Romance After 40?

Lately I’ve been craving a different kind of heroine, someone with a little experience under her belt … or her waistline. Romances in which the main characters are over 40. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy the under-40 romance, even as young as NA and YA. After all, a good story is a good story. But under-40 is easy to find. Over-40, not so much. 

I loved Sandy James’ Turning Thirty-Twelve and the movies It’s Complicated and Enough Said. So I decided to seek out more like them instead of waiting for them to fall into my lap. I searched online for “romances with older heroines” and was thrilled to find actual lists of these types of books. But I was disappointed when most of the recommended books had characters in their 30s (That’s older? Really?) or the older characters were actually secondary characters. The exception is this list on Dear Author. It’s short, but it’s a starting point.

Why am I so intrigued with this age group? It’s a fascinating period in women’s lives. They’re reevaluating where they’ve been and what they’ve accomplished in their careers and personal lives. They’re dealing with wacko hormonal changes that for good or bad color the way they think and act. Those with children are done or almost done with child-rearing and are enjoying (hopefully) a new kind of freedom. Many women experience a rebirth of sorts and make major life changes. Sounds like the perfect breeding ground for romantic conflict.

I’d really like to hear from you. Do you like the over-40 heroine and hero? Hate ‘em? Can you take ‘em or leave ‘em? I’d also love some recommendations. Thirty-somethings and secondary characters need not apply.

Samantha Ann King Samantha Ann King (25 Posts)

USA Today bestselling author Samantha Ann King was born and raised in Houston, Texas. After receiving her BBA in Finance from Texas A&M University and marrying her high school crush (notice she didn't say sweetheart), Samantha relinquished her "native Texan" status and moved to Baton Rouge. She has called Albuquerque, New Mexico home since 1985. The mother of three has volunteered in the community as an advocate for children's issues ranging from education to healthcare. In 2010, as her nest started to empty, she began writing erotic romance. Thanks to her win in Passionate Ink's Stroke of Midnight Contest, Samantha signed her first publishing contract in 2011. Her first book was nominated for RT’s 2012 Reviewers’ Choice Award.


Romance After 40? — 26 Comments

  1. I too love over-40 heroines – and I’m 30! But I love innovative romances and seeing how authors deal with unconventional tropes, and older heroines totally fit that bill.

    I recently read a Harlequin category novel in which the older heroine was in love with a young hero who really wanted kids. The conflict resolution was for her to become pregnant at age 39, and while I know that’s possible, it felt like such a cop-out! It would be great to see more over-40 heroines who are exploring issues and conflicts relevant to their age. It’s a big undertaking for a romance author – and a commendable one!

  2. They really are unconventional, aren’t they? Maybe that’s why we don’t see that many? I’m curious whether there’s a market for it. As for a child at 39, more and more women are doing that, so I get the appeal of that type of book. I’m just not interested because I am so over kids. ;-)

  3. I love reading about characters who have a little more life experience. In fact, some of my favourite books feature heroes and/or heroines that fall into the 40+ crowd. A few to note are Contentment and Commitment by Margaret Ethridge. I’m also crazy about Maggie Wells’ Hot Nights in St. Blaise series, mainly because of the broad range of characters. The final installment, Daring Miss December, features a more seasoned couple as well. All of them are fabulous reads! :)

  4. When I first looked into romance between older characters I heard the phrase “Geezer Romances” which, to be perfectly honest, wasn’t encouraging at all. I have a problem with the perfect bodied twenty year olds and look forward to reading (and writing) a wider range of ages. Let’s hear it for self publishing, where the decisions can be made by the reader

    • Mona, When I started reading romance, most heroines were in their teens. Ages have gradually crept up, so many are now in their 30s. Gives me hope that over-40 characters won’t be so unusual in the near future. You’re right about self-publishing. That seems to be where to find them.

  5. Pingback: Samantha Ann King | Explore Love's Possibilities » Blogs

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