When I wrote my debut contemporary romance novel, The Reunion, I had a lot of interesting feedback from friends and associates. Everyone seemed to agree that their favorite part of the story was the quasi romance between Gillian and Jeremy, a man young enough to be her son. Some even joked about it being the cougar part of the story. So, I’ve decided to include another May-December romance in my upcoming novel, Rivalry.
The idea came from a friend I had back in college. He often talked about his parents and his upbringing, as twenty-somethings tend to do. By all accounts, it sounded like his parents had a happy marriage. However, his father was considerably older than his mother, and he sometimes mentioned his half brother, who was about twenty years older than his was. I don’t the story of how his parents met, or what happened to his father’s first wife. He never brought it up, and I never asked. I just know he had a good upbringing and a happy home life.
Warning! Spoiler Alert!
So, moving on to Rivalry. Early in the story, Jenna, the lead character, contacts Bill, her former mentor, to help with a project she is working on. However, Bill was more than just a mentor. He’s also a former lover, and he’s old enough to be her father. While not the main focus of the storyline, it’s a sweet and poignant episode which came out much better than I expected, and I honestly felt sad when the time came for Bill to move on.
Would I consider writing a contemporary romance novel about a May-December romance? Perhaps. There are people out there happily married to spouses who are considerably older, or younger, than they are, and such a storyline would lend itself well to all kinds of conflicts. It’s certainly something to think about.