6 Romance Audiobooks with Disability and Chronic Illness representation

Binge-Listen to these Audiobooks about Romance and Disability

If you follow me on Twitter, you might know about this passion project of mine: Chronic illness and disability in Romance. That’s why this audiobook list is a work in progress. I first posted 3 audiobooks in November 2018, and now in May, it has grown to 6.

Chronic illness, the physical kind to be specific, is a very important topic to me. And the lack of representation in Romance pains me.

A love story is so much stronger when you can identify with the protagonist. And Romance as a genre offers the kind of hopeful escapism that many unwell readers crave. During those periods of time when I was home- or bedbound, I needed positive and uplifting stories for my mental well-being. And I wanted to read about other people who dealt with disabilities or chronic conditions and carried on with their lives.

And while I’m a lot better now, these protagonists still have a special place in my heart.

The following 6 audiobooks have in common that either the hero or the heroine deals with a physical disability or disease, as well as the consequences this has on their mental health. And I highly recommend every single one of them!

"We're all fragile"


**The marked book links and covers on this page are Amazon affiliate links. If you use them to purchase something, I receive a small fee at no additional cost for you. Thank you for supporting my blog! **



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Intention

written by Ava Harrison, narrated by Shane East and Andi Arndt

This new release is an absolutely heartbreaking novel! But don’t worry, the happy ending will fix your poor little heart right up again.

What is it about?

Madeline has a severe form of Endometriosis. Her intense struggles with chronic pain, her sacrifices, and the decisions she has to make for her health are a focus of this story. She meets Nathaniel who has been floating through life and needs a fake girlfriend, of all things.

What I loved most:

The story is so insanely emotional. I was absolutely captivated and could fully identify with Madeline’s chronic pain journey.

The Audiobook:

If you’ve ever listened to Shane East and Andi Arndt before, you know how great they are. Andi Arndt is the queen of all the feels, and Shane East has this British accent that will easily turn Nathaniel into one of your favorite Romance heroes.

Pick it up here:

You can get the audiobook for Intention in a Whispersync deal together with the ebook on Amazon. It’s cheaper than an Audible credit and the ebook is in Kindle Unlimited.

Get the deal**

Related article: How to get an audio upgrade with Kindle Unlimited



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The Year We Fell Down

written by Sarina Bowen, narrated by Nick Podehl and Saskia Maarleveld

I am so in love with this book! I eye-read The Year We Fell Down back in 2014 and it was one of my first Romance novels with people with disabilities. It simply blew my mind.

What is it about?

Corey uses a wheelchair after a bad sports injury. When she’s trying to get her life back on track and starts college, she meets Hartley, an athlete who has to use crutches after an accident.

What I loved most:

What most touched me about this story was that it gives back my personal experience of a “before” and “after”, a “back when I was still healthy” and “now”. I absolutely adore the love story of Corey and Hartley that simply adapts to their individual abilities. It’s so honest and raw, telling the story of the struggle to live your life the way you had always wanted to, even though something profound – your body – has completely changed.

The Audiobook:

Nick Podehl and Saskia Maarleveld are the perfect college romance narrators. They have young sounding voices while still doing the kind of professional narration we love and appreciate.

Pick it up here:

You can get this audiobook for an absolute steal if you buy it together with the ebook (which is also available through Kindle Unlimited).

Get the deal**



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Hate Notes

written by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward, narrated by Sebastian York and Lynn Barrington

Hate Notes is an absolute must-listen if you have Kindle Unlimited. However, technically, having the book on this list is a total spoiler in itself. Sorry, not sorry 😉

What is it about?

This is kind of a big spoiler, but also the reason why you might want to read this book...

Reed has Multiple Sclerosis. He comes off as this arrogant rich dick, but he actually tries to protect others from the pain he's expecting in his future.

[collapse]

What I loved most:

Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward novels are a bit of a hit and miss for me because sometimes they have too much drama for me. Hate Notes, however, is wonderful. Reed is this fascinating, complex person. And what brings him and Charlotte together is a fairytale.

The Audiobook:

Sebastian York is his usual amazing self and one of the best male Romance narrators. Lynn Barrington was new to me and I enjoyed her voice and narration style.

Pick it up here:

The audiobook for Hates Notes is free with Kindle Unlimited. But you can also buy it together with the ebook for a steal.

Add it to your library**



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Archer’s Voice

written by Mia Sheridan, narrated by Kris Koscheski and Emily Durante

What a beautiful, beautiful story! There’s a good reason this book got the recognition it did (New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestseller, Top 100 Romance Novels of All Time on Goodreads).

What is it about?

Archer is unable to speak and has withdrawn from the world. Until Bree finds him. She deals with Post Traumatic Stress and is fleeing to the quiet little town to find rest.

What I loved most:

This love story is so warm and romantic and goes right for the feels, while the general storyline is suspenseful and captivating. I absolutely love small town romance and this one didn’t disappoint in that regard either. The book is very atmospheric and played out like a movie in my mind.

