The current buzzword is diversity. There’s been discussion about the diversity of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender and age discrimination in Hollywood. There’s been discussion regarding diversity in romance fiction as well. In an open letter to its members, the Romance Writers of America has addressed the importance of the romance industry being diverse and inclusive of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and disabilities.
Kudos to the RWA and thanks for coming to the party. Just one thing with your diverse list. You forgot to be inclusive of age.
Are you over 40 and feeling invisible in romance? Don’t. Someone’s thinking about you.****
You all know how I have books and short stories published and out there.
You know how all my books and short stories all feature heroines and heroes over 40.
You know how I blog regularly about grown ups in romance and run something I call the ‘Mature Content Stockpile‘ on this website. I need to add to that stockpile, and I’m looking to YOU THE READER for help because AGE DIVERSITY MATTERS!
I have been wanting to collect a list of romance novels that feature ‘mature’ ROMANCE Heroines and Heroes, specifically Heroines and Heroes over 40 in CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE. This is because of how contemporary society views older women, places them in stereotypes roles, or renders them invisible
Let me be clear: I am not interested in couples under 40. I am not interested in couples who are secondary characters. I want characters who are IN their forties, fifties, or beyond, characters who are the LEADS! I am not interested in ‘women’s fiction’ or ‘romantic elements.’ I am looking for romance, where the love story is the focus of the novel, rather than a mere piece of the tale. I want HEA or HFN.
The All About Romance website has a list of Older Couples books that needs updating. I modified the AAR list and included it my PhD research. The AAR list got me started, and includes novels where characters over 40 appear as secondary characters, which I include on my booklist because those secondary romance (and short stories that feature an older couple), form a foundation where older has been ‘acceptable’ as a side tale, however, I will not include secondary romance from this point on. There is a list on Goodreads Best older hero AND older heroine romance books (the main couple has to be over 40!) and it is FAB, but it does include books some consider Romance as there is no happy resolution or Happily For Now, e.g. Kazuo Ishiguru’s Remains of the Day (a book I love SO HARD).
Allow me to reiterate. For the purposes of continuing my book list, I am only interested in Contemporary romance novels where the leads are over 40. I include my list at the bottom of this post.
If ANYONE can give me more examples of ROMANCE FICTION that feature heroines and heroes over 40, please let me know by leaving a comment on this post!
****EXCITING NOTE! As of May 4 2017, Entangled has put out a call for romance fiction WITH LEADS WHO ARE OLDER!
Contemporary romance Older Couples (AAR Original is here)
A Basic Renovation (2013) by Sandra Antonelli
For Your Eyes Only (2013) by Sandra Antonelli
Driving in Neutral (2014) by Sandra Antonelli
Next to You (2016) by Sandra Antonelli
Band of Gold (2014) by Maggie Christensen
Triumph (2017) By Cecilia London (Bellator 6)
Out of Control (2002) by Suzanne Brockmann (secondary romance)
Breaking Point (2005) by Suzanne Brockmann (secondary romance)
Hot Dish (2006) by Connie Brockway
For Auld Lang Syne (1991) by Pamela Browning
Eve’s Wedding Knight (1999) by Kathleen Creighton
I’m Your Man (2007) by Susan Crosby
Anyone But You (1996) by Jennifer Crusie
Fast Women (2001) by Jennifer Crusie
Full Bloom (1994) by Stacey Dennis
Fanning the Flames (2015) by Victoria Dahl (novella)
Talk Me Down (2011) by Victoria Dahl
There Is a Season (1999) by Margot Early
Comfort and Joy in Santa’s Little Helpers (1995) by Patricia Gardner Evans
Luring Lucy in Hot and Bothered (2001) by Lori Foster
Fall from Grace (2007) by Kristi Gold
The Star King (2000) by Susan Grant
Hot Wheels and High Heels (2007) by Jane Graves
Contracted: Corporate Wife (2005) by Jessica Hart
Marriage Reunited (2006) by Jessica Hart
Colorado Golden Sunrise (2017) by Jill Haymaker
Love for the Matron (1962) by Elizabeth Houghton
Where Destiny Plays by Regina Kammer (erotic)
The Westerman Affair by Regina Kammer (erotic)
The Second Chance Neighbors series by Josie Kerr
Only Yesterday (1989) by Syrell Rogovin Leahy
Dissident (2015) by Cecilia London (Book 1 Bellator Saga; characters age to mid 50s)
Conscience (2015) by Cecilia London (Bellator 2)
Sojourn (2015) by Cecilia London (Bellator 3)
Phoenix (2016) by Cecilia London (Bellator 4)
Rhapsody (201) by Cecilia London (Bellator 5)
Cold Tea on a Hot Day (2001) by Curtiss Ann Matlock
Love in a Small Town (1997) by Curtiss Ann Matlock
Stitch in Snow (1984) by Anne McCaffrey
Carved in Stone by Donna McDonald
Never Too Late by Donna McDonald
The July Guy (2019) by Natasha Moore
The Standby Guy (2019) by Natasha Moore
The Goodbye Guy (2020) by Natasha Moore
Suburban Renewal (2004) by Pamela Morsi
The Fourth Wall (1979) by Barbara Paul
Down in New Orleans (1996) by Heather Graham Pozzessere
No More Wasted Time (2014) by Beverly Preston
Black Rose (2005) by Nora Roberts
A Piece of Heaven (2003) by Barbara Samuel
Count on Me (2001) by Kathryn Shay
Promises to Keep (2002) by Kathryn Shay
Sweet Hush (2003) by Deborah Smith
Bygones (1992) by LaVyrle Spencer
The Hellion (1989) by LaVyrle Spencer
Home Song (1995) by LaVyrle Spencer
Barefoot Bay & Timeless series by Roxanne St. Claire
Nerd in Shining Armor (2003) by Vicki Lewis Thompson (secondary romance)
Without Saying A Word by Amada J Ward
The Bed & Breakfast Man by Amanda J Ward
Wings of A Dove by Amanda J Ward
It Must Be Love by Amanda J Ward
Champagne and Catnip by Amanda J Ward.
