Older, wiser: How come I’m not in a Romance?

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I’m older than when I was when I last talked to you!

Well, I know that every day I’m a day older.  But last week marked the successful conclusion of another of my journeys around the sun.  And Hoorah for me!

When I was young I hated all birthdays after my twenty-first – the time when I could drink legally.
But now?
I’m wiser.  I don’t have as many rings around my middle as a Sequoia, mind you, but I’ve come to realize that every year is an accomplishment, and I’m grateful for it.

Which leads me to a question I really don’t know the answer to.  Why aren’t there more romances with… (ahem.  Cough, cough…) older heroines?   I’m not talking passion at the Happy Acres Nursing Home (although I do know of many such affaires.  Extreme age, like extreme youth, is apt to cast off inhibitions.)

I’m talking about the absence of mature females as heroines in historical romances.

Please understand this doesn’t mean I want to write one!Challenge
I once did write a book with an older hero and heroine ( THE CHALLENGE ) Not ancients.  Thirty and fortyish love the second time around.
You know?  It was a good book but it didn’t sell like books with hot young cookies in them.
(Although, note please, it’s fine to have a secondary romance, with an older couple finding joy with each other.  As long as that story stays in the background.)

I read a romance with a middle-aged couple as the hero and heroine.  It included all the stretch marks and thigh flab, prostate trouble, menapausal headaches and the need for gels.  (This was before Viagra, but if it hadn’t been, that would have been there too.) The writing was good, the author was one of my favorites.  But the book made me squirm.
The concept just wasn’t…. well, hot.

I confess, I used to write Historicals with much older heroes hooking up with young chickie heroines.  Forgive me, I didn’t know better, and anyway, that’s how it often went in olden days.  Maybe because women died younger then?  Maybe because the great Georgette Heyer wrote a bunch of such stories, as did most popular writers of that time? 
Recall please, that it was ever so.  Jane Eyre was not thirtyish.  Mr. Rochester was well past it. 

But these days the idea of an mature man: all moody and broody, scarred and cynical, all wise and experienced, getting it on with an ignorant, innocent Miss makes me think of an episode of one of those ‘Gotcha you vile old internet perv! ‘TV exposes.
In truth, older gents with dewy lasses now smack of pederesty to me.

Still, it’s okay for men to be a lot older than women in a heroic romance. 
Is this because women like to cast off their real selves, whatever their age, when they immerse ourselves in a book? 
It’s not just a female preference. 
I note that many Fantasy epics begin with a boy or a girl, jut orphaned by the evil forces of the bad guys, setting out to seek revenge.

Youth is so much more flexible in all ways.  Do our fantasies lead us to prefer to read about youth with it’s unknown horizons and infinite possibilities, unencumbered by the fretful realities of marriage, children and aging?

Maybe that is the answer.
What do you think?
And what do you think is the right age for our Hero and Heroine?

Old_love<– Too old for a hero and heroine?  Maybe not sez Layton!

80 thoughts on “Older, wiser: How come I’m not in a Romance?”

  1. I admit that a “more mature” heroine would be easier to identify with but most of us that age are so uncomfortable with our thigh flab, stretch marks, etc that we may not want to read about that in a heroine. It is, after all, fiction. But I like a heroine who is not an ignorant miss, one who has loved and suffered and is stronger and wiser because of that experience. I do enjoy a relationship between mature lovers who are still in love after many years together, such as Jamie and Claire in the “Outlander” series (later volumes). It increases hope that such a thing is possible. So many of us have parents who have been divorced and may not actually know anyone who has been happily married longer than 25 years. Mature married love may not be considered as “hot” as the first flush of passion. Maybe some of you ladies need to convince the readers that it is!

    Reply
  2. I admit that a “more mature” heroine would be easier to identify with but most of us that age are so uncomfortable with our thigh flab, stretch marks, etc that we may not want to read about that in a heroine. It is, after all, fiction. But I like a heroine who is not an ignorant miss, one who has loved and suffered and is stronger and wiser because of that experience. I do enjoy a relationship between mature lovers who are still in love after many years together, such as Jamie and Claire in the “Outlander” series (later volumes). It increases hope that such a thing is possible. So many of us have parents who have been divorced and may not actually know anyone who has been happily married longer than 25 years. Mature married love may not be considered as “hot” as the first flush of passion. Maybe some of you ladies need to convince the readers that it is!

    Reply
  3. I admit that a “more mature” heroine would be easier to identify with but most of us that age are so uncomfortable with our thigh flab, stretch marks, etc that we may not want to read about that in a heroine. It is, after all, fiction. But I like a heroine who is not an ignorant miss, one who has loved and suffered and is stronger and wiser because of that experience. I do enjoy a relationship between mature lovers who are still in love after many years together, such as Jamie and Claire in the “Outlander” series (later volumes). It increases hope that such a thing is possible. So many of us have parents who have been divorced and may not actually know anyone who has been happily married longer than 25 years. Mature married love may not be considered as “hot” as the first flush of passion. Maybe some of you ladies need to convince the readers that it is!

    Reply
  4. I admit that a “more mature” heroine would be easier to identify with but most of us that age are so uncomfortable with our thigh flab, stretch marks, etc that we may not want to read about that in a heroine. It is, after all, fiction. But I like a heroine who is not an ignorant miss, one who has loved and suffered and is stronger and wiser because of that experience. I do enjoy a relationship between mature lovers who are still in love after many years together, such as Jamie and Claire in the “Outlander” series (later volumes). It increases hope that such a thing is possible. So many of us have parents who have been divorced and may not actually know anyone who has been happily married longer than 25 years. Mature married love may not be considered as “hot” as the first flush of passion. Maybe some of you ladies need to convince the readers that it is!

    Reply
  5. I admit that a “more mature” heroine would be easier to identify with but most of us that age are so uncomfortable with our thigh flab, stretch marks, etc that we may not want to read about that in a heroine. It is, after all, fiction. But I like a heroine who is not an ignorant miss, one who has loved and suffered and is stronger and wiser because of that experience. I do enjoy a relationship between mature lovers who are still in love after many years together, such as Jamie and Claire in the “Outlander” series (later volumes). It increases hope that such a thing is possible. So many of us have parents who have been divorced and may not actually know anyone who has been happily married longer than 25 years. Mature married love may not be considered as “hot” as the first flush of passion. Maybe some of you ladies need to convince the readers that it is!

    Reply
  6. One of the advantages of a widow as heroine is that she can be old enough to have some knowledge of the world and some common sense realism without the author having to create bizarre situations to explain why this wonderful, intelligent and attractive creature is still “on the shelf.” As for the chit just out of the school room, if she’s at all realistic, she’s a bore, and how can that dashing hero be interested?
    My preference is always for a couple who can be partners as well as lovers, and that means there is a limit to the maximum age spread. I tend to think it’s about ten years – more than that and we’re getting too close to Daddy and his little girl. On the other hand, once the couple gets too old, we start losing the daydream element. Do we really need to be reminded that it’s hard to get around on arthritic knees? Wouldn’t we rather pretend we’re still 25? or 35?

    Reply
  7. One of the advantages of a widow as heroine is that she can be old enough to have some knowledge of the world and some common sense realism without the author having to create bizarre situations to explain why this wonderful, intelligent and attractive creature is still “on the shelf.” As for the chit just out of the school room, if she’s at all realistic, she’s a bore, and how can that dashing hero be interested?
    My preference is always for a couple who can be partners as well as lovers, and that means there is a limit to the maximum age spread. I tend to think it’s about ten years – more than that and we’re getting too close to Daddy and his little girl. On the other hand, once the couple gets too old, we start losing the daydream element. Do we really need to be reminded that it’s hard to get around on arthritic knees? Wouldn’t we rather pretend we’re still 25? or 35?

