Mary Jane Wells, Anyone?

MJW-8Any long-term listener of audiobooks will almost certainly have lists of narrators; those who are outstanding, those who are dreadful and those who fall between the two.  The lists at either end of the spectrum are probably fairly short – I know mine are – and being able to add a name to the list of “narrators I would listen to if they read the phone book” doesn’t happen often.  But that’s exactly what I did when I listened to Simone St. James’ Silence for the Dead a couple of years back.  Mary Jane Wells gave a stupendous performance in that audiobook; differentiation, expression and nuance, pacing – all were spot on – and so naturally, I immediately went to Audible, set on an MJW glom.  Unfortunately, she hadn’t recorded all that many romance audiobooks at that time, but now that list is steadily growing and you can bet I was jumping for joy when I saw her name attached to Lisa Kleypas’ new Ravenels series – her work in Cold Hearted Rake and Marrying Winterborne earned A grades for narration.  In fact, all her performances have been rated highly – if you haven’t listened to her yet, then you’re missing out.

 

Caz

Here’s a list of all the audiobooks we’ve reviewed at AudioGals featuring Mary Jane Wells.

  • The Fairest of Them All by Cathy Maxwell

    July 18, 2016

    Narration: A
    Story: C-
    Reviewer: Caz
    Publisher: Harper Audio
    the fairest of them all

    Narrated by Mary Jane Wells I’m going to confess upfront that the only reason I chose to listen to this second book in Cathy Maxwell’s Marrying the Duke series, The Fairest of Them All, is because Mary Jane Wells is the narrator. I was singularly underwhelmed by the first book, The Match of the Century, which ...

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  • Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas

    June 9, 2016

    Narration: A
    Story: B+
    Reviewer: Kaetrin
    Publisher: Harper Audio
    Marrying Winterborne

    Narrated by Mary Jane Wells I had my first Lisa Kleypas historical success last year with Cold-Hearted Rake. Admittedly, it was from a very small sample – I had only tried two other historicals by Kleypas before then but had been underwhelmed by them. It was also my first experience of listening to Mary Jane Wells’ ...

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  • Must Love Breeches by Angela Quarles

    May 14, 2016

    Narration: A
    Story: C+
    Reviewer: Melinda
    Publisher: Unsealed Room Press
    Must Love Breeches

    Narrated by Mary Jane Wells Although I enjoy the occasional time travel novel, I chose to review Must Love Breeches on the strength of the narrator, who has become a favorite for narrating historical romance here at AudioGals. An American in contemporary London, Isabelle Rochon is attending a historical reenactment ball when she is whisked back ...

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  • The Match of the Century by Cathy Maxwell

    December 28, 2015

    Narration: A-
    Story: C+
    Reviewer: Caz
    Publisher: Harper Audio
    match of the century

    Narrated by Mary Jane Wells Elin Morris has been betrothed to Gavin Whitridge, Duke of Baynton for as long as she can remember, the match engineered by both sets of parents when they were little more than children, and viewed by society as The Match of the Century, an alliance of great wealth on both sides. ...

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  • Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas

    December 2, 2015

    Narration: A
    Story: B
    Reviewer: Kaetrin
    Publisher: Harper Audio
    cold hearted rake

    Narrated by Mary Jane Wells I have a confession to make. While I have loved some of Lisa Kleypas’ contemporary novels (Blue Eyed Devil is one of my favourite books), I’ve had no success with her historicals. Admittedly, until Cold-Hearted Rake, I’d only tried two – but I hated the first one with the passion of ...

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  • Interview with Narrator Mary Jane Wells

    December 2, 2015

    Narration:
    Story:
    Reviewer:
    Publisher:
    MJW-8

    Over the past year or so, I’ve listened to a number of recordings by Mary Jane Wells, and she has very quickly become one of my “go-to” narrators. The first time I listened to her was in Simone St. James’ Silence for the Dead and I was seriously impressed by her vocal characterisations and ...

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  • The Highlander’s Bride by Amanda Forester

    October 14, 2015

    Narration: A-
    Story: C+
    Reviewer: Caz
    Publisher: Dreamscape Audio
    The Highlanders Bride

    Narrated by Mary Jane Wells I don’t have a very good track-record with Highlander Romances. I haven’t read or listened to a great many, it’s true, but those I have read have tended to have identical plotlines (boy-meets-girl-from-opposing-clan, boy-and-girl-hate-each-other, boy-and-girl-fall-in-luurve – that sort of thing), so I’ve been wary about choosing review titles with the word ...

