About Michelle

Michelle loves books, travelling and her adopted cats, Grizzly and Oats. When she's not reading, she can be found hiking.

10 Ways to Listen to Audiobooks this Holiday Season

Get into the holiday spirit with fun activities and their perfect audiobook companions!

1. Cross country skiing or snow shoeing
Gliding or trekking through a powdery forest is exhilarating enough, but listening to a suspenseful audiobook makes the experience even more spine-tingling.

Someone Like Me by M. R. Carey, narrated by Robin Miles

Someone Like Me.

Liz Kendall wouldn’t hurt a fly. Even when times get tough, she’s devoted to bringing up her two kids in a loving home. But there’s another side to Liz: one that’s dark and malicious. She’ll do anything to get her way, no matter how extreme. And when this other side of her takes control, the consequences are devastating. But love her or hate her, there are two sides to every story…
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2. Decorating a gingerbread house
Whether you’re making a gingerbread house as a form of home decor or for the sake of a seasonal treat, this holiday tradition is even better with a cozy gingerbread mystery.

Gingerbread Cookie Murder by Leslie MeierLaura Levine and Joanne Fluke, narrated by Suzanne Toren

Gingerbread Cookie Murder.

In this batch of sweet, short murder mysteries, three cooks don’t spoil the broth. New York Times best-selling author Joanne Fluke pens the title story, in which a box of Hannah Swensen’s gingerbread cookies is found near the corpse of her neighbor. Popular co-authors Laura Levine and Leslie Meier offer ‘The Dangers of Gingerbread Cookies’ and ‘Gingerbread Cookies and Gunshots,’ respectively.
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3. Writing holiday cards
As soon as I open my mailbox and see handwriting across the envelope — instant happiness! I know I’m not the only one who feels this way, so if you’re writing cards this year, listen to a powerful memoir that will get your memories flowing.

Thanks A Lot Mr Kibblewhite by Roger Daltrey, narrated by Roger Daltrey

Thanks a Lot Mr Kibblewhite.

The frontman of The Who fought his way through school and poverty while assembling the band that would become The Who. Amidst all the music and mayhem, the drugs, the premature deaths, the ruined hotel rooms, Roger Daltrey narrates his personal story, and definitive biography of The Who, remaining sober (relatively) and observant and determined to make The Who bigger and bigger.
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4. Online holiday shopping
Avoid bumping elbows in a crowded mall and listen to an audiobook while finding the perfect gift for the perfect person (like a gift subscription to Audiobooks.com!).

The Little Shop of Found Things by Paula Brackston, narrated by Marisa Calin

The Little Shop of Found Things.

Xanthe and her mom Flora leave London for a fresh start, taking over an antique shop in a historic town. When Xanthe has an intense connection to a silver chatelaine, she has to know more. It’s while she’s examining the chatelaine that she’s transported back to the 17th century where it has its origins and discovers an injustice in its history. If she doesn’t make things right, her mom’s life could be in danger.
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5. Going for a walk in a winter wonderland
Even if you don’t have snow, walking in crisp weather is a great way to get your blood pumping. Listening to this Narnia-esque audiobook will motivate you to keep moving, even in sub-zero temperatures.

The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth, narrated by Moira Quirk and Fiona Hardingham

The Light Between Worlds.

Sisters Evelyn and Philippa were swept away to a strange and beautiful kingdom called the Woodlands, where they lived for years. Ever since returning to England, they’ve struggled to adjust. Ev desperately wants to return to the Woodlands, but Philippa just wants to move on. When Ev goes missing, Philippa must confront her sister’s despair and the painful truths they’ve been running from.
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6. Making a pot of mulled wine or hot chocolate
Enjoying hot beverages is one of my favorite things about winter. If you’re whipping up a pot of your own, listen to this feel-good audiobook to get you feeling extra festive.

Hope and Other Superpowers by John Pavlovitz, narrated by John Pavlovitz

Hope and Other Superpowers.

It’s exhausting to give a damn these days, isn’t it? Perhaps you’re feeling anguished about what you see on the news or on social media, or by personal circumstances, and are paralyzed waiting for world leaders to rescue us. But what if you didn’t have to wait for someone else? What if you could be the hero? This book is an invitation to anyone hoping to be the kind of person the world desperately needs.
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7. Wrapping presents
I’ve traditionally listened to Christmas music while wrapping presents, but this year, A Town Divided by Christmas got me into the rhythm of wrapping presents early.

