Give me a movie that really moves me and it’s likely I’ll watch it again and again. They don’t have to be romantic tales – in fact, I rewatch more non-romance than romance if we measure movies by the HEA standard. What are some of my most rewatched movies? Gettysburg starring Martin Sheen, Jeff Daniels, and Tom Beringer, Spy Game starring Robert Redford and Brad Pitt, Onegin starring Ralph Fiennes and Liv Tyler, The Last of the Mohicans starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe, The Hunt for Red October starring Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin, and yeah – I’ll admit it – Legends of the Fall starring Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt. :D On the romance side I’ve worn out the Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle version of Pride and Prejudice and have repeatedly watched several versions of Jane Eyre (my fave being the recent Michael Fassbender/Mia Wasikowska version), Firelight starring Sophie Marceau and Stephen Dillane, and Persuasion starring Rupert Penry-Jones and Sally Hawkins.
But when it comes to audiobooks, I absolutely require a story that includes a hero and heroine in a relationship that ultimately has that happy ending – even if it occurs in the last minutes. I far prefer relistening to romance audio treasures these days than rewatching those old favorite movies although they still call out to me.
Writing the Speaking of Audiobooks column over at All About Romance for the past three years means I have had little time for relistening to my old favorites. Keeping up with the latest romance audio releases as well as new narrators who are garnering attention, takes the majority of my time and I often find myself aching for one of my comfort listens – those audios that so completely entertain me each time I return – even if it’s multiple times.
I’ve made a concerted effort in 2012 to relisten more and the past few months have been full of comfort listens. I’ve experienced all over again Joyce Bean’s suspense filled delivery of Death Angel by Linda Howard. I’ve laughed along, yet again, to Anna Fields performing Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ Kiss an Angel and I’ve cried a few tears hearing Renee Raudman recount Haven’s despair in Lisa Kleypas’ Blue-Eyed Devil. I just finished Karen Robards’ One Summer – a bad boy hero performed as only Anna Fields can. And I can’t leave out Nora Roberts’ Carnal Innocence with Tom Stechschulte’s unforgettable portrayal of Tucker Longstreet.
Earlier this year it was Linda Howard’s After the Night perfectly narrated by Natalie Ross and Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ Dream a Little Dream with the dynamic Anna Fields – again. And although Franette Liebow can make Linda Howard’s To Die For a little challenging in the beginning, it’s a laugh-out-loud favorite of mine.
Next up is a first time relisten for me – Jeaniene Frost’s Halfway to the Grave narrated by Tavia Gilbert. I just finished the series and I’m dying to hear Tavia once again entrance me with all things Bones and Cat. Also loaded on my iPod ready to go is Julia London’s Summer of Two Wishes – an emotional love triangle convincingly delivered by Natalie Ross.
Even with all the recent relistens, I’m proud to say I’ve found ample time to listen to new releases as well. I’m just doing a better job of choosing those and I don’t waste time on books that aren’t working for me. If I’m two hours in and it’s more than a little problematic – adios. No need to waste my time, well, unless it’s a review book.
Within my comfort listens file, there are still a large number to choose from. That includes nearly every Susan Elizabeth Phillips book narrated by Anna Fields, at least a dozen Linda Howard tales, a good number of Sandra Browns, and a few Mary Baloghs, Elizabeth Hoyts, and Karen Marie Monings. New entries into the comfort listen file include recent titles by Kristan Higgins and Julie James. And there’s even more!
It’s not unusual to hear romance listeners at both Speaking of Audiobooks and the Romance Audiobooks Goodreads group state that they don’t relisten to a book – even one they really enjoyed. I often hear friends say the same about rewatching a movie – it’s not even a consideration. So, I find myself very thankful for this thing inside my mind that makes me want to relive a favorite tale. Yeah, I sometimes wonder if it has something to do with my memory…after all, I’m always surprised by one happening or another and I laugh and tear up all over again. All I can say is “Lucky me!”