As summer turns into fall, I’m so happy to be updating our list of the best romance audiobooks 2023 (so far) for this year.
There are a lot of great titles to get to here, and I hope you enjoy these sweet, sexy, magical, and suspenseful romantic listens like I did.
Of course, I’ll update this list of 2023’s best romance audiobooks again in time for the holidays. Check back this December for the remainder of this year’s best audiobook romances!
- Best Contemporary Romance Audiobooks 2023
- Best Paranormal Romance Audiobooks 2023
- Best Historical Romance Audiobooks 2023
- Best Erotic Romance Audiobooks 2023
- Best Romantic Suspense Audiobooks 2023
Best Contemporary Romance Audiobooks 2023
In honor of back-to-school, let’s start with a hot and hilarious friends-to-lovers rom-com starring teachers.
Sex Ed by Kristen Bailey
Narrated by Harrie Dobby
When Mia learns that her best friend and fellow teacher, Ed, is a 28-year-old virgin, she decides that the best idea is to teach Ed everything about sex so he can seduce a pretty new teacher at their school.
This awkward sexual education had me laughing out loud, although Ed is a great student of love who manages to graduate with an A+. But when Ed starts dating that new teacher, Mia painfully realizes that her best friend’s feelings for Ed have grown into so much more…
Kristen’s heartfelt writing style enriches this raunchy-funny material, and Harrie does a winning job with her solo narration.
The Lucky One by Sylvie Stewart
Narrated by Meg Price
This book is next in line to Sylvie’s Carolina Connections series, although I’m listening to it as a standalone and enjoying it very much.
Bailey Murphy is a self-described “tomboy from the womb” who still suffers from a “girly heart” when it comes to love.
Jack Beckett should consider himself mighty lucky for scoring one night of passion with Bailey, whom he’s nicknamed “Irish” because she goes from being in his arms to wanting nothing more to do with him.
But the problem is, they can’t get each other out of their systems, and when it comes to being lucky in love, Bailey and Jake are in for more than they bargained for!
Meg is skilled at delivering Bailey’s tomboy attitude and Jack’s bad boy-turned-Romeo persistence. This contemporary romance audiobook is a fun listen!
Talulah’s Back in Town by Brenda Novak
Narrated by Amy McFadden
Talulah’s Back is book one in the brand-new Coyote Canyon series. As usual, Brenda’s award-winning and bestselling writing captures you immediately, while Amy’s solo narration is a romantic delight for your ears.
Although Talulah Barclay might have returned home to Montana, she’ll never escape her reputation as a runaway bride, especially when she gets forced into close quarters with Brant—her ex-fiance’s best friend.
Sparks fly between them, although Talulah has no intention to stay for long… that is until her heart gets in the way…
Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert
Narrated by Amina Koroma and Jonathan Andrew Hume.
Talented young British novelist Talia Hibbert sets the bar with her highly entertaining diversity and inclusive romances.
Her internationally renowned, bestselling works are perfect for everyone. I love this audiobook version of a young adult “friends to enemies to lovers” story featuring Celine and her ex-best friend, Bradley, on a survival course in the woods.
The dialogue is perfect for voices, and it’s full of current references and snappy comebacks that are like fun little fireworks for your ears.
Amina Koroma is ON POINT as Celine!
Listen on Audible
A Long Time Coming by Meghan Quinn
Narrated by Erin Mallon and J.F. Harding.
I’ve only recently caught on to the 90s rom-com classic, My Best Frend’s Wedding.
Still, my favorite scene is Julia Roberts getting surprised by her “devastatingly handsome” gay bestie, Rupert Everett (“By God, there will be dancing…”).
If you wish Julia and Rupert could ever get their “story,” you will love Meghan Quinn’s spicy comedic take on the film in her third book featuring the luscious Cane brothers.
Ophelia is getting married, and there are plenty of hiccups along the way, including an evil mother-in-law-to-be.
Desperate for backup, she enlists her longtime (and straight!) best friend, Breaker, who shockingly begins to realize that his warm friendship feelings for Lia have heated into sizzling love!
Listen on Audible
Sorry, Bro by Taleen Voskuni
Narrated by Christine Mirzayan.
