These audiobook heroes will melt your heart and make you laugh!
Heroes. There’s a reason many contemporary romance covers feature the male protagonist. Perhaps you picture a hero like Rhett Butler from GONE WITH THE WIND, with his swagger, his air of invincibility, and his overpowering machismo. Or maybe your idea of a hero is John Cusack as Lloyd Dobler from the movie Say Anything. His focused courtship culminates in intimate knowledge of his girlfriend’s insecurities and needs.
Whether you’re drawn to strong alpha males or sensitive types, the hero is often the hook of the romance.
Romance in audiobook form gives listeners a sensory experience that makes the hero vividly real. Hearing the timbre of his voice, the rough humor in his quips, the intensity of his emotions is living the romance beyond the impact of words on a page. Casting choices, too, play an enormous role in our hero worship. Selecting a male narrator for a romance—as in ALL CHAINED UP and THE BEAST—can be a response to a robust cast of male characters or indicate that the hero’s perspective will receive greater emphasis.
With female narrators—BECAUSE OF MISS BRIDGERTON, FLAWLESS, ONE NIGHT CHARMER, and THE STUDY OF SEDUCTION—listeners are sometimes seeing the hero from the heroine’s point of view, allowing them greater perspective on his character. In either case, what separates good narrators from great ones is the ability to realistically voice characters of the opposite gender.
Check out this month’s audiobook heroes—they’ll melt your heart and make you laugh.
Til next Tuesday’s Tease!
Over the past year, every publisher, editor, and author I’ve spoken with has told me that contemporary romance is red hot! Romance genres tend to rise and fall in cycles of popularity, and right now contemporaries are all the rage. If this month’s selections are any indication, I can confirm that the rumors are true. The abundance and quality of contemporary romance audiobooks mean listeners may wish there were more hours in the day. I know I do.
What makes this batch of contemporaries appealing is the combinations of flawed characters who experience the transformational power of love, so aptly revealed by their narrators. It’s hard to empathize with a bride who jumps out a window to desert her groom, but Madeleine Maby pulls it off in SEARCHING FOR BEAUTIFUL. Therese Plummer dares listeners to go out on a limb for love in A NEW HOPE with her vulnerable, intense narration. In an iced-tea drawl, Chelsea Hatfield convinces listeners that love means forgiveness and hard work in A TASTE OF SUGAR. HOT POINT’s odd couple may worry that they don’t deserve their perfect match, but narrator Carrington MacDuffie extracts the real emotion that lies beneath the small talk. And narrators Saskia Maarleveld and Brian Hutchison play with that fine line between fooling around and crazy-in-love in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S ROMP.
As philosopher Lao Tzu wrote, “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” In these titles, the audiobook experience amplifies that truth and conveys it powerfully to listeners.–Caitlin Augusta
AudioFile’s new “Tease” is all about audiobook romance. Each post will share reviews of romance audiobooks–along with a list of additional recommendations. As a librarian, an audiophile, and a firm believer in HEA–romance lingo for “happily ever after”–I’ll recommend a wide variety of romances. I ♥ hearing from romance listeners. Email me at caitlinreads@gmail. com. xoxo–Caitlin Augusta