Do you read romance? Are you fan of audiobooks? Personally, I’m a longtime fan of the former but new to the latter. I have resisted the call of audio for quite a while. Listening to someone read to me seemed inconceivable. It took LeVar Burton reading to me (okay, not just to me) before I was able to consider the possibility that listening to another person read might not only be tolerable, it might even be enjoyable.
So far the short stories Mr. Burton has chosen for LeVar Burton Reads have come mostly from the science fiction and fantasy genres with some general fiction mixed in. There was even a western. I have enjoyed them all. Still, I’m not sure if I like audiobooks or if I just like listening to Mr. Burton’s voice. So I decided to experiment with listening to other people read. Not wanting to spend a ton of money on this experiment, I sought out free audiobooks. And since romance is one of my favorite genres, I focused on free romance audiobooks. Here’s what I found.
Strictly speaking, Jules & James isn’t an audiobook. It is a serialized fiction podcast about a blossoming romance between two artists. She makes films in London and he’s an American painter in Paris. Their meet cute begins with a misdialed number. What should have ended after ten seconds turns into an endless conversation. I don’t know how it ends yet but am definitely enjoying the journey. Jules & James is available through the usual places podcasts are found—iTunes, Stitcher, etcetera.
NoiseTrade is a promotional platform for writers and music makers. Artists post their work for free in hopes of finding and growing an audience for their work. Readers and music lovers benefit in the form of free audiobooks and music. There is a catch. In exchange for free books readers must provide their email addresses. Authors get the email addresses of people who download their work. Theoretically authors could then contact readers in the future. If having authors contact you personally to tell you about their latest book sounds awesome, great. If not, remember separate emails exist precisely for situations such as this.
A friend of mine is rereading classics during the month of October. I found an easy and inexpensive way to join in the fun. Formerly known as Books Should Be Free, Loyal Books offers free audiobook and ebook version of books in the public domain. You won’t find the latest steamy romances here, but you will be able to listen Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet court one another to your heart’s content.
Of course, the number one go-to for free books is your local public library. A friend with a long commute told me recently that she rarely goes to the library anymore. Nevertheless, between the easy access to and the wide selection of audiobooks, she is an active library user. The public library is your best bet for finding the widest selection of free romance audiobooks, including recent releases.
Free for a Limited Time
There are several subscription services that offer audiobooks for a fee. The good news is that these services often come with a free trial period. Take advantage of the free trial periods to listen to your favorite love stories. Try one service at a time to maximize your free listening time. Two to try are:
Audiobooks.com offers readers 30 days to sample their service, during which readers can listen to one of their favorite romance books. One of the things I like about Audiobooks.com is that it has very specific categories. I happen to love a romance with a mystery thrown in. Luckily for me, Audiobooks.com has a category for that. If your tastes lean toward the religious or inspirational romance, there is a category for that too. Science fiction romance, holiday romance, historical romance—find all that and more on Audiobooks.com. Subscriptions start at $14.95 per month at the end of the trial period.
Once you’ve finished your free book from Audiobooks.com check out All You Can Audiobooks. Readers get an unlimited supply of free happily-ever-afters for 30 days. At the end of the trial period listeners pay $19.99 per month for unlimited access to the site’s catalog of 30,000 audiobooks and other materials.
Now that you know where to find free romance audiobooks what are you going to read next? If you need suggestions or just what to know about new romance books check out Kissing Books, Book Riot’s newsletter on all things literary and romantic. Also, if you want to hop genres, check out more free audiobooks here.
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