The Love Game (2018) by Maggie Wells
Play For Keeps (2018) by Maggie Wells
One Fine Day (1994) by Theresa Weir
Snowfall at Willow Creek (2010) by Susan Wiggs
At Your Service (2018) by Sandra Antonelli
Your Sterling Service (novella) by Sandra Antonelli
Forever In Your Service (2019) by Sandra Antonelli
For Your Eyes Only (2014) by Sandra Antonelli
True to Your Service (2020) Sandra Antonelli
Next to You (2016) By Sandra Antonelli
The Will by Kristen Ashley
The Long Way Home (2010) by Jean Brashear
A New Lu (2005) by Laura Castoro
Bachelor’s Puzzle (1992) by Ginger Chambers
The Sand Dollar by Maggie Christensen
The Dreamcatcher by Maggie Christensen
Broken Threads by Maggie Christensen
The Life She Deserves (2019) by Maggie Christensen
The Life She Chooses (2019) by Maggie Christensen
The Life She Finds (2020) by Maggie Christensen
This Time Forever (2017) by May Cooney Glazer
French Twist (1998) by Margot Dalton
Remember Love (1992) by Stacey Dennis
Return to Love (1993) by Martha Gross
Rode Hard by Lorelei James (erotic romance)
Turning Twelve-Thirty by Sandy James
We Were Gods by Moriah Jovan
Hot Blood (1996) by Charlotte Lamb
Choose Me (2016) by Natasha Moore
Rescue Me (2016) by Natasha Moore
Lucky Me by (2017) Natasha Moore
The 90 Day Rule by Diane Nelson
Heaven, Texas (1995) by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (secondary romance)
This Heart of Mine (2001) by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (secondary romance)
Natural Born Charmer (2007) By Susan Elizabeth Phillips (secondary romance)
The Women of Willow Bay series by Nan Reinhart
Thunder Basin by Nya Rawlins (western Rom-Suspense)
Familiar Stranger (2001) by Sharon Sala
The Best Medicine (1993) by Janet Lane Walters
A Taste of Heaven by Penny Watson
Three Little Words by Maggie Wells
A Will and A Way by Maggie Wells
A Bolt From the Blue by Maggie Wells
Tomorrow’s Promise (1992) by Clara Wimberly
The Vow (2008) by Rebecca Winters
The Duke of Olympia Meets (2016) His Match by Juliana Gray (he’s 74 she’s 50+)
Julie and Romeo (2000) by Jeanne Ray
Eleanor and Abel (2003) by Annette Sanford
Apples Should be Red by Penny Watson, novella (60s/50s)
Trust Me on This (1997) by Jennifer Crusie (secondary romance)
Late Fall (2016) by Noelle Adams
The Duke of Olympia Meets (2016) His Match by Juliana Gray
Colorado Winter Moon (2017) by Jill Haymaker (60s/70s)
Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure (2019) by Courtney Milan (f/f)
31 thoughts on “A Little Help From My Romance Reading Friends”
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And here’s yet another romance to add to the list: The Duke of Olympia Meets His Match by Juliana Gray. It’s a novella that was just released today and features a 74 YO Duke who is a spy for Britain and who falls for a 50+ YO governess on a trans-Atlantic voyage. This is total catnip for me! I’ve already one-clicked.
Thanks, Jen! I’ll have to read it!
Here are a couple more to add to the list.
– Liz Flaherty has two novellas featuring older couples, Summer In Stringtown Proper and The Gingerbread Heart. She also has a book called A Soft Place to Fall that features a couple that gets divorced after 30 yrs of marriage, but I couldn’t tell from the description whether it was women’s fiction or a romance. It’s also an inspirational.
– Nan Reinhardt has a 3 book series called The Women of Willow Bay and it looks like all of the couples are over 40. I’m definitely going to give this one a try.
– Dee Ernst writes stories featuring older heroines that are on the line between women’s fiction and romance.