    Reply
  8. One of the advantages of a widow as heroine is that she can be old enough to have some knowledge of the world and some common sense realism without the author having to create bizarre situations to explain why this wonderful, intelligent and attractive creature is still “on the shelf.” As for the chit just out of the school room, if she’s at all realistic, she’s a bore, and how can that dashing hero be interested?
    My preference is always for a couple who can be partners as well as lovers, and that means there is a limit to the maximum age spread. I tend to think it’s about ten years – more than that and we’re getting too close to Daddy and his little girl. On the other hand, once the couple gets too old, we start losing the daydream element. Do we really need to be reminded that it’s hard to get around on arthritic knees? Wouldn’t we rather pretend we’re still 25? or 35?

    Reply
  9. One of the advantages of a widow as heroine is that she can be old enough to have some knowledge of the world and some common sense realism without the author having to create bizarre situations to explain why this wonderful, intelligent and attractive creature is still “on the shelf.” As for the chit just out of the school room, if she’s at all realistic, she’s a bore, and how can that dashing hero be interested?
    My preference is always for a couple who can be partners as well as lovers, and that means there is a limit to the maximum age spread. I tend to think it’s about ten years – more than that and we’re getting too close to Daddy and his little girl. On the other hand, once the couple gets too old, we start losing the daydream element. Do we really need to be reminded that it’s hard to get around on arthritic knees? Wouldn’t we rather pretend we’re still 25? or 35?

    Reply
  10. One of the advantages of a widow as heroine is that she can be old enough to have some knowledge of the world and some common sense realism without the author having to create bizarre situations to explain why this wonderful, intelligent and attractive creature is still “on the shelf.” As for the chit just out of the school room, if she’s at all realistic, she’s a bore, and how can that dashing hero be interested?
    My preference is always for a couple who can be partners as well as lovers, and that means there is a limit to the maximum age spread. I tend to think it’s about ten years – more than that and we’re getting too close to Daddy and his little girl. On the other hand, once the couple gets too old, we start losing the daydream element. Do we really need to be reminded that it’s hard to get around on arthritic knees? Wouldn’t we rather pretend we’re still 25? or 35?

    Reply
  11. Lady Layton! I was so thinking about you today! Hope you and yours are well.
    I find older heroines much easier to relate to (and the younger ones increasingly irritating) but I’d like to leave the flab at home, thank you very much. We don’t talk about the level of BO in historical romance so why should we have to talk about an older heroine’s flabby thighs or the hero’s chest falling into his drawers? It’s fantasy. So, let us dream.
    I am wondering, though, … are older heroines harder to write because they have lived more of life’s cycle, making them more complex?
    Nina, going back to her older heroine

    Reply
  12. Lady Layton! I was so thinking about you today! Hope you and yours are well.
    I find older heroines much easier to relate to (and the younger ones increasingly irritating) but I’d like to leave the flab at home, thank you very much. We don’t talk about the level of BO in historical romance so why should we have to talk about an older heroine’s flabby thighs or the hero’s chest falling into his drawers? It’s fantasy. So, let us dream.
    I am wondering, though, … are older heroines harder to write because they have lived more of life’s cycle, making them more complex?
    Nina, going back to her older heroine

    Reply
  13. Lady Layton! I was so thinking about you today! Hope you and yours are well.
    I find older heroines much easier to relate to (and the younger ones increasingly irritating) but I’d like to leave the flab at home, thank you very much. We don’t talk about the level of BO in historical romance so why should we have to talk about an older heroine’s flabby thighs or the hero’s chest falling into his drawers? It’s fantasy. So, let us dream.
    I am wondering, though, … are older heroines harder to write because they have lived more of life’s cycle, making them more complex?
    Nina, going back to her older heroine

    Reply
  14. Lady Layton! I was so thinking about you today! Hope you and yours are well.
    I find older heroines much easier to relate to (and the younger ones increasingly irritating) but I’d like to leave the flab at home, thank you very much. We don’t talk about the level of BO in historical romance so why should we have to talk about an older heroine’s flabby thighs or the hero’s chest falling into his drawers? It’s fantasy. So, let us dream.
    I am wondering, though, … are older heroines harder to write because they have lived more of life’s cycle, making them more complex?
    Nina, going back to her older heroine

    Reply
  15. Lady Layton! I was so thinking about you today! Hope you and yours are well.
    I find older heroines much easier to relate to (and the younger ones increasingly irritating) but I’d like to leave the flab at home, thank you very much. We don’t talk about the level of BO in historical romance so why should we have to talk about an older heroine’s flabby thighs or the hero’s chest falling into his drawers? It’s fantasy. So, let us dream.
    I am wondering, though, … are older heroines harder to write because they have lived more of life’s cycle, making them more complex?
    Nina, going back to her older heroine

    Reply
  16. Sigh, Pat Rice here, typepad still not forgiving me for some error I’ve made—
    You’ve asked an excellent question. I’m sure it has a lot to do with the fantasy we want to read about. Maybe in our early romances, when writing about sex was almost as taboo as talking about it, the older hero and virginal young woman seemed a little more “proper.” He was often an experienced seducer, up against an innocent, which played into a lot of fantasies.
    These days, we know a little too much about sex, and that seasoned seducer thing is just plain creepy.
    My heroines have been aging as I’ve aged, just not as quickly. “G” Most of them are moving into their thirties, often widows, or with responsibilities that haven’t allowed for marriage. I’m not sure I could buy into that trope if they get any older than that, though. At forty, I’m thinking they’d have to start wearing glasses on their adventures, and checking for gray hairs and what not, and I’m thinking they’d work better as futuristics. “G”

    Reply
  17. Sigh, Pat Rice here, typepad still not forgiving me for some error I’ve made—
    You’ve asked an excellent question. I’m sure it has a lot to do with the fantasy we want to read about. Maybe in our early romances, when writing about sex was almost as taboo as talking about it, the older hero and virginal young woman seemed a little more “proper.” He was often an experienced seducer, up against an innocent, which played into a lot of fantasies.
    These days, we know a little too much about sex, and that seasoned seducer thing is just plain creepy.
    My heroines have been aging as I’ve aged, just not as quickly. “G” Most of them are moving into their thirties, often widows, or with responsibilities that haven’t allowed for marriage. I’m not sure I could buy into that trope if they get any older than that, though. At forty, I’m thinking they’d have to start wearing glasses on their adventures, and checking for gray hairs and what not, and I’m thinking they’d work better as futuristics. “G”

    Reply
  18. Sigh, Pat Rice here, typepad still not forgiving me for some error I’ve made—
    You’ve asked an excellent question. I’m sure it has a lot to do with the fantasy we want to read about. Maybe in our early romances, when writing about sex was almost as taboo as talking about it, the older hero and virginal young woman seemed a little more “proper.” He was often an experienced seducer, up against an innocent, which played into a lot of fantasies.
    These days, we know a little too much about sex, and that seasoned seducer thing is just plain creepy.
    My heroines have been aging as I’ve aged, just not as quickly. “G” Most of them are moving into their thirties, often widows, or with responsibilities that haven’t allowed for marriage. I’m not sure I could buy into that trope if they get any older than that, though. At forty, I’m thinking they’d have to start wearing glasses on their adventures, and checking for gray hairs and what not, and I’m thinking they’d work better as futuristics. “G”

