Reader Favorites – Fabi’s Favorite Audiobook List

by Maryse on April 16, 2016 · 15 comments

in Book Recommendations

Fabi is our resident audiobook lover. While I think she reads more than listens, I know she’s started listening to audiobooks regularly on her daily commutes and she’s hooked!

And here are a few “Fabi” details about her love of audiobooks:

➜  I like audio books too. I always have one going anytime I’m driving. … Since I only get an hour or two of listening time/day Mon-Fri, it forces me to savor the book instead of fly through it like I normally would. Well, not as fast as some of you do…but still.

➜ the least expensive Audibles I find are the ones that have Whispersync for the books I already have on my Kindle library. Since the tbr is so big, there’s always something there I haven’t gotten to read yet. Sometimes I picked up a free Kindle book and can add Audible to it for $1.99. I use that tool that Maryse posts above to help me find Audible versions of books I already own with. You just have to sample the narrator first to make sure it’s a good one.

➜ …right off the top of my head, Lover at Last: Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 11 was a huge favorite of mine. But, you have to have followed the series to get the full impact, even though it’s a stand alone novel inside the series.

➜ for my new audible listen, I’m going to start Jan30′s recommendation, Seven Years. It sounds like it’s a complete series now and the books may read as stand alones anyway. I didn’t even check on the narrator before buying this one. lol I think I’m a little giddy with wanting to start new books this weekend. …. I’m loving it. Nicole Poole is a fantastic narrator.

➜ Audio books – depending on the narrator can either add to a book or detract from it. Right now I’m listening to Donna Grant’s Dark King narrated by Antony Ferguson. He has a Scottish accent that adds unbelievable authenticity to the story… Of course, I don’t know if it was a real Scottish accent or not. But it seemed he had a harder time with the American accent of the only American character than he did with the Scottish ones. Of course it was PNR with dragons and such.  :-)

➜ Tom Hiddleston is the BEST voice I’ve EVER heard from a narrator. Too bad he did so few of them before he became a hot shot actor. You should listen to a sample. *swoon*

➜ the Audible subscription is cost-effective only if you use it enough to make it so. I’ve discontinued it and restarted it a couple of times based on how much I use audio books at the time. Some audio books cost well into the $20′s, so the credit that you pay $14 for is cost-effective as long as you “buy” at least one of those per month. Mostly, it’s 1 credit = 1 book. Never use your credit on a $1.99 book because that would be throwing money away. Credits will roll over for a few months if there isn’t a good expensive book you want in a particular month. …The last one I used a credit on was Marked in Flesh. The price is $24.50 so by using a credit I saved about $10 on it. The next one I want to use a credit on is $17.14 (30% reduced because of the subscription and still $3 more than the monthly subscription costs). I used to go through a couple of audio books a week so I had a higher credit subscription back then as well as taking advantage of their sales and bonus credit buys.

➜ Now I don’t spend as much time driving and read more on my Kindle so I take advantage of the Whispersync bargains we get when we already own the Kindle version of the book. That was long…hope it made sense.

➜ I also subscribe to Audible but I save those credits for expensive books. …You definitely got the hang of those Audible credits. I use mine on the expensive books and fill in during the month with the $1.99 whispersync ones on my Kindle tbr. If I remember correctly, I think they’ll offer you one more reduced rate period after the initial one. I’m not 100% sure because when I did it some years ago I had the highest monthly subscription book number because I was commuting such long distances. It was way better than listening my constantly off key singing. Ha!

AND!!! She’s prepared a favorite audiobooks list just for us!!!

“This was harder than I thought it would be. First because I couldn’t sort by rating on but second and most importantly, a lot of my 5*s were part of a series. I tried not to include any more of those. Then…I ran into the fact that you’ve probably already read all my 5* romance books, so I threw in some that were outside the romance genre for you to look at.

*shrug* here’s my list and I’m sticking to it. lol”

Caine’s Reckoning: Hell’s Eight Series, Book 1 by Sarah McCarty - 4* story, 5* narration “…the Hell’s Eight series is hot hot hot!

The Second Ship: The Rho Agenda, Book 1 by Richard Phillips - 5* story, 5* narration (not sure it has any romance :-/)

Dangerous Highlander: Dark Sword, Book 1 by Donna Grant - 5* story, 5* narration

Soulless: An Alexia Tarabotti Novel by Gail Carriger - 5* story, 5* narration (good, funny and cute)

Desired by Nicola Cornick - 5* story, 5* narration (historical romance NOT a debutante)

The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett - 5* story, 5* narration (holy crap this fantasy series is good, but only a slight nod to romance in this first book)

WWW: Wake by by Robert J. Sawyer - 5* story, 5* narration (amazeballs, no romance, but favorite author with a wild ride of a story)

Halfway to the Grave: Night Huntress, Book 1 by Jeaniene Frost - 5* story, 5* narration (Bones…)

