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Older Man/Younger Woman Romance?

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Initial post: Oct 4, 2007 2:24:32 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 4, 2007 1:35:17 PM PDT
Magelet says:
Does anyone have any recs for a May/December romance where the hero is older than the heroine? (Preferably at least ten years older).

ETA: Thanks for all the replies so far! Yes, that probably wasn't the most clear question, particularly when it was rare to find a M&B book pre-1990 where the heroine wasn't at least ten years younger, you're right. Ideally, I'd like a May/December romance where the age is actually an issue. Meaning that one of them brings it up at least once as a legitimate concern, and preferably it's a major source of conflict in the novel (in which case, the age difference usually has to be around fifteen years +, I've noticed). I'm not too concerned about the age range, although probably a heroine in her twenties or thirties.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2007 4:52:19 AM PDT
J. Alexander says:
One of my all time favorites "Years" by LaVyrle Spencer fits your preferences. She is 18, he is 34 and is truly poignant love story. The heroine Linnea is a first year school teacher who has come to rural Dakotas. Teddy is a widower with a teenage son in whose home she boards during the school year.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2007 5:12:22 AM PDT
K. Wilson says:
Aren't they ALL that way? :)

Seriously, are you looking for a specific age range on one or the other? Like a 50 year old man and a 35 year old woman? Otherwise, it seems most romance books pair an older man--ten years does seem to be the benchmark--with a younger woman.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2007 8:26:40 AM PDT
Tracy Vest says:
Agree with K. Wilson - it's pretty easy finding May/December romances, especially with specific authors like Diana Palmer and older novels by Sandra Brown and Linda Howard.

My favorite older man/younger woman novel is "Pushing 30" by Whitney Gaskell. A 29 year old lawyer who'd rather be an artist meets a sexy 53 year old divorced newscaster when they are out walking their dogs (it's a hilarious first meeting). It's probably considered chicklit though it's a pretty romantic tale, and really goes into depth of the age difference instead of glossing over it like most do.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2007 8:37:23 AM PDT
I agree with K. Wilson too if you pick up any historcal romance most are going to be like that with a 18 to 19 pairing up with a 29 to 30 b/c he is now ready to make his mama proud and get married.

My fav in this type of is a historcal western by Sandra Brown called Another Dawn its about this 18 year old woman left at the alter and she finds comfort in her father's old friend who is 37 or 38.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2007 3:39:57 PM PDT
Amy Lane says:
'Emma' by Jane Austin. *sigh*

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2007 3:46:49 PM PDT
The Admiral's Bride by Suzanne Brockmann.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2007 3:54:51 PM PDT
Weezie says:
Someone mentioned Diana Palmer. Just about all the heros and heroines have at least a ten year age difference. Normally the heroine is anywhere from 18 to mid/late twenties and the hero is almost always in his mid/late thirties. Most of the conflict in her books centers around the age difference (the hero thinks the heroine is too young/immature for him or he is too old for her). Diana Palmer has written over 75 books (most are contemporary) so you have tons to choose from. Many are Harlequin series books so they are quick reads. I would check out her website and Amazon reviews/star ratings for help.
I like all her books overall, especially the Hart brothers' books (Callaghan's Bride, Beloved, A Man Of Means, Lionhearted). Also try her Soldier Of Fortune series (Soldier Of Fortune, The Tender Stranger, Enamored, Mercenary's Woman, The Winter Soldier).

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2007 5:03:01 PM PDT
Daisiemae says:
There is a book called "Temptations Touch" by Linda Anderson. The story is set in the mid to late 1800's. Dan is a Major in the army, and has watched Gabrielle grow up (she's the captains daughter). She is 17 and he is in his mid 30's. He has to watch over her while the captain is gone, and is NOT happy about it at all. He thinks she is immature and reckless and she definately acts this way throughout the book, but the more he is around her, and she him they start having feelings for one another. She isn't worried about the age difference, but he is and worries about it throughout the book. In the end...well it all works out.
It's a good book, you should try it.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 9, 2007 2:26:14 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 10, 2007 1:22:14 AM PST


In reply to an earlier post on Nov 9, 2007 2:51:19 AM PST
Nerdy Woman says:
FORBIDDEN PASSION by Helen R. Myers (1992, Silhouette Romance 908, ISBN 0373089082). This is a classic Silhouette Romance. Rated PG. But it is such a great story and so well told, a sex scene would have been inappropriate and gratuitous.

He's a writer; she's his publisher's daughter. There's 20 years difference in their ages. When she's 18, he promises her father that he will never allow their friendship to be anything more than platonic...


"For years Ceara Lowell had loved Vincent Dante with all her heart, but Vincent had treated her like the child she no longer was. It was only now that Ceara discovered why Vincent had acted as he had... why he'd never trusted the fragile bonds that held them together... and yet apart...

Vincent had wanted Ceara from the first moment he saw her. He'd loved her with all the passion and longing hidden deep in his tortured soul. But he knew that his touch would destroy her innocence and the bright joy she radiated when he was near. Vincent dared not claim Ceara, but he would do anything for her... anything but leave her alone..."
Other excellent older man stories:

DANCLER'S WOMAN - Mary Lynn Baxter (1993, Silhouette Desire 822, ISBN 0373058225) He's not only the guardian of her trust fund, he's her stepbrother.

THE MAN AT IVY BRIDGE - Suzanne Forster (1987, Silhouette Desire 327, ISBN 0373053274) She was just a child when she saw him in the woods at the family estate the night her sister disappeared. Years later, she thought she recognized him in a seaport town in Maine.

