Romance Audiobooks discussion

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Narrator Discussions > Have you listened to this narrator?

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Lea's Audiobooks Hensley (leahensleysaudiobooks) Let's start a thread for those of us who are wondering about a new narrator. The latest releases are full of newer narrators with few if any reviews to their name.

What we are looking for here is not just a "I loved this narrator" or "I couldn't listen to that narrator" but rather, "Why did the narrator work for you?" or "Why didn't the narrator work for you?"


message 2: by Kym (new)

Kym | 99 comments Thank you, Lea.
I would be interested to know what others think of specific narrators, and/ or whether that narrator is good in one genre v. another (i.e. horror v. romance) or first person v. third.


message 3: by Kym (new)

Kym | 99 comments Is this also about "new to me" narrators?


Lea's Audiobooks Hensley (leahensleysaudiobooks) Yes. New-to-me narrators too.


message 5: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 1379 comments thanks for starting this Lea ;)

I was reviewing my list of audiobooks available via Recorded Books and many of the ones I'm interested in i've never heard of

Scott Sowers
Morgan Hallett
Robin Dane
Saskia Maarleveld
Suzanne Toran
Suzy Jackson
Tim Reynolds
Nicole Poole (her name sounds familr but I couldn't find anything i've listened to her)


message 6: by Mara (last edited Aug 22, 2014 09:40AM) (new)

Mara Pemberton (marapem) | 158 comments I have yet to understand why publishers or audiobook directors pick such terrible readers for many of the authors we love. Or why inexperienced narrators are picked to read a book by an established author. I know one factor is MONEY.


If there is one reader that spoils a Nora Roberts book for me is Sandra Burr. I am sure she is a wonderful person and all that, but she is a terrible narrator to my ears. It is one of the reasons I haven't listened to Nora's DARING TO DREAM series. She is the narrator. I love David Baldacci books, but his main narrator of late is Ron McClarty. I feel that he is getting to be a bit old for some of the characters Mr. Baldacci creates.

George Guidell isn’t a favorite of mine, but if you want to listen to all of Tony Hillerman's Chee/Leaphorn series you have to put up with George Guidell. There are many others I stay away from because of the fact that they are not good narrators. I dislike Macleod Andrews. He is terrible in the new Catherine Coulter FINAL CUT series. There are many who I am not crazy about, but the are better than the ones I mentioned above.


message 7: by Mara (new)

Mara Pemberton (marapem) | 158 comments Dee wrote: "thanks for starting this Lea ;)

I was reviewing my list of audiobooks available via Recorded Books and many of the ones I'm interested in i've never heard of

Scott Sowers
Morgan Hallett
Robin Dan..."


Other than Scott Sowers, he narrators a lot of the books written my Southern authors, Suzanne Toran, she's okay, and maybe Nicole Poole. I haven't heard of the other others.


message 8: by Jonetta (new)

Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 4553 comments Mod
Mara wrote: "I have yet to understand why publishers or audiobook directors pick such terrible readers for many of the authors we love. Or why inexperienced narrators are picked to read a book by an establishe..."

George Guidall also narrates Daniel Silva's Gabriel Allon series. I've listened to the first book and wasn't crazy about his performance. But, I plan to continue listening to the rest of the series because it wasn't awful.


message 9: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 1379 comments he is also on the list, but i've listened to him before


message 10: by Lee (new)

Lee | 484 comments I loved George Guidall throughout the entire "Cat Who" series.


message 11: by Jonetta (new)

Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 4553 comments Mod
Lee wrote: "I loved George Guidall throughout the entire "Cat Who" series."

In The Kill Artist, there were Israelis, French, Brits and Americans and they all sounded the same. There was even a child...still no distinction. He's got a nice voice but listening to this story required a level of concentration I'd prefer to not do to keep up.


message 12: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenjberman) | 511 comments I listened to George Guidall's narration of The Angel of Darkness (Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, #2) by Caleb Carr and thought he did a pretty good job with some rather lackluster material.


message 13: by Mara (new)

Mara Pemberton (marapem) | 158 comments George Guidell is wonderful reading the Lillian Braun books with cats Coco & the other cat., but he's not one of my favorite readers.


message 14: by binter (new)

binter I really like his (George Guidell's) narration of the Longmire series by Craig Johnston. The Cold Dish.

