Norty Forties, Flirty Fifties and Sexy Sixties by Amanda Ward

From Christina: Once upon a time, heroines in romance novels were always young and beautiful. Today’s readers know that physical beauty is fleeting, and that age is just a number. True beauty comes from within and extends to every generation. Amanda Ward shares a few thoughts about romancing the “older heroine”. 

Norty Forties, Flirty Fifties and Sexy Sixties

by Amanda Ward

No I’m not here to blog about cougar/sugar daddy romances.  I am here to explain why I feel the older hero/heroine gets a rough deal.

Hi, my name is Amanda Ward, and I am an author of romance novels featuring the older hero/heroine.  At the ripe old age of 42 I am a mother of seven and grandmother to one.  So in the increasing diversity of romance novels, why does it seem that my age group and above appear to be classed as ‘mum’ or dare I even go there ‘Granny’ lit?  I am physically shuddering at that term.

My reading pattern varies, however I have found recently that I have gone off reading the high end fantasy featuring the younger woman in her twenties and alpha male in his thirties.  I read so many of them as a teenager.  Nowadays these books are so that I could easily be reading about the sex life of my kids, which quite frankly does not appeal to me.

There can be so much fun to have writing about this age group and so many stories to be told.  It is a fact that women live longer than men, ergo there are a lot of women my age and above.  So where are these fabulous books?  The answer…right here in my and other like-minded women’s imaginations.  Giving the reader an ‘achievable fantasy’, adding a touch of humour to everyday situations.  The type of book that I can relate to and rave onto my friends and family about.  I admit here that I am a ‘raver’.  If I find something fabulous that really excites me, I will go on and on about it…coughs Dr Who, Sherlock and Gilmore Girls.

So this is what I write and why?  Because us ladies and gents have done it.  We’ve done the dating, and the furtive glances.  We’ve been through the marathon sex sessions till we walk like John Wayne; munching on microwaved pizza at night while rocking our baby off to sleep for the umpteenth time and singing nursery rhymes till we are hoarse.  Of course, I have my hand up here.  With a pre-teen and two under tens in the house, I am still going through the kids channel and dreadful music stage.

So now we are sitting back and perhaps giggling as our children are making their own way in the world.  Is there room for romance?  Of course there is.  Love notes in hubbies packed lunch, naughty texts, and the cryptic email asking him to get home early from work.  Or even surprising him one day in the garden with a picnic.  This is what I love to read.  A book to help us feel good about ourselves, and come away with a smile on our face.

Admittedly sometimes we aren’t in the mood for a marathon sex session.  However, romance isn’t all about the physical.  It’s about the emotional.  A cuddle when you least expect it.  Holding hands as you stroll around the supermarket.  Even a mug of your favourite hot drink last thing at night with a couple of biccies.  Taking life a little bit slower, and enjoying every second.

I have been married for eight years now to my third husband Matt.  He is ten years older than me. We met online and when he visited me he passed my house three times before realising his mistake.  The smile when he got out of his car and wiped his brow in a ‘phew’ fashion, was it for me. We may not have the grande passion that is written about in the high end romances.  What we have is enduring, comfortable, loving and respectful.  I love my husband to bits, and as I said to him the other night, I may moan about him at times, but he is the only one I would ever want to moan about.

So, romance novels featuring the older hero/heroine? BRING IT ON!

* * * * *

Have you entered Amanda’s giveaway today?

 Amanda’s Giveaway – The Misadventures of Pann Haggerty

Be sure to visit tomorrow — more chances to win, and excerpts from The Misadventures of Pann Haggerty.

Want more now? Here’s a little snippet:

“I’ll be honest with you, Pann. I want more than friendship…”



  1. I call it Hen Lit…we had this conversation at the conference, Amanda 🙂
    We need more love stories with more mature heroines and hunks. I am going to be middle aged next month (45!) and still need romance.
    Plus it embarrasses my teens LOL

    carol x

  2. Great blog, Manda,
    I totally enjoyed it. I think as we grow older, we relate to older heroines and heroes, because, after all, we have matured and our tastes have changed. I still enjoy the younger heroine and hero, but I also enjoy the older couples too. I moan about my hubby also, but as you say, he’s the only man I want to moan about. I’ll take it one step further, he’s also the only man I want to moan with in any capacity…lol, Best of luck on your upcoming books.

  3. The book I recently submitted to a few NY publishers has a heroine of 38 and a hero of 44. *gasp* And they are sooo sexy! It helps that he is former military. But I love that they have three kids and their sex life has gone down the tubes.

    Sometimes romance is about reviving passion, not finding it. 😀

  4. Great post, Manda. I also like to write older heroines and heroes. Don’t enter me for the book as I already read it and loved it.

  5. You go, girl! I always enjoy reading about older women in romance novels. I hope publishers are starting to get the message and we’ll see more and more novels in the sub-genre of “hen lit.”

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