Speaking of Audiobooks: November 2010 Releases

Just the Sexiest ManThe monthly process of discovering upcoming romance audiobook releases remains a puzzling process, make no mistake, but one I’m determined to solve piece by piece.  As we’ve discussed before, there is no “list” for one to reference and pass on to you, our listeners, but gradually we’re piecing together the puzzle and today’s upcoming releases list represents our most comprehensive to date.  Oh, it is surely still incomplete in many ways but little by little, we’re whittling away the secrets surrounding the lack of upcoming release information, particularly with digital releases.  Penguin Audio is now notifying us of their upcoming digital releases and they are responsible for the inclusion of such titles as Joanna Bourne’s The Spymaster’s Lady and Julie James’ Just the Sexiest Man Alive, as well as offerings from Lora Leigh.  In addition, I’ve gained access to a library site that provides yet more upcoming titles with only the minor inconvenience of occasionally finding no narrator reference.

Although I knew to expect Just the Sexiest Man Alive at some point (I follow Julie James on Twitter), I had no idea when.  And then I discovered Rachel Gibson’s Nothing but Trouble was being released the same month and well – I was ecstatic!  I adored both of these contemporaries in print and plan on savoring them even more now that they are to be released in my favorite format.  These are but two on the November new release list that hold great interest for me.  It’s going to be a good month!

Leftovers from October

Here are just a few of those surprise audiobooks that failed to make last month’s New Releases column.

Adrian, Lara – Taken by Midnight Narrated by Hillary Huber

Carlyle, Liz – One Touch of Scandal Narrated by Nicola Barber

Frost, Jeaniene – One Foot in the Grave Narrated by Tavia Gilbert

Hoag, Tami – Keeping Company Narrated by Susan Boyce

Hoyt, Elizabeth – To Seduce a Sinner Narrated by Anne Flosnik

Kenyon, Sherrilyn – Unleash the Night Narrated by Fred Berman

McCarty, Sarah – Tracker’s Sin Narrated by Gabra Zackman

Milan, Courtney – Trial by Desire Narrated by Elizabeth Jasicki

Raybourn – Deanna – Dark Road to Darjeeling Narrated by Ellen Archer

Schwartz, Jenny – The Price of Freedom Narrated by Rachel Butera

Shayne, Maggie – Twilight Hunger Narrated by Nicola Barber

Ward, J.R. – Crave Narrated by Eric G. Dove

Audiobook Romances on Sale in November


Coulter, Catherine – Point Blank Narrated by Dick Hill

Garwood, Julie – The Bride Narrated by Rosalyn Landor

Michael, Judith – Acts of Love Narrated by Buck Schirner

Michaels, Fern – Whitefire Narrated by Sandra Burr

Robb, J.D. – Indulgence in Death Narrated by Susan Ericksen

Robb, J.D. – J.D. Robb Collection 10: Promise in Death, Kindred in Death Narrated by Susan Ericksen

