I confess that I’m a romance novel junkie. Despite having an advanced degree in English, I can’t get enough of those steamy, predictable, falling in love stories. They provide the mindless entertainment I seek at the end of a long day.
My favorites are historical romances set in Regency England. As I get older, though, I’m finding that I relate less and less to the young heroines, who usually are under the age of 25.
This got me thinking: Are there any romance novels that feature heroes and heroines over the age of 40? A quick Google search gave me an answer, which is a resounding yes!
Here is a list of titles from Goodreads. Note that the first few are by author Kristen Ashley. I have yet to read one of her books, but already I’m wondering how the love scenes will look in comparison to those with younger lead characters.
Here’s an excerpt from a traditional romance novel, Put Up Your Duke, by Megan Frampton, told from the perspective of the young heroine, who is referring to her under-30 husband: “…that gorgeous, muscular, delicious body.” (342)
Now imagine a similar line from the perspective of a heroine over the age of 40, referring to her equally old lover: “…that sexy, somewhat muscular, slightly beer-bellied body.”
Hmm…which love scene would you rather read?
As if aging bodies weren’t enough to deal with, usually by the time a person reaches their 40s they bring some kind of baggage into a new relationship. This could be emotional baggage, such as a broken heart or career burnout, or physical baggage, like an ex-spouse or a house with an upside down mortgage.
Hardly the stuff of romance.
Nevertheless, I’m going to give one of the books a try. I trust that somehow the author found a way to bypass the baggage and saggage to create a compelling, happily-ever-life-after-40 story.