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  • The Groom Says Yes by Cathy Maxwell

    September 1, 2015

    Narration: A
    Story: C+
    Reviewer: Caz
    The Groom Says Yes

    Narrated by Mary Jane Wells This is the final book in Cathy Maxwell’s Brides of Wishmore trilogy, but I don’t think it’s necessary to have listened to the previous books in order to understand or enjoy this one. The Groom Says Yes boasts a fairly straightforward story with an added touch of mystery concerning the threat ...

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  • His Wicked Reputation by Madeline Hunter

    August 18, 2015

    Narration: A-
    Story: B+
    Reviewer: Caz
    Publisher: Blackstone Audio
    his wicked reputation audio

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  • The Other Side of Midnight by Simone St. James

    June 8, 2015

    Narration: A
    Story: A
    Reviewer:
    Publisher: Blackstone Audio
    The Other Side of Midnight

    Narrated by Mary Jane Wells Simone St. James’ fourth novel, The Other Side of Midnight, is an absolutely superb listen all round. The story is fascinating, beautifully-written and well-plotted with a twist I didn’t see coming; and paired with a wonderfully engaging and superbly acted performance from Mary Jane Wells, I was in audio heaven for ...

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  • Devil’s Lady by Patricia Rice

    February 6, 2015

    Narration: A-
    Story: B
    Reviewer: Caz
    Publisher: Audible, Inc
    devils-lady

    Narrated by Mary Jane Wells Mary Jane Wells is a narrator relatively new to the world of historical romance, but she has already earned herself a place on my “narrators to trust” shelf. Her performance in Simone St. James’ recent Silence for the Dead was terrific, and I enjoyed listening to her in Sarah MacLean’s Ten ...

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The Rogue by Katharine Ashe

the rogueNarrated by Saskia Maarleveld

I was so pleased when I saw that The Rogue was coming out in audio format. I read and loved the book earlier this year; it’s a beautifully written, sensual and tender romance combined with a dash of mystery and boasts one of the most wonderful romantic heroes I’ve read in quite some time. While it’s a continuation of the author’s Falcon Club series, the book also marks the beginning of the Devil’s Duke trilogy; so while some of the characters from the earlier books are referenced and make cameo appearances, it’s perfectly possible to enjoy The Rogue as a standalone. Read the rest of this entry »

Blissed by Jamie Farrell

blissedNarrated by Karen White

Natalie Castellano is a young divorced mother in Bliss, a Midwest town devoted to marriage and happy-ever-afters. Her family runs a bridal boutique on The Aisle (aka Main Street), but the untimely death of her mother left the family and the boutique floundering. Natalie is determined to bring it back to its glory before moving away, since she’s Persona Non Grata in the wedding-crazy town. When she reveals all her woes to someone in a dark confessional, she has no idea the man she is complaining about – the man she blames for ruining her short marriage – is the very man she’s speaking to! Read the rest of this entry »

The Fairest of Them All by Cathy Maxwell

The Fairest of Them AllNarrated by Mary Jane Wells

I’m going to confess upfront that the only reason I chose to listen to this second book in Cathy Maxwell’s Marrying the Duke series, The Fairest of Them All, is because Mary Jane Wells is the narrator. I was singularly underwhelmed by the first book, The Match of the Century, which was where we first met Gavin Whitridge, the Duke of Baynton. That book tells the story of Gavin’s younger brother, Benedict, and Elin Morris, the young lady to whom Gavin had been betrothed for a number of years. Ben and Elin had been young lovers Read the rest of this entry »

Our July 2016 Picks

Here’s our regular look at the recent and upcoming releases we’re excited about listening to this month.  Some of these are already available, some are coming later in the month, but in each case we’ve based our choices on our opinions of authors, narrators… and sometimes just gut instinct.  What July releases have you enjoyed so far, or are you looking forward to listening to?  Stop by and tell us in the comments.

 

the sapphire affairThe Sapphire Affair by Lauren Blakely

Narrated by Sebastian York

This month Lauren Blakely, known for her steamy contemporary romances, releases the romantic suspense title, The Sapphire Affair. I’m looking forward to seeing how Ms. Blakely tackles, and no doubt steams up, the romantic suspense genre. – BJ

Author is Lauren Blakely and narrator Sebastian York? Yes, please! – Melinda

 

once upon a moonlit nightOnce Upon a Moonlit Night by Elizabeth Hoyt

Narrated by Ashford McNab

Having just finished and adored Duke of Sin, I’m looking forward to this next in the series. – BJ

I’m not usually a fan of novellas, but I’ll make an exception for this series. I love Maiden Lane. Both the writing and the narration are spectacular. – Shannon