Roberts, Nora – Sea Swept Narrated by David Stuart


Adrian, Lara – Veil of Midnight Narrated by Hilary Huber

Beverley, Jo – A Lady’s Secret Narrator unknown

Bishop, Anne – Dreams Made Flesh*  Narrated by John Sharian

s LadyBourne, Joanna – The Spymaster’s Lady*  Narrated by Kristen Potter

Brendan, Mary – Rake’s Defiant Mistress Narrated by Jane Collingwood

Brown, Sandra – Love’s Encore Narrated by Natalie Ross

Caine, Rachel – Undone*  Narrated by Cynthia Holloway

Dodd, Christina – Danger in a Red Dress Narrated by Angela Dawe

Gibson, Rachel – Nothing but Trouble Narrator unknown

Gist, Deeanne – Maid to Match Narrated by Suzy Jackson

Howard, Linda – Mackenzie’s Mission Narrated by Dennis Boutsikaris

Jackson, Brenda – Seduction, Westmoreland Style Narrated by Jack Garrett

Jackson, Lisa – Gypsy Wind Narrated by Teri Clark Linden

James, Julie – Just the Sexiest Man Alive*  Narrated by Karen White

Kleypas, Lisa – Devil in Winter Narrated by Rosalyn Landor

Kleypas, Lisa – Scandal in Spring Narrated by Rosalyn Landor

Kleypas, Lisa – A Wallflower Christmas Narrated by Rosalyn Landor

Krentz, Jayne Ann – Truth or Dare Narrated by Joyce Bean

Leigh, Lora – Harmony’s Way*  Narrated by Alexandria Wilde

Leigh, Lora – Megan’s Mark*  Narrated by Brianna Bronte

MacAlister, Katie – In the Company of Vampires Narrated by Nicole Poole

Macomber, Debbie – Denim and Diamonds: A Selection from Wyoming Brides Narrated by Tanya Eby

Macomber, Debbie – The Sooner the Better Narrated by Renee Raudman

Macomber, Debbie – The Wyoming Kid: A Selection from Wyoming Brides Narrated by Tanya Eby

Mallery, Susan – Falling for Gracie Narrated by Savannah Richards

Mallery, Susan – Sunset Bay Narrated by Renee Raudman

Medeiros, Teresa – Some Like it Wild Narrator unknown

Michael, Judith – Acts of Love Narrated by Buck Schirner

Peterson, Tracie – Twilight’s Serenade Narrated by Linda Stephens

Robb, J.D. – Possession in Death Narrated by Susan Ericksen

Roberts, Nora – Happy Ever After Narrated by Angela Dawe

Roberts, Nora – O’Hurley’s Return: Skin Deep, Without a Trace Narrated by Marie Caliendo

Roberts, Nora – Reflections Narrated by Angela Dawe

Roberts, Nora – Skin Deep Narrated by Marie Caliendo

Roberts, Nora – Without a Trace Narrated by Marie Caliendo

Thomas, Jodi – Welcome to Harmony Narrator unknown

Warren, Tracy Anne – The Wife Trap Narrator unknown

Woods, Sherryl – Harbor Lights Narrated by Christina Traister

*Audio link unavailable at this time.  A digital-only audiobook available from all major digital audio retailers November 1st.

Recent Listens

The Wedding – Julie Garwood

Narrated by Steven Crossley

At one time, I loved Garwood’s medievals and found myself glomming her books…that is, until I suddenly tired of her too efficient, sweet heroines.  Fortunately after a six year break I find myself enjoying Garwood’s writing once again – this time in audio – and a large part of this book’s particular success is narrator Steven Crossley (Judith Ivory’s The Proposition).  He’s good especially considering the fact that he’s reading a romance – not always an easy feat for a male narrator.  His slightly raised voice when performing Brenna doesn’t sound entirely natural but it’s not an uncomfortable falsetto as is many a male narrator’s tendency.  The delivery is effective with most characters clearly distinguished one from another and the well-paced narration successfully turns witty dialogue into laughs for the listener.  Additionally, Connor’s alpha attitudes are effectively portrayed even as Brenna coaxes him toward more thoughtful interaction.  I’ll definitely listen to this one again.

Provocative in PearlsProvocative in Pearls – Madeline Hunter

Narrated by Polly Lee

I listened to Provocative in Pearls while reading Sherry Thomas’ His at Night and thereby broke one of my rules of audio listening – don’t read and listen to books from the same genre at the same time.  Since I wasn’t enthralled with either book, I found it easy to confuse characters and storylines and therefore, I can’t honestly tell you if I thought this narrative to be above average.  But I can tell you that I found my first experience with narrator Polly Lee to be quite pleasant.  Her characterizations are distinct and thereby easy to follow – especially the female characters.  However, the voicing of emotion is clearly lacking.  Often the scripted word informed me of an emotion at play yet I failed to hear it.  Frequently the change of scenes was unexpected since it sounded like the same conversation continuing with little pause.  That, of course, is a production issue that should have no reflection on the narrator.  I look forward to hearing Ms. Lee’s performance again and will probably do so soon since I plan to purchase Hunter’s Sinful in Satin, the next installment of the Rarest Blooms series.

