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Topic: How Old a H&H Will You Accept?

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Subject: How Old a H&H Will You Accept?
Date Posted: 3/2/2009 7:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
Posts: 2,207
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This thought came to me as I read a recent category romance.

In a Special Edition a few years ago, the heroine was in her 40s and the hero was either late 40s or early 50s. In this book I'm reading now you don't know exactly how old they are but the widowed heroine was married for 35 years; the widowed fellow who's interested has been alone for 30 years. Sometimes I think she must be around 55, other times from time references the author makes, I think the heroine is closer to 60.

I know the folks here are from all age ranges, but do you have an end range for your H&H? Or does it matter? I'm not particular but I do like heroines in their late 20s/early 30s with the hero slightly older. This older couple is kind of throwing me off kilter a bit - the book actually reads more like women's fiction than a category.

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 7:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/21/2005
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I like reading books with the heroine being younger than the hero. I don't necessarily have an age preference, i just like it when the hero is older.I'm just not into the older woman/younger man thing.

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 8:01 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
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.I'm just not into the older woman/younger man thing.

Having married a man nearly 5 years younger, I am fully into it and support it whole-heartedly!  

 

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 8:16 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
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Having married a man nearly 5 years younger, I am fully into it and support it whole-heartedly! 

Heh, me too. Love my boy toy. ;-)

(He is three years younger.)

I don't have a strong feeling about character age, though I probably don't feel much like reading a lot about *aging* in a romance.

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 10:22 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
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I'm not into the really young heroines unless its a historical.  Now, the older males for me are my age now (40) so it doesn't really bother me because 40 is not old!   Jamie in the Outlander series is in his 50s and he's still sexy to me.    For contemporaries, I like the mid 40 to early 40 range best, but probably just because of MY age.

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 10:23 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
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Aw man.  I love younger men.  I'm 48, so all of the beefcakes are younger than me anyway:P  My DH is 4yrs older though.  But when we met I was in my looking for a mature, older man stage.  What's funny about is that he was 28 at the time:P  Well, he was older than me anyway...  I can go for a heroine being up to 40 & the hero being in the same range or up to 10 yrs younger.  I mean, why not?  Heroes, I think should generally be older in historicals, but I like some exceptions thrown in there too.  I like the mix with heroines in their late 20's - hero in his early to mid 30's.  Much better than the old skool 18yr old heroine with a 30+yr old hero.  Ick.

Date Posted: 3/3/2009 9:09 AM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
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having married a man nearly 5 years younger, I am fully into it and support it whole-heartedly! 

Heh, me too. Love my boy toy. ;-)

(He is three years younger.)

 

Another cradle robber here, my guy is 4.5 years younger, no big deal now that we are in our 30's but when he was 18 and I just turned 24 it was a HUGE deal.

Date Posted: 3/3/2009 10:32 AM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2006
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I prefer both to be late 20s to early 40s.  I don't care who is older. 

I really get annoyed with contemporaries where they are in their mid-20s and have a very successful career that obviously takes many years to build.  That just doesn't seem that realistic these days, especially if the job requires college.  I see that a lot.   It would be much better if they made these characters older.

Date Posted: 3/3/2009 12:21 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 376
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Being uhm. somewhat older than 50, I would like you to know that we oldsters like to believe love can happen even at our advanced age!!

To be honest, when the story is good, the protagonists can be any age and any age difference at all. If the author can make it believable, it works for me. OK, I'll draw the line when one is under 18 and the other is a lot older - no kiddie abuse, thanks. So I'll read (almost) any age and enjoy a good story!

Date Posted: 3/3/2009 12:32 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2008
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Age doesn't matter to me at all - it just has to be a good story!

My hubby is 3 years younger than me also. Now, how much younger than me he acts is up for debate :P

 

ETA: ditto on the super-rich, successful 20-somethings that keep cropping up in contemporaries. Especially since 99% of the time these characters are usually TSTL.



Last Edited on: 3/3/09 12:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/3/2009 2:20 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
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if the story's good I don't care! I've read some harlequin Next titles that were very good and the women/men were older and the relationship was good. Ii'm finding the older I get the less tolerance I have for the stupididy the 'youngsters' seem to have sometimes!

Date Posted: 3/3/2009 4:17 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
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Another cradle robber here, my guy is 4.5 years younger, no big deal now that we are in our 30's but when he was 18 and I just turned 24 it was a HUGE deal.

My husband was 18 when we met too!  When he first told me he had "just turned 18" I almost passed out. ;-)

Subject: Older characters
Date Posted: 3/3/2009 5:21 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2008
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I don't mind older characters, if the story is good who cares?  However, I prefer to be able to connect to a character, and that is MUCH easier to do if they are near my age. (I'm 28)  On the same note, I hope as I age I will be able to continue to read about characters that are my age.  Though, if I can still see to read when I'm 90 I might want to read about younger people...

I totally agree with the sentiments about the wealthy and successful twenty-somethings that often pop up in romance books.  That is so unrealistic. (Probably more so for me since I'm a teacher)  Real people are working their butts off in their twenties and thirties.  I guess that isn't a very romantic situtation.

Date Posted: 3/3/2009 7:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
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UPDATE ON THE AGE THING. The new read I'm into also has an older couple - he's 57 and she must be around 50-55 as she has 30-year old twins. The different between THIS book and the book I originally posted about yesterday is like night and day.  The writing is "old" in yesterday's book, the writing in the new one is terrific.

