6 Audiobooks That Will Whisk You Away to France

As life slowly returns to normal and we start daydreaming about travelling again, I’m willing to bet France will be high on a lot of people’s bucket lists—and who can blame them? From dreamy architecture to the country’s storied history, there’s something worth exploring for every type of traveller. For those who simply can’t wait to hop on a plane, let these audiobooks set in France tide you over and satisfy the wanderlust in you!

All the Ways We Said Goodbye by Beatriz WilliamsKaren White, and Lauren Willig, narrated by Nicola BarberSaskia MaarleveldHelen Sadler

Publisher Summary:

The heiress . . .
The Resistance fighter . . . 
The widow . . .
Three women whose fates are joined by one splendid hotel

France, 1914. As war breaks out, Aurelie becomes trapped on the wrong side of the front with her father, Comte Sigismund de Courcelles. When the Germans move into their family’s ancestral estate, using it as their headquarters, Aurelie discovers she knows the German Major’s aide de camp, Maximilian Von Sternburg. She and the dashing young officer first met during Aurelie’s debutante days in Paris. Despite their conflicting loyalties, Aurelie and Max’s friendship soon deepens into love, but betrayal will shatter them both, driving Aurelie back to Paris and the Ritz- the home of her estranged American heiress mother, with unexpected consequences.

France, 1942. Raised by her indomitable, free-spirited American grandmother in the glamorous Hotel Ritz, Marguerite “Daisy” Villon remains in Paris with her daughter and husband, a Nazi collaborator, after France falls to Hitler. At first reluctant to put herself and her family at risk to assist her grandmother’s Resistance efforts, Daisy agrees to act as a courier for a skilled English forger known only as Legrand, who creates identity papers for Resistance members and Jewish refugees. But as Daisy is drawn ever deeper into Legrand’s underground network, committing increasingly audacious acts of resistance for the sake of the country-and the man-she holds dear, she uncovers a devastating secret . . . one that will force her to commit the ultimate betrayal, and to confront at last the shocking circumstances of her own family history.

France, 1964. For Barbara “Babs” Langford, her husband, Kit, was the love of her life. Yet their marriage was haunted by a mysterious woman known only as La Fleur. On Kit’s death, American lawyer Andrew “Drew” Bowdoin appears at her door. Hired to find a Resistance fighter turned traitor known as “La Fleur,” the investigation has led to Kit Langford. Curious to know more about the enigmatic La Fleur, Babs joins Drew in his search, a journey of discovery that that takes them to Paris and the Ritz-and to unexpected places of the heart.

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The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant, narrated by John Lee and Ajjaz Awad

Publisher Summary:

Les Misérables meets Six of Crows in this page-turning adventure as a young thief finds herself going head to head with leaders of Paris’s criminal underground in the wake of the French Revolution.

In the violent urban jungle of an alternate 1828 Paris, the French Revolution has failed and the city is divided between merciless royalty and nine underworld criminal guilds, known as the Court of Miracles. Eponine (Nina) Thénardier is a talented cat burglar and member of the Thieves Guild. Nina’s life is midnight robberies, avoiding her father’s fists, and watching over her naïve adopted sister, Cosette (Ettie). When Ettie attracts the eye of the Tiger—the ruthless lord of the Guild of Flesh—Nina is caught in a desperate race to keep the younger girl safe. Her vow takes her from the city’s dark underbelly to the glittering court of Louis XVII. And it also forces Nina to make a terrible choice—protect Ettie and set off a brutal war between the guilds, or forever lose her sister to the Tiger.

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Kisses and Croissants by Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau, narrated by Imani Jade Powers

Publisher Summary:

As sweet as a macaron from Laduree, with writing as crisp as a freshly baked baguette, this romantic novel set in Paris about an American ballerina and a charming French boy is parfait for fans of American Royals and Netflix’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

Mia Jenrow has always known she’s destined to be a professional ballerina. In fact, it’s in her blood—according to family legend, her too-many-greats-to-count-grandmother once danced for the Paris Opera and was painted by Degas himself! Her parents say it’s just a fantasy, but to Mia it’s so much more than that. It’s her fate.

