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25 Audible Essentials: Romance Edition

A good romance is hard to resist, and a great one can be unforgettable. As an ode to the greatest of romances we're pleased to present the 25 Romance Essentials.

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  • Pride and Prejudice

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: It is a truth universally acknowledged that anyone looking for a great listen won’t be able to resist Jane Austen’s delightful classic of love and manners in Regency England. Jane Austen's story of Mrs. Bennet's finding husbands for her daughters is told with wit and charm. A must for lovers of good literature. Commuters Library presents Pride and Prejudice read by Kate Reading.

    Victoria says: "loved it."
    Why we think it's Essential: Though I read and enjoyed Pride and Prejudice in college, I wanted a new perspective on the classic and so started listening to it. Kate Reading's interpretation is simply marvelous - her distinct characterizations of the Bennett sisters and their suitors absolutely enchanting.
  • Envy

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Sandra Brown
    • Narrated By Victor Slezak
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    New York book editor Maris Matherly-Reed knows a best seller when she sees one - even if it is just a tantalizing partial manuscript submitted by a writer identified only as P.M.E., with the return address of an obscure island off the Georgia coast. Maris is intrigued enough to search for him.

    Molly says: "You won't be disappointed!"
    Why we think it's Essential: Brown's Thriller Envy mixes sex, crime, romance, and intrigue in a tale about an editor, her publisher husband and an author who has the power to undo them. Victor Slezak expertly narrates the ever-twisting plot.
  • Eleventh Hour: FBI Thriller #7

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Catherine Coulter
    • Narrated By Sandra Burr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When FBI agent Dane Carver's twin brother, Father Michael Joseph, is brutally murdered in his San Francisco church, husband-and-wife agents Lacey Sherlock and Dillon Savich take a personal interest in the investigation. Nicola "Nick" Jones, a homeless woman and the only witness to the shooting, is scared out of her mind because she is trying to hide from her own monsters.

    BLf says: "Easy to listen to."
    Why we think it's Essential: The forerunner of romantic suspense, Catherine Coulter is at the top of her game in Eleventh Hour. This cinematic seventh FBI Thriller to feature husband-and-wife FBI agents Lacey Sherlock and Dillon Savich finds the twin brother of their fellow agent brutally murdered in his San Francisco church.
  • Bet Me

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Jennifer Crusie
    • Narrated By Deanna Hurst
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Min Dobbs knows that happily-ever-after is a fairy tale, especially with a man who asked her to dinner to win a bet. Cal Morrisey knows commitment is impossible, especially with a woman as cranky as Min Dobbs. When they say good-bye at the end of their evening, they cut their losses and agree never to see each other again. But Fate has other plans.

    Queen Squared says: "Taking a Gamble on Love"
    Why we think it's Essential: No one does chick lit like Jennifer Cruisie, and Bet Me is one of her witty, romantic bests. Commitment phobe takes cranky woman out to dinner with hilarious results. Need we say more? Deanna Hurst completes the package with a five-star narration here.
  • Heart of the Night

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Barbara Delinsky
    • Narrated By Sandra Burr

    Dear Reader: When I think of Heart of the Night, I think of one of the characters in the book, late-night disc jockey Jared Snow. So do many of my readers, if the mail they send me is any indication. It's his voice - always his voice - there on the radio, as soothing as a massage and twice as sexy. For me, Jared Snow is also a concept, the idea that a single voice on the radio is heard by many different people, with a different effect on each.

    bebe says: "okay"
    Why we think it's Essential: In Heart of the Night twins Savannah and Susan seek out a missing woman by following clues from an anonymous radio caller. Jared Snow, a sexy DJ, and Sam Craig, a rugged detective, provide conflict and heat in this perfect contemporary romance.
  • Outlander: Outlander, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: An all-time Audible favorite that mixes historic fiction, adventure, and romance with one of the most fascinating literary devices: time travel. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love. In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. But their blissful reunion is shattered....

