Love can find you at any age! In this list, AAR Loves romance novels starring characters who are older than the norm for the genre. Here are some Seasoned Romances we hope you like as much as we did!

Late Fall by Noelle Adams

With two main characters in their seventies, this romance is a departure from Adams’s  usual contemporary romances. Two co-workers find themselves together again in a nursing home. They didn’t get along when they worked together, but fate has other plans for them now. It’s a bittersweet depiction of the realities of getting old, tempered with the warm feelings of new love.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

In Service series by Sandra Antonelli – At Your Service, Forever in Your Service

James Bond meets Upstairs Downstairs in this terrific series of romantic suspense novels (a third is on the way) about a forty-something spy and his fifty-something (female) butler – who also happens to be his landlady.  These are fast-paced, witty, smart stories (with a fairly high body count, so not for the squeamish!) that play with gender stereotypes (Kitt is the romantic, Mae the pragmatist, for example), and the relationship that develops between the two leads is one based on mutual admiration, respect and liking as well as sexual attraction. Author Sandra Antonelli is in the vanguard of authors waving the flag for bringing more mature characters into mainstream romance and showing that love, sex and romance are not just the province of all those wrinkle-free twenty-somethings!

Buy the series at Amazon

Someone to Care by Mary Balogh

Forty-two-year-old Viola Kinglsey met Marcel Lamar years earlier when Viola was a young mother and Marcel was newly widowed. They didn’t give into temptation then but now, Viola is a widow and they meet unexpectedly at an inn. Deciding to leave their responsibilities and have a temporary romantic adventure together, they take off without a word to their families. As they fall in love, they have to work through the challenges of bringing their families together to create something new.

(Note: The forthcoming Someone to Remember (due to be published in November 2019) will feature a couple in their fifties.)

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Anyone but You by Jennifer Crusie

Nina Askew is taking charge of her forties by leaving her stifling marriage, dating her thirty-something physician neighbor Alex, and adopting a depressed basset hound named Fred. This book is a funny, upbeat celebration of Nina’s new beginning. Crusie has another book featuring a forty-something heroine, Fast Women, but it has a more caustic tone.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Teach Me by Olivia Dade

Teach Me features two teachers who are in the prime of both their lives and their careers, but who get off on the wrong foot when an administrator gives Rose’s favorite class to Martin. The story understands that with time comes self-knowledge, and Rose and Martin know what they can and can’t compromise on in a relationship. Bonus points for a well-written plus-size heroine!

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

The Duke of Olympia Meets his Match by Juliana Gray

As our review says: “This is a terrific novella in many ways, not least of which is the fact that Ms Gray has taken a seventy-four year-old man and made him convincingly into both a dashing hero and a romantic lead.”  The powerful and influential Duke of Olympia is good-looking and well-built, perhaps more of a silver lion than a silver fox, and there’s no problem picturing him as an attractive, vital man.  He does indeed meet his match, in the form of fifty-year-old widow Penelope Schuyler (a nice shout-out to some of the characters in the books of Ms. Gray’s alter-ego, Beatriz Williams), as they hunt down a dangerous French agent while on an ocean crossing.  Their love story is quite sweetly romantic but nonetheless conveys that age is no bar to romance or passion.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory

This novel isn’t available until October, but we are super excited for it. Vivian Forest, the mother of a make-up artist and stylist, accompanies her daughter to London, where the daughter is styling a member of the British Royal Family. While there, she encounters the Queen’s private secretary, Malcolm Hudson, and silver sparks fly.

Pre-order from: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Confessions of the World’s Oldest Shotgun Bride by Gail Hart

Kathryn St. John, a driven businesswoman, has a one-night stand with a younger man at a Caribbean resort. Steve Tyler, an Air Force officer, grew up next door to Kathryn and has had a crush on her for years, and he’s not about to give up after just one night – especially when Kathryn finds herself accidentally pregnant. This is a well-written story that reverses some of the expected roles – the older, successful businessperson here is the heroine – and features characters with the maturity to know what they want.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

This Time Forever series by Kelly Jensen – Building Forever, Renewing Forever, Chasing Forever

With one exception, the protagonists in these books are all well into their forties or fifties (the exception is Charlie in Building Forever, who is thirty-seven). The theme common throughout the series is one of second chances; in Building Forever, both men have been in long-term relationships that didn’t end well – Charlie because his wife died, Simon because he and his partner just weren’t working any more (and Simon had had enough of Brian’s cheating). Renewing Forever sees childhood friends Frank and Tom finding each other again after their lives went in completely different directions and in Chasing Forever, Simon’s former partner Brian is forced to deal with the past that turned him into an emotionally closed-off guy whose good-looks and outward confidence hides deep insecurities.  His nephew arrives on his doorstep (well, on his sofa, actually) having been thrown out of his home after he told his family he was gay, and Brian has no idea how to parent a traumatised teen… but fortunately, the new man in his life, history teacher Mal may be able to help.  This one is a lovely “found family” story as well as a tender, sensual romance.

