Audible Happily-Ever-Afters | Top Audiobooks for Romance Fans

Swoony lines and great banter only get better on audio.

Swoony lines and great banter only get better on audio.

Adler, Sarah. Mrs. Nash’s Ashes. Books on Tape. May 2023. 9:29 hrs. ISBN 9780593739471. $76. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

This grumpy-meets-sunshine contemporary rom-com features a woman on a race against time to reunite her best friend with her first love. After her friend Mrs. Nash dies, Millie is determined to take some of her ashes to Key West, where she’s discovered that the woman Mrs. Nash thought had passed away decades ago is still living, though not for much longer. When Millie’s trip is derailed by air-travel issues, she hitches a ride to Key West with an acquaintance—her ex-boyfriend’s frenemy, Hollis. He’s looking forward to his long weekend in Miami, visiting a friend for their semiannual affair, but his plan changes as he and Millie drive from DC to Florida. Mishaps along the way add to their growing friendship and attraction. Mara Wilson showcases a stellar ability to take listeners into Millie and Hollis’s world. As she follows the couple’s misadventure-filled yet frequently humorous path, she fully captures Millie’s exuberant personality, quirks and all. Expressive and entertaining, Wilson imbues her performance with a range of emotions—humor, hope, anxiety, sorrow—and fully immerses listeners into the story. VERDICT Wilson’s skillful narration of Adler’s debut is sure to delight listeners, making this a must-have production.—Amanda L. S. Murphy

Hazelwood, Ali. Love, Theoretically. Books on Tape. Jun. 2023. 12:34 hrs. ISBN 9780593739174. $95. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

The latest of Hazelwood’s (Loathe To Love You) women-in-STEM-themed novels features theoretical physicist Elsie Hannaway. Between her many adjunct-professor positions and working for a company that provides fake dates for its clients, Elsie barely makes ends meet. She needs a full-time job that comes with benefits, not only to move toward her dream of scientific research but also so she can manage her type 1 diabetes. When she interviews for a tenured position at MIT, she finds herself face-to-face with the experimental-physicist brother of one of her fake-dating clients. He’s not just any physicist, though; he’s the one who nearly destroyed Elsie’s field of study. Narrator Thérèse Plummer’s extensive experience is evident in her expert performance of this enemies-to-lovers contemporary romance. Her expressive delivery and ability to seamlessly switch between characters keep the story flowing as Elise navigates her professional and personal lives and tries to find her voice. Capturing Elise’s frustration with her family and apparent hopelessness over her current career trajectory, Plummer helps turn the young scientist into a fully formed character. VERDICT Plummer’s stellar performance makes this audiobook a must-have for most popular collections.—Amanda L. S. Murphy

Heron, Farah. Jana Goes Wild. Hachette Audio. May 2023. 11:38 hrs. ISBN 9781668630143. $27.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

Five years ago, Jana met Anil, the perfect man. Then she learned he was still married and that she was pregnant. Since then, outside of a co-parenting app, they’ve barely spoken a word. When their best friends get married, the forced proximity leads Jana and Anil to consider their relationship, their desires, and their unsettled anxiety from years before. Soneela Nankani’s outstanding narration captures Jana’s character development as she learns to release shame and accept herself and her unique family. Nankani channels Jana’s range of emotions—embarrassment, frustration, and joy—as she slowly falls in love again with Anil. She ably switches between characters, pulling listeners into deep conversations that are constantly interrupted by dozens of people at the wedding. The audio enhances themes of communication and miscommunication with the inclusion of typing and clicking sounds as the characters text back and forth; this device brings out Jana’s acute anxiety as she anxiously awaits the buzz of an incoming response. VERDICT Heron’s (Kamila Knows Best) hilarious yet introspective second-chance romance is perfect for fans of Jasmine Guillory and Talia Hibbert. Listeners will be charmed by its slow-burn relationship and enchanting happily-ever-after.—Carmanita Turner

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