A Town Divided by Christmas by Orson Scott Card, narrated by Emily Rankin

A Town Divided by Christmas.

It began with a quarrel over which newborn should be the baby Jesus in the town’s Christmas pageant. Decades later, two scientists arrive to study small-town genetic patterns, only to run up against the invisible walls that split the leading citizens into two congregations that can only be joined by love and forgiveness. And maybe a little deception. There might be some things that people just don’t need to know.
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8. Decorating your home
Every year, I find myself untangling twinkle lights and cleaning up bits of faux snow and pine needles from my house, and every year, it’s worth it. Deck the halls (and the rest of your home) while listening to this fun audiobook.

House of Gold by Natasha Solomons, narrated by Marisa Calin

House of Gold.

Vienna, 1911. Greta Goldbaum has always dreamed of choosing her own path, but the Goldbaums have expectations. Jewish and perpetual outsiders, they know that power and strength lies in family and wealth. When Greta moves to England to wed, she finds herself lonely. Just as she begins to feel happy, war is looming. The family takes opposing sides, and Greta will have to choose.
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9. Curling up by a fire
There’s nothing better than cozying up with a good story. Michelle Obama‘s memoir, Becoming, is so good, you’ll want to make sure you don’t have any distractions around you so you can soak up every detail.

Becoming by Michelle Obama, narrated by Michelle Obama


The former First Lady of the United States invites readers into her world, chronicling her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing motherhood and work and living at the world’s most famous address. Warm, wise, and honest, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman who has steadily defied expectations and inspires readers to do the same.
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10. Driving to look at Christmas lights
There’s little more festive than neighborhood lit up with twinkle lights. If you’re going on a drive to see the displays your neighborhood has to offer, listening to a family-friendly audiobook is a way to feel extra warm and fuzzy.

Homer and the Holiday Miracle by Gwen Cooper, narrated by Gwen Cooper

Homer and the Holiday Miracle.Doctors warned that Homer was unlikely to survive, but against all odds, he grew to save his human mom’s life  and rose to global fame. Now, just two weeks before Christmas, doctors said he wouldn’t make it to Christmas Eve. Homer showed everyone he still had one more miracle left in him and proved again, once and for all, that hope and love aren’t things you see with your eyes. You see them with your heart.
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New to Audiobooks.com? Get a free audiobook when you sign up for our one month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobook!

Audiobooks.com interview with Paul Alan Ruben, author of Terms of Engagement

If you’re a fan of books that delve into deep questions and complex characters, Paul Alan Ruben’s Terms of Engagement: Stories of the Father and Son, will leave you asking yourself the big questions, such as: who am I, as a human being? Listen to our interview with the author and director of this short story collection, his advice for getting cast as a narrator, and more.


Audiobooks.com: Your recent short story collection, Terms of Engagement, explores father and son as intimate enemies with a yearning to be understood, acknowledged, and validated by each other. Where did the inspiration for the stories come from?

Paul: The inspiration came largely from my own experience as a son, so while the collection is fiction, the themes that are embedded in all of the stories largely grow out of my own experience. This is literary fiction. The things that cause the characters stories to feel incoherent have to do with some of the themes in the book and the difficulty in these stories that both father and son seem to have.

Audiobooks.com: Not only did you write this short story collection, but you directed it as well. Can you talk about the benefits and challenges of managing both?

Paul: My background is a theater director and I’ve been an audiobook producer and director for decades. i teach and coach storytelling, so i would say the benefits of being able to direct my own work is that in my head, i hear it, and i don’t have to necessarily talk to someone else about what i think the way an author might have to. I’m also a director so I’m able to think, “Okay, this is what I hear, and I’m going to do my best with the talent I have to actualize what I hear.” The challenge is to make sure that I treat  actors the way I would if they were doing a fiction that wasn’t written by me, which means that if they’re connected, engaged, and effectively doing the job that’s creating a compelling piece of storytelling, to leave them alone and let them interpret without me constantly stopping them. I think I did a pretty fair job, although you’d have to talk to some of the narrators who worked on the book, but at least they’re all still talking to me!

Audiobooks.com: As a Grammy winning audiobook producer, director, coach, and of course being an author, it’s clear you have a passion for audiobooks and storytelling. What sparked this passion?

