GS v. STA: Hot Older Women

Bitchery Reader Diving Belle has requested a rather broad area for a reading request, but it’s still worth exploring since, hey, she’s got a point. Women of Age in Romance can be hard to find sometimes:

Are there any authors/series that feature heroines who aren’t 18, or even 28?  (Perhaps these woman could even be *gasp* in their 40s?  I know, I know, but it is called fiction!)

As much as I love any juicy romantic yarn, it would be refreshing to read about Kickass Wimmen who weren’t born yesterday, or even the day before!


I hear that. So, what hawt older women do you know of in good romance novels? And more over, what did you like about the book?


Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Kalen Hughes says:

    Jennifer Skully/Jasmine Haynes consistently features heroines in their 40s. I highly recommend her books, esp Sex and the Serial Killer.

  2. 2
    Beth says:

    I loved Jennifer Crusie’s “Anyone But You”, which features a 40-year-old heroine and a 30-year-old hero.  It’s smart, funny, and has a matchmaking dog.  What more could you want?

    Ha—verification is lay65.

  3. 3
    rebyj says:

    Jennifer Archer’s ” off her rocker” published by harlequin last year in the “next” series. LOVED the book, passed it on to my 72 yr old mother who loved it too.

    also, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series Claire ages from late 20’s to early 50’s as the series progresses.

    I’m 42 and love reading books with older women having some fun!!

  4. 4
    Najida says:

    I’m 50 so add me to the Cruisie and Gabaldon group.  Sadly, I find it harder and harder to relate to 20 year old smart mouthed virgins.

    Wonder why?

  5. 5
    BevQB says:

    Definitely Gabaldon’s Claire. And Robin Schone is known for her older heroines. In her latest, Scandalous Lovers, we have a 49 year old heroine. Fascinating to see how a woman of that age was viewed and treated back then.

  6. 6
    Katie says:

    PC Cast often uses older women as her heroines in her novels. Her Goddess series usually feature more experienced women (try out Goddess of Spring… sooo good). The are “paranormals” though, not historicals or anything like that.

  7. 7

    Crusie’s “Fast Women” also features a heroine & hero in their forties. Also a detective agency and a dachshund in disguise. These are good things. Most of her books have a heroine at least in her 30s.

    And if you like SF I will wave the flag for Lois McMaster Bujold’s “Shards of Honor” and “Barrayar” (published together as “Cordelia’s Honor”)—heroine is 34 and smart and strong and awesome, and they are some of my favourite books of all time.

    Looking forward to the list.

    (Code is “gave99”—sorry, nowhere close.)

  8. 8
    Nifty says:

    A recent favorite of mine was Black Rose by Nora Roberts.  The heroine, Roz, is well into her 40s…almost 50.  I loved reading about an older female character who was vibrant and sexy but had the added benefit of nearly half a century of wisdom and experience.  You go, girl!

    Black Rose is the second book in the In the Garden trilogy, along with Blue Dahlia and Red Lily.

  9. 9
    Myriantha Fatalis says:

    Once upon a time coughcirca1978cough, some romance publisher (maybe Harlequin?) had a series called “Second Chance at Love”.  All the books seemed to feature middle-aged women, nearly always with children, who after ditching or being abandoned by their jerk-ish first husbands, found happiness (and sometimes their first orgasm) with a Sensitive 80s Kinda Guy.  Who adored her kids.  But not in a creepy way.  Obviously, these books were very much a product of their time.  My 13-ish year old self thought they were rather fun and occasionally witty, but who knows what I’d think of them as an adult.

  10. 10
    Katie W. says:

    As most everyone has already said, Jennifer Crusie writes wonderful romance novels with heroines who are at least in their 30’s.

    Even though I’m still in my 20’s, I absolutely love reading her books because they are so beautifully optimistic. One of the hottest sex scenes that I’ve ever read was in “Crazy For You” and the heroine is a high school arts teacher.

    I also enjoy Susan Elizabeth Philips. They’re re-issuing a bunch of her novels with new covers, so you have to be careful to read the back cover copy because some of her older titles are a bit cheesy. But her Phoebe Somerville book, “It Had To Be You,” which set off the Chicago Stars series. The entire Chicago Stars series is pretty good, and the heroines are definitely not in their 20’s. (I think Phoebe was in her 40’s and then the rest of the heroines in the series were in their 30’s but I’m not sure.)

  11. 11
    Ann Aguirre says:

    Well, I’m not sure if late thirties qualifies as “older”, but I loved A FINE WORK OF ART by Shelby Reed. It’s an older woman / younger man story.

  12. 12

    Susan Elizabeth Phillips often has a romance between older secondary characters.  Heaven, Texas; Nobody’s Baby But Mine; This Heart of Mine; Natural Born Charmer and Kiss An Angel are a few of them.

