The 5 Sexiest Audiobooks You Need to Listen To

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[Note from Frolic: Did you know that you can support independent bookstores with your audiobook purchases? We’ve teamed up with libro.fm to bring you a great deal: 3 audiobooks for the price of 1! Sign up today with code FROLIC to qualify.]

I am always spreading the gospel about romance audiobooks. I carve through new titles every other day or so, listening during my commute and at work, which means my friends have learned that I can usually recommend something for everyone. Since we can get hit with analysis paralysis about everything else in our busy schedules, this list may give you a starting point for diving in alongside the rest of us converts.

1. Kulti, written by Mariana Zapata and narrated by Callie Dalton

If your flavor of sexy is the slow burn, look no further than this can’t-stop-listening contemporary sports romance. Sal Casillas has the opportunity to be coached by her soccer idol but when he turns out to be a class-A jackass, she is forced to re-evaluate what she ever saw in him while continuing to pursue her own career goals. 

Dalton serves up performance perfection, letting listeners immediately connect to Sal’s strong-willed and vibrant personality and, later, the gruff tones of retired German player, Reiner Kulti. While her accent for Spanish-speaking Sal and her family was nowhere near that of a native speaker, it didn’t detract from the overall feel or delivery. 

The tropes in this title include player/coach, enemies to lovers, the close-lipped hero, positive family relationships that give you all the feels, May/December (age gap), and a kick-ass heroine.

For those of you on a budget, this title is included in the Audible Escape package.

2. Trashed, written by Mia Hopkins and narrated by Gomez Pugh

Are you a fan of comeback stories? This gorgeous title from Mia Hopkins serves up the heat as well as food so mouth-watering that will have you reaching for your Yelp app. Eddie Rosas has been trying to make a fresh start after being released from prison and a chance encounter with the woman he never thought he would see again both sweetens and makes his journey away from his previous lifestyle more difficult.

Pugh’s performance in one word is flawless. His accent for Eddie and every other character is redolent with the complexities of a native-Spanish speaker, animating every dialogue exchange and painting Eddie in particular in broad, emotionally conflicted strokes. While this is the 2nd book in the Eastside Brewery series, you can absolutely pick this one up without missing anything.

The tropes in this title include a redemption arc that will knock your socks off, reunited lovers, blue collar characters, tortured hero, and awesome strong familial ties.

For those of you on a budget, this title is included in the Audible Escape package.

3. Casting Lacey, written by Elle Spencer and narrated by Melissa Moran

I fangirled all over the author on Twitter the second I finished this one. A contemporary Hollywood romance, Quinn Kincaid is ready to come out of the closet but wants to do so on her terms. Enter Lacey Matthews, a former soap opera star who was blackballed when she came out. Quinn offers Lacey a deal she would be a fool to refuse: pretend to be live-in friends and be seen in public together in order to warm everyone up to her forthcoming announcement. The only problem is that they weren’t supposed to fall in love for real.

Moran navigates the twists and turns of a cast full of female characters without ever having individual voices becoming indistinguishable from each other. The subtlety she employs to exploit the growing conflict and complication of an evolving relationship is so sublime that you’ll want to listen to this all the way through without stopping. 

The tropes in this title include girlfriend of convenience, a contractual relationship, enemies-to-friends-to-lovers, shy v. outgoing, princess and the pauper, and it’s consensual AF.

For those of you on a budget, this title is included in the Audible Escape package.

4. Besotted with the Viscount, written by Susanna Malcolm and narrated by Nicholas Boulton

If you’re familiar with cry porn that ends up being the ultimate emotional satisfaction, this is where you need to start. Impoverished bluestocking, Theadosia Ridley, is hired to catalog the inherited collection of Greek books and collectibles of wounded veteran, Lord Gideon Birch. But the more time they spend together, the more she has to fight her attraction to the prickly man so far above her station. 

This was my first Nicholas Boulton title and it won’t be the last. His ability to deliver male and female voices and infuse them with so much emotional intricacy really blew me away and amped up the conflict woven throughout the narrative. Guys, this book made me ugly cry several times and Boulton’s performance was definitely instrumental in making that happen. It got to the point that even though I knew there had to be an HEA, I couldn’t see how the author was going to pull it out. Yeah, this is one of those books and it was so, so good. 

The tropes in this title include a hero who is not a duke, a bluestocking who spends most of her time in a library, disparity of power, finances, and social standing, forbidden love (due to those disparities), has ALL the angst, scarred veteran/warrior archetype, and it is essentially a historical office romance.

5. Bonding with the Beast, written by Evangeline Anderson and narrated by McKenzie Cartwright

Itching for something a little more out of this world? This title by erotic scifi romance queen Evangeline Anderson will hit all your buttons in this short audiobook. Isobel is your average mom trying to live her life with a child on the autism spectrum but she’s hopeful when she has the chance to be mated to one of the Kindred aliens. But when she meets the imposing Hail he’s way too intimidating despite his instant connection with her son and she decides it won’t work between them. That is, until they’re forced together in an expected circumstance that will make them to confront their desires as well as their potential to be a family. 

Cartwright gives listeners a variety of tonalities to make character instantly distinctive, smoky male tones, a soft feminine curl to her voice that never dips into whiny or annoying, and a sweet delivery for the kid. In my book, she could go toe-to-toe with Erin Mallon any day.

The tropes in this title include forced proximity, a hero with a mating urge, abduction, beauty and the beast, a hero with his V-card, and the sensitive portrayal of a neuro-divergent child who isn’t just a moppet/throwaway character but who is fully realized and integral to the plot.

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