Let’s face it: finding time to actually sit down and read a book is hard. Audiobooks, on the other hand, are the perfect mix of convenience and pleasure. Listening to audiobooks on long car rides, during the morning commute, or while exercising allows us to multitask—which in the 21st century, must be done 24/7.
The following list highlights some of the best audiobooks on Amazon, which all feature steamy storylines and incomparable performances. Can't decide where to begin? Take advantage of a great offer: for a limited time, Prime members new to Audible get the first three months free.
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
This fun read adds something new to the romance genre and focuses on a less-than-perfect heroine who everyone wants to (square) root for. As a successful algorithm creator, 30-something Stella Lane knows a lot about math, but can’t use an equation to find the right answer for love. So, she hires an escort named Michael Phan to teach her all things love-related—but the two might have more than just a business deal going on.
This audiobook is narrated by Carly Robins, whose voice you’ve probably heard on tons of commercials. The Kiss Quotient is a diverse addition to the romance genre because, like the author herself, Stella is on the autism spectrum. This hot new release will surely heat up any long drive or work commute.
Run, Rose, Run by Dolly Parton and James Patterson
It should come as no surprise that an audiobook cowritten by music superstar Dolly Parton and bestselling author James Patterson comes with all of the bells and whistles. Though some listeners were critical of Parton's narration, Audible's voting calculates the story has a 4.7 rating out of 5. It features voices from the music industry like Kelsea Ballerini, as well as veteran narrators like Emily Woo Keller.
And if that weren't enough, the story is accompanied by an original, 12-song album by Dolly herself.
Wanderlust by Lauren Blakely
Journey to the streets of Paris in this novel fro, famed romance writer Lauren Blakely. Joy takes the risk of a lifetime when she moves overseas to work—it’s especially risky because she doesn’t have a strong grasp on the language. Enter Griffin, her new British translator. He has wanted to leave France behind for a while, and isn’t taking his new job as seriously as he should. The two develop a repartee as Griffin teaches her some of the wrong words as a joke, while Joy refuses to mix business with pleasure. With shifting narration between Joy and Griffin, you’ll be exposed to both of their direct perspectives.
You’ll be happy that you decided to listen to this book when you hear the sexy British accent from co-narrator Richard Armitage, of The Hobbit and Ocean’s 8 fame. He has an evident chemistry with experienced romance audiobook narrator Grace Grant, and together they bring Joy and Griffin to life. This audiobook also includes a bonus interview with the author that cannot be found anywhere else.
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Take the prank war between Jim and Dwight on The Office, replace Dwight with Pam, and you’ve got The Hating Game. In Sally Thorne’s debut novel, enemies Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman pass their exhaustingly-long work weeks at their publishing company by trying to one-up each other in any competition that they can think of. When a promotion is on the line, the stakes of the competition are higher than ever before, but the line between love and hate also gets smaller and smaller.
Katie Schorr perfectly narrates the audiobook, which is told from Lucy’s point of view. She masters Lucy’s quirky personality and how exasperating it is to deal with Joshua’s shenanigans. The book is a rom com of sorts, and the audiobook version captures the nuances of the jokes you might miss otherwise if you just read it. The Hating Game is a slow burn, but the end result is completely worth it.
I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
Sophie Kinsella is the author of the bestselling Confessions of a Shopaholic series. Her latest standalone novel has the same fun nature, sans the ditzy protagonist. Poppy Wyatt is set to marry the man of her dreams and ride off into the sunset with him. But one horrible day she loses both her phone and her engagement ring in a fire drill. To Poppy's amazement, there’s an abandoned phone in her lobby’s trash and she decides that a stolen phone is better than no phone. The real owner of the phone is not too pleased that Poppy is using it, and that she’s taunting him virtually.
The spark that Poppy has with a stranger whose phone she’s taken is more electric than the one she shares with her perfect fiance. Maybe the engagement ring and phone aren’t the only things that Poppy is going to lose.
That Month in Tuscany, By Inglath Cooper
Say buongiorno to a hot Italian romance in That Month in Tuscany. When Lizzy Harper’s husband stands her up for their long-planned anniversary trip to Tuscany, she softens the blow by having a few cocktails on her flight. After extreme turbulence, she bonds with Ren Sawyer, a rockstar with tons of secrets. Lizzy and Ren explore Tuscany and Florence together, growing closer each day.