Paul: I’ve always loved working with actors. I’ve worked with actors my whole life and I still, if I’m working with a storyteller doing an audiobook and that actor gets something that we’ve talked about, I still put my first in the air and think, “Yes, they got it, they got it!” i still feel that visceral passion after all these years. I’ve always been interested in the theater. i’ve directed and performed my whole life, so i think that combination translated really smoothly to audiobooks.

Audiobooks.com: When you’re casting someone as a narrator for an audiobook, what do you tend to look for?

Paul: I’ve cast a lot of first time narrators who have gone to become household names, like Holter Graham, Oliver Wyman, all the way down the line. What I look for is to see if they can intuitively connect to the subtext, the emotionality of the words. When you’re narrating a book, you’re of course speaking the words; an actor can’t act the words. The only thing they can act are the feelings beneath the words.

Audiobooks.com: If there are listeners out there hoping to find success as a narrator, producer, director, or coach, what advice would you give them?

Paul: A director and a coach are essentially working with narrators to create a more compelling performance. Your primary obligation is to know how to work with an actor. You need to understand and know how to give that actor or narrator an actable direction. You have to really enjoy the process of putting together a good team that you believe will create a compelling performance. you always have to have your eye on the final product and on the team’s effort to create the best possible audiobook program. the most important thing for narrators is to connect with the subtext and feel the emotions of the story.

Audiobooks.com: Is there anything else you want to add about your process, or about Terms of Engagement?

Paul: There’s a lot of commonality between writing and directing. When you direct a book that has say 100,000 words, so that would be roughly a 10 hour audiobook, your first obligation is to the publisher. They expect you to get that book done. Maybe for every finished hour, it takes you two hours of work, which means that you don’t have time to sit around with the narrator and have a big conversation about the book. You can’t talk about every sentence; you can’t micromanage the storyteller. If I hear the narrator is not connected to the emotionality behind the words, the narrator is reporting information rather than feeling it, my job is to quickly give that narrator an actable direction to get that narrator back into the stream so that they can organically and intuitively be present, and then I don’t have to say anything. Otherwise, it would take you six months to direct an audiobook. You really have to heavily rely on the narrator’s intuitive ability.


Terms of Engagement.

Terms of Engagement explores father and son as intimate enemies, each yearning to be understood, acknowledged, and validated by the other. Raw and gripping, these nine stories take place in collision territory — where father and son engage in trying to repair their alienation. Despite this, hope is the theme that pulses through the collection.
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This interview has been condensed and edited. For the full interview, listen here.


New to Audiobooks.com? Get a free audiobook when you sign up for our one month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobook!

The Hottest Audiobooks for Fall Listening

Whether you need a great new listen for your long weekend road trip or in between servings of turkey, the best books of fall (so far!) will leave you wanting seconds.


1. Elevation by Stephen King, narrated by Stephen King

Scott Carey is engaged in a battle with the lesbians next door. One of them is friendly; the other, cold as ice. Both are trying to launch a new restaurant, but the people of Castle Rock want no part of a gay married couple. When Scott finally understands the prejudices they face, he tries to help. Unlikely alliances and the mystery of his affliction bring out the best in people who have indulged the worst in themselves and others.
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2. Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon, narrated by Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon invites readers into her world, where she infuses the southern style, parties, and traditions she loves with contemporary flair and charm. Her heritage informs her life, and she loves sharing and reflecting on entertaining, decorating her home, and favorite traditions, from midnight barn parties to backyard bridal showers, magical Christmas mornings to rollicking honky-tonks.
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3. Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking, narrated by Ben Whishaw

Brief Answers to the Big Questions.

Stephen Hawking was the most renowned scientist since Einstein, known for his groundbreaking work in physics and cosmology. Hawking turns his attention to the most urgent issues facing us. Will humanity survive? Should we colonize space? Does God exist? These are just a few of the questions Hawking addresses in this wide-ranging, passionately argued final book from one of the greatest minds in history.
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4. Family Trust by Kathy Wang, narrated by Joy Osmanski

Family Trust.

For years, Stanley Huang has claimed he’s worth a small fortune. But the details of his estate will finally be revealed, and his family is nervous. As his death approaches, the Huangs are faced with challenges that upend them and eventually lead them to discover what they most value. A compelling tale of cultural expectations, career ambitions and relationships, Family Trust is a portrait of the modern American family.
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5. Dear Evan Hansen by Benj PasekSteven Levenson, and Val Emmich, narrated by Ben Levi RossMike Faist, and Mallory Bechtel

Dear Evan Hansen.

