TITLE: A Simple Romance
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
This was the first audiobook I’ve ever – erm – read? I won it in a contest (thank you, J.H. Knight and Dreamspinner Press), so I joined Audible and settled in for several hours of listening pleasure.
And a pleasure it was, indeed. While I was poking around on the Audible site, checking out what was available, I sampled several different books. Among them, one of my personal favorites, and boy, did that open my eyes to the audiobook industry. The book I sampled was one I’ve read several times in print. I adore the characters, and the storyline has me hooked. The audio version, however, was barely tolerable. The narrator had a whiny voice that grated on my nerves. I just knew I’d never be able to sit through the entire series if I had to listen to that voice. In contrast, Nick Russo’s voice was pleasant. It was a voice I could listen to all day (which is exactly what I did). In fact, I went searching for other books narrated by him.
My book of choice is erotica. It’s in the name of this blog for a reason, after all. When I thought of audiobooks before, I wondered what it would be like, listening to the erotic bits, hearing them in a stranger’s voice instead of my own, familiar inner voice. I was pleasantly surprised by the experience. It flowed naturally, and my guess is that this was largely due to the narrator (at this point, I imagined listening to the erotic scenes in my favorite book with that whiny narrator, and cringed). Not to self: if I ever publish any of my fiction and decide to include an audio format, it pays to hire a quality narrator. This leads me to a question: how are narrators chosen?
The author herself was gracious enough to answer this question. In response to my email, she replied, “The process on my end was pretty easy. I did get to listen to several audition samples and Nick’s reading really clicked for me.” It really clicked for me, too.
As for the story itself, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can’t attest to some of the usual things I cover in my reviews – general formatting, spelling, punctuation, and the like – but the elements of a good story were all present. The characters were vibrant and, the plot believable without any obvious gimmicks to detract from the enjoyment of the book. I would happily read or listen to another story from this author. In fact, you can count on me checking out her other work.
The title does a good job of setting up the story. It is a simple romance, a lovely, warm, sexy story with a satisfying happy ending, just perfect for this time of year when readers may be looking for something sentimental without being too cloying or obviously seasonal. I highly recommend this audiobook and this author.