The best audiobook I ever listened to happened to be my first and only (to date) romance audiobook.
Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning
(Book #4 in the Fever Series)
Narrated by Natalie Ross and Phil Gigante
I had just finished reading Faefever and was dying to know what happened next. Luckily, I was new to the series and the next book was already out.
Unluckily, I was snowed in and couldn’t get access to a bookstore or library (this was before I had a Kindle).
So, in a panic, I searched the iTunes store to see if I could get the audio version. Low and behold it was there waiting for me as long as I was willing to shell out over $20.00!
That’s almost the same price as a brand new hardcover! I’m not even a big fan of audiobooks but I’m even less of a fan of paying for something “virtual” when I can have the real thing for the same price.
I stared at my computer trying to talk myself out of purchasing it but in the end my need to know what happened next won out. And I’m glad it did.
I purchased the audiobook with my eyes closed…literally. I felt so bad shelling out all that money for it that I couldn’t watch as I clicked buy. I had no idea what I was getting, just that it was the next book in this new series I was madly in love with.
The audiobook starts and the lady narrating it was good. She had a nice southern accent and a nice Irish accent which kept the book from being monotonous or hoky. Until now, my experience with audiobooks has been that one narrator speaks through the entire story. Sometimes using different accents and pitches to mimic the different characters and sometimes not. This wasn’t the case with Dreamfever.
I was just getting used to hearing the characters I’ve been reading about for 3 books being vocalized when all of a sudden a low timbered male voice glides through my headphones, into my ears, traveling down my spine leaving shivers in it’s wake.
Ok, that might be a tad over dramatic but my eyes did bug out and I did snatch the headphones off my ears for a brief second.
I couldn’t believe it. I was expecting to hear the same lady narrate every character in the story. I had no idea there were even audiobooks that had more then one narrator. It was amazing the difference it made for me. I was glued to my iPod. I giggled every time a male character popped onto the scene. It was the best audiobook experience I ever had!
Now, you’re probably thinking that after that wonderful experience I must have finished the rest of the series by way of audiobooks. I did not. I still prefer to hold the book in my hand and read the words sprawled on the pages before me. Besides, at that time my kids were little and having headphones over my ears just wasn’t practical.
Fast forward how ever many years, my kids are older and less prone to bodily harm when I’m not in ear shot and I’m ready to dive into the world of romance audiobooks again. However, I don’t want just some simple audiobook with one narrator for all the characters. Dreamfever spoiled me. I want multiple narrators and sounds effects and musical scores!
Basically, I want the movie without the bad casting. I know, I know, wishful thinking…
So, I start browsing the romance audiobook section in Audible and I realize something…. I still don’t want to pay those high prices! But if I was going to spend that kind of money i wanted to make sure the audiobook was worth it. But how would I know what audiobooks were worth the price?
Research! I searched through the vast array of websites, forums and reviews to find the romance audiobooks everyone was gushing over. Want to know what I found??
A confusing mess!
Apparently, I struck gold when I stumbled upon DreamFever in audio form. The way Natalie Ross and Phil Gigante narrated the story was not typical at the time.
From what I gather, romance audio books have only recently started having dual narrators. However, those dual narrators aren’t always a man and a woman and even when it is (and this is the really confusing part) there are times when they voice the same characters! So you can have one character being voiced in two different ways by two different narrators in the same audiobook. WHAT?! How does that make sense??
There is no way my brain will allow me to listen to a character being voiced differently in the same audiobook. I already have a hard enough time listening to a well loved character being voiced in a way that doesn’t sound like the voice I imagined in my head.
Then there is the debate on whether you prefer a female narrator or a male one. Honestly, I’ve never had an audiobook where the only narrator was male. DreamFever was the first time I had ever heard a male narrator at all. I honestly can’t imagine hearing a man voice a female character and not want to laugh. For some reason, the sound of a female pretending to have a male voice is easier for me to hear.
Behold, this is what I found:
This one graphic mentioned the majority of the romance audiobooks i found being recommended on numerous websites, forums and reviews. I figured I could list all the titles mentioned individually or I could just share this pretty graphic with links to this great website where more are listed and talked about in great detail.
Check out AudioGals.Net for a whole website of reviews and lists regarding romance audiobooks.
For detailed lists with links to the audiobooks check out:
- Romantic Suspense
- Romance Driven
- Urban Fantasy
- Paranormal Elements
- Stand Alone
- Hall of Fame
- Not Your Usual Romance
- The Other Categories
PS – It’s my Birthday today! (February 17th) Stop by and show me some love!
Friday @ 9am “The Best Body Positive Audio Books to Drown Out Your Inner Critic”
Monday @ 9am “Creating Playlists for your novels”
- Did your favorite romance audiobook make AudioGirls list?
- Have you experience an audiobook with multiple narrators? What is your opinion of them?
- What type of audiobook do you prefer? One narrator vs multiple? Being read to vs listening to a performance?
6 thoughts on “The Best Romance Audio Books”
I have been a member of Audible for almost 20 years. Having a membership you get a free book every month and a special member price. Whether or not a book has multiple narrators, depends on the structure of the story. And some narrators are better than others. Daniel Philpot narrates some of Georgette Heyer’s books and after a bit you don’t realize it’s a man doing the woman’s voices. Phillada Nash also does Heyer’s work and again you don’t realize it’s a woman doing a man’s voice. Heyer’s are the only romances I’ve listened to because I don’t like hearing sex scenes read and I know her books don’t have any. You can listen to the books on Audible before you download. If you read the user reviews, you get a good sense what you’re getting. So far there is only one book I could not listen to because to me the voicing of the narrator was so different from the voice in my head. It was “Gone With the Wind.” I waited 10 years for Adible to get it and was greatly disappointed. Some of my favorite listens are: Cotillion, Bath Tangle, Arabella, The Nonsuch, The Unkown Ajax, and The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer; Darling Jim, four narrators; A Christmas Story; single narrator (Dick Cavot) but the music and sound effects are perfect; The Joy Luck Club, you’ll find it hard to believe it’s a single narrator and the Harry Potter Series narrated by the many-voiced Jim Dale. I always have a book I’m listening to and one I’m reading. I get through more books that way. I tend to listen to my audio books more than once. Clearly I need to write a blog post about this! Thanks for writing this!
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Cynthia, thank you so much for sharing your Audible knowledge. I just signed up with them so I’m still learning the ropes. Also, I LOVE that you included some audio book suggestions! I’m adding some to my personal list right now.
Audible has a wonderful version of “The Importance of Being Ernest,” by Oscar Wild. It’s fully dramatized. Actually they have several plays fully dramatized.
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I never thought about plays. That’s a great suggestion! Thank you.
Tea for Two is good as well.
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Check out M.K. Eidem’s stuff. Its all dual narration romance set in space or alien worlds with sound effects. I know what you mean about DreamFever spoiling you. Dual Narration and sound effects take it to a new level. If I buy a book only to find the male narrator reads all of chapter one along with the females parts and chapter two it switches and the female reads all and his parts, I ding it down a couple stars. Its just stupid to do narration that way.
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