02 May 2011

Giveaway - Celebrating the romance (part one)

The last couple of weeks the weather has been full of sunshine, blue skies and puffy white clouds so spring has definitely entered the Netherlands. It gives me a tingly feeling of life, love and laughter and the need to share this with you all. That was when I got to think about what way to share this. The main objective of my blog is, and always will be, to share my passion for the romance genre, the love for reading and in my own quirky way be a part of the romance community, and suddenly an idea popped in my head. The easiest way for me to celebrate the romance with you is to host a giveaway. I love to brighten someone else’s day with the news; “You’ve won…” but I also want to talk about all aspects of the romance. So I just put one and one together where, from now on, I’ll be hosting a monthly giveaway and talking about a topic regarding the romance genre.

The ground rules – yeah I know, not the most fun part but it has to be done!

* The giveaway is internationally (or where the Book Depository can deliver)

* The giveaway starts on the first Monday of the month and ends two weeks later, the winner will be announced a day later.

* You have a choice from a romance (and sub-genres) title released in the month of the giveaway, so that’s a whole heap of choice IMO ;) If you chose a print book - only via BookDepository.com. Or if you chose an e-book, it will depend if I have a payment option available to me. You can chose a book up to a price of $6,99

* If you win the ‘Celebrating the romance’ giveaway I’ll e-mail you (e-mail must be part of your profile/ a part of your comment or e-mailed to me)

* I am not responsible for lost or damaged books. Once the order is placed it is out of my hands!

The Topic; The trope of the May-December romance.

I’ve heard this phrase drop a few times on twitter and I was intrigued. To my knowledge I never read a ‘May-December’ romance so I turned to Google and found an explanation of the term:

The term refers to a romantic pairing where one person is significantly older than the other. The age difference is at least a decade, but often more. The phrase comes from the younger person being in the "spring" of his or her life (i.e., May), while the older partner is in his or her "winter" (i.e., December). Explanation by d_r_siva

If I’m reading this correct isn’t the ‘cougar trope’ a sibling from this? I do not consider a cougar woman in “the winter of her life” which makes me think about what kind of age difference there has to be between two people to be referred to as a ‘May-December’ romance.

I’m the kind of person who thinks love between two consenting adults/teenagers can blossom in many situations. Still, I’ve got no clue what to expect from this kind of romance trope. I mean, do I need to think one person thirty, the other one like fifty-five or sixty? Because suddenly I’ve got a scene in front of my eyes where Sex In The City; Samantha Jones, gets involved with a charming man in his sixties. When they get it going on and he needs to go to the bathroom I was treated to a vision of a wilting butt. It is reality but how does it work in a romance novel? 

This leads me to my question; “What is the general age difference and have you ever read a ‘May-December’ story?” Did you enjoy the trope or didn’t you?
Among the books released in May are:

Thea Harrison – Dragon Bound

Virna DePaul – Chosen By Blood

Katie McAllister - The Unbearable Lightness of Dragons

Red Garnier – The Last Kiss

Julia Quinn - Just Like Heaven (The Smythe-Smiths)

Karen Hawkins – Scandal In Scotland

Andrew Grey – A Serving Of Love, e-book

J.P. Barnaby – Abandoned, e-book

Looking forward to hearing from you ;)

post signature


  1. I can't remember if I have ever read a romance novel with such an age difference, or you must count the immortal warriors we love with a normal human woman. There the age difference is hundreds or thousands of years.

    I do know that in real life, such a big age difference won't work in the long term. (Of course there are always exceptions to a rule).

    I just don't think over 15 years of age difference is going to work in a romance novel either, I would keep thinking: cradle robber! But of course I am willing to try it out. Do you have an example you liked?

    And thank you for the give away and the chance to win a new book!

  2. I don't think I have ever read a romance novel, with that age range. I think, it would be too hard if there is too big a age difference. I think, what if they want kids? Would it be okay to ask a 60 year old man to be a father? I know we hear about it, but it is alot of work to be a parent, etc. I think a ten year difference is fine, anything over that is too much.

  3. It's not one of my favorite tropes.

    I think a 20 year difference is probably the minimum for a May-December romance. I've actually just started reading Sonoran Heat by Katrina Strauss, which is an m/m May-December. I don't know what the age difference between the protags is yet...

