Speaking of Audiobooks: March 2010 Releases

the dead travel fastOur March new releases column is late.  My workhorse of a laptop crashed and was off to the manufacturer for twelve days leaving me with no means of submitting a column.  A bit frustrating – yes, but added to that aggravation was the fact that I was unable to sync my iPod and choose audiobooks from my own audio library.  This is where technology sometimes gets the best of me as I repeatedly and unsuccessfully attempted to access my Audible files via iTunes on another computer.  Grrrr.

There will now be three Speaking of Audiobooks columns in March.  Next week March’s main column will be dedicated to Narrators and, during the last week of the month, we’ll take a look at April’s audiobook releases.

Two weeks ago, we discussed our favorite romance audiobooks and your recommendations were in depth, fun, informative and, I must say, outstanding!  That combined effort will certainly be used in the future as a tool for newcomers to romance audiobooks or to this column as a whole.  I’m sure those who have read the column have already benefitted from those many, many recommendations.  Bravo!

For those of you who have not had the opportunity to share your favorites with us, please check in at the Speaking of Audiobooks: Favorites column.  Hopefully, in this manner, we can continue to build our list of favorites for future reference.  Even if you have only one favorite to mention, we all want to hear from you.

Each of you may easily follow these discussions, such as the Favorites column, by requesting to receive notification of future entries.  For each column, you can find this option at the bottom of the page below the “Leave a Reply” area.

Leftovers from February

Here are just a few of those surprise audiobooks that failed to make last month’s New Releases column.  You’ll also find an updated February list of audiobook releases over at AAR.

Garwood, Julie – For the Roses (abridged)

Jackson, Lisa – Deep Freeze

Jenkins, Beverly – The Taming of Jessi Rose

Kenyon, Sherrilyn – Dance with the Devil

Audiobook Romances on Sale in March


Brunstetter, Wanda – A Cousin’s Challenge

Hamilton, Laurell K – Blue Moon

Hamilton, Laurell K – Obsidian Butterfly

Kleypas, Lisa – Smooth Talking Stranger

Lindsey, Johanna – Marriage Most Scandalous

Peterson, Tracie – Morning’s Refrain

Quick, Amanda – The Perfect Poison

Roberts, Nora – Blue Dahlia

Stewart, Mariah – Cry Mercy

Wiggs, Susan – The Summer Hideaway

close to youUnabridged

Crusie, Jennifer – What the Lady Wants

Crusie, Jennifer & Mayer, Bob – Wild Ride

Dodd, Christina – Close to You

Edwards, Bonnie – Possessing Morgan

Garwood, Julie – Gentle Warrior

Graham, Heather – The Killing Edge

Hamilton, Laurell K – Blue Moon

Hamilton, Laurell K – Obsidian Butterfly

Hannah, Kristin – Angel Falls

Hooper, Kay – In Serena’s Web

Howard, Linda – Strangers in the Night

Jeffries, Sabrina – Never Seduce a Scoundrel

Krentz, Jayne Ann – Lost and Found

Landis, Jill Marie- Heart of Stone

Macomber, Debbie – Because of the Baby: A Selection from Midnight Sons

Macomber, Debbie – Daddy’s Little Helper: A Selection from Midnight Sons

Mallery, Susan- High-Powered, Hot-Blooded

Raybourn, Deanna- The Dead Travel Fast

Robards, Karen – Shattered

Roberts, Nora – Entranced

Roberts, Nora – First Impressions

Sands, Lindsay – Love Bites

Warren, Nancy – Too Hot to Handle

Wiggs, Susan – Home Before Dark

Wiggs, Susan – The Summer Hideaway

Recent Additions to my Audio Library

There was a members’ credit sale over at Audible and February was a dry audio purchase month for me.  The up side?  Credits enough to try a few of the many wonderful audiobooks recommendations from our recent Favorites discussion.