Every Breath You Take – Judith McNaught

Narrated by Laura Dean

A fabulously wealthy hero (self-made of course) and a humble yet gorgeous woman meet for the first time on a tropical island and share a romance unaware that they are connected in numerous ways back in Chicago.  It’s typical McNaught (and I am a definite fan) which means there is a Big Misunderstanding – this one huge.  In print, this misunderstanding lasts for a good portion of the book since there is a long separation of the characters.  However in the abridged audio format, the producers had the opportunity to right this wrong and they did.  Most of the misunderstanding is removed as well as the separation.  I actually prefer this six hour abridgement to the print version as it tightens the story and concentrates more on the romance.  The ending may be a little rushed but I consider this abridged audiobook a success.  Laura Dean’s narration is above average and easy on the ears with voices that are clearly distinguishable.  This is another definite re-listen for the future.  I’ve considered finding this one in unabridged format as well (it’s harder to find) but no longer feel the desire to do so.

Recent Additions to my Audio Library

Mackenzie’s Mountain – Linda Howard

Narrated by Christina Traister

Two months ago, the unabridged version was released in CD format but I have yet to find a digital copy at outlets such as Audible.  I finally gave in and purchased in CD format.  What is going on?

The Convenient Marriage – Georgette Heyer

Narrated by Richard Armitage

Not finding this available at my usually reliable Audible, I purchased this directly from Naxos Audiobooks.  I so enjoyed Armitage’s narration of Heyer’s Sylvester that I just had to have this one as well.

Head Over Heels – Susan Andersen

Narrated by Anna Fields

This one is hard to find but comes highly recommended from other SOA listeners and is, of course, a must listen with narrator Anna Fields.

Grand Passion – Jayne Ann Krentz

Narrated by Richard Ferrone

I haven’t listened to or even read many of Krentz’s books.  Grand Passion sounds like my kind of contemporary although Ferrone has not impressed me in the past.  I’m going with the recommendations of others with this one.

Speaking of Audiobooks at Goodreads

Our Speaking of Audiobooks group at Goodreads has taken off and is now 18 members strong.  Come join us and share your audiobook shelf with us.

Time for Your Thoughts

What new releases are you looking forward to?

Do you know of any November 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

I’m announcing new romance audiobook releases and other audio tidbits on Twitter during the week.  I don’t cover every new release but attempt to include the more significant titles.  To follow me on Twitter, look for LeaAAR.

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 mid-November.

- Lea Hensley

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20 Responses to Speaking of Audiobooks: November 2010 Releases

  1. Well, they’re urban fantasies, but the first three books in my Elemental Assassin series — Spider’s Bite, Web of Lies, and Venom — have been released from Audible.

    I keep meaning to read more by Julie James. I really liked her latest release.

  2. diane9596 says:

    I just finished listening to The Reckless Bride by Stephanie Laurens and narrated by Simon Prebble. I’ve really enjoyed listening to the Black Cobra quartet. SL gives us an ending I never saw coming. Simon Prebble can be a little bit irritating during the intimate scenes but overall I find him one of the better narrators.
    I may have to get The Spymasters Lady. I’ve heard good things about it but I don’t think I ever managed to find a print copy around here. :(
    For those who may not know yet, Audible has their Buy 4, Get $10 going on now. :)
    I like the Goodreads group, that was a great idea. Instead of creating another account for my audiobooks I just created another shelf labelled “audiobook shelf” where I save my audiobooks. I found that the easiest way to go as I have a lot of books in both print and audio. ARRRRRRGG

  3. Lea AAR says:

    I have been so busy taking little trips lately to see others or with others that my listening time has been severely compromised. Therefore, my effort at listening to Linda Howard’s Open Season has been sporadic at best and I’m not following it all that well (although I’m enjoying what I hear – just think I could be enjoying more without all the interruptions). The same with Lisa Kleypas’ Suddenly You – an old fave of mine – I seem to be dropping in too little to stay connected.

