Treat Yourself to a Bestselling Romance This Summer
Treat yourself this summer to an audiobook romance
Summer is a time for indulging yourself. On those hot, lazy days, there’s nothing like enjoying something just for yourself – whether it’s an ice cream cone or a light, fun-to-listen-to audiobook.
In this heat, no one’s got the focus to try Tolstoy for the first time. It’s time to put the heavy stuff away and tune into an audiobook that you won’t want to turn off. Treat yourself to some of the most popular romance audiobooks in our library. There are satisfying stories for everyone in the romance section, no matter what you’re looking for. From literary classics to fantasy romances, get ready for a sultry summer of listening.
What do listeners look for when they start a romance? Desire, fascination, intimacy – the stuff that sends a shiver down your spine as you listen. Few romances capture the super-charged tension of obsessive romance than Call Me By Your Name. André Aciman’s cult classic has made its way into the mainstream thanks to a 2017 film adaptation starring Armie Hammer (who also narrates the audiobook). It perfectly captures the infatuation of first love for 17-year-old Elio Perlman, who quickly becomes obsessed with Oscar, a guest visiting his family’s Italian villa. The location on the Italian Riviera and the restless summer heat make up the perfect recipe for romance.
Want to add some more magic to your life? You need to break into some romantic fantasy titles that combine the ardent relationships of the romance genre with a fantasy world where the rules of everyday life don’t apply.
Chosen as one of 30 Can’t-Miss Romances by Black Authors in Oprah Magazine, A.C. Arthur’s Awaken the Dragon combines the best of both worlds. This one is for listeners craving a story about true love in the heightened stakes of a world where dragons and demons comingle with humanity. Let’s just say that if you were rooting for the forbidden love of Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, Awaken the Dragon just might scratch that itch.
For anyone who’s ever dreamed of a fairy tale wedding, be careful what you wish for. Romance can be a risky thing in fairy tales. Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses delights in the edgier side of fairy tales, inspired by the story of Beauty and the Beast but with a twist. A Court of Thorns and Roses belongs to the burgeoning New Adult genre. Featuring protagonists who tend to be in the 18-30 age bracket, New Adult listens are like a more mature version of YA. Step into a beautiful, dangerous world of magic and betrayal with this genre-defining classic.
As much as listeners turn to romance for something light and fun, love has always been one of the central themes of the world’s greatest literature. And while not all great love stories have that HEA (Happily Ever After) ending, that doesn’t make them any less romantic.
Go all the way back to Ancient Greece and revisit one of the oldest stories in the world with Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles. While the Greek hero Achilles has often been better known as a fighter and hero of the Trojan War, Miller puts her focus on Achilles the lover.
In the original tale by Homer, Achilles withdraws from the war when his honour is slighted by another Greek hero. It’s not until his beloved friend Patroclus is killed that Achilles returns in a whirlwind of revenge. Miller explores the relationship that led to such remarkable grief, telling the story from the eyes of Patroclus as the two grow up together and fall into a love affair as adults. The story of Achilles and Patroclus is one of the greatest, tragic love stories of all time, buried in an ancient war epic. Miller’s retelling finally puts the element of romance front and centre in their story.
Switching from the Bronze Age to the Jazz Age, for a classic American tale of lavish wealth, lost love and tragedy, there’s F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece The Great Gatsby, narrated by Jake Gyllenhaal. The Great Gatsby also happens to be one of the most memorable romance titles that are under 6 hours, making it the perfect listen for an afternoon at the beach or your favourite café.
Is there ever a time when crushes occupy more of our headspace than high school? YA romances today have a lot going on as their protagonists struggle with family expectations, societal pressures and, of course, their own roller-coaster emotions.
Meredith Russo’s If I Was Your Girl, a Stonewall Book Award Winner, tackles the challenges and fears that come with coming out as trans in high school. Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school and quickly finds the kind of life she’d always wanted. She makes friends and falls in love with a boy named Grant. They share everything with each other, but there’s one step Amanda is terrified to take: telling Grant that back at her old school, her name used to be Andrew. What makes If I Was Your Girl special is that, while there’s plenty of tension and conflict, at its heart it’s the kind of sweet high school romance everyone wishes they could have had.
For an opposites-attract story, check out We Contain Multitudes by Sarah Henstra. An overzealous English teacher gives everyone a classroom-mailbox assignment, forcing ex-football player Adam “Kurl” Kurlansky and nerdy poet Jonathan Hopkirk to write each other a letter every week. The two soon form a friendship that evolves into a romance challenged by the homophobia and bullying of their school and families. Without flinching at the realities of high school, it’s a touching story about struggling to hold onto relationships that matter.
Enemies-to-lovers is one of the juiciest sub-genres in romance. A relationship that develops from bitter antagonism to passionate intensity has that train wreck quality – you just can’t peel your eyes away.
Mia Sosa’s The Worst Best Man is one of Oprah Magazine’s top picks for best romances of 2020, and it sets the enemies-to-lovers story in an industry where romantic stakes run high: wedding planning. Lina is a wedding planner who finds herself ditched at the altar. Years later, she winds up working on a dream project, but there’s one catch. She has to collaborate with the best man who talked her ex-fiancé into bailing at the last minute. Watching two stubborn personalities fight the inevitable is a blast, and Sosa’s fun, sassy style will quickly grow on you.
Summer is for taking your time. Whether you’re at the beach or enjoying the shade at a local park, relax with an audiobook that’s just what you were looking for. Whatever you’re into, you can find audiobooks for every niche on Audible. Now, settle in with an ice-cold drink and get ready for a relaxing afternoon.
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