Question for some of the long-time audiobook fans. Do you ever re-visit these newer narrators after a few years? I can imagine a newbie who perhaps didn't knock it out of the park in his/her first few books growing and developing over time. Do you give them another chance or are they off the list forever?


message 15: by Xe (new)

Xe Sands (xesands) | 369 comments Ali-ef wrote: "Question for some of the long-time audiobook fans. Do you ever re-visit these newer narrators after a few years? I can imagine a newbie who perhaps didn't knock it out of the park in his/her first few books growing and developing over time. Do you give them another chance or are they off the list forever? ."

If I can jump in for a sec...I've been thinking quite a bit about this as well, both as a listener (I'm trying to get better about revisiting those I haven't enjoyed in previous years), and as a narrator. As a narrator, when I see Audible feedback on one of my earlier performances and the person swears that they will avoid any book narrated by me in future listening, I often wish I could have a chat with them and ask if they might be willing to give a much more recent book a listen and let me know if they hear a difference or any growth in the narration.

So I'm very interested in listener responses to Ali-ef's question :)

I had toyed with the idea of finding a way to run a small program for doing just that...but couldn't think of a way to do it that wouldn't invite badness all around.


Alana ~ The Book Pimp (loonyalana) | 35 comments Hmmm... Well, I've listened to books where I thought the narration wasn't all that and a bag of chips, but I did end up checking out other books narrated by that person and I was happy with them... but on the other hand, got an audio of a book I'd already read and enjoyed... and I swear my ears were practically bleeding from the way that voice grated on my nerves. I actually had to return a few due to narration... and if it's a book I've returned for that reason, it's highly unlikely I'm going to attempt another by that narrator (unless I can check it out for free via my library or something)


message 17: by Ezi (new)

Ezi Chinny (ezinwanyi) | 563 comments BDB narration and Night Huntress narration were not fitting for the characters


Alana ~ The Book Pimp (loonyalana) | 35 comments Ezinwanyi~the Troublemaker wrote: "BDB narration and Night Huntress narration were not fitting for the characters"

No joke, I cringed everytime Bones needed to speak, although I liked the Vlad books (with the same narrator)


message 19: by Ezi (new)

Ezi Chinny (ezinwanyi) | 563 comments Alana ~ The Book Pimp wrote: "No joke, I cringed everytime Bones needed to speak, although I liked the Vlad books (with the same narrator) ..."

Me too. She was right for Vlad, not Bones.


message 20: by Kym (new)

Kym | 99 comments I just finished listening to The Hot Zone by Jayne Castle, narrated by Barbara Rosenblat. I just couldn't get into the book as I have with others in the series, and I really think the narration was the reason. She just seems to be all wrong. I love her narration of Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody mysteries, but I could not get caught up in this book.


message 21: by Lee (new)

Lee | 484 comments Xe wrote: "Ali-ef wrote: "Question for some of the long-time audiobook fans. Do you ever re-visit these newer narrators after a few years? I can imagine a newbie who perhaps didn't knock it out of the park in..."
I am thinking about what you are saying about giving a narrator a chance as they mature and improve. I can only think of one narrator so far that I will avoid listening to because I just can't enjoy the book with her narration choices, mainly weird breaths and pauses. That aside, I will give someone a second or third try because some narrators are great every time, others are good on a certain series. I have no hard and fast rules but am willing to give newbies and oldies a chance.


message 22: by Xe (new)

Xe Sands (xesands) | 369 comments Lee wrote: "Xe wrote: "Ali-ef wrote: "Question for some of the long-time audiobook fans. Do you ever re-visit these newer narrators after a few years? I can imagine a newbie who perhaps didn't knock it out of ..."

That's awesome to hear, Lee. I know that I neither hit it out of the park, nor "suck verily" in every instance, so assume that other narrators are the same. So I need to get a bit better about giving a narrator whose performance I did not enjoy at one time, another chance with perhaps a different type of book.


message 23: by willaful (new)

willaful Ezinwanyi~the Troublemaker wrote: "Alana ~ The Book Pimp wrote: "No joke, I cringed everytime Bones needed to speak, although I liked the Vlad books (with the same narrator) ..."

Me too. She was right for Vlad, not Bones."


I had to stop listening to the Vlad book when Bones showed up. ;-)


message 24: by Ezi (new)

Ezi Chinny (ezinwanyi) | 563 comments you know, the narration is a finicky thing.
I loved Abby Craden in Blood Rights (House of Comarré, #1) by Kristen Painter but I didn't enjoyed her in this series Hell on Wheels (Black Knights Inc., #1) by Julie Ann Walker nor this series Bedding Lord Ned (Duchess of Love, #1) by Sally MacKenzie I haven't been able to continue those series. the first one I think it may be the plot, the second series, it's the narrator.


message 25: by binter (last edited Aug 28, 2014 07:33PM) (new)

binter I'm so interested in the posts about giving narrators another go - be it with a different book that suits his/her style better or after a few years experience.