This romance audiobook takes listeners straight across the ocean to the vineyards of Tuscany and the orange rooftops of Florence. The audiobook has four narrators — Eric G. Dove, Adam Verner, Teri Clark Linden, and Lauren Ezzo — who bring to life the perspectives of the four main characters.
My Oxford Year: A Novel by Julia Whelan
If you’ve ever been abroad for an extended period of time or even stepped foot anywhere in Europe, you’ve likely indulged in a fantasy or two about meeting someone from there who will sweep you off your feet. Ella Durran isn’t one of these people—she instead fantasized about studying at Oxford University. At 24, she finally gets her opportunity and a plush job working on a political campaign to boot. A local, Jamie Davenport, ruins Ella’s first day at Oxford after a car dispute and might end up ruining her year when she finds out that he's one of her professors.
My Oxford Year includes many of the best romance tropes: a foreign affair, an enemies-to-lovers storyline, and a deadline to figure out whether love or home wins. The audiobook version is narrated by the author, so the reader will experience the nuances and tones of the text the way that she intended.
The novel was also set to be developed into a movie that Supergirl’s Melissa Benoist and Outlander’s Sam Heughan were attached to, but it’s unclear if this is moving forward now and the two are no longer exclusively attached to the movie. Just imagine the two as Ella and Jamie when you listen.
RELATED: 14 Great Contemporary Romance Novels
The Cast by Danielle Steel
The bestselling author alive is back again with one of her latest releases, The Cast. Kait Whittier is developing her first TV show and is a content single mother after two horrible marriages. When she meets another producer named Zack Winter, everything changes. Kait discovers she can still reinvent herself despite thinking she was too stuck in her own ways.
Steel is a prolific author with over 140 novels published, so it makes sense that Jim Frangione would bring the audiobook to life, as he has narrated more than 100 titles. This love story is different from others because it’s not just about Kait and Zack—Kait’s kids and the TV show’s cast are all affected by the possibility of a romance. This romantic tale is a slow but-oh-so-worth-it burn.
Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid
Neanderthal Seeks Human is the first in the Knitting the City series—the nerdier, more realistic version of Sex and the City. In a bad day that rivals the pilot of New Girl, walking dictionary Janie Morris finds out that her boyfriend of five years is cheating on her. She also loses her job and her apartment in the same day. The only person who witnesses Janie at her most vulnerable is Quinn Sullivan, who keeps popping up in Janie’s life to check on her.
Reid refers to the novel as “a smart romance,” and Janie’s first-person narration proves just that with her usage of SAT vocab words. Narrated by Jennifer Grace, an Off-Broadway star, Janie’s quirks and humor are brought to life in this audiobook.
My One and Only by Kristan Higgins
Second-chance romance comes in the form of a dreaded road trip and ill-timed wedding in My One and Only. Harper James is a professional at divorce—she’s both a divorce lawyer and a divorcee herself. When her sister marries her ex-husband Nick’s brother, she’s forced to spend time with the man she thought she left behind in her past. Even worse, when travel arrangements go awry, Harper and her ex must travel cross-country to get home, much to the chagrin of her current beau.
Fans of romantic comedies will enjoy the quick banter between Harper and Nick. Audie Award winner and voice artist Xe Sands narrates the text. Because the plot centers around a road trip, this audiobook might just be the perfect listen to spice up a road trip of your own.
It Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover
If you loved Colleen Hoover's It Ends With Us, you're sure to enjoy the audiobook performance of its sequel. Read by Colin Donnell and Olivia Song, It Starts With Us shares the perspective of fan favorite character Atlas as he attempts to woo Lily ... despite the best efforts of her ex-husband, Ryle.
The story takes off where the epilogue for It Ends With Us left off and gives a fuller picture of the characters that helped make the first work shine.
Remember When, By T. Torrest
Torrest’s novel reminds us of a time when the Jersey Shore was a vacation hotspot in the 1990s, before it became synonymous with reality TV. In Remember When, Layla Warren remembers the summer she fell in love with future movie star Trip Wiley. A decade later, she regrets letting him go, especially since he now has groupies and every starlet wants to date him.
Allyson Ryan narrates the romance read that takes listeners through time from the big hair trend in the 90s to the present day Hollywood scene. With no shortage of laughs, Remember When is a second chance romance that will leave you yearning for the beach and the thrill of first love.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Even though the title may say otherwise, Eleanor Oliphant is definitely not fine. Eleanor is a little awkward around the edges and lacks a filter, so her weekend nights are spent alone with only a heated up pizza for warmth. When she and Raymond, the IT guy from her office, help save an elderly man who fell off the sidewalk, the three forge an unlikely friendship that helps Eleanor get out of her own way.