Out of Control – Suzanne Brockmann

Narrated by Norma Lana

Out of Control served as my introduction to the Troubleshooters series seven years ago (and my first military type romance) and I was quite blown away.  Narrator Norma Lana is unknown to me but the sample sounds great.  I’m looking forward to revisiting Kenny and Savannah but even more, I want to savor Jones and Molly all over again.

Envy – Sandra Brown

Narrated by Victor Slezak

I considered this one seriously after seeing a recommendation in our last column but the synopsis convinced me to pick this one up.  And oh, there was also that comment from Diana, “Slezak is soooo good at interpreting Brown’s jerk heroes.”  That made it irresistible.

All I Ever Needed – Jo Goodman

Narrated by Jenny Sterlin

Thinking this was the second in Goodman’s Compass Club series, I eagerly purchased it after thoroughly enjoying Virginia Leishman’s narration of the first in the series, Let Me Be the One.  Then I discovered this is actually the third.  Determined to listen in order, I’ll be waiting until I have another available credit to purchase the second, Everything I Ever Wanted, since the member’s price is $55.74!  I have high expectations for Jenny Sterlin’s performance since she narrates the last three books of the series.

Honey Moon – Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Narrated by Anna Fields

It’s a little hard for me to believe but I have yet to read or listen to Honey Moon.  Not only am I a big SEP fan but, for me, Anna Fields always delivers.  However, the fact that Audible charges TWO credits, instead of the customary one, for this particular book has kept it on my Wish List rather than on my iPod.  I finally gave in.

The Dead Travel Fast – Deanna Raybourn

Narranted by Charlotte Parry

After reading Emma’s AAR review, I had this one on my radar although I had yet to read a single Raybourn title.  But, once I was reassured that not only was there a fabulous romance but a Gothic romance at that – I marked it sold.

Lover AwakenedLover Awakened – JR Ward

Narrated by Jim Frangione

Even though this is my favorite paranormal of all time, I’m venturing out a bit here since Jim Frangione reads rather than performs The Black Dagger Brotherhood series.  But I have read Lover Awakened four times and believe I can keep up with the simple reading of this beloved book.

Recent Reads

A Matter of Class – Mary Balogh

Narrated by Anne Flosnik

A very sweet romance, I greatly enjoyed this one despite the fact that the unabridged version is only a little over four hours in length.  But it was Balogh’s writing that brought this one in as a success, not the narrator’s performance.  Flosnik is a narrator I endure to hear great romance.

Kill and Tell – Linda Howard

Narrated by Natalie Ross

Another one of my Howard favorites, its strong romance is not overshadowed by the larger suspense.  Ross does an excellent job distinctly portraying both lead characters and the pacing of her narration only enhances the suspense.  Marc Chastain’s New Orleans’ accent is to die for and, I must add, Kill and Tell contains the very sexiest dance scene of all time.

Let Me Be the One – Jo Goodman

Narrated by Virginia Leishman

Discovering that the entire Compass Club series was available in audio format, I listened to this, the first of four in the series and found I was quite pleased with the experience.  The story contains a few too many coincidences or plot twists to be a favorite but narrator Virginia Leishman’s performance was such that I enjoyed nearly every moment.  Leishman differentiates the characters more with accent and cadence than change of pitch.  Serving its duty as first book, the three future heroes are introduced and given sufficient substance to make this listener eager for their stories as well.

Time for Your Thoughts

What new releases are you looking forward to?

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

What are the latest additions to your audio library?

And, as always, 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

This entry was posted in audio books, Authors, Lea Hensley and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Speaking of Audiobooks: March 2010 Releases

  1. LinnieGayl says:

    My most recent audio successes — thanks to this column — are books from JD Robb’s In Death series. The narrator does a wonderful job bringing all of the characters to life. This weekend I downloaded Fantasy in Death, which so far, is a big success.

    Another relatively recent success was Lauren Willig’s Betrayal of the Blood Lily. This is narrated by Kate Reading, and she does a good job with all of the characters, particularly differentiating between the chick lit and historical portions of the book.

