Has everyone had a chance to pick up Mary Balogh’s Only Beloved, the last book in her Survivors’ Club series?

For the first time since the death of his wife, the Duke of Stanbrook is considering remarrying and finally embracing happiness for himself. With that thought comes the treasured image of a woman he met briefly a year ago and never saw again.

Dora Debbins relinquished all hope to marry when a family scandal left her in charge of her younger sister. Earning a modest living as a music teacher, shes left with only an unfulfilled dream. Then one afternoon, an unexpected visitor makes it come true.

For both George and Dora that brief first encounter was as fleeting as it was unforgettable. Now is the time for a second chance. And while even true love comes with a risk, who are two dreamers to argue with destiny?

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I just loved this book (and series). In Only Beloved, Balogh delivers happiness to the Duke of Stanbrook, the benefactor of the Survivors’ Club. I loved the older characters, the spinster bride, and the redemptive arc of two lovers who never expected to find happiness so late in life. And of course, catching up with all of the happy Survivor couples is a perfect wrap-up for the series—especially when they have to protect and defend Dora and the duke from the malevolent intentions of a disenfranchised family member of the duke’s first wife.

A wholly satisfying series end from a queen of regency romance.

Romace_watsonIf you’re looking for more older characters in your romance novels, be sure to check out Penny Watson’s A Taste of Heaven. This received rave reviews last year and features a 47-year-old widow named Sophia and Elliott, a grumpy 49-year-old Scottish chef, while navigating international culinary contests, restaurants, artistic egos, and all the drama and craziness that goes into those—not to mention overcoming bad first impressions to see the perfect mate hidden inside. Lots of humor, romance, and a touching story of second chances.

Finally, another book that’s gotten some buzz recently and sounds delightful is L G O’Connor’s Caught Up in Raine. I’m sad to say I haven’t had the chance to read this yet, but it’s been highly recommended by some trusted reader friends—plus its heroine, Jillian Grant, is a 42-year-old romance writer (Awesome!).

Raine, the hero, is much younger—24—which is intriguing in its own way. Refreshing when the older partner is female.

The author based the hook on her own experience of seeing a landscaper, who reminded her of the hero in her work-in-progress, and toying with the idea of asking him Romace_kotharito be her cover model. While she never took that particular plunge, her character did—and the results were life-changing!

While Raine might be a pretty face (and hot body), he’s also overcoming his own challenges and tragedies, and Jillian may be the perfect person to help him heal, while finding some unexpected comfort as well. Sounds great, and it’s toward the top of my TBR pile.

 But the book on top of my pile is Falguni Kothari’s My Last Love Story, which straddles romance and women’s fiction, and sounds (and I’ve heard is) amazing.

A poignant, romantic tale about the complexities of trauma and whether love can right a wrong.

***

I, Simeen Desai, am tired of making lemonade with the lemons life has handed me.

 

Love is meant to heal wounds.

Love was meant to make my world sparkle and spin.

Love has ripped my life apart and shattered my soul. 

 

I love my husband, and he loves me.

But Nirvaan is dying.

I love my husband. I want to make him happy.

But he is asking for the impossible. 

 

I don’t want a baby.

I don’t want to make nice with Zayaan.

I don’t want another chance at another love story.

 

I can’t wait to dive into that one!

I love the fact that romance peeks into all kinds of relationships and offers millions of love stories—kind of like life.

So how about you? What are you reading this week? This month?

Are you excited to see more older couples in your romances? Or other kinds of “outside-the-box” storylines?

Discuss.

Happy reading! xo