    I’m starting Moning’s Darkfever this week and, hopefully, I’ll find Julie James’ Just the Sexiest Man Alive on sale at Audible Nov. 1st. I’m taking yet another trip this weekend with some serious flight time and want to immerse myself in listening to a couple of fantastic books.

  4. TSTBren says:

    I’m looking forward to the two JD Robb books coming out in November. Indulgence in Death is just 4 days away! I like the fact that they release her short stories from the novellas (Possession In Death) as singles in the audio format.

    The Julie James book has my attention, it was an excellent read. Along with the Joanna Bourne, which is still sitting here on my TBR.

    According to Recorded Books “coming soon” search option, Bending The Rules by Susan Andersen will be released Nov 19th. Narrated by Carol Monda.

    I’ve been on an Ilona Andrews kick with her Kate Daniel’s UF series. It has a thread of romance, which comes to fruition in the 4th book. I’m on my second time through the 4 books in a two week time frame. Renee Raudman is amazing with this series.

    I have the J. Estep books on my wish list at Audible, looks like the “buy 4 get $10.00″ sale would be the perfect time to pick them up.

    I need to change the ratings for my audiobook shelf at Goodreads, a lot of them reflect the paper version instead of the audio. I keep meaning to but Kate Daniels/Renee Raudman won’t turn me loose. :)

    • MaryK says:

      “Most of the misunderstanding is removed as well as the separation. I actually prefer this six hour abridgement to the print version as it tightens the story and concentrates more on the romance. ”

      That’s really interesting.

      As I was reading through the abridged list for November, I was wondering why they bother and who their audience is, but the McNaught sounds like an excellent use of abridgment.

      I’m on my second time through the 4 books in a two week time frame.

      Wow, I don’t make it through 1 book in 2 weeks! Clearly I need to pick up the pace.

  5. Lea AAR says:

    Jennifer – thanks for letting us know about your books! I have enjoyed Laura Fortgang’s narration in the past.

    Diane – I think we have had a great start for our Goodreads group. Didn’t realize your audiobooks were on a dedicated shelf but that will be helpful. I’m still feeling me way around the site but am always surprised at its features.

    TSTBren – I hadn’t even thought about using the “buy 4 get $10″ sale for a series. Now I think I’ll go shopping for an affordable series. Do you think the Daniels series is romantic or does its romance thread thread remain in the background?

  6. TSTBren says:

    The romance is definitely in the back ground, the glimpses of it are enjoyable as it slowly builds. I like Andrews style with sly humor incorporated in with the action, as this strong, but lonely heroine inadvertantly builds a network of friends and support about her. Raudman portrays it all perctly.

    Lea I hope you enjoy Darkfever, it was my first foray into UF, what an addictive ride that series is!

    Spider’s Bite is now on my iPod, I’ll take a romance break from these Andrews books to reset my mind and then hit the UF again.

  7. TSTBren says:

    Taking the “big misunderstanding” out of a book would be perfect for me! I hate that plot device.

    Too funny MaryK, I don’t watch TV (wouldn’t even own one of DH didn’t insist) I work at home doing a lot of basic data entry and I have long drives to get just about anywhere. Which means audiobooks are made for me! And when I get on this kind of a roll with a series, I have the cleanest – most organized house in town. :)

  8. Kaetrin says:

    Does anyone know why Audible doesn’t have the new Richard Armitage-read Heyer? I’m trying to work out if it’s work $17USD for me to buy it from the publisher….

    Now I’m off to see whether I can get Every Breath You Take and The Wedding – I haven’t listened to any McNaughts (though I’ve read them all and liked them, esp. Something Wonderful) and I’ve not read any Garwoods at all (although I have a couple in my TBR).

  9. MaryK says:

    Audible has been weird lately, IMO. I have a 2 credit a month listening plan so I use the My Next Listen feature to queue up books in case I don’t get around to visiting the site to spend them some month. Recently, a deadline went by and it didn’t automatically buy the books. And this month, I could swear it picked 2 books that were at the bottom of MNL instead of the 2 I purposely placed at the top.

