Romance Is Forever Young by Joan Reeves

STO_200px300pHave you noticed that most romance novels are peopled by the young and beautiful? Yeah, I’m a master of stating the obvious. Sure, traditionally-published novels usually starred those under thirty-five. In fact, an editor once said to an author: “Make your heroine twenty-three years old and the CEO of a company.”

I swear that is the absolute truth. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t know too many 23-year-old CEOs.

The point is that traditional publishing had this idea that readers were all in their twenties and they didn’t want to read about anybody much older than they were. (Is it any wonder so many authors happily deserted traditional publishers and embraced indie authorship?)

Forever Young

Still, the idea of romance and sex being for those below forty holds sway. Even we indie authors write heroines younger than our generation. I think one reason we do this is that we—people in general—have a self-image embedded in the brain that doesn’t age. That’s why you are startled when you walk down the street and catch your reflection in a store window. Ever done that? Ever thought, “My God, I look just like my mother!”

Shaking It Up

The Trouble with Love by Joan ReevesI love writing about two people who find each other in life. There’s romance and sex and passion and, in the end, commitment. But, I also love shaking things up a bit. I sometimes throw in a secondary romance between people of a certain age.

In Still The One, the main love story was Burke and Ally. Burke’s grandfather and Ally’s grandmother were scheming matchmakers who were also in love and having an affair after meeting on a cruise ship. Yes, they talked about sex! Oh, horrors. Seventy-something people talking sexily. What’s the world coming to?

In The Trouble With Love, Deputy Susannah Quinn and Special Agent Hogan are the main love story, but I get more comments and email about Susannah’s mom Tory and Hogan’s Uncle Walter. These middle-aged people fell hard and fast for each other–in lust and in love.

In Old Enough to Know Better, Stormy is an older woman, and her soul mate just happens to be a younger man, Sean Butler. Sean has all he can do to woo Stormy who obstinately refuses to become involved with him—even though she’s half in love with him anyway. In the end, he prevails. I don’t want to spoil the ending in case you haven’t read this book, but he gives her a pendant with an engraving that sums up Stormy’s attitude about finding love.

Old Enough to Know Better by Joan ReevesOver the Hill? Nope!

So if you’re older than 30—or 40, 50, 60, or beyond—don’t despair. The road of life is long and offers love and romance—and, yes, sex too—every step of the way. You can fall in love, and you can read about women and men your age falling in love. In this new age of publishing, authors aren’t restricted by arbitrary age guidelines. We can write all kinds of stories—even romance novels with over the hill lovers if we wish.

Love at any age is amazing, intense, breathtaking, and wonderful. When you’re older, that’s still true—sometimes all those feelings are magnified. In “The Man in Lower Ten,” Mary Roberts Rinehart wrote: “Love is like the measles. The older you get, the worse the attack.” Now that is the stuff of romantic comedy!

Post Script

No matter your age, I wish you the kind of love I write about in my romantic comedies!

(Joan Reeves writes funny, sexy Romance Novels. For your consideration, get your flirt on with any of her novels, available at most ebook sellers, with audio editions available at Audible and iTunes. Joan publishes Writing Hacks, a free subscription newsletter for writers, and I♥Books, a free subscription newsletter for readers. Visit SlingWords, Joan’s Blog, or her Website.)


About Joan Reeves

Joan Reeves is a NY Times and a USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance. She lives her happily-ever-after with her hero, her husband, in the Lone Star State. Sign up for Joan's mailing list: and visit her at and her blog
This entry was posted in Joan's Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Romance Is Forever Young by Joan Reeves

  1. susanrhughes says:

    So true. I’m over 40, and even with young kids sapping our energy, my husband and I still have plenty of passion for each other. May it continue forever!


  2. Joan Reeves says:

    Good morning, Susan! Love may not make the world go round, but it sure makes the ride worthwhile.


  3. leighmorgan1 says:

    I love reading about “older” (40+) romance. First commitment or first marriage love is interesting and still populates most romantic fiction, and that’s great, but there’s a place for the richness and complexity of finding love and connection in one’s 40’s…50’s…60’s and 70’s. My husband’s great uncle found love again after 80 and loved that woman (30yrs his junior) for 19 years before he died. We don’t, or rather shouldn’t, stop looking for love and a sensual/sexual connection until we die. Wonderful post, Joan. Thanks!


    • Joan Reeves says:

      And a wonderful comment, Leigh. Thank you. I think two events prompted my post today. The first was the 103rd birthday of a friend’s father. He’s healthy and happy and active. The other was a conversation with a neighbor who was telling me about his 91-year-old uncle who never lacks for a date on Saturday night. *g*


  4. E. Ayers says:

    My grandmother married a widower when she was 73. She had outlived two husbands and he had a long happy marriage to the same woman, but when they found each other sparks flew and both said they had never been happier in their lives.

    Love is age-less and so is the passion. Maybe as we age, quantity is replaced by quality. The kitchen floor is no longer an acceptable place for wild love-making, and clothes actually stay on until we’re behind the bedroom door. But the bliss of being in a lover’s arms never changes.


  5. monarisk says:

    Oh yes, romance is forever, at least in a marriage that lasts for years. On the other hand, I met many resigned couples who stay together because they are just used to each other and never had the courage to break the habit–or the marriage– and try something else.


  6. bellastreet says:

    SO true! I do write younger than myself–tho I would eventually like to write a 40+ books. Great post!


Please Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.