I’m enjoying Christine Mirzayan’s solo narration of this publishing debut by talented Armenian-American novelist Talenn Voskuni.
After heroine Nareh (Nar) receives the most unromantic marriage proposal from her non-Armenian boyfriend, her mom convinces her to start looking for a partner from her culture in San Francisco.
But while her mom approves of men like the wealthy engineer or studly doctor with the right background, Nar finds herself drawn to Erebuni… a “witchy woman…”
Erebuni makes Nar realize that love, Armenian pride, and bisexuality may be her real ticket to happiness—but what on Earth will her family think?
Listen on Audible
Best Paranormal Romance Audiobooks 2023
As Halloween draws closer, we start thinking about decorating pumpkins and handing out candy. But before the big night arrives, settle in with the best paranormal romances of 2023 so far!
The Only Purple House in Town by Ann Aguirre
Narrated by Carly Robins
I love how heroine Iris Collins is described as the “chaos bunny” in this paranormal romance with equal doses of rom-com and contemporary romance.
Eli Reese is the nerdy hero who’s now rich and successful but still feels like an outcast.
After financially challenged Iris inherits a weird Victorian house and begins renting out rooms to humans (and non-humans!), Eli comes to stay… and he’s quickly enchanted by his old crush Iris and the other misfits under her roof.
I love this style of paranormal romance, and once again, the solo narration by Carly sounds perfect.
Rescuing Mattie by S.E. Smith
Narrated by Samantha Cook
Fall can be a busier season for many of us, and a sexy paranormal novella like this is a perfect escape at right around 96 minutes long.
Mattie is an animal trainer with the exotic Cirque de Magik, whose world shoots skyward to the stars—literally—when paranormal hero Jai t’Dubar discovers she is the human mate he’s been desiring forever.
S.E. Smith’s writing packs action, danger, and humor in a deliciously quick listen, and Samantha’s narration is out of this world, too!
Wolves of New York: The Complete Series by Bella Jacobs
Narrated by Jason Clarke and Lili Valente
If you’d like to “binge listen” to a paranormal romance series, I’d highly recommend Wolves of New York from start to finish!
Lili and Jason really get their narrative teeth into this steamy and savage material (pun intended!), and there is a lot of juicy drama between Alpha kings, fated mates, and angry siblings… will a united king and queen finally win this turf war?
Best Historical Romance Audiobooks 2023
I’ve reviewed a romance audiobook featuring a reimagined Jane Austen character (read about Mrs. Wickham on the 17 Best Romance Audiobooks on Audible Plus).
So when I found another audiobook that reimagines Elizabeth and Darcy’s bumpy romance in Pride and Prejudice, I hoped I would love it… and I do!
My other new favorite historical romance audiobook of 2023 is far darker than the wickedly funny Bridgerton-style Regency romances I usually choose.
I hope you love these selections, too!
The Gilded Cage by Luisa A. Jones
Narrated by Katie Villa
Rosamund becomes a broken shell of herself when she’s forced to marry the cruel but wealthy Sir Lucien Fitznorton after her debt-ridden father dies.
Now trapped in a gilded cage, Rosamund assumes that her only escape is her own death—until she encounters her husband’s new chauffeur, Joseph.
They couldn’t be more different, but Rosamund and Joseph get dangerously drawn to one another. Soon, she’s trapped in a secretive web of lies… and only one man can truly free Rosamund from her golden prison.
Katie’s lofty narration reminds me of Mary Crawley from Downton Abbey, and her voice definitely suits this dramatic material.
No Indignity So Abhorrent by Jann Rowland
Narrated by Mary Sarah
Jann Rowland has turned a passionate hobby into a thriving career, retelling Jane Austen’s works with his distinctive twist. No Indignity So Abhorrent is a delightful addition to the best historical romance audiobooks of 2023!
Elizabeth meets Darcy on a lonely walk around her father’s estate—after her sister has already ruined the family by running away with an officer. Darcy is strongly attracted to her, even though he knows he faces his own unthinkable scandal if people ever discover them together.