    Reply
  19. Sigh, Pat Rice here, typepad still not forgiving me for some error I’ve made—
    You’ve asked an excellent question. I’m sure it has a lot to do with the fantasy we want to read about. Maybe in our early romances, when writing about sex was almost as taboo as talking about it, the older hero and virginal young woman seemed a little more “proper.” He was often an experienced seducer, up against an innocent, which played into a lot of fantasies.
    These days, we know a little too much about sex, and that seasoned seducer thing is just plain creepy.
    My heroines have been aging as I’ve aged, just not as quickly. “G” Most of them are moving into their thirties, often widows, or with responsibilities that haven’t allowed for marriage. I’m not sure I could buy into that trope if they get any older than that, though. At forty, I’m thinking they’d have to start wearing glasses on their adventures, and checking for gray hairs and what not, and I’m thinking they’d work better as futuristics. “G”

    Reply
  20. Sigh, Pat Rice here, typepad still not forgiving me for some error I’ve made—
    You’ve asked an excellent question. I’m sure it has a lot to do with the fantasy we want to read about. Maybe in our early romances, when writing about sex was almost as taboo as talking about it, the older hero and virginal young woman seemed a little more “proper.” He was often an experienced seducer, up against an innocent, which played into a lot of fantasies.
    These days, we know a little too much about sex, and that seasoned seducer thing is just plain creepy.
    My heroines have been aging as I’ve aged, just not as quickly. “G” Most of them are moving into their thirties, often widows, or with responsibilities that haven’t allowed for marriage. I’m not sure I could buy into that trope if they get any older than that, though. At forty, I’m thinking they’d have to start wearing glasses on their adventures, and checking for gray hairs and what not, and I’m thinking they’d work better as futuristics. “G”

    Reply
  21. Well… I do prefer older, more wordly-wise heroines. But because (ignoring actual chronological fact) I will never get much past 35 in my self-image, 30s are just fine, thank you. I have no real quarrel with age differences (in fact, I have no trouble with older women/younger men which is perhaps unusual, but entirely in keeping with my expectation of taking up with ummm ‘Sven’ when I’m in my dotage – handy around the house, you know?) BUT the relationships have to be between adults, not one adult and one ‘child’.
    And – second relationships are just fine, doesn’t matter to me what happened to the earlier one…. historical fiction seems to work best with death of spouse, since divorce wasn’t all that common….
    This is fiction. I don’t actually need a complete description of stretch marks for authenticity. No need to comment on perfect thighs either, as anatomy is by now an open book to most of us. I’ve recently read a couple of very hot historicals in which the protagonists were both 40/50ish, I think….unusual, but very well done. No mention of skin texture and no need of it.
    So – bring on the mature heros/heroines – I’ll buy the book.
    In fact (musing) isn’t it actually even MORE romantic for a deep, loving relationship to develop when raging hormones, proximity and the nesting instinct aren’t the over-riding motivating forces? Just think how much more interesting the conversation could be….when both parties have some life experience to exchange? Let alone the more passionate side of the relationship?

    Reply
  22. Well… I do prefer older, more wordly-wise heroines. But because (ignoring actual chronological fact) I will never get much past 35 in my self-image, 30s are just fine, thank you. I have no real quarrel with age differences (in fact, I have no trouble with older women/younger men which is perhaps unusual, but entirely in keeping with my expectation of taking up with ummm ‘Sven’ when I’m in my dotage – handy around the house, you know?) BUT the relationships have to be between adults, not one adult and one ‘child’.
    And – second relationships are just fine, doesn’t matter to me what happened to the earlier one…. historical fiction seems to work best with death of spouse, since divorce wasn’t all that common….
    This is fiction. I don’t actually need a complete description of stretch marks for authenticity. No need to comment on perfect thighs either, as anatomy is by now an open book to most of us. I’ve recently read a couple of very hot historicals in which the protagonists were both 40/50ish, I think….unusual, but very well done. No mention of skin texture and no need of it.
    So – bring on the mature heros/heroines – I’ll buy the book.
    In fact (musing) isn’t it actually even MORE romantic for a deep, loving relationship to develop when raging hormones, proximity and the nesting instinct aren’t the over-riding motivating forces? Just think how much more interesting the conversation could be….when both parties have some life experience to exchange? Let alone the more passionate side of the relationship?

    Reply
  23. Well… I do prefer older, more wordly-wise heroines. But because (ignoring actual chronological fact) I will never get much past 35 in my self-image, 30s are just fine, thank you. I have no real quarrel with age differences (in fact, I have no trouble with older women/younger men which is perhaps unusual, but entirely in keeping with my expectation of taking up with ummm ‘Sven’ when I’m in my dotage – handy around the house, you know?) BUT the relationships have to be between adults, not one adult and one ‘child’.
    And – second relationships are just fine, doesn’t matter to me what happened to the earlier one…. historical fiction seems to work best with death of spouse, since divorce wasn’t all that common….
    This is fiction. I don’t actually need a complete description of stretch marks for authenticity. No need to comment on perfect thighs either, as anatomy is by now an open book to most of us. I’ve recently read a couple of very hot historicals in which the protagonists were both 40/50ish, I think….unusual, but very well done. No mention of skin texture and no need of it.
    So – bring on the mature heros/heroines – I’ll buy the book.
    In fact (musing) isn’t it actually even MORE romantic for a deep, loving relationship to develop when raging hormones, proximity and the nesting instinct aren’t the over-riding motivating forces? Just think how much more interesting the conversation could be….when both parties have some life experience to exchange? Let alone the more passionate side of the relationship?

    Reply
  24. Well… I do prefer older, more wordly-wise heroines. But because (ignoring actual chronological fact) I will never get much past 35 in my self-image, 30s are just fine, thank you. I have no real quarrel with age differences (in fact, I have no trouble with older women/younger men which is perhaps unusual, but entirely in keeping with my expectation of taking up with ummm ‘Sven’ when I’m in my dotage – handy around the house, you know?) BUT the relationships have to be between adults, not one adult and one ‘child’.
    And – second relationships are just fine, doesn’t matter to me what happened to the earlier one…. historical fiction seems to work best with death of spouse, since divorce wasn’t all that common….
    This is fiction. I don’t actually need a complete description of stretch marks for authenticity. No need to comment on perfect thighs either, as anatomy is by now an open book to most of us. I’ve recently read a couple of very hot historicals in which the protagonists were both 40/50ish, I think….unusual, but very well done. No mention of skin texture and no need of it.
    So – bring on the mature heros/heroines – I’ll buy the book.
    In fact (musing) isn’t it actually even MORE romantic for a deep, loving relationship to develop when raging hormones, proximity and the nesting instinct aren’t the over-riding motivating forces? Just think how much more interesting the conversation could be….when both parties have some life experience to exchange? Let alone the more passionate side of the relationship?

