Lord of Scoundrels lgRomance audio enthusiasts – it’s here! After years of wishing for Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels in audio format, Blackstone Audio released this eternal romance favorite on January 28th. To make it even more irresistible, the highly talented Kate Reading narrates.

In both the 2011 and 2012 Speaking of Audiobooks Favorite Romance Audiobooks Poll, Loretta Chase was overwhelmingly voted the Author’s Romance Backlist You Most Want to See in Audio. And, in discussions at Speaking of Audiobooks, our Romance Audiobooks Goodreads group, and beyond, romance listeners mentioned that Lord of Scoundrels was at the top of their Loretta Chase wish list.

I have read (reread) Lord of Scoundrels several times over the past twelve years. It’s one of the brightest, funniest, and wittiest books I have had the pleasure of reading. We knew it warranted one of the industry’s best romance narrators and Blackstone delivered with their choice of Kate Reading.

In the romance audio world, Kate Reading is best known for her outstanding performance of Lauren Willig’s Pink Carnation series. Here at Speaking of Audiobooks/AAR, our reviewers have given Kate Reading the highest of accolades five times for her narration of the Pink Carnation series. Another four reviews highly praise her performance of Christine Warren’s The Other series (although the praise was not as high for the book content). In other words, Kate Reading is a narrator who gets romance and knows how to draw us in with her performance.

Available in both download and hard copy formats, it’s been just three weeks since its release and it already carries a rating of 4.8 stars out of 5.0 with 113 reviews at Audible. Numerous comments from members of our Romance Audiobooks Goodreads group indicate ratings of 5 stars and even an A+ here and there.

Readers have selected Lord of Scoundrels as their number one romance in AAR’s Top 100 Romances Poll since 2000.  AAR runs this poll approximately every three years so that means Lord of Scoundrels has taken the top spot in 2000, 2004, 2007, 2010, and 2013.  I have no doubt we will be seeing the audio version earning many a listener’s favorite spot when it comes time to take a look back at 2014.

I asked Blackstone Audio Editor Haila Williams about their decision to publish Lord of Scoundrels in audio format:

“I was visiting the Nancy Yost Agency and chatting with Nancy and Adrienne Rosado and I asked about any backlist treasures that never made it to audio, and they both said that Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels was one of the best books ever written in the genre. They explained that this title has repeatedly shown up on “Top 10″ lists through the years and would appeal to fans of the genre and anyone who appreciated good writing. And oh! It’s also very funny in places. So how could I resist?

I think we have the best possible narrator in Kate Reading. We are looking forward to seeing how fans react to the audio. And yes, we will pursue future titles from Loretta Chase.”

And Loretta Chase had this to say on her blog a few days ago:

“…thank you for being so excited! I really am. It was so amazing to hear the book read. And yes, more are coming. Avon’s got the three Dressmaker books in process, I believe, and we seem to have someone lined up to read at least a few others. I’ll try to do a blog soon, but cross your fingers that all or most will be available in May.”

Yes! In fact, Tantor Audio has scheduled the release of the first in the Dressmakers series, Silk Is for Seduction for April 9th with Kate Reading narrating.

We wanted you to “hear” Kate Reading’s performance beyond that which you find at Audible. Both of these sound samples contain interaction between Jessica and Dain. Audible’s sound sample is from the introduction covering Dain’s early years. Downpour does offer the beginning of Chapter Three which features Dain’s thoughts – a bit of wicked thinking for sure, but still no interaction between the main characters.




Kate Reading has the ability to go low for the males while beautifully voicing the female roles. Ms. Reading receives high marks for clearly distinguishable characters, timing, understanding the romance, and, most importantly here – effortlessly conveying the humor that is one of the most treasured aspects of Lord of Scoundrels.

My grade for Lord of Scoundrels is an A+ for both content and narration. And you know? Although it’s early in the year, I may have just listened to my favorite romance of 2014.

Talk about an audio conversion book! If you or someone you know has been thinking about trying out a romance audiobook, this is the perfect place to start.

Ending Notes

Check out our Speaking of Audiobooks Facebook page to see romance audio updates, industry news, and links to articles of interest.

For those new to our Speaking of Audiobooks column, be sure to check out our audio archives for further recommendations and discussions.

Our affiliated Goodreads group – Romance Audiobooks keeps growing and now has 699 members. Come join us for discussions in between columns.

Enjoy your listening.

– Lea Hensley

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