  4. I think the appeal of an older man is that they are protective and stable. I feel that that is one of the things that makes Edward from Twilight so appealing. He is a much older man, with the experience that goes with years, but in the body of a 17 year old.
    Just a thought.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

  5. @Aurian - For me it is more a question in the contemporary setting. Actually, I know 2 exceptions to those rules *smiles* both have an age difference of 15+ years but I agree that it can cause quite some obstacles to overcome and depends if love is strong enough...

    I haven't read any 'may-december' romances but I was curios what it brings to readers. Do you have to be a certain age to appreciate or be interested in them?

    It's always nice to give away :)

    @Debbie - the explantion by d_r_silva states a trope like this can start from an age difference of a decade but that doesn't answer to the spring-winter life period IMO. What you're adressing is the kind of questions that popped in to my head too. What about the "generation gap" what if the man already has kids and his new life interest doesn't, but wants to? I guess when one falls in love with an older woman or man they give something no one else can but their are also many obstacles as well...

    @Chris - Oh....m/m, now that incents me even more to go looking for a 'may-december' romance. The more I think about it the more I want to find out for myself what the relationship dynamic is, what it gives me and if it works for me. I'll go hunting ;)

    @Bethie - An older man or woman does probably have a more stable life, more life's wisdom too if all goes well and perhaps more sure of him or herself. So that can definitely be an attractive trait :)

  6. I generally like May/Decembers but I tend to let them more in m/m. With m/f I feel like there is often an inequality between the h/h that is a little different when you are dealing with two men. I would consider anything with more than 10 years your typical may/december, but I also think this term sort of fits when you have one very young partner even if the age difference isn't so big.

  7. I have to jump on board with others. I don't think I've ever read a romance book with that age difference. Interesting. Never thought about it before. New follower from Bookblogs. Hope to see you on my blog. Donna at http://mylife-in-stories.blogspot.com

  8. Hm, what can the oldest have been? I think I must go back to my Cartland days when the girl was 18 and the guy was 38 and then it was normal. But yes 20 is kind of the limit...just as long as one is not too young

    blodeuedd1 at gmail dot com

  9. I can't remember reading any books that are May-Dec. romances either. The biggest age difference that I've read are about 15 years. When I was reading Diana Palmer a lot of her books had somewhere around that age difference. I don't think I would enjoy a story with more than that kind of age gap. I wouldn't feel like the couple would have a lot in common.

    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  10. Leontine: The article below really helped me be more ok with the May-December thing in m/m romance - I initially had a lot more trouble with it than I do now!


  11. I have read romances with an older man, younger woman, as well as older woman, younger man, but I think they were more like May / August, not December, LOL. I think 10-15 years is about as much of an age difference as I'm interested in reading about.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  12. I haven't read a May-December romance, but I think I have one on my e-reader, somewhere. Need to look for that.

    I would think no more age difference than 20 years. There comes a point in time where the couple may not have much in common. The May-December romance seems to be more prevalent in m/m romance.


  13. I don't think I have ever read a romance book with that age difference. thank you for sharing I honestly did not know what the term ment. Thanks so much for the great giveaway!
    tishajean@ charter.net

  14. I never read a book with a trope like that, but now I think of it... some of the historical romances I read had a significant age difference between the key-characters, but they were all m/f romances. You cannot help who you fall in love with so age should not matter as long as you both adults and consenting, but I do believe that from the pratical aspects of life it is going to be hard when one is getting really old while the other is still vibrating with life!

    Love your new feature hon, and the banner, you're so creative!



  15. I'm think more along the lines of an 18 year old and a 30 yr old and this works only in the historical/regency genre for me (or hell even the rare western) but as for a hero or heroine in their 60s with the other being 30 or 40 no thank you (Diana Gabaldon makes it work but come on, it's Jamie Fraser!).

    midnite dot fantasy at gmail dot com

  16. thinking* och it's getting late lol

  17. This is actually a pretty common trope in Regency romances where the man is around 35 (or even older) and the woman is 18 and making her debut. I've never minded it, at least in historicals, because it is true to life. Back then, older men married younger wives all the time and no one thought it was weird or unusual or icky.

    Actually, one of my favorite Regencies ever is These Old Shades by the wonderful Georgette Heyer. In this book, the hero is in his early 40's although his age is never explicitly given, and the heroine is 21. I've read reviews by people who were seriously squicked out by the whole idea, but I remember reading it as a teenager and adoring it. I just read it again last year and loved it just as much. The relationship really does work, in spite of the age difference.

