Speaking of Audiobooks: February 2010 Releases

The Cinderella DealAs I looked this past week for upcoming audiobook releases scheduled for later in 2010, I found a number that not only merited mention but had me quite enthused as well.  It looks as though Married by Morning, Lisa Kleypas’ fourth in the Hathaway series, is scheduled for May while the fifth in the series, Love in the Afternoon, is scheduled for August.  Julia London has a contemporary, One Season of Sunshine, coming in July while another popular medieval from Julie Garwood’s backlist, Honor’s Splendour, is being released in June.  And last of today’s noteworthy mentions for 2010, but certainly not least, is Linda Howard’s After the Night in May.  I think my love of Linda Howard books is well known and After the Night is one of my favorites despite its rather difficult hero since it also features one of my favorite Howard heroines.

Leftovers from January

Each month we deal with surprise new releases that failed to make our upcoming new audiobook releases list over at AAR.  Here are just a few of those surprises and be sure to check out the updated January new releases list as well.

Brockmann, Suzanne – Stand-In Groom

Carr, Robyn – Paradise Valley: Virgin River, Book 7

Dahl, Victoria – Lead Me On

Lowell, Elizabeth – Winter Fire

Miller, Linda Lael – Montana Creeds: Tyler

Spencer, LaVyrle – Morning Glory (abridged)

Audiobook Romances on Sale in February


Brown, Sandra – Exclusive

Coulter, Catherine – Eleventh Hour

Feehan, Christine – Burning Wild

Fielding, Joy – The Wild Zone

Lindsey, Johanna – Johanna Lindsey CD Collection 4: Love Me Forever, Say You Love Me

Robb, J.D. – Fantasy in Death

Robb, J.D. – Naked in Death

Roberts, Nora – Jewels of the Sun

Roberts, Nora – Key of Light

Steele, Danielle – Big Girl

Steele, Danielle – Danielle Steel CD Collection 2: A Good Woman, One Day at a Time

Seduced by Shadows2Unabridged

Brown, Sandra – Exclusive

Crusie, Jennifer – The Cinderella Deal

Feehan, Christine – Burning Wild

Fielding, Joy – The Wild Zone

Grange, Amanda – Mr. Darcy, Vampyre

Macomber, Debbie – Marriage Risk, The: A Selection from Midnight Sons, Volume 1

Mallery, Susan – Hot on Her Heels

Quick, Amanda – Reckless

Robb, J.D. – Big Jack

Robb, J.D. – Fantasy in Death

Slade, Jessa – Seduced by Shadows

Steele, Danielle – Big Girl

Additions of my Audio Library

A Matter of Class – Mary Balogh

It took a while to convince myself that I wanted to spend a full credit at Audible for a four hour audiobook.  However, after reading varied favorable opinions as well as Ellen’s DIK review at AAR, I decided to take a chance when I discovered it on sale for $8.25.

The Cinderella Deal – Jennifer Crusie

On a bit of a Crusie audiobook glom these days, I’m expecting more laughs but was intrigued to read that this particular series romance from 1996 also offers a good bit of poignancy as well.

Kill and Tell – Linda Howard

More suspense than romance, Kill and Tell still delivers a strong romance, an alpha hero, and a smart likable heroine.  Excited at this, the latest audio release of Howard’s backlist, I purchased it immediately and I’m listening to it now.

Recent Reads

Don’t Look Down – Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer

Upon its release in 2006, I participated in a Pandora’s Box discussion of Don’t Look Down – a joint effort between well known romance writer Crusie and Mayer, a former Green Beret and multi-genre author.   Although it’s categorized as fiction, there’s enough to satisfy most romance readers if you’re open to a very male point of view.  Last month I listened to the audio version in hopes the dual narration by Patrick Lawlor and Renee Raudman would add yet another intriguing dimension to this suspenseful tale but found that although the narration did benefit from the male/female voices, the overall production was uneven with frequent changes in sound quality as narrators shifted one to the other.  I don’t see this as an audiobook I’ll revisit since the narration added little to a book I already considered too long on suspense.

First Comes Marriage – Mary Balogh

I reviewed First Comes Marriage for AAR in 2009 granting it DIK status and it was my love of its story line that carried my favorable experience with the audio version.  Anne Flosnik performs adequately as narrator although her sluggish delivery along with the failure to consistently distinguish voices did serve as more of a distraction than a positive for overall listening enjoyment.  Regardless, I was captivated as I listened and figured a less than perfect narration was a small price to pay for hours of truly pleasurable entertainment.  Oh, and I think I’ve mentioned it before but it warrants saying again – this has the best proposal scene ever.

