By Gaby (Content Editor)
I’m a super fan of audiobooks and as I listened to around 80 of them this year, trying to choose my favourites has been a struggle. Audiobooks are two-layered stories, one formed by the written word, the other by the performance of the narrator. It’s been thoroughly proved that a great narration can elevate an already good book to superlative levels. Conversely, a bad narration can ruin a very good story. But when both the written words and the voice acting reach high levels is when we listeners hit the jackpot. The ones that did it for me are in this list of Best Women Loving Women Audiobooks of 2021.
Finding Jessica Lambert by Clare Ashton, narrated by Gabrielle Baker
Finding Jessica Lambert is an age-gap romance about overcoming inner demons, imaginary and real. It’s hard to find flawed characters in fiction that are so appealing in both their strengths and shortcomings so much so that they seem to come out of the page with a life of their own. That’s what makes this story so appealing. Ms. Baker’s performance of feelings and her different accents is spot-on.
When you least expect it by Haley Cass, narrated by Lori Prince
This was my most expected audiobook of the year. The emotions and feelings in this book are very raw and Ms. Prince absolutely nailed them. Both main characters were brought to life with such intensity that I could see the story in my mind’s eye. I’m happy to say that it was worth the wait.
Unbreakable by Cari Hunter, narrated by Nicola Victoria Vincent
Thriller / Police Procedural
Cari Hunter is one of those rare authors in lesfic who has found a distinct voice. A type of writing style that is quintessentially British – more precisely Northern English – socially critical, full of fast-paced action and unfiltered crime. Nicola Victoria Vincent did an extraordinary job. I’m in awe of Ms. Vincent’s ability to replicate so many accents. All the characters in this book have distinct voices related to their gender, age, ethnicity, place of origin, and even their medical condition. Absolutely amazing.
Winter Jacket Series by Eliza Lentzski, narrated by Angela Dawe
This is a fantastic series in which the author skillfully keeps the romantic tension and passion throughout all the books. Angela Dawe’s performance of the feelings is so raw, so heartbreaking, so convincing that it’s inevitable not to feel the same. Her rendition of Hunter is fantastic. I started listening for that but stayed for the rest. Absolutely worth it.
The Flaw in our Design by Monica McCallan, narrated by Lori Prince
This is a very sweet no-strings-attached romance with the background of a small town. Narrator Lori Prince is really good for this lighthearted type of romance. As usual, she does an outstanding performance but I particularly loved her portrayal of Val. Ms. Prince does justice to the character, especially in those awkward, sweet moments when Val shows vulnerability. It’s – at the same time – sweet and hot, even if it sounds contradictory, which makes for a fantastic characterization.
The AM Show by T.B. Markinson and Miranda Macleod, narrated by Lori Prince
This is an age-gap, opposites-attract workplace romance. Ms. Prince shows here again that she has fantastic comedic timing that she uses to perfection in this narration. Her voices for a more mature and distant Amanda and a younger and cheerful Dakota are spot on. Through Ms. Prince’s excellent performance of the dialogues, I was able to see the story develop in my mind’s eye.
Pas de deux by EJ Noyes, narrated by Abby Craden
This is an entertaining sports romance with a small part of the enemies-to-lovers trope. The romance is both parts sizzling and sweet, but the main stars of this story is the dressage sport and the horses. The artistic partnership between Noyes and Craden is a match in lesfic heaven and, as usual, Ms. Craden’s performance is absolutely fantastic.
Charon Docks at Daylight by Zoe Reed, narrated by Jessie Roynon
Science Fiction / Horror
This book is a fantastic tour de force. On the surface, this novel is about survival, which is true, but there’s so much more. It’s a long reflection on redemption, impossible choices, moral principles, and the best and worst of humanity. If you dare to listen to the audiobook, it’s a daunting 48.5 hours. However, it’s worth every single second. Also, it’s free.
Audio and Video available to download here:
Pool Party – Lesbian Erotica. Tasha, Catherine, Francisca… and Mrs Robertson by Paris Rivera, narrated by Piper Fairweather
When you pick up an audiobook by Paris Rivera you can rest assured that you will get well-written, good-quality lesbian erotica. The thing with erotica audiobooks is that much of the overall quality depends on the narrator’s performance. And what a performance this is. Piper Fairweather gives most erotica narrators a run for their money. This audiobook does exactly what it says on the tin.
The Lily and The Crown by Roslyn Sinclair, narrated by Angela Dawe
Sci-Fi / Romance
This is a fantastic debut novel by Roslyn Sinclair. Angela Dawe’s narration is outstanding as usual and does justice to the story. She really brings the characters to life, not only by their different voices but by the performance of their opposing personalities. It’s a pleasure to listen to Ms. Dawe switching in the dialogues between the sweet, naive Arianna and the icy, sarcastic Assistant. Her performance is a fantastic tour de force that enriches the story and brings it into life with a compelling quality. Flawless.
Not my Problem by Ciara Smyth, narrated by Sarah Jane Drummey
This book will make you laugh and cry with the same intensity. Your heart will go out to Aideen and Meabh’s struggles with their family issues while trying to navigate through the hardships of secondary school, friendships, and love. Narrator Sarah Jane Drummey, who is an Irish actress, not only did the Irish accents very well (obviously) but also the Indian and Scottish accents too. Her performance of the different emotions in the story is very convincing. The narration made for a very enjoyable listening experience.
Sliced Ice by Lee Winter, narrated by Angela Dawe
This is a collection of ten short stories by Lee Winter, all based on different characters from her books. Some stories are better than others but, despite that, they all show Ms. Winter’s talent and sharp wit. Add the incredible brilliance of Angela Dawe and the result is a fantastic audiobook. Ms. Dawe performs a wide range of characters, voices, ages, accents, all with flawless skill in a fantastic performance.
When Sparks Fly by Kristen Zimmer, narrated by Lynn Norris
Young Adult / Romance
This is a very entertaining YA novel with the perfect balance of romance, angst, banter, and teenage drama. Lynn Norris’s performance of the different emotions is impressive and she keeps a great pace, but what impressed me most is her ability to interpret different voices, especially for the numerous teenage characters.