 

simply magicunforgivenSimply Magic and Unforgiven  by Mary Balogh

Narrated by Rosalyn Landor

Two backlist titles from this author/narrator team this month and it’s not even my birthday yet!   Simply Magic is the third reissue in Mary Balogh’s Simply series, and Unforgiven is a new recording of the second in the Horsemen trilogy, originally published in the late 90s. With Rosalyn Landor narrating, these are bound to be winners. – Caz

 

imprudenceImprudence by Gail Carriger

Narrated by Moira Quirk 

Carriger is one of my favorite authors of the steampunk romance genre. The first book hinted at dark things back home for Prue and I’m need to know what’s going on. I want a happy ending for Prue and her mother (Alexia from the Parasol Protectorate). Add in Quirk, whose narrations have been some of my favorite performances EVAH!!!, and I know I’m in for a fun time. Cannot. Wait. – Diana

 

the cream of the cropCream of the Crop by Alice Clayton

Narrated by Deacon Lee and Olivia Song

Lovers of humorous contemporary romances (who doesn’t remember Wallbanger?) will no doubt be looking forward to Cream of the Crop. Although I’m not familiar with Olivia Song, I have enjoyed Deacon Lee’s performances in the past. – BJ

I’m a big fan of Alice Clayton’s sassy & funny contemporary romance. Like BJ, I haven’t listened to Olivia Song, but she’s done several of these dual-POV narrations with some of the best, so my fingers are crossed. – Melinda

 

belgraviaBelgravia by Julian Fellowes

Narrated by Juliet Stevenson

I’ve had my eye on this since it was originally released as eleven separate episodes.  Julian Fellowes’ writing is sure to be excellent and Juliet Stevenson is an absolute dream of a narrator! – Caz

 

 

just kiss meJust Kiss Me by Rachel Gibson

Narrated by Hillary Huber

A new Rachel Gibson, and direct to audio?? What craziness is this? Yay! I don’t know this narrator, but Kaetrin and Shannon have both found her work in the A/B range. – Melinda

 

 

as death draws nearAs Death Draws Near by Anna Lee Huber

Narrated by Heather Wilds

I’m looking forward to Keira and Gage’s first investigative outing as a newly married couple.  Heather Wilds is once again narrating, and is sure to give an accomplished performance. – Caz

 

 

the dissolute dukeThe Dissolute Duke by Sophia James

Narrated by Carolyn Morris

Confession time – I’m not familiar with either story or author; I’ve chosen this solely on the basis of the narrator.  Carolyn Morris is a terrific performer of historical romances and I’m pleased to see her returning to the fold! – Caz

 

 

die in plain sightDie In Plain Sight by Elizabeth Lowell
Narrated by Alyssa Bresnahan
I’m so glad to see this book available in audio. I read and loved it in print when it first came out, over ten years ago. Alyssa Bresnahan is a skilled narrator, who I’m sure will bring it to life beautifully. – Shannon

 

 

the angels shareThe Angels’ Share by J.R. Ward
Narrated by Alexander Cendese
I’ve been counting down the days until the release of the second book in Ms. Ward’s Bourbon Kings series. It promises to contain everything I love in a romance: scandal, family secrets, and a plot that simply never lets up. Alexander Cendese did a great job with book one, so I’m expecting great things here. – Shannon

 

 

AudioGals earns commissions on purchases made through links to Amazon.com in this post.

Six Degrees of Scandal by Caroline Linden

Six Degrees of ScandalNarrated by Beverley A. Crick

This final book in Caroline Linden’s Scandalous seriesSix Degrees of Scandal – brings it to an extremely satisfying conclusion, tying up the loose ends deliberately left over from Love in the Time of Scandal, and also finally revealing the identity of the mysterious Lady Constance, author of the popular Fifty Ways to Sin series of erotic pamphlets.

The story opens some years earlier when young James Weston (brother of Penelope and Abigail, heroines of the previous two books) meets Olivia Herbert, who lives on the neighbouring estate. Read the rest of this entry »

Ninja at First Sight by Penny Reid

ninja at first sightNarrated by Em Eldridge 

If you’re looking for a short, unique, witty, and addicting New Adult listen then I can’t recommend Ninja at First Sight (book 4.75 in the Knitting In the City series) highly enough. I absolutely loved the philosophical debates between this unlikely college couple, and the spot on narration by Em Eldridge. The only drawback is that it’s a prequel novella and to get the full story you will need to listen to Happily Ever Ninja (Book 5 in the Series).

Fiona is an 18 year old, incredibly smart but reclusive freshman Read the rest of this entry »

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