Mia is planning to spend a magical summer in France pursuing her dream, but as she pirou-ettes into Paris, she soon realizes it may be a bit more complicated than she hoped. For starters, there’s her rival, Audrey, who will stop at nothing to show her up. There’s her ballet instructor, whose impossibly high standards push her to the breaking point. And then . . . there’s Louis. Devastatingly, distractingly charming Louis. He’s eager to show Mia his city—and Mia is more than happy to hop on his Vespa and wrap her arms around him as they pass the gleaming lights of the Eiffel Tower.

Mia’s summer was supposed to be about ballet—but there’s a reason Paris is called the City of Love.

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Three Hours in Paris by Cara Black, narrated by Elisabeth Rodgers

Publisher Summary:

In June of 1940, when Paris fell to the Nazis, Hitler spent a total of three hours in the City of Light—abruptly leaving, never to return. To this day, no one knows why.

The New York Times bestselling author of the Aimée Leduc investigations reimagines history in her masterful, pulse-pounding spy thriller, Three Hours in Paris.

Kate Rees, a young American markswoman, has been recruited by British intelligence to drop into Paris with a dangerous assignment: assassinate the Führer. Wrecked by grief after a Luftwaffe bombing killed her husband and infant daughter, she is armed with a rifle, a vendetta, and a fierce resolve. But other than rushed and rudimentary instruction, she has no formal spy training. Thrust into the red-hot center of the war, a country girl from rural Oregon finds herself holding the fate of the world in her hands. When Kate misses her mark and the plan unravels, Kate is on the run for her life—all the time wrestling with the suspicion that the whole operation was a set-up.

Cara Blackdoyenne of the Parisian crime novel, is at her best as she brings Occupation-era France to vivid life in this gripping story about one young woman with the temerity—and drive—to take on Hitler himself.

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Paris is Always a Good Idea by Jenn McKinlay, narrated by Brittany Pressley

Publisher Summary:

A thirty-year-old woman retraces her gap year through Ireland, France, and Italy to find love—and herself—in this hilarious and heartfelt novel.

It’s been seven years since Chelsea Martin embarked on her yearlong postcollege European adventure. Since then, she’s lost her mother to cancer and watched her sister marry twice, while Chelsea’s thrown herself into work, becoming one of the most talented fundraisers for the American Cancer Coalition, and with the exception of one annoyingly competent coworker, Jason Knightley, her status as most successful moneymaker is unquestioned.

When her introverted mathematician father announces he’s getting remarried, Chelsea is forced to acknowledge that her life stopped after her mother died and that the last time she can remember being happy, in love, or enjoying her life was on her year abroad. Inspired to retrace her steps—to find Colin in Ireland, Jean Claude in France, and Marcelino in Italy—Chelsea hopes that one of these three men who stole her heart so many years ago can help her find it again. 

From the start of her journey nothing goes as planned, but as Chelsea reconnects with her old self, she also finds love in the very last place she expected.

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The Beast’s Heart by Leife Shallcross, narrated by Jim Dale

Publisher Summary:

A luxuriously magical retelling of Beauty and the Beast set in seventeenth-century France—and told from the point of view of the Beast himself.

I am neither monster nor man—yet I am both. I am the Beast.

He is a broken, wild thing, his heart’s nature exposed by his beastly form. Long ago cursed with a wretched existence, the Beast prowls the dusty hallways of his ruined château with only magical, unseen servants to keep him company—until a weary traveler disturbs his isolation.

Bewitched by the man’s dreams of his beautiful daughter, the Beast devises a plan to lure her to the château. There, Isabeau courageously exchanges her father’s life for her own and agrees to remain with the Beast for a year. But even as their time together weaves its own spell, the Beast finds winning Isabeau’s love is only the first impossible step in breaking free from the curse…

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Looking for Book Recommendations?

• Here are the audiobooks our members have been loving, along with our staff picks that we’ve been championing.

