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.
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.
Why we think it's Essential: Charlotte Bronte's classic, Jane Eyre, is one of my all-time favorite books. Narrator Susan Ericksen perfectly captures Jane's inner battle between rational love and unbridled passion here. The fate of her long-lost love, the enigmatic Edward Rochester, will keep you listening until the very end.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Why we think it's Essential: The first in Elizabeth Lowell's acclaimed MacKenzie-Blackthorn series, Reckless Love is classic historical romance.
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.
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.
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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