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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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  • What Happens in London

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Julia Quinn
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    Overall
    (836)
    Performance
    (555)
    Story
    (559)

    When Olivia Bevelstoke is told that her new neighbor may have killed his fiancée, she doesn't believe it for a second, but, still, how can she help spying on him, just to be sure? So she stakes out a spot near her bedroom window, cleverly concealed by curtains, watches, and waits . . . and discovers a most intriguing man, who is definitely up to something. Sir Harry Valentine works for the boring branch of the War Office, translating documents vital to national security.

    Donna says: "Brilliant"
    Why we think it's Essential: Known for her witty, fast-paced historicals set in regency England, Julia Quinn is at her warm, whimsical best in What Happens in London, flawlessly narrated by Brit veteran Rosalyn Landor.
  • Silent in the Grave

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Deanna Raybourn
    • Narrated By Ellen Archer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (798)
    Performance
    (359)
    Story
    (358)

    Let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave. These ominous words, slashed from the pages of a book of Psalms, are the last threat that the darling of London society, Sir Edward Grey, receives from his killer. Before he can show them to Nicholas Brisbane, the private inquiry agent he has retained for his protection, Sir Edward collapses and dies at his London home, in the presence of his wife, Julia, and a roomful of dinner guests.

    Parusski says: "Happily surprised"
    Why we think it's Essential: Highly acclaimed for this perfectly executed British historical thriller, Deanna Raybourn dazzles in this riveting debut. Don't miss this one.
  • The Notebook

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Nicholas Sparks
    • Narrated By Barry Bostwick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (745)
    Performance
    (346)
    Story
    (353)

    At 31, Noah Calhoun, back in coastal North Carolina after World War II, is haunted by images of the girl he lost more than a decade earlier. At 29, socialite Allie Nelson is about to marry a wealthy lawyer, but she cannot stop thinking about the boy who long ago stole her heart. Thus begins the story of a love so enduring and deep it can turn tragedy into triumph, and may even have the power to create a miracle.

    Shelly says: "Need tissues for this one"
    Why we think it's Essential: Nicholas Sparks' fans are flocking to theaters for Dear John, but it's The Notebook that still gets our tears going. Also adapted for film, this novel tells the tale of star-crossed lovers Noah Calhoun and Allie Nelson, separated in World War II and unable to forget each other more than a decade later.
  • Echoes

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Danielle Steel
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (119)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (34)

    For the Wittgenstein family, the summer of 1915 was a time of both prosperity and unease, as the guns of war sound in the distance. But for eldest daughter Beata, it was also a summer of awakening. By glimmering Lake Geneva, the quiet Jewish beauty met a young French officer and fell in love.

    D. Hurley says: "Great Story, Great Narrator"
    Why we think it's Essential: No Romance Essentials list could go without a shout-out to veteran romance best seller Danielle Steel. Narrator Simon Prebble, a veteran himself, expertly captures character voices and the Holocaust setting here. Think Liesl and Rolf from The Sound of Music.
  • The Importance of Being Earnest (Dramatised)

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 57 mins)
    • By Oscar Wilde
    • Narrated By Judi Dench, Miriam Margoyles, Martin Clunes
    Overall
    (105)
    Performance
    (59)
    Story
    (57)

    Ever since the first night at the St James' Theatre on 14 February 1895, The Importance of Being Earnest has been recognised as one of the world's finest comic dramas. Now Judi Dench as Lady Bracknell leads an outstanding cast in this superb new production of Wilde's masterpiece, mounted to celebrate the centenary of the first performance.

    C. Telfair says: "Funny and Classic"
    Why we think it's Essential: Oscar Wilde has always been a favorite author of mine, and actress Judi Dench as Lady Bracknell brings his Importance of Being Earnest wonderfully alive. A classic send-up of Victorian courtship and manners, this comic drama will never go out of style. --Diana S.
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