellgren, and THE SPLENDOUR FALLS, narrated by Barbara Rosenblat. (See why this pairing became a quad?!)

Pair CHASING DOWN A DREAM: A BLESSINGS NOVEL by Beverly Jenkins, read by Lynnette Freeman
with Robyn Carr’s A NEW HOPE, narrated by Therese Plummer 

“Heart.” In a word, that’s what makes these two titles a perfect pair. Whether it’s small-town Kansas or small-town Oregon, Jenkins and Carr know how to pull our heart strings and make characters matter. I just finished listening to the Beverly Jenkins title, so that’s fresh on my mind for its focus on family and the needs of our children. And I always return to A NEW HOPE because it’s the rare romance that makes me cry and cry and still feels romantic. And what superb narrators! Lynnette Freeman and Therese Plummer just pull out all the stops. They will 100% make you want to listen to every single book in both series. 

Pair BARKING UP THE WRONG TREE by Jenn McKinlay, read by Allyson Ryan
with TROUBLEMAKER by Linda Howard, read by Tanya Eby 

How could I resist? Can you figure it out? Of course the pairing is books with dogs in them. I could also add THE CHEMIST by Stephenie Meyer, read by Ellen Archer. In these titles, the narrators deliver puppy love with heart rending cuteness and adoration. Tricks the dog from Linda Howard’s title stole my heart from the very beginning — you have my personal guarantee you will fall in love with her.  And slurpy dog kisses and dogs that talk with their eyes are the perfect place to end these sweet audiobook pairings — enjoy them all! 

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!

Leave a Reply