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Regardless of the genre, there are always trends in the tropics or character types that we see in our books. There have been several recent releases featuring characters working on the radio, listening to or producing podcasts. It’s not an entirely new profession or interest to show, but it’s getting a lot of “airtime” in romance novels lately.
There is something about romances where the characters have a “voiced” job, speaking to strangers over the radio or on a podcast. Often times, their romantic partners fall in love with their voice first, which leads them to a deeper, physical attraction. Sometimes there is even an element of the letter where characters give advice to callers or share their own experiences with their listeners. It’s celebrity-lite too. The characters work in the entertainment industry and may even be household names, but they lack the stressful experience of dealing with paparazzi or tabloid gossip. (Something that I, as a reader, perceive as my off button in my love story.)
Whether you’ve just discovered this type of romance or want to explore this type of character a little deeper, here are ten titles to explore!
A sonorous beginning by Jeff Adams
Let’s go next to podcasts and talk to a voice actor about this contemporary love novella! Personally, I would love to see more voice actors and storytellers than romantic characters. Harry wants to boost his voice acting career by setting up a recording studio at home. He hires the contractor Diego from San Francisco and the chemistry is right away. Grab this book for a quick romantic read with low stakes!
Charlie all night from Jennifer Crusie
Charlie All Night is likely the first novel I read with this element and could be one of its early creators. After a bad breakup, radio producer Allie focuses on her career. Unfortunately, she was also demoted to the “cemetery shift”. When her station hires a new late night DJ, Charlie, she is determined to make him a household name, but she worries that his mellow tones will have their own effect on her after midnight.
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Dirty Talk by Lauren Landish
Dirty Talk is probably the sexiest book on the list, on the line between contemporary and erotic romance. Derrick King is known as “The Love Whisperer” and gives sex and relationship advice on the air. Katrina Snow calls during an episode about cheating and Derrick doesn’t want to end their conversation as the show airs for the night. The two start a phone flirt that quickly heats up. A dirty slow burn!
Rachel Lynn Solomon’s ex-talk
Rachel Lynn Solomon has a new take on the fake dating trope by leading her to lead fake exes instead! Shay is sort of a public radio veteran who has been on the radio for about a decade. Her new colleague Dominic gets under her skin again and again with his combination of freshly baked journalism student and know-it-all attitude. When their station’s producers propose a new audience-boosting show with two exes offering relationship advice, they think Shay and Dominic are perfect to play the role. They just … never actually dated.
Hana Khan continues from Uzma Jalaluddin
How does a You’ve Got Mail retelling with two rival halal restaurants fit into this list? Aside from the main characters Hana and Ayden’s antagonism in making their family restaurants successful, Hana has her own passion for radio. After experiencing racism and microaggression on her local radio station, Hana decides to go ahead and go ahead with a podcast that feels like her own audio diary, and her most loyal fan seems to be very well known.
Jae’s midnight couch
This short story is all about opposites attracting and features an adorable crush, how seriously, so cute! Paula is a technician at a radio station and has long had feelings for the presenter and relationship expert Dr. Christine Graham. If Christine starts a special Valentine’s Day segment that is all about revealing your secret loved ones and making the move, this could be the push Paula needs to admit her feelings.
On-air passion from Lindsay Evans
On-Air Passion launches Evans’ Clarks of Atlanta series in this Contemporary category! Ahmed is largely retired from basketball and is pursuing his career as a radio host in the Atlanta area. When small business owner Elle snagged a spot on Ahmed’s show to promote her dating service, he was immediately hooked. Elle is a little hesitant, but the radio station sees their potential pairing as the perfect advertisement for an upcoming Valentine’s Day special.
Tell me good things about Jamie Wesley
Two rival radio presenters from the same station collide in this contrast, attracting romance. Tate sold his very successful company to become a full-time sports presenter. Noelle is a psychologist who broadcasts love and life advice. Tate is cheeky and loud and often gets under the skin of the more reserved Noelle. Great for readers looking for a romance with sizzling allure and an intense rivalry between two very different radio shows.
Turn it up by Inez Kelley
For readers who love the friend-to-lover trope, this one is for you! Dr. Bastian Talbot and Charlie Pierce are two co-hosts of a radio show with sex counseling. He brings in some scientific commentary on sex and arousal, while Charlie uses her own experiences to help the listeners. Out of air, they’re wonderful friends with devastating crushes for each other. Unfortunately, Bastian wants a little more and Charlie is quite afraid of being bonded.
What if you and me from Roni Loren
Andi Loxley is a woman who wears many hats as both a horror writer and a true crime podcaster. Andi lives with social fears and is content with staying to himself and devoting himself entirely to writing and research. Unfortunately, her new neighbor has proven quite a distraction with his stomping around. Hill Dawson is a former fighter grappling with the trauma of a failed rescue, and his sleep schedule has come out the window. When the two argue about overly neighborly etiquette, they realize that their own emotional baggage works together pretty well and agree on a casual arrangement that becomes something more.