The audiobook:

I didn’t know Kris Koscheski and Emily Durante before but they did a fantastic narration and I’ll be sure to remember their names. I really liked Emily Durante’s voice. It stands out and she’s a great voice actor. Kris Koscheski sounds hot. Period. This is a very steamy book in general!

Pick it up here:

Archer’s Voice is in the Audible Romance Package.

Add it to your library**

Related article: 5 Reasons why I love the Audible Romance Package



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Cinder & Ella

written by Kelly Oram, narrated by Kirsten Leigh

I’ve always loved fairytales but I’m hesitant about re-tellings. This one was done absolutely perfect though. There was just the right amount of similarities to feel the magic, yet enough differences for it to feel modern and… possible! This is a Sweet YA Romance, so no sex.

What is it about?

Ella was hurt in a car accident and has to deal with scars and physical disabilities, as well as the trauma of the event: The loss of her mother and the loss of herself as she was before.

What I loved most:

I could relate to Ella’s struggles, the feeling of “who I was before” and “this now isn’t really me, or is it?”. And I loved the little tidbit of Ella being a book blogger, being a total fangirl, and feeling so strongly about her favorite Fantasy series. I also appreciated how she has a strong support network, something that is so often missing in Young Adult. (Although I’m not sure if this isn’t actually New Adult since Ella is 18/19.)

The audiobook:

Kirsten Leigh did a great narration. She has a very good range of voices. I generally prefer two narrators for a dual point of view story, but she handled this really nicely.

Pick it up here:

Cinder & Ella is in the Audible Romance Package.

Add it to your library**



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Brooklynaire

written by Sarina Bowen, narrated by Zachary Webber, Virginia Rose, and Joe Hempel

Another Sarina Bowen novel, but entirely different! This is everything you expect from a billionaire romance, yet it has so many twists to it that it feels unique and different, and not like the same old, same old trope.

What is it about?

When Rebecca suffers a head injury and is impaired longer than expected, her boss acts on his secret crush for the first time and wants to be there for her. During the story, Rebecca recovers mostly, with a good chance of a full recovery. But her condition is a focus of the story.

What I loved most:

I loved Nate. He isn’t your typical romance hero. He isn’t brooding or particularly alpha. He’s an all-around awesome, good guy with lots of strengths and a few weaknesses and I thoroughly enjoyed his story. Overall, Rebecca takes her illness in stride, and her worries about it, as well as her reaction to receiving a diagnose, resonated with me.

The audiobook:

Joe Hempel is the narrator for the in-between third-person chapters. Zachary Webber narrates Nate and Virginia Rose is Rebecca. All three are well-known and popular romance narrators and it’s an all-around entertaining listening experience.

Pick it up here:

Brooklynaire is in the Audible Romance Package. You can also buy it in a Whispersync deal.

Add it to your library**



I hope you’ll enjoy my favorite Romance audiobooks with disability representation.

If you have another favorite love story like this, that isn’t on the list, please share it with me in the comments, on Facebook, or in an email. I’m always looking for more!

Quote  from The Year We Fell Down "We're all fragile."

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22 thoughts on “6 Romance Audiobooks with Disability and Chronic Illness representation

  1. I loved all 3 books. I was totally blown away by Cinder and Ella since it’s YA, not my usual go to.
    I have to add “The Year We Fell Down” by Sarina Bowen.

    1. Thank you for leaving a comment 🙂 Yeah, The Year We Fell Down is definitely one of my favorites too! When I expand the list, I’ll include it too. I just recently listened to it (I had only read the book before). And it’s such a great story!

  2. I have a weird relationship with audios that have a characters with certain disabilities particularly with MS (since I have it). I came across it in an audio once and couldn’t finish it. It suddenly became too real. And I like the escape of the listen. But I did recently finish one where one of the main characters had MS. I’m not sure what was different about it (if anything) but it was nice to hear a story where the characters weren’t picture perfect nor were they bed ridden…if that makes any sense.

    1. I absolutely understand what you mean. I have ME. I like it when characters deal with problems I can relate to, but overall the story should be entertaining and hopeful 🙂

  3. Thank you so much for this post! My favorite novels include characters with disabilities. Frequently it’s hard to find romance novels that include diverse representation.

  4. It’s so nice to see something you relate to in a romance novel. In general I feel left out, which is why at the beginning of 2018 I decided to go a quest to read all books I could find that treat fat female protagonists with dignity. It’s been a bumpy road–there are some really awful books out there that miss the definition of “dignity,” but I have found some romance novels, too!

  5. I love seeing Archer’s Voice on your list. It was my first Mia Sheridan read and my goddddd; I fell so HARD for this book! So beautiful! I’m not familiar with the other two books but I’m definitely going to check them out now, thanks for the recs!

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