Time for Your Thoughts

What new releases are you looking forward to?

Do you know of any February releases that failed to make this list?

What are the latest additions to your audio library?

What are your latest audio successes or failures?

Ending Notes

Please check AAR’s main site for monthly lists of upcoming audiobook releases,

For those new to our Speaking of Audiobooks column, be sure to check out our audio archives for further recommendations and discussions.

See you again later this month.

– Lea Hensley

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14 Responses to Speaking of Audiobooks: February 2010 Releases

  1. Cindy W says:

    I love these posts. I am currently listening to A Matter of Class by Mary Balogh (from the showcase last month!) I am enjoying it and LOVE that it’s a short one. I was so excited that they had this at the library. I spent my Audio Credits on two SEP books my library did not have on audio. I’m finishing up It Had to Be You by SEP. One of the best series out there!

    I listened to Up Close and Dangerous by Linda Howard and did not like the reader at all. I am glad I got that one from the library.

    Up next is The Lost Duke of Wyndham by Julia Quinn and Nobody’s Baby but Mine by SEP!

  2. MarissaB says:

    I’ve listened to a lot of books this past month, but most of them have been sci-fi/fantasy, which was the genre I first loved growing up. I surprised myself by really liking military sci-fi and have listened to a few Honor Harrington books by David Weber and am currently listening to the Prince Roger Series by David Weber and John Ringo. I really enjoy the battle scenes. Go figure.

    The one romance I listened to was Amaryllis by Jayne Castle, read by Frances Cassidy. An easy, enjoyable listen. The yearning and tension between the H/H was the best part of the book. I have the other 2 in the Harmony series (Zinnia and Orchid), so I am looking forward to listening to those between my sci-fi books.

    I almost got excited when I saw Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer on your list, but the ‘abridged’ jumped out at me. I don’t listen to or read abridged books. I feel I miss too much.

    Did you notice that audible.com has a $4.95 sale on first-of-a-series books? Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander is one of them.

    I currently have 16 books in my cart. =D

  3. GamaTST says:

    I finished listening to Kill and Tell just yesterday and I loved it! As mentioned it is more suspense than romance but, O Boy, that Marc Chastain is hot! Narrator Natalie Ross did an amazing job with his “voice”. She just moved to second place behind Anna Fields for being able to portray a hot hero perfectly! Phil Gigante directed the audio book version so I’m sure his input helped!

    Here’s to praying one of the two above narrates After The Night!!

    Two other recent audio success for me were both by Christine Feehan and both owe the majority of their success to the great narrators. I enjoy her books but when they get narrated properly they are much, much better. Dark Dream (a short story) with Eric Michael Summerer doing a perfect narrating job. And Street Game with Tom Stechshulte, who is always awesome.

    I’ve listened to the first 30 minutes of Strange Bedpersons by Jennifer Crusie and it’s kept a big smile on my face the whole time! Can’t wait to finish it.

    Fantasy in Death is a given for later this month and if Phil Gigante is narrating Feehan’s Burning Wild (I saw two different narrators mentioned for it on the AudioPhile web site) I’ll be listening to that for sure, with some judicious fast forwarding of the childhood scenes.

  4. GamaTST says:

    OOP’s I meant the “AudioFile” website shows that Burning Wild will have two different narrators, both for the unabridged version. I hope seeing Phil Gigante’s name as one of the narrators that will be offered is not a typo.

    An audiobook I was surprised to see coming is Linda Howards Strangers in the Night. It is a collection of three of her short stories, White Out – Blue Moon – Lake of Dreams. I’m looking forward to it.

  5. Lea AAR says:

    Cindy W – I just finished listening to SEP’s It Had to Be You for the fourth time. Love, love, love it. Another of my favorite of SEP’s is Nobody’s Baby But Mine – enjoy!

    MarissaB – Thanks for the heads up on the Audible sale. I’m headed over there right now to check it out. Outlander for $4.95 – amazing. Do you know if this is a member’s price or is it for everyone? I’m tempted to announce it over at AAR if it’s for non-members.

    GamaTST – Just finished Kill & Tell and have to agree with you. The hero’s voice was perfect and to hear him say “New Orleans”! Do you know if any of Christine Feehan’s older Dark series books are available in audio format and if so, have you listened to any? I’ve not kept up with the series although I have enjoyed a couple of the Drake Sisters books.
    And I will be purchasing Strangers in the Night when it comes out in March. I’m not a fan of short stories but this is LH – no more needs to said.