When a letter that was never meant to be seen by anyone draws high school senior Evan Hansen into a family’s grief over their dead son, he’s given the chance of a lifetime: to belong. He just has to stick to a lie. No longer tangled in his once-incapacitating anxiety, Evan has a purpose, a website, and becomes a viral phenomenon. Every day is amazing, until everything is in danger of unraveling.
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6. Heartland by Sarah Smarsh, narrated by Sarah Smarsh


Sarah Smarsh was born a fifth generation Kansas wheat farmer on her paternal side, and generations of teen mothers on her maternal side. Through her experience growing up on a farm 30 miles west of Wichita, we are given a unique and essential look into the lives of poor, working class Americans living in the heartland and examine the myths about people thought to be less because they earn less.
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7. I Might Regret This by Abbi Jacobson, narrated by Abbi Jacobson

I Might Regret This.

When Abbi Jacobson told friends she planned to drive across the country alone, she was met with lots of questions and opinions: most commonly, why? On her way to Los Angeles, she mulled over the big questions — What do I really want? What is the worst scenario in which I could run into my ex? In this collection, readers will feel like they’re in the passenger seat on a fun and inspiring journey.
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New to Audiobooks.com? Get a free audiobook when you sign up for our one month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobook!

STAFF PICK: Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

Title: Nine Perfect Strangers
Author: Liane Moriarty
Narrator: Caroline Lee

How much can 10 days at a remote health resort really change you? Nine perfect strangers are about to find out when they embark on what originally sounds like a dreamy experience. It sounded dreamy to me, at least — but not for long.

In Liane Moriarty’s Nine Perfect Strangers, nine people gather at an Australian resort to lose those last 10 stubborn pounds, revamp their lives, and face their demons head-on. Despite being in a luxurious resort that practically oozes mindfulness and meditation, everyone is expected to put in hard work in order to return home a better version of themselves.

When Frances Welty, a formerly best-selling romance novelist arrives at Tranquillium House, she is suffering from a bad back and a broken heart. The reviews she’s read of the resort are either full of praise or threats to sue the resort for ruining their lives. With a cast of characters that have little in common besides their painful pasts and high hopes of transformation, Nine Perfect Strangers is Liane Moriarty at her best — chock-full of suspense, tension, and unwavering wit.

There’s little I love more than a book that’s so cleverly written that I struggle to press pause, and this book certainly falls into that category. In fact, I was so enthralled in the story that I sat in my driveway for an extra five minutes after my commute home because I needed to finish the chapter I was on.

Caroline Lee does a fantastic job of narrating the story and left me hanging on every word. Her Australian accent made the story more authentic, and her storytelling abilities made this tantalizing listen even more addicting.

Nine Perfect Strangers will make you question every character, relationship, interaction, and motive. Throughout the book, I questioned whether Frances’ doubts were an overreaction or whether she should’ve made a run for it, wondering what I would’ve done if I were in her position. As the characters come to realize, no one truly knows what their lives can be until they are pushed to the brink.

Nine Perfect Strangers.











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New to Audiobooks.com? Get a free audiobook when you sign up for our one month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobook!

Discover Your Inner Witch with These Audiobooks

With modern witchcraft on the rise, embrace this new lifestyle with these helpful guides on herbalism, rituals, spells, and more.


1. Basic Witches: How to Summon Success, Banish Drama, and Raise Hell with Your Coven by Jess Zimmerman and Jaya Saxena, narrated by Amy McFadden

Basic Witches.

Want to increase your energy? Whip up a tasty herbal “potion” to rev up your stamina. DIY projects, rituals, and spells summon the best trends of the modern witchy lifestyle and the time-trusted traditions of the hell-raising women of the past. With humor, heart, and a hip sensibility, Jess Zimmerman and Jaya Saxena dispense witchy wisdom for the curious, the cynical, and anyone who could use a magical boost.
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2. The Green Witch: Your Complete Guide to the Natural Magic of Herbs, Flowers, Essential Oils, and More by Arin Murphy-Hiscock, narrated by Gabra Zackman

The Green Witch

Discover the power of natural magic and healing through herbs, flowers, and essential oils in this new guide to green witchcraft. In The Green Witch, you will learn how to use herbs, plants, and flowers to make potions and oils for everyday healing as well as how crystals, gems, stones, and even twigs can help you find balance within.
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3. The Witching Hour: Spells, Powders, Formulas, and Witchy Techniques that Work by Silver Ravenwolf, narrated by Pam Ward

The Witching Hour.

