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
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) byVictoria Dahl (short story in Flirting with Disaster)
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
Love for the Matron (1962) by Elizabeth Houghton
Only Yesterday (1989) by Syrell Rogovin Leahy
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
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
Nerd in Shining Armor (2003) by Vicki Lewis Thompson (secondary romance)
One Fine Day (1994) by Theresa Weir
Snowfall at Willow Creek (2010) by Susan Wiggs
For Your Eyes Only (2014) by Sandra Antonelli
Next to You (2016) By Sandra Antonelli
The Long Way Home (2010) by Jean Brashear
A New Lu (2005) by Laura Castoro
Bachelor’s Puzzle (1992) by Ginger Chambers
French Twist (1998) by Margot Dalton
Remember Love (1992) by Stacey Dennis
Return to Love (1993) by Martha Gross
Hot Blood (1996) by Charlotte Lamb
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)
Familiar Stranger (2001) by Sharon Sala
The Best Medicine (1993) by Janet Lane Walters
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
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