Audiobook Palate Cleansers by Chelsea Mueller

Posted June 20, 2016 by Jennifer in Blogger Guest Post, JIAM | | 14 Comments


Welcome, Chelsea Mueller back to The Book Nympho. This time, she’s talking audiobooks.

I’m a rather finicky audiobook reader. It has to be the right story with just the right narration to hook me. The best ones keep me in my car after the commute is over because I have to hear how the chapter ends. I’m much less fickle with printed or Kindle books. This might explain why I tend to think of my audio reads as palate cleansers.

I can delve into the heavy and dark or the tortured romances in print, and then take a reprieve with the perfect balanced read for audio. As such, here are my top three recommendations for reads that hit all the marks—stellar storytelling, pitch-perfect narration, and utterly engaging dialog.  


Lick by Kylie Scott (Stage Dive #1)

One thing to know about me is I tend to like books with giant emotional rollercoasters and dark tones and a bit of grit to them. And almost always I want a good paranormal element. Lick is none of these things. It’s super sexy, which I always like, and it’s laugh-out-loud funny. There’s a nice emotional arc, but nothing that makes you ugly cry five minutes before arriving at work.

The narrator Andi Arndt injects the right amount of personality into each of the characters that they’re distinct people and it’s easy to imagine you’re eavesdropping on conversations when she hits a good patch of dialog. Plus the hero is a musician, and who doesn’t like a bit rockstar in their life?

Delightful read and perfect in between doom-and-gloom reads where vampires have to save the world.

Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night by Kresley Cole (Immortals After Dark #4)

Okay, so, I really can’t make this list without including a paranormal romance. I need them. Want them. Love them. Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series hits my buttons for pretty much everything. They’re great in whichever format you prefer, but I have to admit the audio versions are exceptional.

Robert Petkoff’s narration is what makes it. Every person is special and clear and so alive as he speaks. He gets the Scottish brogue of hero Bowen MacRieve perfect. The throaty growls and groans, the obvious “mine” possessiveness every time he speaks to the woman he’s been chasing for so long.

Plus, this is part of one of my favorite story arcs within the Immortals After Dark series that’s essentially like the Amazing Race but with supernatural creatures. There are numerous “fan yourself” passages as well as the right doses of humor.

The Martian by Andy Weir

This is the one novel that I always recommend people experience on audio instead of in print. Yes, the audiobook is that good. I think it also helps because The Martian is a little heavier on the “science” in sci-fi than most of my friends would typically read. In print some of that could come across as dragging. In the audio, though? You can’t get enough of it. There’s this wry personality of the hero Mark Watney, who is an astronaut stranded on Mars, that comes through when he talks about how he’s going to MacGyver something on Mars to survive/contact others/escape listening to ‘70s disco.

Much like Petkoff from IAD, R.C. Bray makes every character come alive. You’d think there was an entire cast narrating instead of a single person. It’s brilliant and engaging, and you’ll find yourself cheering the characters along as you listen to this one.

Do you use audiobooks as a palate cleanser? Hit the comments with your favorites so everyone can build their wishlists and TBRs.



About Chelsea Mueller

Chelsea Mueller writes gritty contemporary fantasy. She founded speculative fiction website Vampire Book Club, blogs about TV and romance novels for Heroes & Heartbreakers, and is co-chair of SF/F charity Geeky Giving. She loves bad cover songs, dramatic movies, and TV vampires. She lives in Texas, and has been known to say y’all. Find her on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat @ChelseaVBC.

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Owner/Blogger at The Book Nympho
I coexist with my husband of 15 years, our 11-year-old son and two chilled cats in the Deep South.

After 17 years I've finally finished my BA in English (no I do not want to be a teacher). Before majoring in English I would not have touched anything labeled "classic", but I have enjoyed a few along the way in my college career.

While I hated to read growing up, I am now an avid book reader and audiobook listener. I love rejecting reality one book at a time. I only read fiction within my favorite (at least to date) genres which include: most romance (paranormal, contemporary, D/s, BDSM, M/M)Urban Fantasy, and a few YA (mostly PNR or UF from favorite adult authors, but I'm slowly stepping out of my comfort zone after enjoying a few contemporary YA novels in adolescent literature class I took).
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14 responses to “Audiobook Palate Cleansers by Chelsea Mueller

  1. I am so glad that you have now discovered a few narrators—be glad that I don’t shove a few more down your throat 🙂 —-just going to say *cough* cough* Holter Graham if you love RP 🙂

  2. Yvette

    I am an avid audiobook listener. That being said, there is NOTHING that can compare to actually holding the book in my hands. In fact, after listening to a good book on audio, I frequently purchase the paper copy for my library afterward. But, two boys and their busy schedule make listening easier than reading. I have come across so many good readers. I love Loreali King (any book she reads, but favorites are the Patricia Briggs- Mercy Thompson series and Darynda Jones-Charlie Davidson series) but my ABSOLUTE favorite narrator is Rene Raudman. She narrates all of the Ilona Andrews books and Anita Clenny (relic seekers). If you haven’t given these books a try, add them to your audio queue. You won’t be disappointed.

  3. Jess1

    I’m really enjoying your Audio book posts, especially since I started listening to audio books recently. It’s like listening to a movie but without the outside visuals. The narrator makes such a huge difference. A couple weeks ago, I had Iron Crossed by Patricia Briggs at the 1/3 mark languishing for months, until I picked up the audio book from the library. Lorelei King is exceptional. I listened to it avidly, and then checked out the next three audio books and just consumed those books. I would have consumed the last two books, but no audio books were available.

  4. I am new to audiobooks and I’ve certainly taken to them in a big way. I ALWAYS have one available for listening. The last 4 days I was in the car for more than 8 hours each day and it was audio heaven. I cleaned up some titles from my TBR. I also tried out a new little bluetooth speaker to make the ones on my phone louder (since I have an old car). Audio really helps me get out of reading slumps and try new things. I will say sometimes tho, if I don’t like the narrator, or if they don’t fit my mental picture, then I have to read. Anne

    • Oh, you’ll dig it. I think more often, I read out of genre on audio, too. The books I read for VBC aren’t ones I typically listen to on audio. (Kresley being the obvious exception.)

  5. I’ve gotten to where I prefer to listen to books than read them. I’ve been on a reading slump the past few weeks. Even books that I would normally love to read, I just can’t get into them. I will instead listen and do something mind numbing on the computer or do a puzzle game on my iPad. I do a lot of listening at work too. I hope I get out of this reading funk soon, because I have a ton of books that aren’t available on audio that I want to read, but just can’t bring myself to do it.

    • I’ve got a decent commute, so I probably do more listening than reading these days, too. Sometimes you have to have the right book to pull you back in when you’re slumped like that.

  6. I don’t know when it happened but I’ve come to prefer listening to mysteries and thrillers. These are the type of books that capture my complete attention and tend to have the best narrators and storytellers. I hadn’t thought of these as palate cleansers but once I read your post….!

    By the way, I’ve got the Lick audiobook in the queue and have already listened to your other two wonderful choices. Thanks for your post!