Guest Post: Seasoned Romance and Women’s Sexuality
by Donna Soluri
Having read and loved both books in Katherine E. Hunt’s latest series, Mended Hearts, I knew talking to her about taboos and sexuality would be a fun ride, so to speak! The Mended Hearts series follows the women of Winchester Drive, Massachusetts. This posh, seemingly perfect suburban neighborhood has a super-hot secret. Within the community, there’s a very private club reserved for widows of all ages. It’s a sex club staffed by young, handsome men willing to see to the needs of the club’s patrons. These ladies are not just financially set; they are liberated and confident, not only in their day-to-day lives but also behind the red velvet curtains of their secret society. They have have taken complete control of their lives, and sexually speaking, that control allows them to finally live their best lives ever. I’ve often said women of a certain age are far more confident in expressing their needs in the bedroom. The Mended Hearts crew do not disappoint!
The first book, Liberating Jane, came out in 2020 and introduced us to the supporting cast of the series. Beverley, another widow in the community, is really the mastermind behind the secret sex club. She vets the ladies and encourages them to embrace their sexuality; she emboldens them and gives them a safe place to live out their fantasies. In Liberating Jane, our heroine Jane is just looking for a little sexual relief but gets way more than she bargained for when several men offer her varying ways to get to happily ever after. The unconventional pairings or partnerships are what give this series more of an erotic nature, while the age of our heroines makes it more of a seasoned or mature romance. Strings-free sex for older women seems to be a bit of a taboo, norm-breaking thing for many. I say, get it, girl! Newsflash, folks over the age of forty actually like having sex a lot! And guess what, they are pretty good at it and creative, too!
The next book in this series, Kendra’s Keeper, is out June 22, 2021. It’s a sexy novella that hits all the right buttons. After many years of a friendly but loveless marriage, a medical mishap makes Kendra a widow and a multi-millionaire. She moves to Winchester Drive, and all of her repressed sexual desires finally find their way to the surface. Then we get the #secondchance romance part of the show when her first and possibly only true love, her high school sweetheart, shows up on her doorstep looking like an Indiana Jones adventurer, salt-and-pepper, five-course snack.
If you need some books you can easily read in one sitting, and you like sexually liberated women and the men who want to make them happy, Katherine E. Hunt’s Mended Hearts series is the one for you. These ladies aren’t your mother’s Golden Girls — okay, maybe a splash of Blanche and some unfiltered Rose honesty — but we should all strive for that level of self-acceptance, shouldn’t we?
Seasoned Romance and Women’s Sexuality
I was watching a TV show the other night where the wife thought she was pregnant, only to discover — spoiler alert — that she was experiencing the symptoms of peri-menopause. It had me reaching for the remote control because, oh my god, once again a woman over forty cannot have a sex life without it being all about mood swings, hot flashes and vaginal dryness.
We all know how Hollywood supposedly feels about older women. That famous clip where Amy Schumer comes across a group of middle-aged actresses celebrating their last day as a love interest sums it up perfectly. We get to forty, get a hint of a grey hair and a wrinkle and it’s all over. Women have a sell-by-date when it comes to sex, or so some people would have us think.
Don’t get me wrong, times have changed. The women who celebrated the sexual liberation of the sixties and seventies raised the menopausal women of today. We grew up in a world of contraception and the philosophy that you didn’t have to marry the first man you slept with, or the second or the third. And those women are still leading the way now. HRT, created in the sixties, gained popularity in the nineties when our mothers were hitting their menopause.
Separate beds and cover-up nightgowns were no longer de-rigueur. Women wanted active sex lives and they wanted them on their terms.
The two-thousands brought us the term ‘cougar’. The freedom that grown-up kids, financial stability — and often divorce — gave women in their forties meant that they demanded more from their sex-lives. They didn’t just want to make love they wanted hot, exciting, climactic sex and they weren’t always getting that from men their age. Sugar daddies had been doing it for years, now it was our turn.
When I started writing for publication a few years ago I was desperate to explore idea of seasoned romance. My first novel, Hat Trick, had protagonists in their mid-forties. I had a whale of a time with vasectomies and surprisingly shaved lady parts. The idea that you can have character development, even later in life, was an exciting and fun idea to explore. I personally grow and learn as the years go by and there’s no reason why my characters can’t do the same.
Then I wrote a series of erotic novellas about a community of widows, and got a few side eyes from people around me. Seasoned erotic romance. Who’d heard of such a thing? Romances with older protagonists were on the rise, and they contained the kind of sex scenes we expected from New Adult books, but erotic romance? Multiple partners? Was there even a market for this kind of thing?
As it turns out, people loved the idea. A well-to-do widow in her forties who’s not looking for love, babies and marriage, but lots and lots of sex is just what the doctor ordered for my young, male protagonists — and my readers too.
The idea that these women are just looking for a fun time — and not to replace the husbands they’ve lost — was refreshing. You won’t get any surprise pregnancies or weddings at the end of these books, but oh my, do you get some hot as hell love scenes and far too many orgasms to count.
And I’m not the only writer who has found joy in writing sexy seasoned characters. Facebook groups such as Romance in Her Prime or Seasoned Romance highlight new books coming out every week, with protagonists who range from their thirties to, well, however old you want to go. Writers such as Karen Booth, Sandra Antonelli, among many others, regularly release fantastic, sexy novels with older heroes and heroines.
The sexual revolution was sixty years ago. Celebrating sexuality in women of all ages is well past due. Let our swings be sexy leather ones, our hot flashes be caused by an over-attentive young man and his tongue, and the only dryness referred to be when we’ve run out of champagne.
About Kendra’s Keeper
Release Date: June 22, 2021
When Ethan, her childhood sweetheart, turns up on her doorstep, Kendra must learn to love or risk losing him once again.
Kendra, a regular member of the Winchester Widows Sex Club, is perfectly happy with the life she has built since the loss of her husband. Sure, one of her lovers is leaving to start a new life, but she still has her regular, Chip, and there’s even a new guy in the club to keep her occupied. She doesn’t get attached—and that suits her just fine.
But when her first love, Ethan, turns up on her doorstep, he brings with him painful memories of secrets and lies—feelings that Kendra has safely tucked away for years.
Can she allow him back into her life and her bed without those pesky little feelings getting in the way? Is her carefree existence not as liberated and uncomplicated as it first appears? Maybe Ethan is just what she needs to finally open her heart to love.
Katherine E Hunt ran off with a Frenchman twenty years ago. She now lives on a French mountain with three children and two dogs. When she isn’t writing contemporary romance she can be found huddled up in front of a roaring fire, with a glass of Chardonnay in one hand and a book in the other.
Donna should be an empty nester, but she’s not, thanks COVID-19. She’s a voracious reader of all books; she can’t pick just one sub-genre. A staunch supporter of seasoned romance and a lover of cupcakes, you’ll often find her with a cup of tea and a mountainous TBR pile close at hand. Follow her @DonnaSoluri on B+M Bites.
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