You know how some people in their 70s or 80s can be young at heart and you feel their youngness, while some people in their 40s or 50s are old in attitude and soul - that's how I felt about the other author.Yes, the two plots are very different but I can't help wonder what this author would do with the other book's plot. I bet she would have written something slightly different, a whole different flair. I doubt that I'll read more books by the 1st author (see the 2009 New To Me Author thread for her name....hehehe) but I'm impressed with the talent of this other author (see that same thread in a day or so when I post her name......).

On average I like older couples in a secondary role - one category I read a while back a parent of the H&H became involved and got married; that was really nice. I'm in my 60's so I, too, would like to think there's a gray-haired hottie out there just for me. Actually, I have to admit that I've always liked younger men (gosh, I can't believe I just shared that information). My all-time favorite older woman/younger man book is SWEET BURNING by Sandi Shane - a classic with that plot.

Date Posted: 3/3/2009 9:06 PM ET
Member Since: 9/20/2005
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I really prefer books with younger couples.  I'd say that 35-38 is the oldest that I like to see. 

Date Posted: 3/3/2009 9:40 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
Posts: 15
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I never thought I'd like romances about older couples, but the older I get...

I did read a Crusie, I think, where the H&H were in 40s to late 40s and it was pretty good I thought. I do remember reading one when I was a teenager or early 20s where the heroine was 18 and the hero was her 36-year-old guardian, and I never have stopped thinking yuck! Twice her age? I have always been attracted to men about my age give or take a few years. Too many years older or younger and it just starts to seem sordid, especially when the man could be the girl's father. I really enjoy JAK (under any name) because her heroines are typically a little older but not old, and still relatively innocent in some way or another as I think sometimes we would all like to be.

Good topic, btw. Something we might not usually think about.

 

Date Posted: 3/4/2009 12:13 AM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2007
Posts: 7,052
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having married a man nearly 5 years younger, I am fully into it and support it whole-heartedly! 

Heh, me too. Love my boy toy. ;-)

(He is three years younger.)

And another here! LOL I'm married to a younger man- 4 years younger.

Date Posted: 3/4/2009 2:14 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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I do remember reading one when I was a teenager or early 20s where the heroine was 18 and the hero was her 36-year-old guardian

Diana Palmer wrote one like that also.  I think she was 21 and he was 35?  And he had been her guardian since she was 16 because of an abusive father.  Of course with the usual Palmer hero-is-an-a$$hole flair as well. LOL

Date Posted: 3/4/2009 5:49 AM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2005
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I enjoy older woman/younger man stories in any age range as long as it is well written.  I second Sweet Burning by Sandi Shane and also Robbing The Cradle by Anne Henry.

Date Posted: 3/4/2009 6:41 AM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2006
Posts: 1,012
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I think our age has a lot to do with it.  I didn't mind younger heroines when I was that age.  Now they get on my nerves :-)  I even prefer older women in historicals, but then they are required to be "on the shelf" .

Date Posted: 3/4/2009 8:01 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
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Yeah, spinster or widow being the only alternatives can be pretty limiting.  I prefer widow to 30 something virgin myself:P

Date Posted: 3/4/2009 3:08 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
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It depends on what I'm reading and how it's done.  I don't like the 30yr old spinster virgin either.  I'd rather she be a widow or have had a lover.  It just depresses me to think of not having sex until 30.  I especially don't buy it in contemporaries.  Early 20's virgin maybe.  2 of my husbands cousins remained virgins until they were married.  Their father is a minister.  But they both got married before they were 25.  I've read a few contemporaries where the heroine is like 28 or 30, not religious and still a virgin.  I just don't buy it personally.  I mean in all that time she hasn't met one guy that's turned her on even a ltitle bit?  

I usually prefer late 20's to late 30's for my contemporary H/H-I'm 39 and DH is 42.  I'm not crazy about reading about the older couples at this point. Probably because I don't feel like I"m 38 and reading about a couple in their 50's kind of reminds me of my parents.  I might appreciate them more in a few years. But right now I want younger couples.   

I've always loved older men. In fact DH is the closest to my age.  Most of the guys I dated before him were closer to 10yrs older then me.  So I like the much older hero as long as it's reasonable.  I think when reading a historical it was probably pretty common back then to have women of 17-20 marrying men who were 10+yrs older than themselves.  When they make the heroine older in some historicals it seems like they have to find some excuse as to why she wasn't married earlier.  Like everyone in her family died preventing her from having a "season" or she's such a horrible shrew that no one wants her but the hero who finds her irrisistable.  Or (my least favorite) she's been saving herself for years on end for the hero to finally notice her.   In most of the contemporaries that I've read the hero/heroing have been within 5 yrs of a eachother-except for a couple of Diana Palmers.   

Date Posted: 3/4/2009 3:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/21/2005
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Well, i didn't say i had anything against being married to a younger man...........i just don't like reading it in my books!

Date Posted: 3/9/2009 2:27 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
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I remembered that I got really put off by an old Presents because the hero (though only about 37) was a grandfather! I feel terribly shallow for admitting it, but ick! There was also a pretty huge age gulf between him and the heroine, so she was about the same age as his daughter, double ick!

Date Posted: 3/9/2009 2:35 AM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2008
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I prefer them to be my age simply because I relate to them better. :)