As if you need another reason to listen to this audiobook, Reese Witherspoon is producing the film version of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. The audiobook is narrated by a Brit named Cathleen McCarron, and her accent is just the charming cherry on top.
After We Fall by Melanie Harlow
Margot Lewiston is hired to do PR for a family farm when she meets the owner’s son, Jack Valenti. An ex-army sergeant and a recent widower, Jack doesn’t want to begin a relationship, especially since he thinks he’s undeserving of happiness. Margot needs to convince him that their connection is more than just physical.
This audiobook is hotter than Jack’s farm in the middle of summer. Narrators Rob Howard and Renee Givens take on Margot and Jack’s respective perspectives,and the physical romance scenes are juxtaposed with tender moments during which the pair forge a strong connection.
The Witness by Nora Roberts
Nora Roberts is a mainstay of the romance genre, but her narrator for The Witness, Julia Whelan, is plenty accomplished in her own right. Whelan, just 39 years old, has already been a finalist for 17 Audie Awards, winning four (including for Best Female Narrator in 2019).
Whelan's first win came in 2013 with The Witness—the 200th novel of Roberts's writing career. The Witness tells the story of a scarred woman who calls herself Abigail Lowery. Abigail lives near a small town in the Ozarks and works as a freelance security systems designer. All she wants is to be left alone, which of course attracts the intrigue of local police chief Brooks Gleason.
Gleason can tell that Abigail is hiding from something, but even the police chief can't imagine how dangerous their lives are about to become.
Your Irresistible Love by Layla Hagen
Your Irresistible Love is the first in the Bennett Family series. After listening to the first audiobook, you’ll want to download the rest. Sebastian Bennett is in control of his family’s uber-successful jewelry business, but they bring in a marketing consultant to take their newest collection to the next level. Ava Lindt is focused on getting her job done, but feels the attraction between herself and Sebastian, who is notorious for being hyper-focused on business only.
Definitely do not listen to this audiobook during a family road trip — it sizzles with romance scenes. Dual narrators Kasha Kensington and Aiden Snow take on Sebastian and Ava’s shifting perspectives throughout.
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
A fun, modern take on Pride and Prejudice, Eligible brings Elizabeth Bennet to the current era as Liz, a magazine writer who is inching toward 40. Instead of just waiting around the house for suitors to come like they did in the original, Liz’s sisters have some updated hobbies. Younger sisters Lydia and Kitty are focused on CrossFit and plant-based diets while blowing through their father’s dwindling fortune, while Jane is a beautiful yoga instructor and Mary spends all day on her computer. When successful doctor Chip Bingley comes to town with a camera crew in tow as the star of a Bachelor-like dating show, he also brings along his close friend, Fitzwilliam Darcy. Like in Pride and Prejudice, Liz and Darcy have a tumultuous start, but their will-they-won’t-they romance still delivers as strongly as it does in the original.
This audiobook is narrated by Cassandra Campbell, who is able to perfectly tackle the dialogue-heavy text. Eligible keeps some of the most beloved elements from Pride and Prejudice, like Liz’s close relationship with her father and her lack of interest in settling down. The updates are hilariously quintessential parts of 21st century pop culture—from reality TV to fad diets.
Reckless by Lex Martin
When Tori Duran takes a nannying job, she never could have anticipated feeling such a strong attraction to her boss, Ethan — AKA the father of the kids she’s watching. He’s a recently divorced farmer, but is obviously still reeling from his past with his ex-wife. But when Ethan sees how good Tori is with his kids, he’s smitten too.
Savannah Peachwood and Stephen Dexter narrate this hot farmer romance that blurs the lines between business and pleasure. Listeners will get to hear both Tori and Ethan’s separate perspectives, which only adds to the romance.
Dirty Letters by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward
Luca loved Griffin, the British pen pal she'd never met. She shared with him her deepest, darkest secrets and formed what felt like an unbreakable bond.
Then it broke, and Luca stopped writing. Silence and frustration built up between them for eight years, until a new letter rekindles the connection they felt. Only, fun messages turned to flirtations, and then downright dirty letters.
The only oddity? Now, it was Griff who did not want to meet. When Luca at last goes looking for him, what she discovers could change anything.
The novel, which is narrated by Andi Arndt and Jacob Morgan, won the 2021 Audie Award for Best Romance.
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