  2. Lynn says:

    I took advantage of the Audible credits sale and used them to build my Susan Elizabeth Phillips collection. I never thought I’d have audio comfort reads but these really are. I also listened to Fantasy in Death and really enjoyed it. The crime wasn’t as troubling as Kindred in Death and I liked the mystery.

  3. MarissaB says:

    I just finished Georgette Heyer’s The Talisman Ring read by Phyllida Nash. Nash, who performs a number of other Heyer books, does another excellent job in this one. Heyer is perfect with her characterizations and plot pacing. This book is farcical, so there were a lot of funny moments along with endearing ones.

    I am now listening to another Heyer, The Tollgate, ready by Daniel Hill. So far, there is more mystery than romance, so already I know this will not make my favorites list. Hill does a good job, though.

    Just a thought – I’ve now listened to most of Heyer’s romances and all the narrators, of which there are many, are very good to excellent. I am so thankful for that. Are there other authors out there with more than one narrator that are as lucky?

    Providing I like the first book, it’s an easy decision for me to pick books by an author who has one main reader, e.g., Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon read by Davina Porter, Queen Betsy books by MaryJanice Davidson ready by Nancy Wu, Sookie books by Charlaine Harris ready by Johanna Parker, etc.. I would have included SEP books read by Anna Fields, but that is changing now that Anna has passed away.

    However, if an author has various narrators, I am hesitant about picking up just any of his/ her other books. I read the reviews looking for narrator comments, I search out the narrator’s credentials at audiofile ( http://www.audiofilemagazine.com/gvpages/index.shtml ), I do google searches, etc. It’s a big plus if the narrator is also an actor/actress , stage preferably. I do my best to make an educated guess because I just abhor listening to a bad performance.

    So, are there other authors out there, with many narrators, as lucky as Georgette Heyer?

  4. Lea AAR says:

    LinnieGayl – Glad to hear about Betrayal of the Blood Lily. I’ve been wondering about that one. I have only listened to Kate Reading once – Katherine Sutcliffe’s Whitehorse and thought she did a great job. It looks as though she has narrated three of Willig’s books – I assume all from this series? Do you need to read or listen to in order?

    Lynn – totally agree about the “comfort listen” status of SEP books. They’re such delightful audiobooks and most can take me to another place entirely while listening.

    MarissaB – great questions! Can you email me at my Meet Reviewer Lea Hensley page?

  5. katie bug says:

    I just LOVE this column! There are SO many books I’d like to see in audio format. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if some of the older books like “The Windflower” “The Wolf and the Dove” “To Have and to Hold” “To Love a Dark Lord” could be made into audio. I could go on and on. I’m sure I’m not the only one who would love to see some their favorites put in audio format.

  6. katie bug says:

    P.S. Just listened to “Private Arrangements” and loved it. Now I’m listening to “Fancy Pants” and has there ever been a better team than SEP and Anna Fields?

  7. Kaetrin says:

    @ Lea. I so agree with you about A Matter of Class. I’m sure I would have enjoyed it more had I read it. Flosnik was annoying. There was some weird breathy thing going on which had me grinding my teeth and when Reggie said “Anna” ‘he’ sounded like he was dying!!

    I’d love to listen to Private Arrangements and some of the other books mentioned but I’m having trouble finding them. I can’t see them at Books on Board or Audible – for some it’s the geographical restrictions (I’m in Australia) and for others, they just don’t seem to be there.

    I’ve picked up It had to be You by SEP and that’s next on my listening list.

    I’m listening to The Sharing Knife (vol 1) by Lois Bujold McMaster and I’m loving it! The narrater (Bernadette Dunne) is EXCELLENT. After my experience with A Matter of Class, I am especially grateful!

