What better day to celebrate romance than Valentine’s Day?
I’m picky when it comes to fiction audiobooks. And I’d never listened to a romance (see previous statement). But I’ve discovered an author and a narrator who will make anyone fall in love with the spoken language of love.
It all started with PARIS IN LOVE. Nonfiction, on my regular audiobook menu. I’ve been dreaming of Paris, gobbling up books about the city as if they were plump, aromatic fresh baguettes. In PARIS IN LOVE, Shakespeare professor/bestselling historical romance author Eloisa James chronicles the year she and her husband took sabbaticals from their professorships and immersed themselves in Parisian life.
I know, sounds rough. But they had two teen/tween kids. TEENAGE KIDS. That alone is enough fodder to fill a book. Her short piece format reads like blog or Facebook snippets, entertaining with humor, heart, and joi de verve.
If her historical romances were anywhere near as smart and delightful as her, I had to give them a read. (Note: I’m ridiculously late to this party. She’s been writing bestsellers for forever.)
Why not listen?
I downloaded ONCE UPON A TOWER. After five minutes, I was in love–with Eloisa’s clever story, spunky heroine, and the talented narrator, Susan Duerden.
I went for hour-long walks four times last week just so I could listen. It kept me company as I filed my taxes, cleaned the house, and toiled over my 2016 Family Photo book. Pure escapism. Well, until the thirteen-yer-old returned home while I was in the middle of a rather naughty scene…. Oops!
Next came WHEN BEAUTY TAMED THE BEAST. Loved it! Witty banter. A head-strong beauty. A “beast” of a Duke. (Okay, he has one physical flaw, but his cantankerous personality is all love-to-hate him Dr. Gregory House.) And the same fabulous narrator Susan Duerden.
I’m officially hooked. And you will be, too. Check out this CBS News story that ran this Sunday:
To her students at New York’s Fordham University, she is professor Mary Bly. But to legions of readers, she’s bestselling romance writer Eloisa James, a reigning queen of romance fiction. Faith Salie discusses the English scholar’s surprising double life, and talks with author Beverly Jenkins and with the writer behind the blog Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, as she explores the sex, love, empowerment and HEAs (the “happily ever afters”) of romance novels.
ONCE UPON A TOWER by
To win her love…
As an extremely wealthy laird, Gowan Stoughton, Duke of Kinross, can have any of the maidens at the ball he attends. The only problem is they are all English and Gowan is not so certain they are suitable. He is accustomed to the hard-working lasses from his Highlands, not these dainty noblewomen who spend their days drinking tea or some other such nonsense. But then he makes the acquaintance of Lady Edith Gilchrist. Utterly bewitched by the emerald-eyed beauty with lush golden locks, he knows he must have her.
He must free her from her tower…
“Edie” had the misfortune of being dreadfully ill at her debut ball and barely remembers what Gowan looks like. Even worse, she accepted his proposal the following day. Edie’s only true passion is playing music – until Gowan writes a scandalous letter and stirs the most irresistible desire. Yet when they marry, Edie realizes her husband needs a lesson and locks herself in a tower. Somehow Gowan must find a way to enter the tower and convince his new bride that she belongs in his arms.
Listening Length: 12 hours and 17 minutes
Audible.com Release Date: May 28, 2013
PARIS IN LOVE by
In 2009, New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James took a leap that many people dream about: She sold her house, took a sabbatical from her job as a Shakespeare professor, and moved her family to Paris. This memoir chronicles her joyful year in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Eloisa revels in the ordinary pleasures of life—discovering corner museums that tourists overlook, chronicling Frenchwomen’s sartorial triumphs, walking from one end of Paris to another. She copes with her Italian husband’s notions of quality time; her two hilarious children, ages eleven and fifteen, as they navigate schools—not to mention puberty—in a foreign language; and her mother-in-law’s raised eyebrow in the kitchen (even as she overfeeds Milo, the family dog). Paris in Love invites the reader into the life of a most enchanting family, framed by la ville de l’amour.
Listening Length: 6 hours and 38 minutes
Publisher: Random House Audio
Audible.com Release Date: April 3, 2012
When Beauty Tamed the Beast by
Miss Linnet Berry Thrynne is a Beauty… Naturally, she’s betrothed to a Beast.
Piers Yelverton, Earl of Marchant, lives in a castle in Wales where, it is rumored, his bad temper flays everyone he crosses. And rumor also has it that a wound has left the earl immune to the charms of any woman.
Linnet is not just any woman.
She is more than merely lovely: her wit and charm brought a prince to his knees. She estimates the earl will fall madly in love – in just two weeks.
If she decides to be very wicked indeed… what price will she pay for taming his wild heart?
Listening Length: 9 hours and 20 minutes
Audible.com Release Date: October 11, 2011