Daemon by Daniel Suarez - 5* story, 5* narration (possibly the best technothriller I’ve ever read)

Terminal Freeze by Lincoln Child - 5* story, 5* narration (horror, thriller)

Hominids: The Neanderthal Parallax, Book 1 By Robert J. Sawyer - 5* story, 5* narration (the strangest, most unique romance I’ve ever read, all-time favorites list)

Finally, for whatever it’s worth, my top 3 wish list items on audible are:

  1. The Beast: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward (getting this one on the 18th because I have to listen to this narrater – he’s simple the voice of the BDB for me)
  2. Seveneves: A Novel by Neal Stephenson (because I can’t believe I’ve waiting this long to read this one)
  3. Blood Destiny: Blood Curse Series book 1 by Tessa Dawn

“By the way, everything on audible is on a half-price sale until the 18th of this month!

good thing Maryse doesn’t have a character limit on here – tehehee”


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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Janet April 17, 2016 at 8:06 AM

I can’t recommend the audiobooks of the Outlander series enough. It’s SO well read with the Scottish and English voices. I go back and forth between reading at home and listening in the car.

Michelle April 17, 2016 at 8:19 AM

Well I just listed to The Warded Man on Fabi’s recommendation and it was AWESOME, both book and Tom’s narration!

My audio rec: any of The Others series by Anne Bishop.

Cheryl April 17, 2016 at 8:29 AM

I love listening to audio while doing yard work, cleaning the house, going for a run. I haven’t listened to any of Fabi’s, but will have to listen one of Tom’s narration.

My favorite audio I have listened to is That Boy series- audio elevates the “hilariousness” that much more.

Speaking of Tom H., did you see where he and Hugh Laurie (from House) are starring in a new 6-part miniseries on AMC?

Fabi April 17, 2016 at 8:49 AM

omg, I talk too much

Maryse April 17, 2016 at 9:50 AM

I LOVE how much you talk!!!

I love how we all share our book-love, and the whys of it all. We have the best book-club ever. :D

Fabi April 17, 2016 at 10:44 AM

This is most definitely the best book club ever!

Teri April 17, 2016 at 11:41 AM

I’m so glad I’m not the only commuter that ‘listens’ to a book while reading another at night (before work, at lunch…you know!) My very favorite of all time is the audio version of OUTLANDER. Davina Porter should get an Oscar for her narrations. She is truly remarkable.

Fabi April 17, 2016 at 11:55 AM

Teri, that’s exactly what I do. I also listened to Outlander on Audible. It was soooo long. lol