    Reply
  25. Well… I do prefer older, more wordly-wise heroines. But because (ignoring actual chronological fact) I will never get much past 35 in my self-image, 30s are just fine, thank you. I have no real quarrel with age differences (in fact, I have no trouble with older women/younger men which is perhaps unusual, but entirely in keeping with my expectation of taking up with ummm ‘Sven’ when I’m in my dotage – handy around the house, you know?) BUT the relationships have to be between adults, not one adult and one ‘child’.
    And – second relationships are just fine, doesn’t matter to me what happened to the earlier one…. historical fiction seems to work best with death of spouse, since divorce wasn’t all that common….
    This is fiction. I don’t actually need a complete description of stretch marks for authenticity. No need to comment on perfect thighs either, as anatomy is by now an open book to most of us. I’ve recently read a couple of very hot historicals in which the protagonists were both 40/50ish, I think….unusual, but very well done. No mention of skin texture and no need of it.
    So – bring on the mature heros/heroines – I’ll buy the book.
    In fact (musing) isn’t it actually even MORE romantic for a deep, loving relationship to develop when raging hormones, proximity and the nesting instinct aren’t the over-riding motivating forces? Just think how much more interesting the conversation could be….when both parties have some life experience to exchange? Let alone the more passionate side of the relationship?

    Reply
  26. I just finished Jennifer Crusie’s Tell Me Lies. Hero=38, heroine=39,
    Very hot. (Of course, both were still described as good-looking, no flab in evidence.) I loved the older and wiser, let’s fix the botched high-school date scenario.

    Reply
  27. I just finished Jennifer Crusie’s Tell Me Lies. Hero=38, heroine=39,
    Very hot. (Of course, both were still described as good-looking, no flab in evidence.) I loved the older and wiser, let’s fix the botched high-school date scenario.

    Reply
  28. I just finished Jennifer Crusie’s Tell Me Lies. Hero=38, heroine=39,
    Very hot. (Of course, both were still described as good-looking, no flab in evidence.) I loved the older and wiser, let’s fix the botched high-school date scenario.

    Reply
  29. I just finished Jennifer Crusie’s Tell Me Lies. Hero=38, heroine=39,
    Very hot. (Of course, both were still described as good-looking, no flab in evidence.) I loved the older and wiser, let’s fix the botched high-school date scenario.

    Reply
  30. I just finished Jennifer Crusie’s Tell Me Lies. Hero=38, heroine=39,
    Very hot. (Of course, both were still described as good-looking, no flab in evidence.) I loved the older and wiser, let’s fix the botched high-school date scenario.

    Reply
  31. Well, here I am, Edith, unrepentant lover of young lovers, and my own age has nothing to do with it. 🙂
    I like romance about people for whom the process is wondrous, shocking,insane,and even terrifying, and who still have that bright shining belief in infinite possibilities. And the energy. Ah, the raw energy of yout makes for rip-roaring yarns.
    But Kathy, there are surprising numbers of life-long lovers around, so don’t let the stats get you down. Like most stats, they don’t represent truth, only arithmetic.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  32. Well, here I am, Edith, unrepentant lover of young lovers, and my own age has nothing to do with it. 🙂
    I like romance about people for whom the process is wondrous, shocking,insane,and even terrifying, and who still have that bright shining belief in infinite possibilities. And the energy. Ah, the raw energy of yout makes for rip-roaring yarns.
    But Kathy, there are surprising numbers of life-long lovers around, so don’t let the stats get you down. Like most stats, they don’t represent truth, only arithmetic.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  33. Well, here I am, Edith, unrepentant lover of young lovers, and my own age has nothing to do with it. 🙂
    I like romance about people for whom the process is wondrous, shocking,insane,and even terrifying, and who still have that bright shining belief in infinite possibilities. And the energy. Ah, the raw energy of yout makes for rip-roaring yarns.
    But Kathy, there are surprising numbers of life-long lovers around, so don’t let the stats get you down. Like most stats, they don’t represent truth, only arithmetic.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  34. Well, here I am, Edith, unrepentant lover of young lovers, and my own age has nothing to do with it. 🙂
    I like romance about people for whom the process is wondrous, shocking,insane,and even terrifying, and who still have that bright shining belief in infinite possibilities. And the energy. Ah, the raw energy of yout makes for rip-roaring yarns.
    But Kathy, there are surprising numbers of life-long lovers around, so don’t let the stats get you down. Like most stats, they don’t represent truth, only arithmetic.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  35. Well, here I am, Edith, unrepentant lover of young lovers, and my own age has nothing to do with it. 🙂
    I like romance about people for whom the process is wondrous, shocking,insane,and even terrifying, and who still have that bright shining belief in infinite possibilities. And the energy. Ah, the raw energy of yout makes for rip-roaring yarns.
    But Kathy, there are surprising numbers of life-long lovers around, so don’t let the stats get you down. Like most stats, they don’t represent truth, only arithmetic.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  36. Props to the amazin’ Susie for adding such good illustrations for me! (Her mom is too dumb to remember the process from week to week Words, I can do. Pictures? I cannot…yet)
    And Nina – I don’t find older heroines harder to write. But I think Jo has got the concept – what can beat that wild flush of first love?
    Well, maybe second love. Or third.
    Mmmm. I have to keep thinking on this one.

    Reply
  37. Props to the amazin’ Susie for adding such good illustrations for me! (Her mom is too dumb to remember the process from week to week Words, I can do. Pictures? I cannot…yet)
    And Nina – I don’t find older heroines harder to write. But I think Jo has got the concept – what can beat that wild flush of first love?
    Well, maybe second love. Or third.
    Mmmm. I have to keep thinking on this one.

    Reply
  38. Props to the amazin’ Susie for adding such good illustrations for me! (Her mom is too dumb to remember the process from week to week Words, I can do. Pictures? I cannot…yet)
    And Nina – I don’t find older heroines harder to write. But I think Jo has got the concept – what can beat that wild flush of first love?
    Well, maybe second love. Or third.
    Mmmm. I have to keep thinking on this one.

    Reply
  39. Props to the amazin’ Susie for adding such good illustrations for me! (Her mom is too dumb to remember the process from week to week Words, I can do. Pictures? I cannot…yet)
    And Nina – I don’t find older heroines harder to write. But I think Jo has got the concept – what can beat that wild flush of first love?
    Well, maybe second love. Or third.
    Mmmm. I have to keep thinking on this one.

    Reply
  40. Props to the amazin’ Susie for adding such good illustrations for me! (Her mom is too dumb to remember the process from week to week Words, I can do. Pictures? I cannot…yet)
    And Nina – I don’t find older heroines harder to write. But I think Jo has got the concept – what can beat that wild flush of first love?
    Well, maybe second love. Or third.
    Mmmm. I have to keep thinking on this one.

    Reply
  41. I’m thinking that a lot of older women (self included) would enjoy a romance between fifty-somethings, but I suspect that the readership for such drops off because the youngsters don’t want to go there. Hey, presto, half your demographic wiped out! On the other hand, look at the huge success Nicholas Sparks had with The Notebook; lovers not only OLD but one of them actually deep into senility. And though most of the *action* took place in their youthful past, the really touching bit was right in the sad-but-lovely here and now.
    In a way I think the heroes and heroines ARE older, springing, as they do, out of the wisely mature minds of so many wisely mature writers. Nothing wrong with imagining a 50-year-old mind dressed up in an impossibly sexy 35 year old body, sez me. Would that They would quickly figure out how to make drastic rejuvenation a reality!