THE SURPRISE OF HIS LIFE - Karen Keast (1991 - Silhouette Special Edition 688, ISBN 0373096887) He's her father's business partner, her godfather, and a widower. After years away, she returns home to deal with her parents' divorce.

CHEROKEE MARRIAGE DARE - Sheri Whitefeather (2002 - Silhouette Desire 1478, ISBN 0373764782, Final book in 12-book series "Dynasties: The Connellys" - the entire series is good and can usually be bought on eBay as a single lot). He's a private investigator working for her father; she's a college student. He's about 18 years older and cynical (of course), but she promises: "I'll heal your heart, then you'll have to marry me."

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 9, 2007 10:00:11 PM PST
Magelet says:
I'll try to find a copy, thank you!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 9, 2007 10:00:56 PM PST
Magelet says:
I think you might be my favourite person today! :) With the exception of the Karen Keast novel, which I loved, I haven't read any of these. Thank you very much.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2008 8:08:09 PM PST
A.M.B. says:
Beast by Judith Ivory: late 18th century, he's 40ish, she's 18, full length novel
His Mistress's Secret by Alison Fraser: contemporary, he's 38, she's 23, Harlequin (but actually thoughtful and fleshed out, and not "just for a Harlequin" which are for the most part generally not that great; actually seems out of place in their line)
In any case, age plays a conflict role in both books. Actually, a lot of Alison Fraser's books. Bride Required has an even larger age difference (34 to 18, with it having a huge impact on their relationship (or lack of), but don't know if that's too great a difference for you)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2008 9:15:51 PM PST
Kelly S. says:
I'm surprised no one mentioned Elizabeth Lowell - I'd say more than half of her books have the May/December thing going on. I'm a huge fan of hers, particularly her historical westerns (the "Only" series) and contemporary romances (not so much the romantic suspense, though).

My favorite is the contemporary western series featuring the McKenzie/Blackthorn family (Fire & Ice, Outlaw, Granite Man and Warrior). You should check out Fire & Ice first...not only is it the first book in the series, but the hero Luke is the heroine Carla's brother's best friend of years and years (i.e. he noticed her at 14 "but was decent enough to keep his hands in his pockets"; refers to her as "schoolgirl" and keeps bringing up the issue that she's too young for just about everything). Granite Man has a similar issue, and I want to say that in Elizabeth Lowell's "Only" series, "Only You" has the same issue.

I agree with everyone else about Diana Palmer's books. She more formulaic than most romance writers, and she loves the 10+ year age difference. It's in probably 90% of her books.

Hope that helps!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2008 11:57:48 PM PST
Magelet says:
Thank you very much! I actually own and love Bride Required (you're right, Alison Fraser is one of the better Harlequin writers), so I'll definitely check out His Mistress's Secret. Looks like they have a copy at the public library, for once! :)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2008 12:01:03 AM PST
Magelet says:
Thanks very much! :) I'm just logging onto the public library catalogue as I type, to see if they have the Elizabeth Lowell books.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2008 4:09:35 PM PST
MVA says:
I do!
Larry Kimport's A SMALL HARVEST OF PRETTY DAYS. Hank's twenty years older than Clara, and maybe even "Huck Finn" at fifty to boot.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2008 4:30:51 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 17, 2008 4:32:05 PM PST
Another good May/December romance is THESE OLD SHADES by Georgette Heyer. 20 years age difference. The heroine pretends to be a young boy and the hero, who's a feared and powerful Duke, hires her to be his page... I'm not doing the story justice. It's really good. Set in Georgian England

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2008 5:03:42 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 17, 2008 5:15:13 PM PST
A.M.B. says:
Oh, good! I really like her books. Who else is going to write about ex-convict/rock star/runaway/grocery clerk heroines paired with doctor/professor/silver spoon trust fund heroes :)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2008 7:30:28 PM PST
Magelet says:
Picked it up from the library and will look forward to reading it over the weekend! Has she written any others on a similar theme, do you know?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2008 7:31:27 PM PST
Magelet says:
I absolutely love These Old Shades. :) It's my favourite Heyer novel and I re-read it at least once a year. It may be time to pull it out again, so thanks for the reminder!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2008 7:31:48 PM PST
Magelet says:
Great! Thank you. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2008 8:28:18 PM PST
Sunset says:
Madeline Baker's LAKOTA RENEGADE is really good. It is a historical romance, he is a gun slinger-hired killer, I think 36 and she is the daughter of a saloon harlott, she is like 15 0r 16. Anyways he saves her from being raped by these thugs and she brings him cookies, innocent sweet. Anyways he falls for her but his age is a major concern for him, he is also worried because he is part Indian and a hired killer and her white trash.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 18, 2008 5:39:25 PM PST
A.M.B. says:
I think the only other one where the age difference makes the hero hesitate initially about getting involved is The Boss's Secret Mistress (I really hate those Harlequin titles!); she's 26, he's 41. Another one of her books, Running Wild, actually has the heroine as the hero's student at a university. She's in a class he teaches. That one was not a keeper for me, although it was still worth reading (maybe your library will have this one, too).
If you really like the Bride Required type story, you may look at Anne Rice's book Belinda. It's about a 44 year old children's book illustrator and a 16 year old girl still in high school. It's in general fiction, but I really think it's more of a non-traditional romance. If it weren't for the controversy regarding the age difference, I think it could have gone either way, general fiction/romance. Anyway, it's something for you to check out, if you're interested. Good luck!
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Discussion in:  Romance forum
Participants:  21
Total posts:  31
Initial post:  Oct 4, 2007
Latest post:  Apr 16, 2008

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