When I left work the day of the Audies Nominations being announced, I was excited to see that for the first time in a couple of years, the Romance Nominees were mostly what I would term to be traditional romances (i.e. boy mets girl, boy falls in love with girl and they live happily ever after). Over the last few years, I’ve been disappointed seeing books by authors like Nicholas Sparks nominated or something like The Bridges of Madison County which won a few years ago. As an avowed romance reader, seeing non-romances being nominated and then winning hurts my soul. But alas, I’ll step off my soapbox and talk about the nominees for this year!
Without further ado, the 2018 Audies Nominees for Romance are:
Any Day Now by Robyn Carr, narrated by Therese Plummer, published by Recorded Books
Cake: A Love Story by J. Bengtsson, narrated by Andi Arndt and Joe Arden, published by J. Bengtsson
Come Sundown by Nora Roberts, narrated by Elisabeth Rodgers, published by Brilliance Publishing
The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare, narrated by Mary Jane Wells, published by HarperAudio
The Ladies’ Room by Carolyn Brown, narrated by Donna Postel, published by Brilliance Publishing
My Initial Thoughts:
Ohh, this is going to be a fun category to listen to over the next couple of months.
☼ I’ll admit that the Robyn Carr book is one of the ones on this list that I am less than excited about – don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with her writing, it just doesn’t always work for me, but I know many of my friends love her. But at the same time, anything narrated by Therese Plummer is normally a winner for me.
☼ J. Bergtsson is a new author to me but I’ll admit that I love a good rockstar romance at times. I’m a solid Andi Arndt fan girl when it comes to audiobooks, but Joe Arden is a new to me name – so this book could be a double winner for me if i like it.
☼ Nora Roberts has long been an author that appears on my frequently read/listen to list – although I’ll admit that I haven’t listened to some of her more recent stuff (although I do continue to devour the books she writes under her alter-ego, JD Robb). I’ve listened to several narrations by Elisabeth Rodgers before and found her narration solid – it isn’t horrible, but at the same time, doesn’t necessarily blow me away either.
☼ Tessa Dare is an author I know that I should read/listen to more of – I’ve read several of her books and rated each of them in the solid 3.5-4 star realm, but I’ve never listened – so i’m looking for a new author to add to my audiobook listening pile. Mary Jane Wells is also a new narrator to me but she has a pretty hefty romance narration backlist with lots of historical romances – so fingers crossed.
☼ The Carolyn Brown book is the one that I felt doesn’t (upon first read of the summary) really fit into the traditional romance category – it seems to be much more of a women’s lit to me (where the focus is more on the growth of the characters vs. the actual romance) – but I’ll see if i’m wrong down the road. Donna Postel is another new narrator to me but she has an interesting backlist of other audiobooks, should I decide I want to listen to more by her in the future.
Based on what I know about the different narrators and my experience with them (or lack thereof) in the past, my initial pick (pre-listen) to the winner for the Romance category is:
Cake: A Love Story by J. Bengtsson, narrated by Andi Arndt and Joe Arden