Wednesday, May 6, 2020

AudioFile Magazine’s Picks of the Best New Romance Audiobooks for Spring Listening

AudioFile Magazine is the best place to find your next great audiobook and I've always appreciated how dedicated they are to featuring romance audiobooks. Romance fans need to check out the Tease, feature on AudioFile's blog ! It is brimming with romance audiobook recommendations! 

 Today, we are sharing  AudioFile's Picks Of The Best New Romance Audiobooks for Spring Listening ---which has everything from series starters, enemies-to-lovers, and second chance romance.

C.L. Polk | Read by Moira Quirk | Recorded Books

Moira Quirk narrates a fantasy novel involving the consequences of politics. Dame Grace Hensley has the opportunity to right the course of her country, or not, but either choice will come at a devastating cost to her family. Quirk's portrayal of Grace is bright and smart, reflecting her station in society as well as her position in government.

UNDERCOVER BROMANCE: Bromance Book Club Book 2 
 Lyssa Kay Adams | Read by Andrew Eiden | Penguin Audio | Earphones Award Winner 

Gear up for a fabulous romantic comedy with returning narrator Andrew Eiden. Braden Mack, founder of the men’s romance book club in Nashville, gets dumped and gets his friend’s sister-in-law, Liv, fired in a single evening. He then desperately tries to make it up to Liv by joining her on a quest to expose her ex-boss as a sexual predator. This is a treat for fans of the first audiobook in the series and will also please those looking for an entertaining twist on contemporary romance.

Adriana Herrera | Read by Sean Crisden | Harlequin 

Narrator Sean Crisden returns in this sweet and salty installment in the Dreamers series. Priscilla Gutierrez and Juan Pablo Campos have had an on-again/off-again romance since they were teens, but, despite their explosive chemistry, they've never managed a lasting relationship. Crisden's vocal agility is evident in his subtle characterizations: Juan Pablo and Priscilla have similar accents, but Crisden delivers Priscilla's chapters with a higher pitch and stronger intensity than the more resonant, laid-back Juan Pablo. Supporting characters (many familiar to series listeners) are also portrayed in distinctive manners, creating a vivid listening experience for contemporary romance fans. 

Catherine Bybee | Read by Ariela Crow | Brilliance

Ariela Crow narrates the first in a new contemporary romance series. After a wildfire hits her secluded California neighborhood, Parker worries about mudslides causing catastrophic damage to her family's property. As a public works supervisor, Colin is tasked with overseeing the area to keep everyone safe from further disaster. Crow's performance captures the personalities of the characters and the emotional roller coaster ride they experience. 

 Lucy Parker | Read by Billie Fulford-Brown | Harlequin | 

Billie Fulford-Brown narrates a surprisingly low-key enemies-to-lovers romance that is, above all, an ode to skilled professionals doing their jobs amazingly well. Sabrina Carlton and Nick Davenport must turn their years-long rivalry into a functioning partnership--it's either that or be fired. Fulford-Brown perfectly captures the way Sabrina and Nick's relationship evolves. Each step along their path to love is noticeable upon reflection but never obvious at the time. A deeply satisfying romance between two equals, performed exquisitely. 

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey (Hot and Hammered #1)

Rating: ★★★ | 9 hours 59 min. | Avon | Contemporary Romance | Release Date: 06/11/19
This is one of those books readers either love or hate. And judging by the top Goodreads reviews a lot of people hate it. The cover designs for this series betray the raunchy, alpha male, borderline cheesy romances Bailey tends to write so, I get it but...IDK, I enjoyed this one.  

After an injury ends 28-year- old Travis Ford’s baseball career, he goes home to Port Jefferson, Long Island to drinks himself into a depressive stupor. Georgie Castle, his best friend’s 23-year-old sister and *checks notes* professional birthday party clown, wants to help Travis see he can still be the guy they all looked up to growing up. She knows she cares too much, but she’s not letting him become a failure without a fight.

Fix Her Up is truly a rom-com that is equal parts silly and steamy without any trauma as backstory. Ty. I’ve been going through a few of these illustrated romcoms and a lot of them take unexpected dark turns that this book veers from.

Bailey troped out with this book. It’s, of course, got the Best Friend’s Little Sister/Older Brother’s Best Friend but it’s also got some Small Town Romance,  Athlete Hero and even a splash of Fake Relationship. There is some of that sexist cringe that comes along with Best Friend's Little Sister but Bailey keeps it light.

This was my first Charlotte North audiobook and her voice has this Anna Kendrick-y /Zoe Deutch quality. Her delivery is chirpy and playful so I think it takes away from the agro male vibe some reviewers had with Travis. While I'm definitely adding North to my rotation, I do hate wish that Avon had used a different narrator for the next book which features a biracial Black/South American heroine. That just feels like it should have gone to an #ownvoices (literally) narrator.

I really don't know what is about Bailey but her storytelling is exactly what I want in a romance.

I don't think I'll ever forget this book because it was the last one I listened to on my commute before my state shut down for quarantine ):