Whether it’s a tale about future lovers bumping into each other on a city street or mortal enemies falling for each other as they fight evil hordes, love stories are more enjoyable when you feel like you’re a part of them.
It’s no wonder, then, that two of our favorite audiobook outlets have special programs to woo romance-minded listeners: the Audible Escape program at Audible, which gives subscribers unlimited listening to Audible Escape branded titles for $12.95/month, and the Kiss Club at Libro.fm, which gives romance fans access to a new batch of swoon-centric titles for only $3.99 apiece each month. (No subscription or membership necessary for Kiss Club, although the latter will discount the price even further to $2.79 per title.)
Should you want to take advantage of those deals—or should you want to browse your local library’s Libby portal to check out a romantic audiobook this Valentines’ weekend for free—we’ve rounded up 10 swoon-filled book recommendations for you to consider. Because, of course, we love you.
Editor’s Note: The audiobooks below are listed from shortest to longest run time.
Once Ghosted, Twice Shy by Alyssa Cole
Narrated by: Karen Chilton
Run time: 3 hours and 20 minutes
Series: A Reluctant Royals Novella (Book #2.5)
The fact that Karen Chilton narrates all of Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals books should tell you that she nails the series’ charming characters and sizzling tone. And the novella Once Ghosted, Twice Shy manages to give her extra dimensions through which to shine, bringing together the Nigerian-adjacent royal accent of Likotsi, the masculine-presenting queer woman who readers first met in her role as Prince Thabiso’s advisor, and the throaty American accent of Fabiola, the Haitian-American woman with whom Likotsi finds unexpected sparks during a brief royal trip to New York. The only complaint audiences might have is that Once Ghosted, Twice Shy is about half as short as Likotsi and Fabiola’s relationship deserves; one can only hope they’ll get more time in the future.
I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver
Narrated by: MW Cartozian Wilson
Run time: 8 hours and 34 minutes
I Wish You All the Best, Mason Deaver’s Young Adult debut about a teen who’s kicked out after they come out as non-binary to their parents and must learn a new way to love in the world, brings romance and more to the table. It’s a contemporary YA novel, of course there are swoons and a slow-burn romance and first love sweetness, all of which are poignantly translated with complexity and warmth by trans narrator MW Cartozian Wilson.
Meet Cute by Helena Hunting
Narrated by: Holly Warren and Teddy Hamilton
Run time: 9 hours and 18 minutes
As far as male narrators go, Teddy Hamilton is a favorite in the romance audiobook community. He sounds like a bro without being off-putting—a reputation he certainly delivers on here in Helena Hunting’s breezy romance, Meet Cute. Taking on the part of Hunting’s awkward heroine, Kailyn, Holly Warren succeeds in turning on a dime between Kailyn’s many modes, whether its endearingly rambling as she sprawls into Daxton’s unwitting embrace or expressing sardonic exasperation at her clumsiness in the internal monologue that immediately follows. The result is a fun, romantic listen all around.
The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg
Narrated by: Joel Froomkin and Anthony Ray Perez
Run time: 9 hours and 17 minutes
It’s sweetness and first big love aside, one great thing Bill Konigsberg’s The Music of What Happens works hard to highlight is that teen boys can be hilarious. We’re sure that on the page, the presence of the food truck, Coq Au Vinny, that would-be boyfriends Gabe and Jordan bond over is enough to get this point across. But in the audio version, narrators Joel Froomkin and Anthony Ray Perez truly bring it home, soaring from glib to anxious to dudeishly confident and back again with ease. That they also might fall in love? Just a sweet bonus.
The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
Narrated by: Carrie Hope Fletcher and Kwaku Fortune
Run time: 9 hours and 34 minutes
Ah, the low-key modern dream of literally finding love in your own home. Well done, Beth O’Leary! The story follows charming roommates Tiffy and Leon, who just might be falling for each other. Boasting Carrie Hope Fletcher’s no-nonsense British accent and Kwaku Fortune’s mild Irish brogue—plus gentle voice modulation (see the voicemail left in the clip on Libro.fm above)—the audio version brings this butterfly-inducing romantic read to life.
Tweet Cute by Emma Lord
Narrated by: Dan Bittner and Emily Shaffer
Run time: 10 hours and 8 minutes
Adults might meet-cute (as in Helena Hunting’s novel above), but Gen Z has a different approach in Emma Lord’s You’ve Got Mail-inspired YA rom-com, Tweet Cute. As nimbly narrated by Dan Bittner and Emily Shaffer, protagonists Jack and Pepper start a viral Twitter war while simultaneously falling for each other on an anonymous chat app.This is a breeze of a listen, easily appealing to listeners outside the target demo while still letting its teens be teens.
Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
Run time: 10 hours and 17 minutes
Series: The Brown Sisters (Book #1)
Between Talia Hibbert’s clever writing and nuanced characters, Get a Life, Chloe Brown is one of our favorite swoony listens of the last year. Especially as performed by British narrator Adjoa Andoh, Hibbert’s chronically ill, determinedly go-get-’em heroine Chloe Brown practically leaps out of the audio version (despite the “wobbles” brought on by her fibromyalgia). Her rough-and-tumble hero, Red, charms more thoroughly than he has any right as well. Chloe’s wild sisters, who promise even more fun to come as the series continues, are another reason to queue up this captivating book.
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Narrated by: Roman de Ocampo
Run time: 12 hours and 15 minutes
Casey McQuiston’s deeply romantic, oddly patriotic Prince-meets-First-Son romance is a joy from start to finish. Thanks to Roman de Ocampo’s acrobatic narration, which fully brings home how human both Alex (America’s First Son) and Henry (the Prince of Wales) are, the audio version is especially enthralling. While it is a longer listen, the length gives listeners multiple satisfying climaxes—yes, THAT kind, but also ones of the more narrative variety—marking moments in the couple’s courtship beyond the sex. (Though that, of course, is also present in spades.) You definitely want to read this before Amazon releases the film adaptation.
Of Ice and Shadows by Audrey Coulthurst
Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld and Moira Quirk
Run time: 12 hours and 45 minutes
Series: Of Fire and Stars (Book #2)
Spoilers for Of Fire and Stars ahead. Saskia Maarleveld and Moira Quirk are regulars on the YA fantasy scene, and for good reason. Listen to a couple minutes of their take on princess girlfriends Denna and Mare (first seen in Of Fire and Stars), and you’ll understand just how skilled they each are at modulating from action to quiet, from danger to romance, from meditative inner monologue to brisk conversational back-and-forths. As this is the second book in Audrey Coulthurst’s fantasy series, it’s best to catch up before listening to Of Ice and Shadows. But once you dive in, you’ll appreciate seeing Denna and Mare navigate an active romantic relationship. Falling in love is lovely, but some of the best romance comes after time, work and magic.
Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
Narrated by: Emily Ellet
Run time: 14 hours and 20 minutes
A hot, brooding sorcerer? A fierce, book-battling librarian? A slow-burning romance that has to survive private prejudices, public expectations and several murder plots? Sign us up! And sign yourself up to Emily Ellet’s wry, comfortable audiobook performance, which brings the magical world of Margaret Rogerson’s imagination to multi-dimensional life. More hard-won love stories should involve a battle to the death with demon books, as far as we’re concerned.
Alexis Gunderson is a TV critic and audiobibliophile. She can be found @AlexisKG.