As I write this, Spring has sprung, and I’m looking forward to those stolen summertime moments when I can sit on the verandah, watch the world go by, and listen to a great romantic audiobook on my earbuds.
We thought it would be fun to mark this point in the year by reviewing the Best Romance Audiobooks of 2023—so far!
The hope is this list of romance genre audiobooks continues to grow as we go through 2023, so as the year draws to a close, we’ve got a handy guide to the best romance audiobooks released this year.
Let’s get started!
- Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert
- A Long Time Coming by Meghan Quinn
- Sorry, Bro by Taleen Voskuni
- A Love by Design by Elizabeth Everett
- Golden Dreams by Anna Jacobs
- The Ugliest Man in London by Charity McColl
- Brazen by Cara McKenna
- Not All Himbos Wear Capes by C. Rochelle
- Attraction by Kelly Fox
- Escape Mission by Kendall Talbot
Best Contemporary Romance Audiobooks 2023
We’ve got something for everyone in contemporary this year, beginning with a hilarious and heartfelt selection released on January 3, 2023.
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!
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!
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?
Best Historical Romance Audiobooks 2023
With the streaming success of Bridgerton, historical romances continue to dominate. Here are our favorites released to date!
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…
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…
Best Erotic Romance Audiobooks 2023
Quickies aren’t just for… well, you know!
Let’s light it up with a fast and passionately furious erotic romance selection released in April 2023, followed by a longer romance title that’s equally scorching and full of laughs too!
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?
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.
Best Romantic Suspense Audiobooks 2023
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.
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 add to the fun (quirky Justine Eyre is growing on me), and the unexpected plotline is keeping me intrigued.
I’ll update this one if it doesn’t entirely end the way I’d like… but in the meantime, I recommend this first installment in the Alpha Tactical Ops series by Kendall Talbot.