One example - I enjoy James Marsters doing the Dresden books but I think everyone can agree that the quality certainly improved over time (whether from his reading or more attention to production details).
Storm Front Storm Front (The Dresden Files #1) by Jim Butcher


As an aside, I love the difference in taste that we all display here. I absolutely love Jim Frangione narrations of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Among my faves.
Dark Lover Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1) by J.R. Ward


message 26: by Ezi (new)

Ezi Chinny (ezinwanyi) | 563 comments Hahaha, see I liked Jim Fragione in The Troubleshooter series : When You Dare (Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor, #1) by Lori Foster Trace of Fever (Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor, #2) by Lori Foster


message 27: by binter (new)

binter Ohhhh, I haven't heard those. Will check them out. Thx!


message 28: by Ezi (new)

Ezi Chinny (ezinwanyi) | 563 comments Ali-ef wrote: "Ohhhh, I haven't heard those. Will check them out. Thx!"

Lol. Glad to help


message 29: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 1379 comments anyone listened to Vanessa Chambers - she narrated Laurann Doher's New Species series?


message 30: by Lady (new)

Lady Day @Caz, Thanks for your comment regarding narrator Rosalind Ashford. It's nice to know that she can a least perform good characterization. Sad to hear about her poor delivery of accents. Will lookup your blog.


message 31: by D.G. (new)

D.G. | 1329 comments Hi Dee,

Is the Tim Reynolds you mention Tim Gerrard Reynolds? He's a good narrator...I've listened several books by him and enjoyed them all. He has good pacing, diction, emotion, accents and can come up with lots of good male voices. He's not great with women characters but good enough that you can tell who's speaking.

I liked his narration of Faithful Place (Dublin Murder Squad, #3) by Tana French more than his narration of the Riyria Chronicles (this is a series.) He has a great Irish accent (not sure how real it is, but it was good enough that I could tell it was Irish without being too thick.)


message 32: by D.G. (new)

D.G. | 1329 comments Dee - For the rest of your list, I don't think I've listened to any of them although lots of the voices sound familiar.


message 33: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 1379 comments i think he may be DG - not sure - someone mentioned him in another group ;)

i ended up listening to Suzanne Toren (I think) - who wasn't bad, her main narrations were good, but where she had to voice a child was horrible


message 34: by Lauri (new)

Lauri Kane Interesting thread... I'm wondering about the contrast between people who are mainly listeners and those who are reader/ listeners. As a person who listens almost exclusively (unless I'm reading a script), I almost never think a narrators' voice is 'wrong' for a character, but am frustrated by too-fast pacing and when the characterizations are not distinctive enough from one another to make the storyline flow smoothly.


message 35: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 1379 comments not so much wrong for a character, but not how like a child would sound - you can tell its an adult voicing a child - does that make sense?


message 36: by Lauri (new)

Lauri Kane Xe wrote: "Ali-ef wrote: "Question for some of the long-time audiobook fans. Do you ever re-visit these newer narrators after a few years? I can imagine a newbie who perhaps didn't knock it out of the park in..."

I do revisit new narrators if the newer audiobook interests me and the sample isn't terrible. It's just like the writers that get better with each subsequent book. Often they discovered a style/ genre that works for them and their editing skills or budget has improved.


message 37: by Lauri (new)

Lauri Kane Agreed - a child should have the proper characterization and at least sound child-like, but since moving from reading then listening, to just listening I find I'm much more accepting of the narrators choices.

Speaking of narrators, I'd like to throw out Luke Daniels. He's quite good with characterization and storytelling.


message 38: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 1379 comments I like Luke Daniels


message 39: by Lea's Audiobooks (new)

Lea's Audiobooks Hensley (leahensleysaudiobooks) Lauri - for five years (at least) I have mostly listened to audiobooks. I don't easily accept a narrator's characterizations until I grow to respect the narrator through past works (and from then on I usually trust their choices). In today's audio market, all too often a character is performed in a way other than that written by the author. Clearly distinguishing characters and the ability to tell the men from the women is all important too. But when you have an alpha hero sounding beta or vice versa (only one of many examples I could mention) or a hero and heroine having an all-out disagreement without agitation evident in the narration, then I start wondering about the narrator's understanding of the book's content - especially the romance classification.


message 40: by Lauri (new)

Lauri Kane Lea's Audiobooks wrote: "Lauri - for five years (at least) I have mostly listened to audiobooks. I don't easily accept a narrator's characterizations until I grow to respect the narrator through past works (and from then o..."
I was a 'Books- on-tape' gal before I was an audiobook listener, too! I'm just saying I find I no longer compare the narrators choice to the voices in my head based on reading the book. Since I've stopped trying to read, then listen, I've become much more possessive of the story as a whole and less possessive of any character having a particular voice - thus more accepting of the narrators choice.