Mary’s narration is a bit breathy at first, but it works as our star-crossed lovers have to triumph over seemingly unwinnable obstacles to their happiness.
A Love by Design by Elizabeth Everett
Narrated by Elizabeth Jasicki.
The plotline of Elizabeth Everett’s early 19th-century romance offers the most refreshing twist on a traditional Regency novel, with heroine Margaret passionate about one thing: starting London’s first female-owned engineering firm.
Unfortunately, Margaret requires funding for her controversial project, and one of the wealthy men she does NOT want to deal with is George Willis, Lord Grantham… the man who broke her youthful heart…
Listen on Audible
Golden Dreams by Anna Jacobs
Narrated by Catherine Harvey.
I was intrigued by book 2 in author Anna Jacob’s heartwarming Jubilee Lake series. I also enjoyed the sample of the audiobook as voiced by Catherine Harvey.
Set in the North West of England late in the 19th century, Lillian dreams of a new and happy start following the death of her cruel husband. But his evil family is pursuing her, so Lillian must escape to the quiet beauty of Ollindale Valley.
Edward has also returned to the valley to reclaim his family estate, and he’s taken by the pretty widow hiding her past.
Will the forces of evil overtake them, or will Edward and Lillian’s golden dreams come true?
The Ugliest Man in London by Charity McColl
Narrated by Joanna Lee.
This short and sweet Regency romance by bestselling author Charity McColl was print-published in 2019, with the audiobook released in May of this year.
Young Matilda loathes the man her parents have betrothed her to, and with her three most loyal friends by her side, a plan is hatched to marry Matilda off to the “ugliest man in London” instead.
Unbelievably, the plan comes true in the strangest way—the young ladies find a young, badly beaten man, and Matilda hastily agrees to marry him.
But just as hastily, Matilda and her mystery “husband” get swept up into a dangerous mystery with a Dukedom at stake…
Listen on Audible
Best Erotic Romance Audiobooks 2023
My first choice in this update of the best erotic romance audiobooks of 2023 has a distinctly sweet fantasy feel, but make no mistake… the romance is still mighty hot!
Red, the Wolf, and the Woods by Scarlett Gale
Narrated by Scarlett Gale
I’m sometimes a bit hesitant to check out audiobooks narrated by the author, but Scarlett does a fabulous job of voicing her sassy heroine, Red, and being named Scarlett can’t hurt either!
Red is a crazy busy farmer who trains dogs on the side. One day, she decides to leave the farm chores to her brothers so she can deliver something to her grandma’s adorable house in the woods.
But little does Red know—a fun hike in the forest turns into a steamy surprise when she encounters a wolf in the woods… and he asks to join her on this adventure…
Takeoff by Evelyn Sola
Narrated by Ja’Air Bush and Troy Duran
Vickie Taylor is a New York heroine who’s calm on the inside but confident and brash to anyone outside of her tight inner circle.
Colt Chastain is a sexy single dad whose star is rising in the NBA. Even though Vickie tells Colt she’d never sleep with him… she’s shocked and scared when she can’t resist.
He calls her Victoria, and he loves that she’s unafraid of putting him in his place. As Vickie finds herself falling for Colt and his sweet little boy, Colt needs to prove to Vickie that they can be the family that she can’t live without.
Having so many solo narrators on this updated list wasn’t planned, but that only makes Ja’Air and Troy’s passionate dual narration all the more electric!
Good Girl Fail by Roni Loren
Narrated by Samantha Summers
This saucy selection is definitely the naughtiest addition to our best of 2023 erotic romance audiobooks, and be forewarned that this MMF and mild-kink romance has toe-curling steam!
O’Neal is a classic good girl who’s stifling from being too sheltered. Auden is her best friend’s older brother, and Lennox is Auden’s roommate at their school, Bennette State.
When O’Neal shows up Bennette after fleeing a scholarship at her conservative all-girls college, it’s the first bad girl move she’s made. O’Neal wants to break all the rules and wants Auden and Lennox to teach her…
Samantha does a great job voicing this scorcher!
Brazen by Cara McKenna
Narrated by Una Knight.
This gender-bending listen features Caroline, healing from divorce by maintaining a harem of eager young men.