• Looking to share your love of books? Our handy Book Clubbin’ questions make it super easy to start a book club. Or, Netflix n’ buddy-read with this year’s book-to-screen adaptations (just be prepared for the perennial debate: is the book better than the movie/show?).

• If you’re looking for something extra, we’ve got author and narrator interviews to give you a gleam inside their worlds.

• For the curious-minded, audiobooks can teach you a thing or two, from nature therapy to personal finance. It can even keep the little ones busy so you can steal some time back for yourself.

New to Audiobooks.com? Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection 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 audiobooks!

Audiobooks.com Interview with Cara Black, Author of Three Hours in Paris

Who among us hasn’t had the odd daydream or two about picking up and jetting off to France and just living like a Parisian for a while? We might browse wistfully through flights, but never take the plunge. Meanwhile, Cara Black, author of the Aimee Leduc series, has penned 20 novels that are set in this cultural hotbed including her latest standalone, Three Hours in Paris (releasing April 2020).

We were lucky enough to catch up with Black to chat about her latest listen, audiobook narrators, and what inspires her writing.

Audiobooks.com: What can readers gain from listening to the audiobook version of Three Hours in Paris that they might not necessarily get from reading the print version?

Cara Black: Both versions have so much to offer. However, in the audiobook version there’s the immediacy of the spoken word and the reader’s intonation and nuances of feeling that enhance listening to the story. Also you can listen to the story anywhere hands-free.

Audiobooks.com: How involved are you in the narrator casting process and what do you look for in an audiobook narrator?

Cara Black: I felt it was important to go with a new voice to distinguish Three Hours in Paris from the Aimée Leduc series. I liked the sample from Elisabeth Rogers—her voice, intonation, expression, and how she puts emphasis on phrases. She’s good! So I decided to go with Elisabeth Rogers, a new reader, and I feel so happy she is Kate’s “voice.”

Audiobooks.com: This is your first standalone novel. How did it feel to venture away from your Aimée Leduc Investigation series?

Cara Black: I felt compelled to write Three Hours in Paris. It was a story I had to tell, and it came from a footnote in history. I’d been writing bits while I wrote the Aimée Leduc series, but these pieces didn’t fit in an Aimée story so I saved them. I had only written series novels, which I love to do and will continue, so it was a leap to write a standalone. It was time to flex my writing muscles and this story had high stakes in a time of incredible history. With a new setting and era in history, it gave me freedom and a chance to explore other voices and viewpoints.

Audiobooks.com: All of your Aimée Leduc Investigation novels as well as Three Hours in Paris are set in France. After writing 20 books set in France do you find that you’re still learning new things about the country and the culture? Do you ever see yourself writing a novel set outside of France?

Cara Black: Definitely. I’m always learning new things about the French and France. I love the history, the traditions, the slower pace of life, its culture of living well, and the charming, contradictory Parisians I come across. If I ever figure them out, the mystery will be over. Yes, I’ve got a few ideas for a novel outside of France.

Audiobooks.com: In your author’s note, you mentioned the idea for Three Hours in Paris grew from anecdotes that you encountered on your research trips to Paris. When you travel, are you always picking up tidbits and saving them for future inspiration?

Cara Black: There’s a saying about writers, “everything is fodder.” So, I’m always jotting down a word overheard, a color that catches my eye, or a saying that encapsulates a feeling. And I always try to use what I find in France on the page.

Over the years researching, I was lucky and honored to meet several female Résistants who were in the underground during WW2. They told me stories and shared their experiences. Also, many of my friend’s parents had been schoolchildren in Paris during the war, and it was incredible to hear firsthand accounts of what they remembered: daily life and privations that didn’t make it in the history books.

Audiobooks.com: Can we expect more stories about Kate Rees in the future?

Cara Black: I wrote this as a standalone novel. But we end in 1940 when the war is in the early stages, and I left Kate’s trajectory open-ended, so it’s a possibility. ∎

New to Audiobooks.com? Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection 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 audiobooks!