    • Iris says:

      Kaetrin’m listening to The Sharing Knife (vol 1) by Lois Bujold McMaster and I’m loving it!The narrater (Bernadette Dunne) is EXCELLENT.After my experience with A Matter of Class, I am especially grateful!

      I just came back from a conference (so nice to listen to something at bedtime that actually is interesting and well-presented, an audio book naturally) and scrolling through I was so happy to hear this.
      The book (the four books are just one long story) itself is already wonderful but Bernadette Dunne brings a whole new dimension to it. I sincerely hope she’ll be mentioned in the narrators column – after all, The Sharing Knife IS a real romance at heart.

  8. Anne Stuart says:

    I’ve got four different narrators for the four ICE books that are on audio and I like them all. I like the BLACK ICE one the least because of her pauses, but that’s personal. Most people like her just fine.

    Judith Ivory has the divine Barbara Rosenblat read two, but other readers do two others, and they’re all good.

    Toll-Gate gets more romantic and it’s entirely engaging (just finished it a couple of weeks ago) and last week I finished THE QUITE GENTLEMAN. I can’t believe I didn’t fully appreciate it in written form. It’s now one of my favorites. Which makes me think I should buy the audio forms of other books that I was so-so about. You pick up so much new stuff hearing someone read it, which is one of the joys of listening.

  9. GamaTST says:

    I’m finishing up a J D Robb listening run. I had stalled at Kindred in Death because of the disturbing crime descriptions but I knew I’d enjoy the total overall story. And I did, with a little fast forwarding here and there.

    Then I went straight to Missing In Death (loved! short and fun) and then onto Fantasy In Death, which I’m just finishing up. I have LOL plenty in this last one and it has brought tears to my eyes more than once too. Both emotions intensified greatly by Susan Erickson’s fabulous narration.

    Lea I agree 100% with your take on Kill and Tell, it was great. I’m looking forward to Strangers in the Night, Laural Merlington is generally a solid narrator.

    Years ago I used to be happy just to see any of my favorite books in an audio format but after a few miserable listens I’ve found it’s all about the narrator. Thus, like MarrissaB, much research and effort is now put into “new to me” narrators.

    Anne, you’ve mentioned Sunshine by Robin McKinley as a favorite in past columns. I was wondering if you had ever listened to the audio version? If so, what did you think of the narrator? I’m going to be reading the book shortly and was wondering on the audio.

    The Devil’s Waltz would be my top choice of a Stuart historical done in audio, loved Christian!

  10. Anne Stuart says:

    I love the audio version of Sunshine, even though it makes Sunshine seem a little yappy, which she is. But man, I lust after Con’s voice, and it’s a woman. For me it’s one of my major comfort listens. I just adore it.

    Lea — I was reading the past column about Outlander, and you said in order to get through the torture scenes fast you speed up the voices. Did you know you can also hold down the forward or backward side of the dial on an ipod (3 o’clock and 9 o’clock) and it will jump ahead at 5 or 7 second intervals? It’s how I get to the middle of a chapter or skip through boring stuff that I’ve heard too many times.


  11. GamaTST says:

    Thanks for the reply Anne, I will look forward to listening to Sunshine soon. Female narrators that can give a man a voice to lust after are especially amazing. Anna Fields and Natalie Ross can accomplish it. I’ll look forward to Laural Merlington adding to the list!

    I’ve been enjoying a favorite re-listen, Dream Man by Linda Howard. Love Dane’s voice! The introduction says “performed” by Phil Gigante instead of narrated by. Now that’s the truth, it is definitely a performance, not a narration!

    Off to research The Sharing Knife….

  12. katyco says:

    Thanks to Iris’ recommendation in the last audio book discussion, I’m now on book 3 of the Sharing Knife series. I love it and Bernadette Dunne does a great job. I used my Audible Credit this month to download The Dead Travel Fast, so that’s next.

    katie bug – I second making To Love A Dark Lord an audio release. It was one of the first books I read a few years ago when I discovered historical romance and it’s still one of my favorites.

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