Caroline’s naughty situation is called her “tidy kingdom,” and it’s running smoothly until disobedient—and sexy as all get out—Sean arrives to make a mess of Caroline’s body and mind.
Too bad she can’t stay away from him… and Caroline is getting desperate.
It all comes down to one thing, but Caroline isn’t sure… will a shot of discipline work?
Listen on Scribd
Not All Himbos Wear Capes by C. Rochelle
Narrated by Philip Alces and John Solo.
When you’re in a spicier mood than the MCU will ever satisfy… may I suggest the hot and hilarious MM romance, a standalone in the Villanous Things series, called Not All Himbos Wear Capes?
This unbelievably imaginative pairing between a supervillain, Xander, and a superhero, Butch, is quickly becoming my “I’m gonna listen again and again!” selection of 2023.
As the audiobook description warns, this is “not your kid’s superhero book.” However, I love Xander’s “villain arc” and Butch… who signs up for a “meaningless fling with a normie” but really desires a man who will see the real him behind the superhero mask.
Listen on Audible
Best Romantic Suspense Audiobooks 2023
I’m getting keener on romantic suspense audiobooks these days, and the best romantic suspense audiobooks in 2023 feature some unique and exciting plots that breathe new life into a breathtaking romance genre!
Last Chance Chicago by Diana DiGangi
Narrated by Nicky Endres
Sam DiCiccio is a recovering drug addict who’s also a defense lawyer, and this flawed heroine is still in love with her ex-wife, Amy Igarashi.
When Amy gets charged with felony insider trading, Sam knows that Amy has been wrongly accused, and Sam ends up defending the woman she never thought she would see again.
Amy still resents Sam and their broken marriage, but as they start unraveling the truth, the heat between them increases while enemies threaten their lives.
Nicky’s voice is excellent here, bringing depth and passion to Sam and Amy’s love story as danger looms.
Last Rites by Sharon Sala
Narrated by Traci Odom
This pulse-pounding listen is Book 2 in Sharon’s Jubilee, Kentucky series, and I’m just getting into this one, though I haven’t yet checked out Book 1 of the Pope brothers’ books called Don’t Back Down (but I’m adding it to my list).
Shirley Wallace is the matriarch of the Pope family, and this suspenseful romance begins with her in a life-threatening predicament. Her eldest son is a police officer named Aaron, and a murder investigation brings Aaron face-to-face with a woman named Dani Owens.
Dani might be the answer to a Pope family mystery, and even more startling to Aaron… Dani may also be stealing his heart…
Traci is a skilled narrator who can make every character she voices here into a distinctive personality.
Twisted Shadows by Patricia Potter
Narrated by Emily Durante
Samantha Carroll owns a Colorado art gallery, but the safe world Sam has known for her entire life shatters when she discovers her shocking connection to a Boston crime family.
FBI agent Nathan McLean wants revenge against that crime family for a personal reason, but when he unexpectedly crosses paths with Sam, the steamy desire they unwillingly feel for each other is not only dangerous, it could be deadly for Sam.
I really enjoyed Emily’s intimate style of narration here—she makes you believe in these characters while maintaining the thrilling pace of Patricia’s story.
Attraction by Kelly Fox
Narrated by Declan Winters.
Kelly Fox’s bestselling books include the Mobsters and Billionaires series she describes as “murder swoon” romances!
I love the swoon-worthy solo narration by Declan Winters, delivering the suspensefully spicy MM tale of a “money nerd” and a mobster battling a senseless but sizzling attraction against a backdrop of danger and death.
Listen on Audible
Escape Mission by Kendall Talbot
Narrated by Antony Davis and Justine Eyre.
An anti-heroine named Zena has violated her parole, and she gets forced to depend on a brooding ex-army hero who may or may not want to save her…
He’s already damaged after losing his best mate in this romantic suspense audiobook set in coastal Australia—and yet another twist to this weird but strangely enthralling tale of danger is that our anti-hero is the ex-boyfriend of Zena’s sister.
The Aussie accents added to the fun (quirky Justine Eyre is growing on me), and the unexpected plotline kept me intrigued.