    Reply
  42. I’m thinking that a lot of older women (self included) would enjoy a romance between fifty-somethings, but I suspect that the readership for such drops off because the youngsters don’t want to go there. Hey, presto, half your demographic wiped out! On the other hand, look at the huge success Nicholas Sparks had with The Notebook; lovers not only OLD but one of them actually deep into senility. And though most of the *action* took place in their youthful past, the really touching bit was right in the sad-but-lovely here and now.
    In a way I think the heroes and heroines ARE older, springing, as they do, out of the wisely mature minds of so many wisely mature writers. Nothing wrong with imagining a 50-year-old mind dressed up in an impossibly sexy 35 year old body, sez me. Would that They would quickly figure out how to make drastic rejuvenation a reality!

    Reply
  43. I’m thinking that a lot of older women (self included) would enjoy a romance between fifty-somethings, but I suspect that the readership for such drops off because the youngsters don’t want to go there. Hey, presto, half your demographic wiped out! On the other hand, look at the huge success Nicholas Sparks had with The Notebook; lovers not only OLD but one of them actually deep into senility. And though most of the *action* took place in their youthful past, the really touching bit was right in the sad-but-lovely here and now.
    In a way I think the heroes and heroines ARE older, springing, as they do, out of the wisely mature minds of so many wisely mature writers. Nothing wrong with imagining a 50-year-old mind dressed up in an impossibly sexy 35 year old body, sez me. Would that They would quickly figure out how to make drastic rejuvenation a reality!

    Reply
  44. I’m thinking that a lot of older women (self included) would enjoy a romance between fifty-somethings, but I suspect that the readership for such drops off because the youngsters don’t want to go there. Hey, presto, half your demographic wiped out! On the other hand, look at the huge success Nicholas Sparks had with The Notebook; lovers not only OLD but one of them actually deep into senility. And though most of the *action* took place in their youthful past, the really touching bit was right in the sad-but-lovely here and now.
    In a way I think the heroes and heroines ARE older, springing, as they do, out of the wisely mature minds of so many wisely mature writers. Nothing wrong with imagining a 50-year-old mind dressed up in an impossibly sexy 35 year old body, sez me. Would that They would quickly figure out how to make drastic rejuvenation a reality!

    Reply
  45. I’m thinking that a lot of older women (self included) would enjoy a romance between fifty-somethings, but I suspect that the readership for such drops off because the youngsters don’t want to go there. Hey, presto, half your demographic wiped out! On the other hand, look at the huge success Nicholas Sparks had with The Notebook; lovers not only OLD but one of them actually deep into senility. And though most of the *action* took place in their youthful past, the really touching bit was right in the sad-but-lovely here and now.
    In a way I think the heroes and heroines ARE older, springing, as they do, out of the wisely mature minds of so many wisely mature writers. Nothing wrong with imagining a 50-year-old mind dressed up in an impossibly sexy 35 year old body, sez me. Would that They would quickly figure out how to make drastic rejuvenation a reality!

    Reply
  46. Edith asked… what can beat that wild flush of first love?
    If I may, in all my naivety… finding love where you never thought you could. Finding love after loss. Finding love after you think you’re past it. Finding love when all the world has proven you unlovable.
    I agree with Jo, there’s nothing like the thrill of experiencing something for the first time. I think that’s why romance readers love romance – vicariously living that trill over and over again.
    But do we all have to be young inexperienced virgins to do it? Wasn’t Jennifer Cruise’s “Nina” and her boy-toy hero in Fred’s Book, 40? And of course, as Elaine pointed out… The Notebook. Oh, I cried when I read the end. It was better than the “action” part. And, mustn’t forget Barbara Samuel’s NIGHTS OF FIRE.

    Reply
  47. Edith asked… what can beat that wild flush of first love?
    If I may, in all my naivety… finding love where you never thought you could. Finding love after loss. Finding love after you think you’re past it. Finding love when all the world has proven you unlovable.
    I agree with Jo, there’s nothing like the thrill of experiencing something for the first time. I think that’s why romance readers love romance – vicariously living that trill over and over again.
    But do we all have to be young inexperienced virgins to do it? Wasn’t Jennifer Cruise’s “Nina” and her boy-toy hero in Fred’s Book, 40? And of course, as Elaine pointed out… The Notebook. Oh, I cried when I read the end. It was better than the “action” part. And, mustn’t forget Barbara Samuel’s NIGHTS OF FIRE.

    Reply
  48. Edith asked… what can beat that wild flush of first love?
    If I may, in all my naivety… finding love where you never thought you could. Finding love after loss. Finding love after you think you’re past it. Finding love when all the world has proven you unlovable.
    I agree with Jo, there’s nothing like the thrill of experiencing something for the first time. I think that’s why romance readers love romance – vicariously living that trill over and over again.
    But do we all have to be young inexperienced virgins to do it? Wasn’t Jennifer Cruise’s “Nina” and her boy-toy hero in Fred’s Book, 40? And of course, as Elaine pointed out… The Notebook. Oh, I cried when I read the end. It was better than the “action” part. And, mustn’t forget Barbara Samuel’s NIGHTS OF FIRE.

    Reply
  49. Edith asked… what can beat that wild flush of first love?
    If I may, in all my naivety… finding love where you never thought you could. Finding love after loss. Finding love after you think you’re past it. Finding love when all the world has proven you unlovable.
    I agree with Jo, there’s nothing like the thrill of experiencing something for the first time. I think that’s why romance readers love romance – vicariously living that trill over and over again.
    But do we all have to be young inexperienced virgins to do it? Wasn’t Jennifer Cruise’s “Nina” and her boy-toy hero in Fred’s Book, 40? And of course, as Elaine pointed out… The Notebook. Oh, I cried when I read the end. It was better than the “action” part. And, mustn’t forget Barbara Samuel’s NIGHTS OF FIRE.

    Reply
  50. Edith asked… what can beat that wild flush of first love?
    If I may, in all my naivety… finding love where you never thought you could. Finding love after loss. Finding love after you think you’re past it. Finding love when all the world has proven you unlovable.
    I agree with Jo, there’s nothing like the thrill of experiencing something for the first time. I think that’s why romance readers love romance – vicariously living that trill over and over again.
    But do we all have to be young inexperienced virgins to do it? Wasn’t Jennifer Cruise’s “Nina” and her boy-toy hero in Fred’s Book, 40? And of course, as Elaine pointed out… The Notebook. Oh, I cried when I read the end. It was better than the “action” part. And, mustn’t forget Barbara Samuel’s NIGHTS OF FIRE.

    Reply
  51. I think an interest in reading the stories of characters past their youth may account for some readers’ devotion to women’s fiction, which often has a strong romantic element. And a fair number of former writers of romance have chosen to write in this genre. Maybe it is easier for readers to accept romance between older couples when their love story is woven into the rich fabric of familial ties and the bonds of friendship.

    Reply
  52. I think an interest in reading the stories of characters past their youth may account for some readers’ devotion to women’s fiction, which often has a strong romantic element. And a fair number of former writers of romance have chosen to write in this genre. Maybe it is easier for readers to accept romance between older couples when their love story is woven into the rich fabric of familial ties and the bonds of friendship.

    Reply
  53. I think an interest in reading the stories of characters past their youth may account for some readers’ devotion to women’s fiction, which often has a strong romantic element. And a fair number of former writers of romance have chosen to write in this genre. Maybe it is easier for readers to accept romance between older couples when their love story is woven into the rich fabric of familial ties and the bonds of friendship.

    Reply
  54. I think an interest in reading the stories of characters past their youth may account for some readers’ devotion to women’s fiction, which often has a strong romantic element. And a fair number of former writers of romance have chosen to write in this genre. Maybe it is easier for readers to accept romance between older couples when their love story is woven into the rich fabric of familial ties and the bonds of friendship.