    Sara says: "The Time Travel VS Romance Quandary"
    Why we think it's Essential: Mix equal parts historic fiction, adventure, and romance. Add a dash of time travel. Blend with pitch-perfect narration. And you'll understand why Outlander is an all-time favorite among Audible listeners. Whether she's giving voice to the former World War II nurse Claire or the 18th Century Scottish warrior Jamie, Davina Porter brings a magical intimacy to this epic tale.
  • Something Borrowed

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Emily Giffin
    • Narrated By Jennifer Wiltsie

    Rachel has always been a good girl--until her 30th birthday, when her best friend Darcy throws her a party. That night, after too many drinks, Rachel ends up in bed with Darcy's fiancé Dex. Rachel is horrified to discover that she has genuine feelings for Dex. She prays for fate to intervene, but when she makes a choice she discovers that the lines between right and wrong are blurry, endings aren't always neat, and you have to risk all to win true happiness.

    Annie says: "Love, friendship, betrayal and guilt"
    Why we think it's Essential: Emily Giffin writes a notch above most chick lit writers, and Something Borrowed is the standout novel that started her best-selling career. Narrator Jennifer Wiltsie perfectly captures the sassy voice of thirtysomething protagonist Rachel, who has always been a good girl before accidentally sleeping with her best friend's fiancée Dex
  • Deeper

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Megan Hart
    • Narrated By Savannah Richards
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Twenty years ago she had her whole life spread out before her. She was Bess Walsh, a fresh-scrubbed, middle-class student ready to conquer the design world. And she was taken. Absolutely and completely. But not by Andy, her well-groomed, intellectual boyfriend who had hinted more than once about a ring. No. During that hot summer as a waitress and living on the beach, she met Nick, the moody, dark-haired, local bad boy. He was, to put it mildly, not someone she could take home to Daddy.

    Joie says: "Terrible Summary"
    Why we think it's Essential: The queen of erotica, Megan Hart also pulls the heartstrings in Deeper, the shattering tale of middle-class wife Bess Walsh and the return of her secret summer lover from twenty years past. Narrator Savannah Richards nails this one.
  • Frederica

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Clifford Norgate
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Rich and handsome, the hope of ambitious mothers and despair of his sisters, the Marquis of Alverstoke sees no reason to put himself out for anyone. But when a distant connection applies to him for help, he finds himself far from bored.

    Carol says: "Frederica"
    Why we think it's Essential: Witty, light-hearted and fun, Frederica falls somewhere between historical romance and chick lit. Clifford Norgate excels at narrating a wide variety of characters in this addictive story.
  • Acheron: A Dark-Hunter Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Sherrilyn Kenyon
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Eleven thousand years ago a god was born. Cursed into the body of a human, Acheron spent a lifetime of shame. His human death unleashed an unspeakable horror that almost destroyed the earth. Brought back against his will, he became the sole defender of mankind.

    Mar-z says: "couldn't stop listening"
    Why we think it's Essential: A whopping 23+ hours, this eleventh novel in Sherrilyn Kenyon's best-selling urban fantasy series is often cited as her best Dark-Hunter book, and Holter Graham as her best series narrator.
  • Just Beyond the Clouds

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Karen Kingsbury
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When rodeo champion Cody Gunner returns to Colorado Springs, he has no intention of keeping his deathbed promise to his beloved wife - to love again. But when his concern for his brother Carl takes him to the Independent Learning Center, he sees how much Carl and his fellow Down syndrome students are progressing.

    Rachelle B. says: "insightful"
    Why we think it's Essential: One of the biggest names in inspirational fiction, Karen Kingsbury takes on the story of a heartbroken widower and a jilted bride, thrust together by their Down syndrome siblings. A heart-wringing ending to the Cody Gunner series.
  • Sugar Daddy

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Lisa Kleypas
    • Narrated By Jeannie Stith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Liberty Jones has dreams that will take her far away from Welcome, Texas, if she can keep her wild heart from ruling her mind. Hardy Cates sees Liberty as completely off-limits. His own ambitions are bigger than Welcome, and Liberty Jones is a complication he doesn't need. When Hardy leaves town to pursue his plans, Liberty soon finds herself under the spell of a billionaire tycoon.

    bluebelle says: "A Terrific Read!"
    Why we think it's Essential: Best seller Lisa Kleypas made her hardcover debut with this unforgettable first in her contemporary Liberty Gage series chronicling Liberty's rise from the trailer park to life in a Texas mansion.
  • Running Hot: Arcane Society, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Jayne Ann Krentz
    • Narrated By Sandra Burr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Ex-cop Luther Malone, lifelong member of the secretive paranormal organization known as the Arcane Society, is waiting to meet Grace Renquist. Hired as an aura-reading consultant in the quest for a murder suspect, she's got zero field experience. She's from tiny Eclipse Bay, Oregon. She's a librarian, for heaven's sake.

