The newest series from Ellora's steamin' Cave is called "Oh, Yum!" (That's a cute way of telegraphing the phrase older woman/younger man or OWYM.) The series reflects a recent--and, far as I'm concerned, long overdue--trend in real-life intimate relationships. And for that reason, I applaud it. Resoundingly.
My contribution to this series, Liberation, is now available: http://www.ellorascave.com/productpage.asp?ISBN=9781419916090
For how many centuries have women had to endure rejection or the alienation of spousal affection because they haven't been considered desirable, for all kinds of reasons, as they advance toward middle age? (And it is indeed an advance, if maturity of vision counts for anything in this world.) How many Hugh Hefners and Donald Trumps have contributed to loss of female self-esteem? Well, EC authors have stepped up to tell these guys, "Perch and spin, you shallow, pretentious asshats!"
Liberation isn't the first book in which I explore the psycho-emotional landmines that pepper a woman's path out of her twenties. I actually took a much longer, deeper look at the issue in Two Out of Three Ain't Bad, a novel published through Cerridwen Press. It's an often emotional story, because aging can be an often emotional life-change in terms of how women evaluate their own worth. Sad to say, advertisers and the media, whose influence is pervasive in this culture, only exacerbate whatever perceptual problems already exist. (By the way, I don't use the word cougar in either book. I find it offensive, because it suggests that women who end up with younger male partners are cunning predators. I know from personal experience this is bullshit. Whatever sneering male dreamt up the term can go fuck himself with it.)
In both of my books--and, for that matter, all the Oh Yum! stories--what's ultimately celebrated are defiance and persistence: the defiance of stifling cultural norms and the persistence of joy in romance and in sex. The men in these tales are celebrated, as well, because they have the ability to see through surfaces to what lies beneath and to embrace those qualities.
So [raising my glass in a toast] here's hoping romance writers and publishers continue to slough off stereotypes and explore the many faces of love!