My Three Favorite Audiobooks of 2013

Selecting my favorite audio of 2013 was easy peasy. Mystery, suspense, action, and characters I loved spending time with. What’s not to love? Deadline written by Sandra Brown and narrated by Stephen Lang. My gushy review.



Second favorite was an easy call as well. After Hours written by Cara McKenna and narrated by Lucy Rivers. I loved the real-ness here. McKenna’s spare prose packs an emotional punch and Rivers’ reading is just right.



Third favorite has to be Mystery Man written by Kristen Ashley and narrated by Kate Russell. Kristen Ashley has finally come to audio! Yay for Kate Russell — she gets it. 



It was really a very good year for audiobooks. I listened to over 90 new productions and relistened to who knows how many old favorites. I’ll talk about more of my 2013 favorites in my next post. There are quite a few more I want to share!


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Ellora’s Cave is Queen for a Day at Audible…or how I went shopping and failed at buying

Yesterday over 35 Ellora’s Cave erotic romance titles produced by Audible landed with a big splash in the store. I dived in armed with one credit, prepared to spend more on Whispersync promotional pricing deals. Sadly, I left with my one measly credit still unspent, and without even one new audiobook in my library. The longer I spent browsing and sampling, the more confused and disappointed I felt. Since no vendor (neither online nor brick) should ever make a customer who is willing to give you money feel bad about the shopping experience, it’s not my fault! Failure to buy–when I want to–is so not me.

I’m admitting out loud right here and now that I loved Lora Leigh’s Men of August series when I read it a few years ago. Sharing and caring brothers with Big Issues, Heavy Emotional Baggage, and Childhood Sexual Trauma who find their HEAs in a close-knit familial way. Trope-y and imitated themes now, but original and shocking back in the day. So why didn’t I grab these? In this case it was narrator “Summer Roberts” (quotes because, please). She sounds 12, stretching maybe 15. I’m sorry, Audible, but that is creepy. Also, no whispersync. Moving on.

More Lora Leigh. Bound Hearts series 1,2, and 3 narrated by “Clarissa Knightly.” Haven’t read these, there’s no whispersync deal, and “Clarissa” does not speak to me. But wait! Bound Hearts 4 narrator is Nick Sullivan who is experienced with 130 listings at Audible. Maybe I’ll come back to this one. Maybe.

Feline Breeds books 1,2 and 3 narrated by “Stella Bloom.” Rejected because I tried reading the series opener way back when and…one word–barbed. Also “Stella” has no history. Please. A boatload more Leigh titles are coming up in October. I’m interested in Elizabeth’s Wolf since I remember that one fondly but who the hell is narrator “Maxine Mitchell?” Her voice sounds very familiar and it annoys the crap out of me that I have to try to figure out her other narrator name(s).

 From Laurann Dohner we’re offered four series and a novella. Ral’s Woman (isn’t he pretty?) is one I have on my Kindle but whispersync is not offered. So, no, because narrator “Simone Lewis” doesn’t sound all that appealing and she has no history.There are more books in the Zorn Warriors club that do come with whispersync. Go figure. Next, New Species series has 4 titles. Narrator for the first is Ali Ahn (I know her! She’s good.) and I can get whispersync pricing. This is a maybe. The others are read by “Vanessa Chambers” who has no other listings. Dohner’s Cyborg Seduction series has 4 books read by “Mindy Kennedy,” another one who dropped out of the sky. Are we seeing a pattern here? Mine to Chase novella read by newbie “Aisling Conaway” is offered at $10.46 for 2 hours and 51 minutes. Nope.

And finally Mating Heat 1 is narrated by “G.C. VonCloudts” and Mating Heat 2 by “G.C. Van Clouts.” LOL! Are you playing with us or what! This voice is extremely familiar to my ear and I will get your identity  sorted out. 

Rejected in short order:

  • Men with Tools books 1,2, and 3 read by “Kasha Kensington” No, no, no.
  • Phoenix Agency books 1,2,3, and 4 read by “Bethany Legare” No times 4.
  • No Mercy by Jaid Black read by “Tillie Hooper” Also Trek Mi Q’an (hated the book) and Enslaved by Jaid Black. 
  • Reaper’s Property read by “Stella Bloom” It was a bad book. Watching Sons of Anarchy is not “research.” I watch it, too.
  • Strangers read by “Tilly Hooper” Hey, I wonder if she knows “Tillie Hooper!”

Okay, so clearly I’m very irritated with narrators taking pseudonyms to narrate the erotic books we so love in Romancelandia. It works against narrators who already have a fan base. If I don’t know you have a new book, I can’t buy it, right? I’m even more annoyed with audiobook makers who think they can stick anyone in a booth and produce a winner. Using female narrators whose timbre and speech patterns sound too young to, ya know, have sex is a huge creep factor. You disrespect us! I spent a couple of hours earnestly shopping and couldn’t buy anything. Now I have a stomach ache.