This series also appeared in our list of favourite romances that included well-drawn parental/familial relationships

Buy the series at: Amazon

John and Jackie by TJ Klune

Have tissues at the ready. John and Jackie are two men in their eighties who have known each other since they were twelve. The prologue reads “This little story is for those who have ever loved with their whole hearts.” There are few stories that celebrate love in old age, and this one is unashamedly sentimental and beautiful; an A+ for our reviewer.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

The Bellator Saga by Cecilia London

One of the best dynamics in this top-notch dystopia-style series is that Caroline and Jack are well into adulthood when they meet. They are comfortable in their own skins – there’s no Sandy/Danny Zucko changing for each other here – but come to learn that they’re stronger versions of themselves with each other.

Our reviewer says, “The Bellator Saga is laminated on my top series of all time. If you’re in the mood for super hot silver fox sex, plus a plot that will knock your socks off, get this series and thank me later.”

Buy the series at Amazon

Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen by Lois McMaster Bujold

This book is best read in order with the rest of the Vorkosigan books, because even to tell you the heroine’s identity is a spoiler for characters early in the series. Because this is a science fiction setting, characters are older without being identical to their ages in our Earth timeline: the seventy-something heroine is physically more like a forty-something, and fertility assistive technology means that reproduction is a major theme in the book. Universal honest engagement with older joints and silvering hair, plus the heroine’s quest for a meaningful “second act,” resonate just as they would on Earth. There is also positive representation of bisexuality in a main character.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Mrs Martin’s Incomparable Adventure by Courtney Milan

Bertrice Martin, (seventy-three), is a lonely, rich widow and most of her friends are gone. Violetta is an impoverished, unmarried sixty-nine year old who poses as a landlord and asks Bertrice to pay the money Bertrice’s nephew owes. The two agree to oust the nephew by whatever means necessary. What follows is a crazy adventure and lots of man-bashing. If a little lacking in romance, this novella is refreshing as an older protagonists/lesbian love story.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Midlife Crisis by Audra North

Audra North captures a myriad of emotions in a captivating and unforgettable romance. This story of two older men, one widowed and one recently separated from a long relationship, is a thoughtful, sweet romance that examines what it’s like to fall in love after fifty. It’s also a story about courage, especially for one man who is ready to come out of the closet.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Beyond Duty by SJD Peterson
After twenty-two years spent hiding their real relationship, two career marines are beset with uncertainty as retirement nears. Both in their early forties, Gunny and Mac must rely on their years of friendship and love to get them over the bridge and into a life they will be as happy living as they have the previous decades. They have concerns about the impact their coming out will have on themselves and everyone near and dear to them. SJD Peterson writes a compelling and sexy romance exploring a long term committed relationship with the ups and downs any couple might face in the wake of big changes, but with the added tensions of having kept some consequential secrets.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Drive by Teresa Noelle Roberts

Neil Callahan, a police officer, wants to test-drive the Mustang left by Suzanne Mayhew’s deceased husband, but he finds Suzanne herself even more interesting – and in danger, because of her husband’s top-secret IT work. The suspense plot here is just about adequate, but the sex scenes are terrific. If you’re looking for a fortysomething woman enjoying explicitly depicted submission with a younger man, this is the novel for you.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson

This is romance between, on the surface, two completely different people. She’s Muslim, from the North of England, lower middle class, and runs a shop. He’s the offspring of a British Empire officer, a retired army major, is comfortably middle class and occupies a genteel place in village society. And yet they share a love of Kipling, poetry, long walks, have had spouses who’ve passed away, and speak English and Urdu. She’s Pakistani-British born in England; he’s Caucasian-British born in Lahore, Pakistan. They may be in their late fifties or even early sixties, but there’s definitely a strong attraction there — this is not a relationship of companionship!

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Love Game by Maggie Wells

Two athletes-turned-coaches (Kate, a women’s basketball coach, and Danny, a football coach) are drawn to each other despite their teams’ budget rivalries. This was one of our reviewers’s Top 10 reads for 2018.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

More Heat Than the Sun series by John Wiltshire

Nikolas is nearing fifty and Ben is in his thirties when they first meet, but the series covers a decade, so the characters age. It encompasses murders, mysteries, morals, power, friendship, family and an incredible, intense love story. Our reviewer calls it “One of my fave series ever! Crossing fingers book nine will be out this year!”

Buy the series at: Amazon

Silver Belles anthology by Sarah M. Anderson, Yasmin Galenorn, Ros Clarke, Laura K. Curtis, Suleikha Snyder

This is a holiday anthology of short stories where not only are all the protagonists over forty, but the holidays are diverse as well. Many of the characters have children but are now empty nesters, and so are at the perfect moment in their lives for a happy-for-now joyful romance.

Please note that this title is only available as a used paperback.  Yasmine Galenorn’s story, The Longest Night is available separately in eFormats.

Buy it at: Amazon

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Interested in finding more books AAR Loves..?

Check out these posts:

Yes We Can! Our Favourite Activist Heroines

Romances featuring Refugee Heroines

Romancing it Royally – Some of our favourite royal romances

AAR Loves… Historical Romances featuring scientist heroines

AAR Loves… Romances featuring music and musicians

AAR Loves… Romances featuring realistic parent/child relationships

AAR Loves… Partners to Lovers romances – Part One (Military, law enforcement etc.)

AAR Loves… Partners to Lovers romances – Part Two

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