– A Different Kind of Forever is definitely a romance and features a 45 YO heroine and a 27 YO hero. Even though the age difference is big, the romance is believable.
– Better Off Without Him (and a sequel, Better Than Your Dreams) is more women’s fiction, but still features a strong romance with the leads in their late 40’s.
– A Slight Change of Plan sounds like women’s fiction with a strong romance.
Thank you, Jen.
I truly appreciate your ongoing input and support!
LuAnn McLane’s Cricket Creek series features an older couple as the secondary romance in every book, and there are several, all Southern Contemporary romances with a little spice and a lot of humor. Morgan Malone’s debut novel, Katarina: Out of Control, features a 40-year old widowed attorney and several romantic interests between 40 and 50. It is a contemporary erotic romance with just a taste of BDSM, A sequel, Rick: Taking Control, will be out in late summer and features a 50-year old veteran and a Navy nurse in her 40’s. Morgan Malone’s romantic memoir, Cocktales, is the online dating adventures of a 50ish widow looking for lust and love.
I just came across another series called “Forty and Free” by Lillianna Blake and Maci Grant. There are 4 books in the series and I’m guessing that all of them feature characters in their 40’s although I haven’t read any of them.
Thank you, Jen!
Also Marian Keyes novel The Woman Who Stole My Life (which I am reading at present and thoroughly enjoying) is about a forty-something woman – 41 and a quarter, to be precise – and her romance with a man of the same age.
Love your website! You may also want to include my romantic comedy Perfect Sex, in which the hero and heroine are both in their forties. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E9Y2BQO
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Just read another romance with a couple in their 40’s. The book is No More Wasted Time by Beverly Preston. The hero is an actor and the heroine is a widow with three college age kids.
A Soldier’s Heart by Kathleen Korbel is one of my all time favorite category romances. It was published and is set in the 90s – both the h/h are in their 40s and they’re both vets of Vietnam recovering from PTSD. And it is great.
I’m always looking for romances with older leads. Looking through my lists, here are the ones I found where both leads are at least 40:
– Apples Should be Red by Penny Watson, novella, heroine is 59, hero is 62, both recently widowed and their children are married to each other.
– A Taste of Heaven by Penny Watson, short novel, leads are in their 40’s.
– We Were Gods by Moriah Jovan, leads are a divorced couple in their 40’s.
– Rode Hard by Lorelei James. erotic romance, heroine is a widow in her late 40’s, the hero is around 40 and has an 18 YO daughter.
– Frosted by Katy Regnery, novella, Leads are both around 50.
– Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley, Leads are both in their 40’s. KA often writes books featuring older heroes and heroines, but often the heroine is in her late 30’s so I think most of them wouldn’t qualify for your list.
– Hot Wheels and High Heels by Jane Graves. MCs are in their early 40’s.
– Sister Golden Hair by Juli Page Morgan. Leads are in their 40’s.
– The Big 5-Oh by Sandra Bricker. Inspirational romance, but light on the religion. Leads are both around 50.
– Turning Twelve-Thirty by Sandy James. Leads are in their 40’s.
– Fanning The Flames by Victoria Dahl, novella, leads are in their 40’s.
– Rude Awakening by Athena Grayson, leads are in their 40’s. This is kind of PNR/UF, but there’s a strong romance at the core of it.
Thank you, Jen!
This is great. Keep them coming.
The Will by Kristen Ashley. Heroine is 45. Hero is older but not sure what age.
Thank you MaryK.
I love that my list is getting bigger!
Hero: 62, Heroine: 59 in APPLES SHOULD BE RED by Penny Watson (romantic comedy novella)
Hero: 49, Heroine: 47 in A TASTE OF HEAVEN by Penny Watson (contemporary romance/women’s fiction)
Hi Sandra, You might want to add my novels which feature characters in their forties and fifties.
Band of Gold http://amzn.to/1owK2w6
The Sand Dollar http://amzn.to/1nG99g6
The Dreamcatcher http://amzn.to/1a0mwRX
Broken Threads http://amzn.to/1GaGNE8
Thank you, Maggie. I know about you!! You’re on my TBR AND the list I have going, but haven’t posted yet. Please tell me which of your books have the forty-somethings and which ones have the fifty-somethings so that I can categorise them appropriately?
Thank you again for your help!
Band of Gold has the forty-somethings and the others the fifty-somethings.
Thank you, Maggie!
Band of Gold has forty-somethings and the others have fifty-somethings.
Life’s a Beach and Must Love Dogs by Claire Cook have heroines who are early 40s. Not sure if they fit your specs but romance was a major focus. Have read Life’s a Beach (loved it) and just started on Dogs.
Thanks, AJ. I love Claire’s Must Love Dogs and Have Life’s a Beach on my TBR!
Welp, here’s my contribution…The Bellator Saga, an epic genre-crossing romance with contemporary and erotic elements. Main characters are in their forties and fifties. Oh, and they like to have sex. LOL!
Oh THANK YOU!
I’ll include it in my list and update it as best I can. I hope others respond!
Here’s to gettin’ it on!