  10. Lea AAR says:

    As stated in the column, I purchased Heyer’s The Convenient Marriage directly from Naxos. I have no idea (but wish I did) why Audible isn’t carrying this one since they did the two other Armitage narrated Heyer books. I’m not an expert at downloading audiobooks from sources other than Audible and I will say this one has given me a very hard time. Even my computer-minded daughter had difficulty downloading it. We finally put it all in a playlist on my iPod but we have been unable to remove every single chapter from appearing throughout my Audiobooks list – alphabetically by the first words in the chapter. Tomorrow morning we are going to try once again to make sense of it all but I doubt I’ll be buying another audiobook in this manner unless I can figure it all out. It’s been quite maddening. Hopefully it’s merely my lack of knowing some very simple step. If anyone has any suggestions, both my daughter and I would appreciate it!

  11. Lea AAR says:

    MaryK – I didn’t realize Audible offered to automatically purchase books in this manner. I change my mind so often on what I want to hear next that it definitely would not be the way for me to go. I have the two credit plan and often save my credits from one month to the next. Is this not possible with your plan?
    Will Audible listen to your complaint? It seems these purchases could be reversed as long as others were substituted and they do seem to be a customer friendly company.

  12. MaryK says:

    I have an ancient grandfathered plan from back in the early days of Audible. $14 a month for 2 credits that expire if not used. So I can’t complain too much. Plus it is possible I had a complete brain glitch and put Obsidian Prey ahead of Silver Master (though I really thought I had Magic Bites as one of my 2 downloads this month).

  13. Jody says:

    Hey Lea,

    I am looking forward to Anne Bishops Dreams Made Flesh. Anne writes some of the best fantasy I have ever read and John Sharian does a wonderful job narrating this series.

    This is my favorite blog every month. Thanks!!

  14. Lea AAR says:

    Jody – Thanks! I’ve never looked into Bishop’s Black Jewels series but I may now. The whole fantasy element is new to me as of this year (part of my listening challenge) and I’ve enjoyed my choices to date. Let us know what you think once your done with Dreams Made Flesh, okay?

  15. melinda says:

    regarding LH’s Mackenzie’s Mission – why is this a new release at Amazon, I wonder? I got the Dennis Boutsikaris version from Audible a couple of years ago, so it’s not a new recording.

    regarding Naxos, it appears they are downloaded as MP3s, so what I had to do with MP3 CDs (audiobook) was change the way I added them to the library – check your Import Setting in Preferences/Options, be sure it’s set to AAC Encoder. Then after I added them, I changed them to AAC by clicking “Advanced > Create AAC version”. Then I deleted the MP3 versions. I can’t tell from your description if this will help or not, though.

  16. Lea AAR says:

    Melinda – thanks for the instructions. We decided to totally remove the troublesome download and save the problem for another day. We’ll definitely try this.

    LH’s Mackenzie’s Mission is one of those audiobooks that was released only at Audible (possibly other digital sites as well) so possibly this is a case of the digital rights versus the more typical rights for CD/tape formats. This is only my best guess but I think there is some truth to it. Linda Howard is one of those authors who looks to be gradually releasing her entire backlist in all formats. But if that is the case, why did Mackenzie’s Mountain not make it to digital outlets when recently released??

  17. MaryK says:

    I’m still working on One Summer, and I love it. It has some steamy sex scenes, and I haven’t been bothered by them! They’ve felt very natural as opposed to the voyeuristic feeling they usually give me. I don’t know if I have the author or the narrator to thank for that. I’m definitely ready to try more Romance audio, though gingerly probably. :)

  18. TSTBren says:

    I have to say that I thank the narrator when I comfortably get through the steamy scenes. And Anna Fields is a pro in that department for me.

    Calmly reading/narrating well written bedroom scenes works for me.

    While the narrators that sound like “they” are actually having sex while they read the scenes give me the voyeuristic feeling. And it creeps me out. :)

    I’m all for narrators portraying the proper emotions / feelings etc but not in this department.

    I can read the scenes all day long but with listening I’m picky. My fast forward button gets a workout in those sections when I’m not comfortable.

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