    Reply
  55. I think an interest in reading the stories of characters past their youth may account for some readers’ devotion to women’s fiction, which often has a strong romantic element. And a fair number of former writers of romance have chosen to write in this genre. Maybe it is easier for readers to accept romance between older couples when their love story is woven into the rich fabric of familial ties and the bonds of friendship.

    Reply
  56. MJ, I am so impressed that you are 35 in your self-image. . .I myself am perpetually stuck at 14. . .especially now that I have had to go back to glasses. . .
    Edith, I LOVE this blog topic and I thought about it a lot today (in my meetings, LOL). I think for me it all comes down to the skill of the writer. Sure, those “Older Man/Younger Virgin” stories can be creepy, but some of Georgette Heyer’s are my favorite romances ever because she is a great writer and Knows How to Sell the Concept.
    If a writer is good, she (or he) can write any number of variations on the hero/heroine–older, younger, mismatched ages, flabby, gorgeous, first love, second chance at love, old love, young love, alien love, time-travel–and I will read and enjoy them all because the story and the characters capture my imagination and remind me that Love is Powerful, Redemptive, and Beautiful. (So bring on Suzy’s lovely old couple in the photo, LOL!)
    P.S. I do love the Older Man/Younger Virgin stories A Lot–maybe because, well, I was one once (a virgin, that is), and I never cared for men my own age (ended up marrying an older guy for whom I was the Second Chance At Love). I remember that time of Love’s Awakening (cue the schlocky music) being, as Jo said, “wondrous, shocking, insane, and even terrifying”–and really, really FUN. . .

    Reply
  57. MJ, I am so impressed that you are 35 in your self-image. . .I myself am perpetually stuck at 14. . .especially now that I have had to go back to glasses. . .
    Edith, I LOVE this blog topic and I thought about it a lot today (in my meetings, LOL). I think for me it all comes down to the skill of the writer. Sure, those “Older Man/Younger Virgin” stories can be creepy, but some of Georgette Heyer’s are my favorite romances ever because she is a great writer and Knows How to Sell the Concept.
    If a writer is good, she (or he) can write any number of variations on the hero/heroine–older, younger, mismatched ages, flabby, gorgeous, first love, second chance at love, old love, young love, alien love, time-travel–and I will read and enjoy them all because the story and the characters capture my imagination and remind me that Love is Powerful, Redemptive, and Beautiful. (So bring on Suzy’s lovely old couple in the photo, LOL!)
    P.S. I do love the Older Man/Younger Virgin stories A Lot–maybe because, well, I was one once (a virgin, that is), and I never cared for men my own age (ended up marrying an older guy for whom I was the Second Chance At Love). I remember that time of Love’s Awakening (cue the schlocky music) being, as Jo said, “wondrous, shocking, insane, and even terrifying”–and really, really FUN. . .

    Reply
  58. MJ, I am so impressed that you are 35 in your self-image. . .I myself am perpetually stuck at 14. . .especially now that I have had to go back to glasses. . .
    Edith, I LOVE this blog topic and I thought about it a lot today (in my meetings, LOL). I think for me it all comes down to the skill of the writer. Sure, those “Older Man/Younger Virgin” stories can be creepy, but some of Georgette Heyer’s are my favorite romances ever because she is a great writer and Knows How to Sell the Concept.
    If a writer is good, she (or he) can write any number of variations on the hero/heroine–older, younger, mismatched ages, flabby, gorgeous, first love, second chance at love, old love, young love, alien love, time-travel–and I will read and enjoy them all because the story and the characters capture my imagination and remind me that Love is Powerful, Redemptive, and Beautiful. (So bring on Suzy’s lovely old couple in the photo, LOL!)
    P.S. I do love the Older Man/Younger Virgin stories A Lot–maybe because, well, I was one once (a virgin, that is), and I never cared for men my own age (ended up marrying an older guy for whom I was the Second Chance At Love). I remember that time of Love’s Awakening (cue the schlocky music) being, as Jo said, “wondrous, shocking, insane, and even terrifying”–and really, really FUN. . .

    Reply
  59. MJ, I am so impressed that you are 35 in your self-image. . .I myself am perpetually stuck at 14. . .especially now that I have had to go back to glasses. . .
    Edith, I LOVE this blog topic and I thought about it a lot today (in my meetings, LOL). I think for me it all comes down to the skill of the writer. Sure, those “Older Man/Younger Virgin” stories can be creepy, but some of Georgette Heyer’s are my favorite romances ever because she is a great writer and Knows How to Sell the Concept.
    If a writer is good, she (or he) can write any number of variations on the hero/heroine–older, younger, mismatched ages, flabby, gorgeous, first love, second chance at love, old love, young love, alien love, time-travel–and I will read and enjoy them all because the story and the characters capture my imagination and remind me that Love is Powerful, Redemptive, and Beautiful. (So bring on Suzy’s lovely old couple in the photo, LOL!)
    P.S. I do love the Older Man/Younger Virgin stories A Lot–maybe because, well, I was one once (a virgin, that is), and I never cared for men my own age (ended up marrying an older guy for whom I was the Second Chance At Love). I remember that time of Love’s Awakening (cue the schlocky music) being, as Jo said, “wondrous, shocking, insane, and even terrifying”–and really, really FUN. . .

    Reply
  60. MJ, I am so impressed that you are 35 in your self-image. . .I myself am perpetually stuck at 14. . .especially now that I have had to go back to glasses. . .
    Edith, I LOVE this blog topic and I thought about it a lot today (in my meetings, LOL). I think for me it all comes down to the skill of the writer. Sure, those “Older Man/Younger Virgin” stories can be creepy, but some of Georgette Heyer’s are my favorite romances ever because she is a great writer and Knows How to Sell the Concept.
    If a writer is good, she (or he) can write any number of variations on the hero/heroine–older, younger, mismatched ages, flabby, gorgeous, first love, second chance at love, old love, young love, alien love, time-travel–and I will read and enjoy them all because the story and the characters capture my imagination and remind me that Love is Powerful, Redemptive, and Beautiful. (So bring on Suzy’s lovely old couple in the photo, LOL!)
    P.S. I do love the Older Man/Younger Virgin stories A Lot–maybe because, well, I was one once (a virgin, that is), and I never cared for men my own age (ended up marrying an older guy for whom I was the Second Chance At Love). I remember that time of Love’s Awakening (cue the schlocky music) being, as Jo said, “wondrous, shocking, insane, and even terrifying”–and really, really FUN. . .

    Reply
  61. I agree with the thought that a young self-image makes it easier to identify with younger protagonists. Its a stage the whole audience has gone through, whereas most people don’t yet know what it is like to be say 50, and find it hard to empathise or be interested.
    However, what no one here has mentioned yet (I think!) is the first thing I think when considering an older single person – Why are they still single? Whats wrong with them? I can’t honestly believe they’ve spent all that time waiting for “the one”, in which case why do they suddenly fall in love now? Likewise, if they’ve been married all this time then they can hardly say they’ve never felt like this before etc. There are ways to plot round this (psychological committment problem, sad loooong marriage, whatever) but there are less options and this makes it harder to write an original and entertaining romance. Older people are, as I suspected as a teenager, sensible and boooring for the most part. Real life is tedious enough without it creeping into escapist literature.

