If you’re watching the headlines—or the store shelves—these days, you’re well aware that money doesn’t go as far as it used to. In the spirit of commiseration, enjoy these five romance audiobooks featuring characters who are dealing with money troubles.
In NO WORDS by Meg Cabot, narrator Piper Goodeve dials up the entertainment factor in a literary festival on Little Bridge Island in the Florida Keys. Jo Wright needs funds to help her father improve his living situation and has to sacrifice her pride to be a part of the island’s first literary festival. Her big problem? Will Price—an author who criticized her work—will be there, too. Goodeve’s reading is dynamic, sparkling with the heated conflict between the two authors.
Speaking of conflict, Lord Grayson Child has rather the opposite problem in THE SECRETS OF LORD GRAYSON CHILD by Stephanie Laurens and read by Matthew Brenher. Grayson is desperate to keep the details of his substantial fortune secret from matchmaking mothers and confronts the newspaper about to spill the beans, only to discover he knows the owner. Brenher adopts a formal yet warm style that matches the mix of propriety and familiarity Grayson and Isadora must navigate as they investigate a murder.
There are yet more secrets to keep in THE DATING PLAYBOOK by Farrah Rochon, read by Rebecca Lee. Needing money to get her business off the ground, personal trainer Taylor Powell agrees to work with football star Jamar Dixon, but he insists they keep the training confidential. Cue the fake relationship cover story. On-the-go listeners will love Lee’s brisk pace and dialogue that swings with a realistic cadence.
Next, let’s go full Bridgerton with AN OFFER FROM A GENTLEMAN by Julia Quinn, read by Rosalyn Landor, the third audio in the series. When Benedict Bridgerton encounters Sophie Bennett at a ball, he’s smitten and then forlorn that he can’t find her again. Sophie has the whole Cinderella/evil stepmother thing going on, and she’s stuck working as a servant. Narrator Landor smooths Benedict’s rough edges, stands up for Sophie’s rights, and provides the subtle humor listeners have come to count on from her.
And if it’s family difficulties that keep you listening, try THE DONUT TRAP by Julie Tieu, read by Natalie Naudus. Chinese American Jasmine Tran is back working at her family’s donut shop, rather bored by the monotony of it, even as she wants to help her parents with their financial troubles. “Jas” thinks she can break the monotony when college boyfriend Alex Lai re-enters her life, but parental disapproval may make things difficult. Naudus’s lower voice with a textured edge works well for authentic-sounding male voices and Tieu’s complicated family dynamics.