I’m not sure who came up with the combo of peanut butter and jelly, but I’m eternally grateful. There are some pairings that just work, despite not being immediately obvious. In that spirit, here are five new romance audios with unlikely match-ups—and performances that are sure to make you laugh, swoon, and listen longer.
A dual narration about a vampire motorcycle club member and a ghost whisperer? Yes, yes, and yes! Same old thing? Definitely not. In HUNTER’S HOPE by Alyssa Day, narrators Mia Madison and Oliver Clarke work together to create the atmosphere of menace surrounding Alice and Hunter, who get thrown together after an animal rescue. Madison and Clarke not only bring the couple to life (or the afterlife!) but also animate secondary characters, including Alice’s ghost acquaintances.
For another audio with larger-than-life protagonists, there’s THE LOVE CON by Seressia Glass. Narrator Zenzi Williams unwraps Kenya Davenport’s beloved cosplay world for listeners. Williams sympathetically portrays Kenya’s desire to enter a celebrity TV cosplay competition and the desperate lengths she will go to, including drafting her friend Cameron as a fake cosplay boyfriend. But fake boyfriends don’t stay fake for long in romance audio! The laughter, the drama, the growing love connection—they all feel as real as they are entertaining.
Unlikely pairings can also be found in enemies-to-lovers stories such as TWO HOUSES, written by Suleena Bibra and read by Jeed Saddy. Priya and Gavin are longtime competitors, and now, as adults, they compete from their respective corners at different art auction houses. Narrator Saddy’s laid-back reading of their competition and banter lets listeners know not to take their enmity too seriously, as does her skilled transmission of Bibra’s satisfying humor.
TEXAS HOMECOMING by Carolyn Brown and read by Chelsea Hatfield features another couple with unresolved issues. Dr. Cody Ryan takes shelter in a Texas barn during a storm only to be discovered by veterinarian and former love interest Stephanie, aka Dr. Stevie. Narrator Chelsea Hatfield excels at Texas accents and small-town stories, and listeners will sink into this blizzard romance. (And don't the first audio in Brown’s Ryan Family series, SECOND CHANCE AT SUNFLOWER RANCH.)
Last, and possibly most intriguing to Jane Austen fans, is A CERTAIN APPEAL by Vanessa King, read by Julia Whelan. Pride and Prejudice at a burlesque club? Unlikely, yes, and so right for audio! Liz Bennet’s day job is “respectable,” and her side gig is at a New York City burlesque club. Wealth management consultant Will Darcy is her foil in terms of his sense and sensibility. Whelan guides listeners through all the acts at the Meryton burlesque club with sizzling dialogue from everyone at the club and some laugh-out-loud moments from this unlikely couple.