  6. Lea AAR says:

    Best I can tell, the First in a Series sale at Audible is for existing members. Has anyone determined differently? And darn, I just used a full credit recently for First Comes Marriage and there it is for $4.95. This particular Balogh is reviewed in today’s column and I for one loved it!

  7. RRRJessica says:

    I so appreciate these posts. I am an audible member, and I actually have a few credits I never know how to spend.

    I just finished listening to Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ this Heart of Mine, narrated by Anna fields, who has narrated most of the SEP audiobooks. Fields is terrific, despite making her men sound a bit marble mouthed at times.

    I hate abridged, though. For example, I have wanted to listen to Linda Howard’s Mackenzie’s Mounatin but it’s abridged.

    Thanks again!

  8. LinnieGayl says:

    I just started listening to the latest JAK, Fired Up, narrated by Joyce Bean. So far, I’m enjoying it quite a bit, although there’s at times there’s something odd about the way she does the hero’s voice.

    I need to check into the audio version of Nobody’s Baby But Mine. I have most of the rest of that series on audio, and have really enjoyed them.

  9. MarissaB says:

    Lea, all of Feehan’s Dark series are available as audiobooks, including the novellas she has in anthologies. I have listened to the first 5 and a couple of the later ones. There are several narrators – Juanita Parker , Richard Ferrone, Rebecca Cook, Phil Gigante, etc. I enjoyed all the ones I have listened to. I do believe these are all available at audible.

    And the sale is for members only. That’s fair, I guess, since we members cannot participate in new member offers.

    RRRJessica – you have credits to spare? That you don’t know what to do with? How is that possible?!@!!! =D

  10. katyco says:

    I love reading everyone’s recommendations!
    I was really bummed out that Outlander, First Comes Marriage and Mine Till Midnight are being offered for $4.95 on Audible. I’ve already bought all three and they’re the only ones that grabbed my attention. If an Audible member looks at the list and can make some recs, that would be great.
    I’m still on a Charlaine Harris binge. I finished all the Lily Bard and can recommend them all. Now I’m on book 7 of the Aurora Teagarden series, narrated by Therese Plummer. Book 8, Poppy Done To Death, has just been added to Audible. I just love Charlaine Harris’ straight forward story telling. And I love that all these books are based in the South since I’m from Louisiana. Harris gives a very authentic potrayal of southern women. If you’re a Sookie Stackhouse fan, you should give these a try.
    Therese Plummer is fast becoming one of my favorite narrators. She also narrates the Virgin River series by Robyn Carr.
    Also this month I listened to Tangled Up in You and Not Another Bad Date by Rachel Gibson. I enjoyed both.

  11. GamaTST says:

    Yes Audible does carry all of Feehan’s Dark series. Overdrive library also has some of the titles if that’s an option for any. I’ve listened to the first one and found the narrator was fair, not great, but very listenable.

    I’ve also listened to the three short stories, Dark Dream narrated by Eric Michael Summerer was awesome as was Dark Descent narrated by Natalie Gold. They both give the perfect Eastern European accent to the Carpathians. Dark Hunger narrated by Karina Galt was awful! The Carpathians may be a thousand years old but that doesn’t mean they need to sound that old!

    Then I moved to Dark Possession because of Phil Gigante’s name and, of course, he does an amazing job, along with Jane Brown. They do the last three books that have come out and I hope they continue to get the job!

    Richard Ferrone has ruined more than one audio book for me so I won’t be listening to any he has narrated but I’ll try the ones by Rebbecca Cook and Kevin Free at some point.

    Alyssa Bresnahan narrating the Drake sisters does a really good job with both the male and female voices. I especially like her Ilya, which makes Turbulent Sea my favorite in the series.

    katyco: I enjoyed reading the Harper series by Charlaine Harris, the narration was a bit to slow for me when I tried the audio though. But I’m definitely going to try the Lily Bard series on your recommendation as I loved listening to the whole Sookie series. Listening to that series was way better than reading it!!

  12. GamaTST says:

    I don’t know how many PNR fans are here but I was thrilled to see Lara Adrian’s Kiss of Midnight released at Audible.com yesterday. I’ve started it and the narrator is very good IMO.

  13. Liz Verrill says:

    Thanks for this great list!

    I’m listening to Stephanie Bond’s Body Movers right now. The reader is Cassandra Brown and I think she just a great job. I wish there was a little more delineation with male voices, but it is still good.

  14. Liz Verrill says:

    I really should proof before I hit enter. She is doing a great job!

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