However, you are right about 'flat' reads There seems to be this frustrating trend where narrators are just 'flat' or 'deadpan' all the way through. Ugh! I don't need full cast audio, but yeah, a narrator does need to be able to interpret the story and represent the characters' emotions appropriately.


message 41: by Lauri (new)

Lauri Kane I just listened to Timebound (The Chronos Files, #1) by Rysa Walker narrated by Kate Rudd. She seems a bit too articulate in this title, but more relaxed in the second title in the series Time's Edge (The Chronos Files, #2) by Rysa Walker . I'd like to hear more from her, too!


message 42: by Dawn (new)

Dawn | 535 comments ...or of the book says "she whispered" I want to hear a whisper, not a loud voice. Just another of my pet peeves.


message 43: by Angie (new)

Angie (angiemb) | 415 comments Dawn wrote: "...or of the book says "she whispered" I want to hear a whisper, not a loud voice. Just another of my pet peeves."

I prefer them to lower the volume of their voices for a whisper, but don't actually whisper because I usually miss what they're saying completely. I have a lot of ringing in my ears that just completely drowns out whispering. A lot of narrators tend to do that now, though. It doesn't turn me off too much as long as it doesn't happen too often, but it does bug me.


message 44: by Dawn (new)

Dawn | 535 comments Yes, at least lower their voice. I have listened to dime where the dead pan narratiin just doesn't change at all. A shout should be a little louder and a whisper shoukd be lower.


message 45: by Lady (last edited Nov 11, 2014 03:56PM) (new)

Lady Day Lauri wrote: "Interesting thread... I'm wondering about the contrast between people who are mainly listeners and those who are reader/ listeners. As a person who listens almost exclusively (unless I'm reading a..."

Lauri, I am a reader/listener. I can't listen to an audibook without following along with the book, because my mind will wonder off. I listen because audio enhances a story. However, I have my standards for books I like to read as well as for narrators:
The narrator must be able to distinguish voices for characters. I have difficulty listening if I can't determine who is speaking. I like medium to low range female voices. Myself, from a singer's perspective, a deeper voice pulls off a rich deep resonance tone better than a higher pitched voice. I can quickly determine female and male narrators who practice expanding their octave range. The narrator needs to act. I don't want to hear someone just read the book in a monotone voice. They must be able to pull off (at least) acceptable accents. I will never forget my vocal coach advising me never attempt to sing in another language without getting the accents right, or you risk being embarrassed. These are my standards.


Alana ~ The Book Pimp (loonyalana) | 35 comments Dee wrote: "I like Luke Daniels"

I like him, too, except I'm not thrilled with his Oberon voice from The Iron Druid series. That's my only caveat with his narration


Alana ~ The Book Pimp (loonyalana) | 35 comments Lauri wrote: "I just listened to Timebound (The Chronos Files, #1) by Rysa Walker narrated by Kate Rudd. She seems a bit too articulate in this title, but more relaxed in the second title in the series [bookcover:Time's Edge|220..."

I've enjoyed many of her titles: One Week Girlfriend, The Fault in Our Stars, Between the Lines, The Bad Boys series, and the Breathing series is one of my favorite audios


message 48: by Lea's Audiobooks (new)

Lea's Audiobooks Hensley (leahensleysaudiobooks) Lauri wrote: "I just listened to Timebound (The Chronos Files, #1) by Rysa Walker narrated by Kate Rudd. She seems a bit too articulate in this title, but more relaxed in the second title in the series [bookcover:Time's Edge|220..."

After I listened to Kate Rudd a couple of times, I started understanding her rhythm - her method of delivery and she is now a trusted narrators. I'll pick up one of her books without listening to the sound sample first.


message 49: by Shell (new)

Shell | 1 comments Robert Petkoff is a guest star on last night's episode of Forever on ABC! *Squee!*


message 50: by Sue (new)

Sue | 1116 comments @shell wow now I have to go back and figure out his character.


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