Sometimes the best story is one that makes your heart pound, or one that squeezes your heartstrings and leaves you teary eyed. So we’re featuring six new romance listens that score high on the intensity scale.
THE FAMILY YOU MAKE by Jill Shalvis, read by Erin Mallon, starts out with a near-death experience on a ski lift in Tahoe. It leads Levi to make a last-minute cell phone call to his family where he claims that Jane is his girlfriend. Narrator Erin Mallon digs into the trauma that impacts Jane and Levi’s “fake” (or real?!) relationship with warmth and sensitivity. And for paranormal listeners, there’s the long awaited MUNRO by Kresley Cole, paired with Cole’s longtime narrator, Robert Petkoff. Superb character voices and a deliciously intense Scottish accent for werewolf Munro as he tries to save his mate’s life make this a must listen.
Like romantic encounters on the intense side? Try SAVAGE ROAD by Christine Feehan, read by Ryan West. In this title in the Torpedo Ink motorcycle club series, club member Savage struggles with his intense sexual preferences as he yearns to form a lasting relationship with Seychelle. West uses a tough, hard-edged voice to indicate the boundaries the characters set as they navigate their challenging relationship. For another intense listen, DEFINITELY KINKY by Annabel Joseph pairs a quartet interested in intimate relations with a quartet of narrators—Jason Clarke, Ava Lucas, Teddy Hamilton, and Connor Crais.
Want an emotional gut punch? Enjoy I'M SO (NOT) OVER YOU by Kosoko Jackson, read by Timothy Bell Reese, who won an Earphones Award for his performance. Kian and Hudson just can’t seem to let their break-up stand, and after one last meeting, they agree to fake date during wedding festivities. Reese has an appealing, full-bodied voice which he uses to good effect while exploring issues of wealth, social justice, and family expectations. His wry, self-deprecating tone works very well with Jackson’s material. And no list of intense romance could be complete without a tearjerker. THE WRONG HEART by Jennifer Hartmann, read by Stefanie Kay and Neill Thorne, completely fits the bill. Melody and Parker meet at a suicide survival support group, and their two broken souls slowly begin to heal. Hartmann and Thorne are superlatively cohesive, and listeners will feel as entrenched in the pain and joy of living as the characters are.