  18. It is possible I have read a May-December romance but I don't remember it. I think 15+ years difference is what I would consider May-December.
    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  19. @jayhjay - I would like to try both -> m/f and m/m to sample the dynamics :)

    @Donna - I didn't think about it either but sometimes a phrase somewhere catches my interest and I want to know what and how etc ;)

    @Blodeuedd - I guess in the historical genre it is more common but somehow it doesn't catch my attention. It is the contemporary setting that intrigues me ATM :D

    @Sherry - Was Pamela Palmer also historical? I guess in that genreI've read a few may-december romances *wink*

    @Chris - (((hugs))) you're awesome, thanks, I'm going to read it later tonight :) I've already got one or two m/m 'may-december' stories I want to try out!

    @Barbara E - 10-15-20 years is doable for me, 25 is were I'm raising my eyebrow slightly and older then that my comfort zone gets nervous. Still, I'm always open to try things out but on my own time :)

    Artemis - more prevalant in m/m? I didn't know that!

    @latishajean - Glad to have enlightened you *grin*

    @Marissa - I kinda forgot about the historical genre ::shameface:: was more thinking in contemporary setting and how it works this day and age. I'm looking forward to try it in both m/f and m/m ;) Glad you like the new feature and yeah, the banner was a 1-2-3 since it was already in my head *smiles*

    @Camille - Jamie Fraser and Claire are a legue all on their own LOL

    @JenM - My memory has been poked by the historical romance lovers here, it is a common trope in this genre which I - single minded as I was - kina forgot *eek*

    @trouthehaze - That seems to be the general consensus :)

  20. I haven't read that kind of story yet and I'm scratching my head because I thought it would be more common now that I'm thinking about it.
    tiredwkids at live dot com

  21. I have read some May-December romances and have enjoyed them. I feel love has more to do with personalities meshing than age. I also read and loved Georgette Heyer's These Old Shades when I was a teenager and never had a problem with May-December story lines.

    lincat56 at hotmail dot com

  22. I can't recall any May-Dec romances I've read lately but maybe that's because I don't seek them out/read many historicals. Definitely don't think more than a 15 year age difference would work for me in a story! I'll have to pay more attention to the ages in books now :-)

    smaccall @ comcast.net

  23. Ellora's Cave has a whole series of older women, younger men, The Cougar Challenge, which I just started reading. Only two books in so far, but the average age difference is about 10 years, which works for me.

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  24. I know I've read plenty of PNR books with May-Dec romances but the hero (or heroine) is always described as young and beautiful so I never really feel like I'm reading a book with such a huge age gap.

  25. Hmm I don't think I've ever read a ‘May-December’ story but now I know I have to read one.
    kr_moreau at doglover dot com

  26. Thanks for your explanation of the term Leontine, never heard of it before..

    Well I just read a novel last week which could have given me pause if it were different than it was. You see the hero was close to 40 (I think about 38) and the heroine wasn't yet 20. At first the heroine thought him old, almost as much as her father, but somehow the author didn't make this pairing sound ridiculous or absurd, quite to the contrary they had some serious intellectual and physical chemistry. I would greatly recommend this book, it was fantastic: What I Did for a Duke by Julie Anne Long, I enjoyed her writing style so much I put all of her books on my wishlist! :-)

    Usually I would consider an age gap of almost 20 years urgh, but this novel has proven that age isn't everything and that it can be done wonderfully!

    Thank you for the great new giveaway, sounds exciting! :-)

    stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

  27. 15 years is pretty common. I like those with a western/cowboy theme and regencies as well.
    thanks for the give away.
    lisagk at yahoo dot com

  28. Ohh.... The only one that comes to mind for me is a book I read recently, What I Did For A Duke. There was a good bit of age difference between them, and because of it made the heroine compare the hero to her father ;-) But oh, did she quickly get over it*grin* It didn't make the story awkward, though, and the romance was lovely. It didn't bother me at all. Love has to do with the people, not age :-)


  29. what I did for a duke was also a good one but have you tried reading the book of priest? it's also a good and interesting one.

  30. I've read May/December romances before and enjoyed them. The older partner is usually dominant.

    I'm 10 years older than my sister and I treated her as an equal since she was about 10, so I can see a May/Dec. relationship working out, but prefer when the younger person is at least the mid-20's, there has to be some life experience to draw on.


  31. This giveaway is closed and via Random.org it selected Katie as the winner. Congratz!!


I love to hear all your voices and opinions so thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.