    As for Grace, she's not expecting much either from Malone, who walks with a cane and isn't so good with a gun. Nice resumé for a bodyguard.

    Roberta Rothwell says: "Another Great Arcane Society story."
    Why we think it's Essential: The prolific Jayne Ann Krentz goes by many names, including Amanda Quick for her historical and Jayne Castle for her futuristic/paranormal romances, but we love her best for her romantic suspense, particularly this fifth entry in her celebrated Arcane Society series.
  • Devil's Bride: A Cynster Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Stephanie Laurens
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble

    Governess Honoria Wetherby values her independence. She would rather travel the world than marry and give some man control of her life. Then, one stormy evening, fate changes all her plans. She stumbles upon a mortally wounded young man in the woods. When the stranger dies, she is trapped in a cabin with his body and with his newly arrived cousin, Devil, whom she soon learns is aptly named.

    Maria says: "An awesome listen!"
    Why we think it's Essential: Laurens' publisher says it best: Bold, daring, larger-than-life heroes and feisty, intelligent heroines propel Stephanie Laurens' exciting historical romances. This stellar debut of her Regency Cynster series will keep you spinning.
  • Reckless Love: MacKenzie-Blackthorn, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Lowell
    • Narrated By Laural Merlington
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    No one who roamed the steep green mountains and red-rock canyons of Utah Territory was safe from El Cascabel and his renegade warriors - not Janna Wayland, not the wild stallion Lucifer - not even Ty MacKenzie, the stranger who had come for the stallion, and stayed to capture Janna's heart. Now all three must join forces and make their escape, or die trying.

    says: "Yes, Reckless...."
    Why we think it's Essential: The first in Elizabeth Lowell's acclaimed MacKenzie-Blackthorn series, Reckless Love is classic historical romance.
  • 50 Harbor Street: Cedar Cove, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Debbie Macomber
    • Narrated By Sandra Burr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Considering that I'm married to Cedar Cove's private investigator, you might think I enjoy mysteries. But I don't - especially when they involve us! Roy and I have been receiving anonymous postcards and messages asking if we "regret the past". We don't know what they mean.

    Abby L Lynes says: "Love this series!!"
    Why we think it's Essential: The prolific Debbie Macomber writes many romantic series, but Cedar Cove is our favorite. In this thrilling fifth installment, the romance is back on between horse handler Cliff Harding and Grace Sherman.
  • The Time Traveler's Wife

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Audrey Niffenegger
    • Narrated By Fred Berman, Phoebe Strole

    Clare and Henry have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was 36. They were married when Clare was 23 and Henry was 31. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous, his experiences unpredictable, alternately harrowing and amusing.

    Stephen McLeod says: "Extraordinary"
    Why we think it's Essential: There's a reason why Niffenegger's tale of love and time-travel has garnered so much attention, winning literary awards and even spawning a feature film. The tale of a couple expressing love and passion for each other while dealing with timeslip makes for an unlikely but compelling romance.
  • A Handbook to Luck

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Cristina Garcia
    • Narrated By Staci Snell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    It is the late 1960s. We meet three children: Enrique, from Cuba, living in southern California with his flamboyant magician father; Marta, getting by in the slums of San Salvador and forced to leave school to help support her family; and Leila, a well-to-do surgeon's daughter in Tehran, her mother concerned only with appearances, her father an often foolishly vocal opponent of the Shah. As we follow them across the next 20 years, we see "good luck or bad tilting life one way or another" for all of them.

    Andre says: "Human life"
    Why we think it's Essential: A five-time winner of the Romance Writers of America Favorite Book of the Year Award, fan favorite Susan Elizabeth Phillips teams up with seasoned narrator Anna Fields to produce a stellar debut to Phillips' humorous Chicago Stars series.
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