A Little Help From My Romance Reading Friends

Antonelli coverThe 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! Nix 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

  1. Pingback: Return of the Return of A Little Help From My Romance Reading Friends | Sandra Antonelli

  2. Pingback: Return of A Little Help From My Romance Reading Friends: The Lazily-titled Sequel | Sandra Antonelli

  3. Pingback: Guest Post: Seasoned Romance & Sandra Antonelli | Scandalicious

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Pingback: Ageism, Romance, and You: A Sliding Scale? | Sandra Antonelli

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

    AmazonUS: http://bit.ly/BellatorUS
    AmazonUK: http://bit.ly/BellatorUK
    AmazonCA: http://bit.ly/BellatorCA
    AmazonAU: http://bit.ly/BellatorAU
    B&N: http://bit.ly/BellatorBoxNook
    Smashwords: http://bit.ly/BellatorSmashwords
    iBooks: http://bit.ly/BellatorApple
    Kobo: http://bit.ly/KoboBellator

Leave a Reply