    Reply
  62. I agree with the thought that a young self-image makes it easier to identify with younger protagonists. Its a stage the whole audience has gone through, whereas most people don’t yet know what it is like to be say 50, and find it hard to empathise or be interested.
    However, what no one here has mentioned yet (I think!) is the first thing I think when considering an older single person – Why are they still single? Whats wrong with them? I can’t honestly believe they’ve spent all that time waiting for “the one”, in which case why do they suddenly fall in love now? Likewise, if they’ve been married all this time then they can hardly say they’ve never felt like this before etc. There are ways to plot round this (psychological committment problem, sad loooong marriage, whatever) but there are less options and this makes it harder to write an original and entertaining romance. Older people are, as I suspected as a teenager, sensible and boooring for the most part. Real life is tedious enough without it creeping into escapist literature.

    Reply
  63. I agree with the thought that a young self-image makes it easier to identify with younger protagonists. Its a stage the whole audience has gone through, whereas most people don’t yet know what it is like to be say 50, and find it hard to empathise or be interested.
    However, what no one here has mentioned yet (I think!) is the first thing I think when considering an older single person – Why are they still single? Whats wrong with them? I can’t honestly believe they’ve spent all that time waiting for “the one”, in which case why do they suddenly fall in love now? Likewise, if they’ve been married all this time then they can hardly say they’ve never felt like this before etc. There are ways to plot round this (psychological committment problem, sad loooong marriage, whatever) but there are less options and this makes it harder to write an original and entertaining romance. Older people are, as I suspected as a teenager, sensible and boooring for the most part. Real life is tedious enough without it creeping into escapist literature.

    Reply
  64. I agree with the thought that a young self-image makes it easier to identify with younger protagonists. Its a stage the whole audience has gone through, whereas most people don’t yet know what it is like to be say 50, and find it hard to empathise or be interested.
    However, what no one here has mentioned yet (I think!) is the first thing I think when considering an older single person – Why are they still single? Whats wrong with them? I can’t honestly believe they’ve spent all that time waiting for “the one”, in which case why do they suddenly fall in love now? Likewise, if they’ve been married all this time then they can hardly say they’ve never felt like this before etc. There are ways to plot round this (psychological committment problem, sad loooong marriage, whatever) but there are less options and this makes it harder to write an original and entertaining romance. Older people are, as I suspected as a teenager, sensible and boooring for the most part. Real life is tedious enough without it creeping into escapist literature.

    Reply
  65. I agree with the thought that a young self-image makes it easier to identify with younger protagonists. Its a stage the whole audience has gone through, whereas most people don’t yet know what it is like to be say 50, and find it hard to empathise or be interested.
    However, what no one here has mentioned yet (I think!) is the first thing I think when considering an older single person – Why are they still single? Whats wrong with them? I can’t honestly believe they’ve spent all that time waiting for “the one”, in which case why do they suddenly fall in love now? Likewise, if they’ve been married all this time then they can hardly say they’ve never felt like this before etc. There are ways to plot round this (psychological committment problem, sad loooong marriage, whatever) but there are less options and this makes it harder to write an original and entertaining romance. Older people are, as I suspected as a teenager, sensible and boooring for the most part. Real life is tedious enough without it creeping into escapist literature.

    Reply
  66. Francois! ARE they? Sensible and boring? Yikes…guess I need to grow up…as well as growing old??
    You know – the stats are showing more and more that there are tons of women who are NOT getting married or even having serious romantic relationships until they’re in the mid-30s….and are feeling the lack of it. Lots being written on whether the pursuit of professional careers is what is feeding this, or something else…
    But I have quite a number of friends who are smart, sexy, and emotionally well-adjusted who would like to be in a serious romantic relationship but it has just never happened. I really don’t think there’s anything wrong with them….. and perhaps this is a new target market for romance writers?? They certainly like to believe that it could still happen for them… and I think that reading about only very youthful heroines would tend to stifle that hope….

    Reply
  67. Francois! ARE they? Sensible and boring? Yikes…guess I need to grow up…as well as growing old??
    You know – the stats are showing more and more that there are tons of women who are NOT getting married or even having serious romantic relationships until they’re in the mid-30s….and are feeling the lack of it. Lots being written on whether the pursuit of professional careers is what is feeding this, or something else…
    But I have quite a number of friends who are smart, sexy, and emotionally well-adjusted who would like to be in a serious romantic relationship but it has just never happened. I really don’t think there’s anything wrong with them….. and perhaps this is a new target market for romance writers?? They certainly like to believe that it could still happen for them… and I think that reading about only very youthful heroines would tend to stifle that hope….

    Reply
  68. Francois! ARE they? Sensible and boring? Yikes…guess I need to grow up…as well as growing old??
    You know – the stats are showing more and more that there are tons of women who are NOT getting married or even having serious romantic relationships until they’re in the mid-30s….and are feeling the lack of it. Lots being written on whether the pursuit of professional careers is what is feeding this, or something else…
    But I have quite a number of friends who are smart, sexy, and emotionally well-adjusted who would like to be in a serious romantic relationship but it has just never happened. I really don’t think there’s anything wrong with them….. and perhaps this is a new target market for romance writers?? They certainly like to believe that it could still happen for them… and I think that reading about only very youthful heroines would tend to stifle that hope….

    Reply
  69. Francois! ARE they? Sensible and boring? Yikes…guess I need to grow up…as well as growing old??
    You know – the stats are showing more and more that there are tons of women who are NOT getting married or even having serious romantic relationships until they’re in the mid-30s….and are feeling the lack of it. Lots being written on whether the pursuit of professional careers is what is feeding this, or something else…
    But I have quite a number of friends who are smart, sexy, and emotionally well-adjusted who would like to be in a serious romantic relationship but it has just never happened. I really don’t think there’s anything wrong with them….. and perhaps this is a new target market for romance writers?? They certainly like to believe that it could still happen for them… and I think that reading about only very youthful heroines would tend to stifle that hope….

    Reply
  70. Francois! ARE they? Sensible and boring? Yikes…guess I need to grow up…as well as growing old??
    You know – the stats are showing more and more that there are tons of women who are NOT getting married or even having serious romantic relationships until they’re in the mid-30s….and are feeling the lack of it. Lots being written on whether the pursuit of professional careers is what is feeding this, or something else…
    But I have quite a number of friends who are smart, sexy, and emotionally well-adjusted who would like to be in a serious romantic relationship but it has just never happened. I really don’t think there’s anything wrong with them….. and perhaps this is a new target market for romance writers?? They certainly like to believe that it could still happen for them… and I think that reading about only very youthful heroines would tend to stifle that hope….

    Reply
  71. I know I’m very late to the discussion, but my excuse is good: I was in Argentina visiting my son who is spending part of his junior year studying in Buenos Aires. The visit does tie in peripherally to the topic, as BA is full of 20-somethings living, working, and traveling there, so the city has lots of youthful energy. As to the core of the topic, however, I have to respectfully disagree with Jo and RevMelinda, as I find the underlying message of the older rake/young virgin ANTIromantic. The implication is that once women hit 20 they have passed their sell-by date and can’t rescue/reform/heal/enchant/whatever it is the hero needs or responds to. I certainly remember being a teenager, but I also remember becoming wiser and feeling more comfortable in my own skin as I advanced through my 20’s. As a result I felt and became more attractive to others because I was no longer the bundle of self-conscious nerve ends I’d been when younger. While it’s unfair to project my own maturation process onto others, it’s certainly one reason I’ve loved books such as those by the Wench’s own Ms. Chase, whose heroines are often in their late 20s. Rules, however, are made to be broken, and I’ve loved some books with teenage H/H as well as ones with significantly older ones, but no matter how old they are, my ideal H/H are close to each other in age.