  13. 13
    sleeky says:

    Sleeping Beauty by Judith Ivory is a rare historical with an experienced older woman (37) and younger man (30). It’s sweet and written with some flair.

    (show me the money76!)

  14. 14
    Najida says:

    I believe as the romance reading population gets older, so will the heroines (I hope).  When I was a girl, a woman of 50 had white hair, dentures, lived for her children/grandchildren and was approaching her 30+ year of marriage. 

    She wasn’t viewed as being sexual, attractive or even remotely romantic.

    Times have changed.

  15. 15
    che says:

    I think Stef Ann Holm’s Girl’s Night and Leaving Normal both featured heroines in their 40’s, or close to it. GN is a Dec/May romance, btw.

  16. 16
    che says:

    OOPS…it’s Leaving Normal, not GN that was a Dec/May romance.

    Carry on.

  17. 17
    psreader says:

    I recently read “Hot Dish” by Connie Brockaway.  The female lead, Jenn was in the 40 yo range and the male lead, Steve was around 50.

  18. 18

    In Jennifer Crusie’s TELL ME LIES, the hero is 37 and the heroine is 38. I just finished it the other day and it’s my favorite Crusie by far (and I love me some Crusie). I was going to ask y’all what you thought of this since the Bitches seem to be all about the BET ME.

    Also, doesn’t Harlequin’s current series Next feature older heroines?

  19. 19
    MaryKate says:

    Our own Nora wrote one: Black Rose. Features a heroine in her 40s.

  20. 20
    MaryKate says:

    Oh…duh. I don’t think the hero of Black Rose, Mitch, was younger though.

    Lisa Kleypas’ book Suddenly You features and older woman/younger man storyline.

  21. 21
    Sandra D says:

    I third the Black Rose recommendation, as well as Blue Dahlia which is the first book in that series. BD features a herione in her mid 30’s.

  22. 22
    Jana J. Hanson says:

    Julie Kenner’s Carpe Demon series features a 30-ish mother of 2.  The tag is (paraphrasing) Buffy if she’d gotten married.

  23. 23
    L. Violet says:

    I wrote an erotic novel with three-count-‘em-three women in their late fifties and sixties. They meet this younger man, see…

    So far no one’s bought it, but its time will come.

  24. 24

    I’m pleased to inform you that in June we will publish Hot Georgia Winds by Charlotte Boyett-Compo, which features an over-50 heroine in love with a man more than 20 years her junior. It is a wonderful, suspenseful story.

    Later in the year, we will offer an anthology of stories featuring over-40 heroines, to be edited by Robin Slick. Robin also has with Phaze two books featuring an over-40 heroine – Three Days in New York City and Another Bite of the Apple.

  25. 25
    Jo says:

    Sharon Sala wrote a book back in the 90s called “Familiar Stranger,” a part of the Year of Loving Dangerously Series by Silhouette.  The heroine is in her upper 40s if not her 50s.  The hero is a retiring spy who ran away from her when they were kids and he knew she wanted to get married.  But the heroine was one smart lady—she was pregnant, but married a man she could love who would also love her baby.  She didn’t sit around waiting for the hero.  And when he came back, after her husband died, he had to convince her that he was now worth it.  Nice story—even the daughter is realistic.

  26. 26
    Jennifer says:

    Not necessarily a genre romance novel per se, but I just finished reading Kelley Armstrong’s “No Humans Involved” and the heroine is 40-something. And has some happy boffing scenes with the werewolf she’s lusted after for years.

  27. 27
    Jeri says:

    In Lois McMaster Bujold’s Paladin of Souls (not a romance per se, but has strong romantic elements, like most of her stuff), the heroine is quite a bit past middle age.  In Fantasyland, like Historical-world, that means late 40s, early 50s. 

    The romance was understated (no hot monkey-bonk scenes) but very compelling.

  28. 28
    Thomma Lyn says:

    My romance novella, published by Chippewa Publishing, features a heroine in her early fifties.  Yeah, yeah—I’m plugging my own book, but I saw this thread and just couldn’t resist. *wink*

    Seriously, check out THY ETERNAL SUMMER if you’re so inclined—it’s received good reviews. :)

  29. 29
    eponymous says:

    Barbara Bretton’s Just Like Heaven (not named after the Cure song!) has a hero and heroine in their forties/early fifties. (She has a grown daughter.) I highly, highly recommend it.

    The hero of Janet Mullany’s Dedication (looks like a trad Regency, really really isn’t) is 44 and a grandfather (accurate for the era). The heroine is slightly younger, though not by much.

  30. 30
    Jami Alden says:

    Cindy Gerard’s most recent Body Guard book, UNDER THE WIRE, features a heroine in her mid 40’s and a hero in his early/mid 30’s.  It’s a fun romantic suspense.

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