Romance fans are about to get an earful.
On Tuesday, Audible launched the new membership service Audible Romance for those looking for more happily-ever-afters from their audiobooks. The service, which costs $6.95 per month with an Audible membership and $14.95 as a standalone, offers access to more than 10,000 romance audiobooks, bestsellers, and Audible originals.
Audible Romance features the work of such beloved authors as Nora Roberts, Robyn Carr, Sylvia Day, Debbie Macomber, and Jayne Ann Krentz. And for those who have always dreamed of hearing their favorite silky-voiced actor read aloud a seductive story, Audible Romance delivers. Blair Underwood, Dermot Mulroney, and Jesse Metcalf are just a few of the voices on tap for intimate listening experiences.
The romance genre is known for its rich diversity of sub-genres, and the Audible Romance interface makes it easy to find whatever scratches one’s particular itch. The service identifies 41 micro-categories and 131 story/character tropes, allowing readers to search out content that appeals most directly to their interests, ranging from small-town romances to romantic thrillers. Each micro-genre comes with its own search page and audio samples of the books.
“Romance readers are some of the most savvy, enthusiastic, well-versed, and devoted fans in the world,” Audible’s chief content officer Andy Gaies, said in a statement. “With Audible Romance, we’ve combined the expansive catalog and impressive tech that make Audible so attractive to begin with in order to create a customized, appealing experience to satisfy the appetite of this voracious audience.”
Two other special features unique to Audible Romance are Take Me to the Good Part and a Steaminess Score. The former feature offers readers the chance to jump ahead (or return over and over) to the “good parts” of a romance novel, such as meet cutes, first kisses, flirty banter, and toe-curling passages.
The Steaminess Score, meanwhile, ranks titles on a 1-to-5 scale, beginning with Sweet, moving up through Simmering, Sizzling, Hot Damn, and ending with O-O-OMG. Both Take Me to the Good Part and Steaminess Scores are determined with the help of an algorithm that scans books for key words, phrases, and other indicators.
Whether jumping to the good parts or taking in a whole book, listeners can count on a happily-ever-after experience — it’s up to them whether it’s heartwarming or reaches OMG levels.