Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Maggie Robinson: Does Age Matter?

Happy October! It’s my favorite month—my birthday month, not that that excites me too much anymore. There will be so many candles on my cake I’ll need to notify the fire department to stand by. Hopefully, they’ll send some hot firemen. ;)

I’m rather “mature.” I began my writing career at an age when a lot of people are thinking of retirement. In the past year and a half, I’ve had five historical romance novels and two novellas published under my two personae, Maggie Robinson and Margaret Rowe. To say I’m thrilled is an understatement. I’ve got four more releases to come, and am busy dreaming up something for 2013 and beyond!

My latest book is Mistress by Marriage (Brava, September 2011). It starts off six years into an unhappy marriage, an odd place to begin a romance. My characters are mature, too. The hero Edward is forty; his wife Caroline is thirty-one. I’ve been thanked by several readers for writing “grown-ups.” Here’s the back cover blurb:

Too late for cold feet

Baron Edward Christie prided himself on his reputation for even temperament and reserve. That was before he met Caroline Parker. Wedding a scandalous beauty by special license days after they met did not inspire respect for his sangfroid. Moving her to a notorious lovebirds’ nest as punishment for her flighty nature was perhaps also a blow. And of course talk has gotten out of his irresistible clandestine visits. Christie must put his wife aside—if only he can get her out of his blood first.

Too hot to refuse

Caroline Parker was prepared to hear the worst: that her husband had determined to divorce her, spare them both the torture of passion they can neither tame nor escape. But his plan is wickeder than any she’s ever heard. Life as his wife is suffocating. But she cannot resist becoming her own husband’s mistress…

Of course they eventually find a way to blend Edward’s frosty reserve and Caro’s tropical heat, and it was enormous fun to play marriage counselor to them both, LOL.

I’m curious—do the ages of the hero and heroine matter to you when you select a book? How old is too old? How young is too young? (I just finished writing a nineteen year old heroine  and kept worrying the thirty-three year old hero was robbing the cradle, although I know that can be a typical age spread in historical romances.) One commenter will get a signed copy of Mistress by Marriage!

For book excerpts and more information, please visit


Juliet said...

Maturity is the best! Good for you, and your books look great.

I usually find it's the hero and heroine's emotional age that counts most with me, rather than their actual years. Although too big a gap, and I do start to worry that she might be pushing him around in a wheelchair rather than being out having fun in her own mature years.

But then I'm a woman of maturity myself.

Happy writing!


marybelle said...

I don't really worry about the ages of heroes & heroines, so long as it is not seedy or sleazy.

Virginia C said...

Happy Birthday, Dear Maggie! You know I love you : ) Your "Courtesan Court" Series is FABULOSO--and so are you! October is also my favorite month--so much to see and do and savor!

With a background in advertising and sales, I am ever aware of the set-in-stone theory that “sex sells”. This promotional propaganda is used to market everything from bottled water to automobiles, and all categories in-between. When it comes to reading, especially romance, I do appreciate variety. I have my comfort zone, but I get such a kick of being led down a different path by a skilled storyteller. Those are some of the best reading road trips of my life! Even though I am now 53, in my mind I am a mature, but young-at-heart woman of 23! I still have my youthful enthusiasm, and I still believe in true love and second chances for “Happily Ever After”! I can read about newly discovered young love or the sweet surprise of unexpected mid-life passion with equal enjoyment. People of my age have usually had a lengthy relationship that may have ended in separation, divorce, or widowhood. While I find those to be some very interesting reads, I would not want to read them all the time. Alternating those reads with romantic tales of younger lovers who are beginning their life together is the most fulfilling combination for me as a reader.

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Good morning, everyone! I take great heart that Helen Mirren is proving older is better, LOL. Did anyone see her in her red bikini?

While I'm not ready to write a 60+ heroine, I am thrilled to be having such fun with slightly-older h/hs.

Thanks for the congrats & bday wishes!

My ver word is "noeate." I'm taking that as a sign & stopping at one pancake, not that I've got a red bikini.

Anonymous said...

age doesn't matter as long as the couple loves each other :) i love that book cover !!!

ClaudiaGC said...

The age of the hero and heroine doesn't matter that much to me as long as the story fits. Sometimes I don't even really notice how old they are.

claudigc at msn dot com

CrystalGB said...

Age doesn't matter to me as long as the story works. Love the cover of Mistress By Marriage.


Eli Yanti said...

Happy Birthday Maggie,

i think, better age for hero is 29 - 31 years and heroine 19 - 22 years =D

thanks for the lovely giveaway ;D

Desere said...

Hi Maggie,

Maybe I am wrong or I just need to be directed in the correct direction but for me I get turned off a book when the heroine is older than the hero or when the hero is really old and the heroine is so much younger is just does not seem to compute in my book.

But if there is a age diffence of say 10 yrs or so between the hero and the heroine ,with the hero being older offcourse then that is fine but older woman with younger man is just a no to me, at least untill I find the right book to read and be convinced otherwise.

Thanks for a great question and a stunning giveaway!


Lil said...

That's a good question. I think that I feel some discomfort with characters who are terribly young. However, if the characters are the appropriate ages for their time period, I try not to quibble much.

Caroline said...

Happy birthday Maggie!

In answer to your question: It depends on the type of book I'm reading! I can quite easily enjoy a historical with the h/h quite young - a teenage heroine works for me. But a modern romance with a teenage heroine - no. Just too immature for me I'm afraid. I picture my niece who is that age and think "nah" she's too young to be feeling all that emotion. But then if an author manages to convince me otherwise because of their stella writing - who am I to argue!?

Leni said...

When I started reading the books were at least twenty years since their publication dates. So, when I came across an age difference between the hero and heroine it did stand out, but I kept reading because the story had me interested. I did get use to seeing an age gap, but am not surprised anymore. I'm not bothered because everything just seems to fit when I'm reading the story.

niteofblu said...

I love a big age gap have have no problem with a nineteen year old heroine with a thirty-three old hero. That alone would make me interested in the book. I'm not sure what I think is too big of an age gap.

Thanks for the chance to win!
Terri C.

niteofblu at gmail dot com

Sonali said...

I don't look at the age difference when selecting a book. It really doesn't matter. The story is what keeps me hooked when reading.

mrsshukra said...

Happy Birthday in advance, Maggie! How are you going to celebrate? I like 19 as the youngest age for a heroine but prefer them in their 20s, 30s, even 40s!

Na said...

Age doesn't really matter to me but I do find an older man appealing. 6-8 years is an ideal range. Though it doesn't make me not like a story if that gap isn't met. I just want the characters to suit the ages and for the ages to suit the story.

Cambonified (at) yahoo (dot) com

Laurie G said...

I don't really like the May December romances where there is an age gap of over 20 years. I don't think they have a lot in common unless it's just a marriage of convenience or a care taking role. I prefer romances with less than 10 years age difference. I also don't like the 18 year olds getting married...seems way to young to me

Pat Cochran said...

I'm the opposite of most wives, they
are younger than their spouses. I am
older than my husband by 5 years and
2 months. It took several proposals
over time before I finally accepted,
all due to my being older. It took
him several months before he finally
convinced me that it didn't matter to
him. And he was right!

Age doesn't matter in a story unless
the difference is several decades in
either direction.

Laurie G said...

I prefer books where the H/H are closer together in age. I do enjoy marriage of convenience stories where they is usually a larger spread in ages.

I'm not a fan of 18 year old woman getting married, but I know it is popular in the historicals that I read.

Older woman are OK if the span is around 5 years.

Kindle Fire said...

Never thought blogging could be soo fun and interesting. Man you know how to do it.