Danette April 17, 2016 at 1:33 PM

Hi Maryse!
LOVE your blog, thank you for all your hard work!! I’m excited to see that Audible is getting more mention on your site & I thought add my 2 cents. The short, I Love Audible and Whispersync is the best invention ever!! Now I can listen to my books while doing yard /house work and when it’s finally time to sit down and relax I can pick back up reading my book! I get so much more done these days!! ;)
Here’s a secret…shhh don’t tell everyone. (jk,lol) Audible has a Membership plan called “Inactive Light”. It’s $9.95 a year! With this plan I have full access to Audible & also receive their membership discounts but don’t have to deal with the credits!! With this plan I don’t have to worry about credits expiring, price shopping books or canceling/starting my subscription to fit my needs. It’s just always there & super easy; perfect for the yo-yo listener like me! Audible doesn’t advertise this “Inactive Light” option with the other membership options, you have to dig for it on their website or to call and ask for it. Most of my Audible purchases are what I like to call a “combo purchase” which is buying the kindle book and adding Audible audio for a reduced price (mostly $1.99 – $5.99) which works absolutely perfect for me because I LOVE to do both!
So in my travels of the Audible experience I have come across the following which I LOVED and would like to share as my Audible Favorites and also learned a few things.
How Beauty met the Beast: Tales of the Underlight (Trilogy) by Jax Garren narrated by Therese Plummer. Great story; dystopian feel. The Beast: Scarred. Damaged. Living with a terrible secret. Agent of the Underlight Wesley “Hauk” Haukon has nothing left but the fight for liberty against the oppressive Order of Ananke. He’s starting to lose hope…and then he sees her. The Beauty: Despite her night job as a burlesque dancer, grad student Jolie Benoit has always played the mostly good girl. That all changes following a scorching sexual encounter with a stranger whose face she doesn’t see. Here’s a great example: Audible purchase alone for one book is $15.99. But if you “combo purchase” buy the Kindle version for $1.49 & add audio for $2.99 and you get both versions for under $5 each!
Audible also has a Daily Deal; this is how I came across 600 Hours of Edward by Craig Lancaster. This was a HUGE pleasant surprise and the narrator Luke Daniels is fabulous! (Though his girl voice is kind of funny and takes some getting used to, but his man voice is outstanding and makes up for it!) I was tickled there was a book 2, Edward Adrift to finish up the story. This is a great underdog/recluse story; I was glued! Edward is a 39 yr. old with Asperger’s and obsessive-compulsive disorder. His carefully constructed routine gets turned on its ear when a single mother moves in across the street… This is now a Kindle Unlimited book with narration!! So if you’re a Kindle Unlimited member like me, definitely check this out! If not, combo purchase for K$3.99/A$1.99.
JD Nixon: Heller series & Little Town series. Using Matchbook* or what the Kindle App calls Audio upgrades* I have collected both of these on audio for $1.99 each. These are great to have on hand for a refresher when the new books are released (it’s taking forever!) or for when I just need a Heller or Finn fix.
*What I’ve learned about Matchbook, Whispersync & Audio upgrades. Not all books are available in audio. Sometimes an audio book is available but won’t show up in Audio upgrade/Matchbook. Also not all he books that are available in both formats are Whispersync eligible, meaning it won’t automatically update your current location in both formats and you have to do it manually. Prices and upgrade availability does change so the prices/availability I have included today could change at any point.
Under Mr. Nolan’s Bed trilogy by Selena Kitt narrated by Holly Hackett was one of my first Audible book experiences. :O It definitely got me hooked on audio books! (This was another Audible Daily Deal purchase back in the day.) Now an Unlimited Kindle book and add audio or Combo for K.99/A1.99.
I recently combo purchased these great books:
• Big Rock by Lauren Blakely narrated by Sebastian York (yum, another favorite male narrator!!) Combo K3.99/A1.99
• Cocky Bastard by Penelope Ward & Vi Kieeland narrated by Michelle Ferguson & Aaron Abano Combo K4.99/A1.99
• Friend-Zoned by Belle Aurora narrated by Eleanor Gwyn & Douglas Berger. Combo K3.99/A1.99
• Willing Captive by Belle Aurora Kindle Unlimited add audio $1.99
• Phenomenal X by Michelle A. Valentine Combo K3.99/A2.99
Other audio books to add to your library just because they are fabulous are:
The Fever series by Karen Marie Moning
The Cat & Bones series by Jeaniene Frost
Anything by…
• Kristen Ashley (Mystery Man The Dream Man series) K3.99/A9.99
• Mia Sheridan (Archer’s Voice!!) Kindle Unlimited with add Audio $2.99
• Karina Halle (The Pact, The Play, The Offer & The Lie) all Kindle Unlimited with add Audio $2.99

I think I will end this here. I hope this is helpful & happy reading/listening!!

P.S. man Maryse, this really takes some time to compile. I now have a new respect for what you do for us! THANK YOU!!!!

Tammy April 17, 2016 at 1:37 PM

I put audiobooks on my mp3 player and listen to them while I clean my house. I borrow most of mine from the online NY public library. :)

Fabi April 17, 2016 at 2:41 PM

Danette that’s a wonderful explanation and great recommendations. Thank you. I remember a few years ago it was the whispersync feature that convinced me to switch from Nook to Kindle. My place in the book automatically updates no matter if I pull it up on my phone, computer, iPad or Audible. It’s amazing.

Tammy, I’ve borrowed quite a few from the library too, but I seldom find a particular book I’m looking for. It’s mostly good when I’m just browsing in general.

Robyn April 17, 2016 at 7:25 PM

I don’t listen to audio books because I’m not sitting long enough anywhere to listen. But Outlander on audio could change my mind….both Scottish and Enlish voices….swoon!

Fabi, let me know how Seven Years is. I’m so in love with that whole series it’s not funny!

Maryse April 18, 2016 at 8:16 AM

Wow Danette! That comment deserves it’s own post. I’m gonna do it for next week!!! :D

Jackie April 18, 2016 at 11:14 PM

I’ve listened to 6 of the Outlander books so far. Hands down my favorite.
Also another tip is an app called Overdrive which will let you check out books (regular and audio) through you library. Best of all it’s free.
I also am an audible member and every day they have a daily deal which is usually between $1.99-$4.99 and every once in awhile you can snag a good title.
I listen to everything from classics (did Pride and Prejudice to best sellers to non-fiction to contemporary romance.
(A side story- I was playing tennis last week and one gal says “do you hear that?” “Someone’s saying ‘he caressed his hand over her breast’”. Red cheeks and completely mortified, that would be my iPhone that I inadvertently hit the play button while silencing my phone. Anyway-moving on…
Some of my favorite contemporary books are The Play, the Offer, the Pact by Karina Halle,
Peaches Monroe series
No Regrets series by Lauren Blakely
Bad Things, etc RK Lilley
Reason to Breathe etc Rebecca Donovan

Anything by Rainbow Rowell

Fabi April 19, 2016 at 6:58 AM

Jackie, that is so funny! But an all too true risk of audio books. lol I find myself turning the volume down at stoplights, just in case.

I have Overdrive too. I think my problem is that my library doesn’t stock the books I want to read, either in hard copy or audio. :-(

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