Whenever we highlight audiobooks here on the blog, it goes without saying that someone is pretty excited to share them. Whether it’s the reviewer, the editors, the public at large, or yours truly, somebody’s usually jumping up and down in the background with happy feelings about the audio experience they’ve just had.
And so it’s a double pleasure to share titles that have that audio buzz and that were recently recognized as Romance Writers of America RITA Award winners. The RITAs are given annually, and this year’s winners cross 13 categories and spotlight many first-time RITA winners. Online chatter seems to be pretty excited about this list of winners, and we didn’t want to miss out on the fun.
And you won’t want to miss out on the audiobooks of these three 2019 RITA winners.
HOW TO KEEP A SECRET by Sarah Morgan, read by Laurel Lefkow
Morgan’s title won in the category for “Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance.” Set on atmospheric Martha’s Vineyard, Morgan’s tale examines the points of connection among a mother, Nancy; her two grown daughters, Laurel and Jenna; and Lauren’s daughter, Mack. Lefkow gives a steady narration that moves listeners along through the plot and captures the women’s myriad emotions.
LONG SHOT by Kennedy Ryan, read by Sean Crisden, Jo Raylan
Veteran narrator Sean Crisden takes the court in this wrenching NBA-themed romance told in part from the male point of view, which was the RITA winner for “Contemporary Romance: Long.” Crisden voices NBA newcomer August West, who feels instant attraction for Iris, only to discover she’s dating Caleb, who may be a player in all the wrong ways. Crisden and Raylan explore the back-and-forth of this broken love triangle, exposing Caleb’s abuse and Iris’s tenuous position. Crisden’s narration is a sliding dance of description and dialogue — his voice is in motion, navigating the listening space just like an athlete looking for the right opening to make a move.
THE SATURDAY NIGHT SUPPER CLUB by Carla Laureano, read by Teri Schnaubelt
Clean romance is somewhat rare these days, and THE SATURDAY NIGHT SUPPER CLUB, RITA winner for “Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements,” manages to provide a friends-to-romance story that feels fresh yet grounded thanks to expert narrator Teri Schnaubelt. There’s so much to like in the romance of chef Rachel Bishop and freelance writer Alex Kanin. Maybe you’ll get caught by the slow build that allows Schnaubelt to explore long conversations between Rachel and Alex. Maybe you’ll love her descriptions of food preparation and presentation that will make every listener a little bit hungry! Maybe, like me, it will be all of that plus Schnaubelt’s wisp of plaintiveness that pulls on your heartstrings as Rachel copes with sexism in the workplace and self confidence issues.