“Youth is wasted on the young.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
This month’s theme is ‘writing rules we break’. I had to think long and hard about this one because I am naturally a law abiding girl. I like structure and discipline (hee!), so I rarely bend the rules. Unless, of course, I think that path is just downright silly.
There are those who think romance is only for heroes and heroines in their 20s. Recent trends have allowed us to stretch that timeline into their thirties—great comfort for those of us who didn’t find love until we passed the big 3-Oh! But as a whole, you still don’t see many main characters in their 40s and even fewer past the mid-century mark.
Unless you read my books.
Four of my six full-length novels (written as Margaret Ethridge) feature characters who are a little past their traditional romance expiration dates. Four out of twelve of my Hot Nights in St. Blaise novellas do too.
I’m not saying I purposefully set out to write older heroes and heroines. I just love the flavor of a more seasoned romance. I think one’s perspective on life, love and sexuality shifts past the age of thirty. I think it becomes softer and more sensual than the heated grappling of our lust-filled twenties.
Don’t get me wrong. The loving is just as hot. In fact, in some ways it’s hotter. As we grow older we jettison the vanities and insecurities that hold us back in our youth. Older lovers see the beauty in imperfection and find humor in their foibles. I find the love scenes I write between the older couples to be a little kinder, if not necessarily gentler.
Their life experiences make them more open and more vulnerable. Their choices are more deliberate. They know the risks involved in falling in love and the potential rewards of getting it right.
“Grow old with me! The best is yet to be.” ~ Robert Browning
How about you? Do you like a story featuring a more experienced protagonist, or do you think people over thirty should refrain from the kissy face? Comment below and I’ll give one winner the choice of ebook from my backlist (with the exception of the Smoking Hot Fireman anthology – sorry, I don’t have gifting rights for that one).