Cultivate the energetic power of magic with renowned witch Silver RavenWolf. The Witching Hour shows you how to use the right tools, materials, and techniques for powders and spells that work. Awaken the depths of your personal power and perform your magic with courage and confidence. This book shows you how to transform yourself and your world with the application of essential skills and true intent.
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4. Crystals for Beginners: The Guide to Get Started with the Healing Power of Crystals by Karen Frazier, narrated by Ann Richardson

Crystals for Beginners.

Balancing mind, body, and soul often feels impossible, but it doesn’t have to be. Holistic healing methods with crystals can help harness energies and establish a positive and healthy lifestyle. In Crystals for Beginners, listeners will learn the basics of how to become our best selves using crystals. You’ll learn how to heal, find balance and everyday wellness with crystals.
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5. To Stir a Magic Cauldron by Silver RavenWolf, narrated by Pam Ward

To Stir a Cauldron.

Boasting more than 100,000 copies in print, this indispensable guide has been revised and updated. Silver RavenWolf dishes out tried-and-true Witch wisdom, covering the essentials of Witchcraft, and offers a down-to-earth, practical, and non-fluffy guide to Wicca and magic with useful knowledge, ethics, and practices.
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6. Inner Witch by Gabriela Herstik, narrated by Leslie Howard and Gabriela Herstik

Inner Witch.

The ultimate guide to witchcraft for every woman craving a connection to something bigger. In uncertain times, witchcraft, astrology, tarot, crystals, and similar practices are seeing a massive resurgence, especially among young women, as part of their self-care and mindfulness routines. Gabriela helps readers take back their power while connecting to something larger than themselves.
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7. Evolution of Goddess by Emma Mildon, narrated by Cassandra Campbell

Evolution of Goddess.

Evolution of Goddess is a practical introduction to the goddess realm, digging up the histories of myths of goddesses of love, war, death, the sun, the moon, and more. With this spirited book, you can become familiarized with goddesses from a wide range of cultures throughout history, right up to the modern-day goddesses who walk amongst us today as humble light workers, educating and inspiring.
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New to Audiobooks.com? Get a free audiobook when you sign up for our one month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobook!

5 Brilliant Genderbent Retellings of Classic Stories

Rediscover your favorite tales with these genderbent retellings of classic stories.

1. Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon, narrated by Pearl Hewitt

When Olivia Brownlow is taken in by her uncle after a caper gone wrong, her life goes from stealing on the streets to lavish soirees. Jack MacCarron rose to become the adopted nephew of a society matron, but robs every chance he gets. When Jack encounters Olivia Brownlow, he wonders why she seems so familiar.
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2. Bright We Burn by Kiersten White, narrated by Fiona Hardingham

Bright We Burn.

Mehmed is building an empire, but he has a secret: despite his power, he is desperately lonely. Lada’s rule of justice has created a crime-free Wallachia, but won’t rest until everyone knows the country’s borders are inviolable. If she continues, only death will prosper. But Mehmed loves her. Only by destroying everything that came before, including her relationships, can Lada truly build the country she wants.
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3. A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas, narrated by Kate Reading

As “Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective,” aided by the capable Mrs. Watson, Charlotte Holmes she has had great success, but she is not prepared for the new client who arrives at her office. Lady Ingram wants Sherlock Holmes to find her first love, who failed to show up at their annual meeting. The case becomes even more personal for Charlotte as the missing man is her half brother.
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4. Adara and the Beast by Emily Sharp, narrated by Lucy Rivers

Adara and the Beast.

Louise lives in a castle, but she doesn’t believe in fairy tales. However, she does believe in money and knows it can buy her anything, including the Beauty that walks by her every day. When Adara  is forced to live in the castle, she realizes that not all fairy tales are filled with love, but cursed with darkness and a cruel Beast. In order to have the happily ever after Adara has always desired, she must break a wicked curse.
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5. A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro, narrated by Julia Whelan and Graham Halstead

A Study in Charlotte.

Jamie Watson has always been intrigued by Charlotte Holmes, but the Holmes family has always been odd.  Charlotte has inherited Sherlock’s volatility and vices — and then Jamie and Charlotte end up at the same boarding school. But when a student they have a history with dies under suspicious circumstances, Jamie can’t keep his distance. Nowhere is safe — and the only people they can trust are each other.
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New to Audiobooks.com? Get a free audiobook when you sign up for our one month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobook!