On romance shelves there is no shortage of young misses and young bucks dancing and flirting, what is rare to see is older couples finding love. Whether it is Penny Watson, Kristen Ashley or Victoria Dahl, I tend to drop everything for authors whose books feature older MCs. In part it is because the older I get the less I can relate to romantic protagonists in their twenties or early thirties who have more in common with my children than with myself. It is such a fantastic thing to find older MCs in romance, people who have lived a little, maybe have a bit of baggage and have been banged around by life a bit, protagonists whose struggles are paying the mortgage, dealing with their teen children and/or ageing parents and whose bodies might be a little softer and rounder, because it is to feel seen. Seasoned romance extends the hopeful promise of companionship and passion to all, not just the young.
What are you favorite romances featuring older MC's? Who are your favorite older MCs? Do you love age-gap romances?
The RomBkLove team loves older MCs, and I grateful for Ellie, Corey and Mary Lynne for putting together the list below. We hope you find new books and authors to try:
Both main characters are older
A Seditious Affair by KJ Charles is the second book in her historical m/m series Society of Gentlemen, which should be read in order. It’s an amazing, very emotionally intense BDSM romance between a seditious publisher and a man of the law. It’s fraught with tension and full of twists and turns till the very end, which brings the main characters a hard-won, at times seemingly impossible HEA.[m/m, historical] (Rep: Gay MC, Bi MC) (Ellie)
Autumn by Cole McCade is a contemporary m/m romance, part of the Crow City series, but it can be read as standalone. It features two older main characters, one of whom is disabled and just discovered he is bi, the other a gentle, bit eccentric man who has been in love with his ex brother-in-law forever. [m/m, contemporary, AOC] (Rep: Bi MC, Gay MC, Queer Author) (Ellie)
Dear Mona Lisa... by Al Steward and Claire Davis ia a contemporary m/m romance with two older MCs. One of them has synesthesia (which the first time I read something like this). It's a very moving and emotional story told in a unique voice [m/m, contemporary]. (Ellie)
Noelle Adams has written several books featuring older protagonists. In Christmas at Eden Manor, she has a May/December leading couple. That he’s significantly older than her is tackled head-on, and Adams matter-of-factly presents the differences in their sex life from a younger couple. And in Late Fall, Ellie and Dave are in their 70s. Work rivals in their professional days, they reconnect (and not joyously) when they both move into an assisted living center. Late Fall touches on all the aches and pains and hopes and satisfactions of being elderly--and weaves into that a pretty magical love story. (m/f contemporary) (Mary Lynne)
Mary Balogh is an author who’s comfortable writing older leading couples. In A Counterfeit Betrothal, Marc and Olivia are married yet have been estranged for 15 years. At 40 and 36, it seems their separation will continue for a long time. That is, until their daughter decides to fake a betrothal with a dear friend to motivate them to contact one another. Balogh contrasts the impetuosity and vivacity of the young couple with the bitterness and poignancy of an older couple moving from hate back to love. And in Only Beloved, George, the Duke of Stanbrook, is a widower nearing 50 who finds a second chance at love with Dora, the sister of one of his friend’s wives who is herself almost 40. Balogh loves topics like lost chances, overcoming missed opportunities, and finding love at any age. (m/f historical) (Mary Lynne)
Talia walks into her new job as assistant to police community liaison to discover that her new boss is Eve the one woman who had ever made spark with awareness. Talia is starting over after her husband’s sudden death and the last thing she expects is the undeniable and inconvenient attraction she feels for Eve. Twice in a Lifetime by Jodie Griffin is the rare office romance that worked for me on every level. Griffin’s two heroines have seen a lot in their 50+ years, and their romance is emotional, bittersweet and tinged with the knowledge of loss and grief. I loved seeing Talia and Eve trying to navigate the trickiness of developing a personal relationship and giving it time to grow before coming out to work and friends. I loved the way Griffin portrayed these women as mother and sexual beings, they have complicated loving relationships with their grown or nearly grown children and are allowed to love and lust like all other adults. [f/f, contemporary] (Rep: Jewish heroine and Black heroine, Bi MCs, Bi Jewish Author) (Ana)
Fair, Bright and Terrible by Elizabeth Kingston is a second-chance at love romance paired with an arranged marriage of convenience and a revenge plot. Eluned was young and lonely, married to an absent mad crusader lord when she first fell in love with Robert. Their affair’s abrupt end, changed the course of Robert’s life and it nearly cost Eluned hers. Decades have past and Eluned participation in a Welsh revolt and her vast land-holdings make a threat to the King that must be neutralized and she is given in marriage to Robert as a reward for his family’s loyal support of the English King. It is a novel about finding a way back to love and trust after years of pain and betrayal. [m/f, historical] (Ana)
For Real by Alexis Hall is a RITA-award-winning erotic BDSM m/m romance about a young inexperienced dominant and an older, slightly jaded submissive..[m/m, contemporary] (Rep: Gay MCs, Queer author) (Ellie)
Magic Mansion by Jordan Castillo Price is a contemporary m/m romance about two magicians at a reality show. One main character is over 60, the other is around 40. There are lots of magic tricks and reality-TV competition elements in the story that make for a fun reading. There is a bit of a supernatural element in it, but ultimately it’s all about love. [m/m, contemporary] (Rep: Gay MCs) (Ellie)
Pretty Face by Lucy Parker is a fun romcom set at the London theatre scene. She is a TV series actress known for her roles of silly bombshells, he is an older, critically acclaimed stage director looking with scorn on TV productions. They are forced to work together and to everyone's surprise, including their own, they fall hard for each other. [m/f, contemporary] (Ellie)
Silver Belles is perfect for folks looking for shorter seasoned romances, as its an anthology of holiday novellas. I liked The Longest Night, but my favorite story in this collection is A Taste of Blessings by Suleikha Snyder, an age-gap m/f romance centered around Durga Puja. Complex nuanced compelling characterization and conflict, deeply drawn cultural context, great secondary characters, lovely humor, and sizzling heat and chemistry between the main characters; so much UST. [m/f, contemporary romance, AOC] (Rep: Bengali heroine. Older Bengali hero. Desi woman author.) (Corey)
A Boy Called Cin by Cecil Wilde: I adore this age-gap billionaire romance between a younger trans man artist college student and an older genderqueer tech geek billionaire for so many reasons, but especially for the way consent and sexual negotiation happen in this story, and how trans and non-binary centered it is. [m/genderqueer romance with a trans man lead, contemporary] (Rep: Bisexual genderqueer MC. Queer trans man MC. Non-binary trans author.) (Corey)
Team Phison by Chace Verity: I loved this fluffy age-gap m/m romance so much. Grumpy meets sweet, both of them super geeky and awkward and adorable and I was rooting for them so hard. This depicts a long-distance relationship where the main characters meet through a video game, and one thing leads to another, though it takes the older main character a while before he will consider the younger one a viable potential partner. He just can’t keep thinking about him though. [m/m, contemporary romance] (Rep: Bisexual MC. Gay MC. Pansexual author.) (Corey)
If you are a fan of Older MCs don't miss:
Kat's Bookthingo podcast interview with Sandra Antonelli and her list: https://sandraantonelli.com/2016/02/24/a-little-help-from-my-romance-reading-friends/
AAR List: Older Couples (needs updating, but still a great resource).
and if you are looking for community of readers who like reading older MCs:
I will make one tiny plug on Seasoned Romance day for #RomBkLove for the Seasoned Romance Facebook group. We are 1200+ members strong, reader focused, very low promo. Great resource for finding romances with characters 35+. https://t.co/ShwW3TDYDB— Karen Booth (@karenbbooth) May 17, 2018