    Reply
  72. I know I’m very late to the discussion, but my excuse is good: I was in Argentina visiting my son who is spending part of his junior year studying in Buenos Aires. The visit does tie in peripherally to the topic, as BA is full of 20-somethings living, working, and traveling there, so the city has lots of youthful energy. As to the core of the topic, however, I have to respectfully disagree with Jo and RevMelinda, as I find the underlying message of the older rake/young virgin ANTIromantic. The implication is that once women hit 20 they have passed their sell-by date and can’t rescue/reform/heal/enchant/whatever it is the hero needs or responds to. I certainly remember being a teenager, but I also remember becoming wiser and feeling more comfortable in my own skin as I advanced through my 20’s. As a result I felt and became more attractive to others because I was no longer the bundle of self-conscious nerve ends I’d been when younger. While it’s unfair to project my own maturation process onto others, it’s certainly one reason I’ve loved books such as those by the Wench’s own Ms. Chase, whose heroines are often in their late 20s. Rules, however, are made to be broken, and I’ve loved some books with teenage H/H as well as ones with significantly older ones, but no matter how old they are, my ideal H/H are close to each other in age.

    Reply
  73. I know I’m very late to the discussion, but my excuse is good: I was in Argentina visiting my son who is spending part of his junior year studying in Buenos Aires. The visit does tie in peripherally to the topic, as BA is full of 20-somethings living, working, and traveling there, so the city has lots of youthful energy. As to the core of the topic, however, I have to respectfully disagree with Jo and RevMelinda, as I find the underlying message of the older rake/young virgin ANTIromantic. The implication is that once women hit 20 they have passed their sell-by date and can’t rescue/reform/heal/enchant/whatever it is the hero needs or responds to. I certainly remember being a teenager, but I also remember becoming wiser and feeling more comfortable in my own skin as I advanced through my 20’s. As a result I felt and became more attractive to others because I was no longer the bundle of self-conscious nerve ends I’d been when younger. While it’s unfair to project my own maturation process onto others, it’s certainly one reason I’ve loved books such as those by the Wench’s own Ms. Chase, whose heroines are often in their late 20s. Rules, however, are made to be broken, and I’ve loved some books with teenage H/H as well as ones with significantly older ones, but no matter how old they are, my ideal H/H are close to each other in age.

    Reply
  74. I know I’m very late to the discussion, but my excuse is good: I was in Argentina visiting my son who is spending part of his junior year studying in Buenos Aires. The visit does tie in peripherally to the topic, as BA is full of 20-somethings living, working, and traveling there, so the city has lots of youthful energy. As to the core of the topic, however, I have to respectfully disagree with Jo and RevMelinda, as I find the underlying message of the older rake/young virgin ANTIromantic. The implication is that once women hit 20 they have passed their sell-by date and can’t rescue/reform/heal/enchant/whatever it is the hero needs or responds to. I certainly remember being a teenager, but I also remember becoming wiser and feeling more comfortable in my own skin as I advanced through my 20’s. As a result I felt and became more attractive to others because I was no longer the bundle of self-conscious nerve ends I’d been when younger. While it’s unfair to project my own maturation process onto others, it’s certainly one reason I’ve loved books such as those by the Wench’s own Ms. Chase, whose heroines are often in their late 20s. Rules, however, are made to be broken, and I’ve loved some books with teenage H/H as well as ones with significantly older ones, but no matter how old they are, my ideal H/H are close to each other in age.

    Reply
  75. I know I’m very late to the discussion, but my excuse is good: I was in Argentina visiting my son who is spending part of his junior year studying in Buenos Aires. The visit does tie in peripherally to the topic, as BA is full of 20-somethings living, working, and traveling there, so the city has lots of youthful energy. As to the core of the topic, however, I have to respectfully disagree with Jo and RevMelinda, as I find the underlying message of the older rake/young virgin ANTIromantic. The implication is that once women hit 20 they have passed their sell-by date and can’t rescue/reform/heal/enchant/whatever it is the hero needs or responds to. I certainly remember being a teenager, but I also remember becoming wiser and feeling more comfortable in my own skin as I advanced through my 20’s. As a result I felt and became more attractive to others because I was no longer the bundle of self-conscious nerve ends I’d been when younger. While it’s unfair to project my own maturation process onto others, it’s certainly one reason I’ve loved books such as those by the Wench’s own Ms. Chase, whose heroines are often in their late 20s. Rules, however, are made to be broken, and I’ve loved some books with teenage H/H as well as ones with significantly older ones, but no matter how old they are, my ideal H/H are close to each other in age.

    Reply
  76. Edith!!! Love your stories dearly! I’m too old to write because I want to read them all, LOL. I never had the interest to write one, I’m going to leave that to you all here.
    I know most I read have been stories of them being older in the time period standards, in other words them being ‘off the shelf’ Rarely read any teenager ages that most I heard were to be wed at, except for some historical fiction (heard about yours, congrats). One I do remember reading too is a Julie Beard one with a older heroine and that was the first time I read one that was older (Duchess In Love, I think). I like all different characters and for the author to surprise me with their stories.

    Reply
  77. Edith!!! Love your stories dearly! I’m too old to write because I want to read them all, LOL. I never had the interest to write one, I’m going to leave that to you all here.
    I know most I read have been stories of them being older in the time period standards, in other words them being ‘off the shelf’ Rarely read any teenager ages that most I heard were to be wed at, except for some historical fiction (heard about yours, congrats). One I do remember reading too is a Julie Beard one with a older heroine and that was the first time I read one that was older (Duchess In Love, I think). I like all different characters and for the author to surprise me with their stories.

    Reply
  78. Edith!!! Love your stories dearly! I’m too old to write because I want to read them all, LOL. I never had the interest to write one, I’m going to leave that to you all here.
    I know most I read have been stories of them being older in the time period standards, in other words them being ‘off the shelf’ Rarely read any teenager ages that most I heard were to be wed at, except for some historical fiction (heard about yours, congrats). One I do remember reading too is a Julie Beard one with a older heroine and that was the first time I read one that was older (Duchess In Love, I think). I like all different characters and for the author to surprise me with their stories.

    Reply
  79. Edith!!! Love your stories dearly! I’m too old to write because I want to read them all, LOL. I never had the interest to write one, I’m going to leave that to you all here.
    I know most I read have been stories of them being older in the time period standards, in other words them being ‘off the shelf’ Rarely read any teenager ages that most I heard were to be wed at, except for some historical fiction (heard about yours, congrats). One I do remember reading too is a Julie Beard one with a older heroine and that was the first time I read one that was older (Duchess In Love, I think). I like all different characters and for the author to surprise me with their stories.

    Reply
  80. Edith!!! Love your stories dearly! I’m too old to write because I want to read them all, LOL. I never had the interest to write one, I’m going to leave that to you all here.
    I know most I read have been stories of them being older in the time period standards, in other words them being ‘off the shelf’ Rarely read any teenager ages that most I heard were to be wed at, except for some historical fiction (heard about yours, congrats). One I do remember reading too is a Julie Beard one with a older heroine and that was the first time I read one that was older (Duchess In Love, I think). I like all different characters and for the author to surprise me with their stories.

    Reply

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