Romance Books Featuring Couples Older Than 35

One fun thing about running a blog for as long as I have is that you get to grow up alongside it.

When I started my blog, I had just turned 21.

Teen romance? Definitely still felt very familiar and relevant to me.

Now closing in on 40, I love a romance where the characters are a little older and more established (and, to be honest, I still love a good teen romance too!).

If you’re looking for a love story where the character are over 35, this book list is for you!

romance books featuring couples older than 35

my favorite romance books featuring couples older than 35

guernsey bookThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
This epistolary novel (all written in letters) is a delightful WWII novel about a group of book lovers thrown together by the war and their letters to each other that often end up being about their favorite books. The audiobook version has a full cast that really brings it to life because the characters are SUCH big parts of the story! (Full review here)



landline rainbow rowellLandline by Rainbow Rowell
I love how light-hearted Rainbow Rowell’s books are, and this one, about a woman with a marriage on the brink of divorce who reconnects with her husband back when they were first dating through a magical telephone, is just too charming and fun not to include. (Full review here)




nora goes off script bookNora Goes Off Script by Annabel Monaghan
This is such a fun listen if you like books like Emily Henry’s Book Lovers (although this is less steamy than her books). When Nora’s script gets picked up for a romantic comedy and then the incredibly popular leading man ends up staying at her house during shooting. . . well, things are going to go off-script. I loved this one.




part of your world bookPart of Your World by Abby Jimenez
Alexis is a high-profile, 37-year old doctor who just got out of an emotionally abusive relationship and has decided men weren’t going to be a big part of the picture anymore. That continues even after meeting small town mayor, Daniel Grant, who is also 10 years her younger. Or so she tries. Their relationship is supposed to be casual, but it isn’t always that simple. The banter and wit in this one is SO good and Abby Jimenez is frequently compared to Emily Henry – for good reason! (Heads up for several open door scenes)


The Last Love NoteThe Last Love Note by Emma Grey
I read this in 48 hours – it was so compelling and sweet, yet heartbreaking at the same time. Kate is trying to hold everything together for her young son, while suffering through devastating grief. She has a few people she can rely on, like her mother, her best friend, and her boss, Hugh. When Hugh and Kate end up stranded on a work trip, Kate can finally plan the next stage of her life…but she ends up in an impossible situation.



Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda HolmesEvvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
This was such a fun, delightful romantic comedy (with a little bit of heaviness) that I blew through in two days. Evvie Drake has just lost her husband (he dies in the first chapter) and Dean Tenney is a World Series winning pitcher for the Yankees who suddenly can’t pitch anymore and he has no idea why. When he escapes the endless news about his fall from grace in New York, he ends up renting the apartment in Evvie’s too-big-for-her house and the two strike up friendship, based on the agreement that he won’t ask about her late husband and she won’t ask him about baseball. You can imagine how long THOSE rules last. As far as swearing and sex, this one is about on par with Sophie Kinsella’s books.


what alice forgotWhat Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
Alice comes to on the floor of the gym, with a bunch of worried friends around her. They aren’t the only ones that are worried – Alice is expecting her first baby and she’s concerned that the fall might have hurt the baby (she also can’t figure out why she’s at the gym; she hates the gym). The surprise of being at the gym, though, takes a quick backseat to the shock Alice receives when she realizes that it’s not 1998 like she thought, but instead it’s 2008. She’s not pregnant – she has three children. And the happy, new-ish marriage to Nick that she remembers is now on the verge of divorce. It’s a lot to take in. (Full review here)


the royal holiday bookRoyal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory
When I asked for suggestions for Christmas romances a few yeas ago, this one got mentioned a LOT and I thoroughly enjoyed this holiday story about Vivian who tags along with her daughter on a work trip to England and, naturally, finds herself falling for a charming British man who works for the queen. There is one brief open door scene, so heads up on that if you want to skip it.



Romantic ComedyRomantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld
This book is not for everyone, but it’s one of my favorite books I read in 2023. It’s about a writer on a SNL type show who writes a skit about how funny guys end up with beautiful women but the reverse is never true for funny women ending up with beautiful men.




Frozen RiverThe Frozen River by Ariel Lawhon
I really enjoyed this historical mystery, and I think it is so fitting as I look out at the frozen world outside my window. It follows the diary of Martha Ballard, an 18th century midwife, as she seeks justice after a body is found in the frozen Kennebec River. The romance between 40-something Martha and her husband is so touching, in this very gripping and suspenseful novel.



these is my wordsThese Is My Words by Nancy Turner
I read this book YEARS ago after my mom raved about it and sent me a copy. She wasn’t wrong – this historical romance is written in diary form (a format I generally don’t care for but works wonderfully here) and follows Sarah Prine and her family in the Arizona Territories where pretty much every bad thing you can imagine happens until they join up with a wagon train. The leader of the wagon train is Captain Elliot and Sarah by turns admires him and despises him. Of course she does. I LOVED this book. (Full review here)



Instagram Recommendations

Before I called you MineBefore I Called You Mine by Nicole Deese
Lauren, a first-grade teacher, has spent her entire life trying to find love. But after too many failed attempts, she has decided that her next path in life is motherhood. As adoption plans are drawn up and her life as a single mother draws near (her adoption agency requires her to stay single), one very unexpected complication arises…Lauren begins to fall for the charming, super great with kids substitute at her school. She is now faced with one of the hardest decisions of her life – go for the love that she always wanted, or begin life as a mother. 


Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher
Every time I ask for suggestions for Christmas books, this book gets recommended. Although it is set at Christmas, I have heard it is very winter cozy. I’m hoping this is the year I finally get to read it! It follows five different characters and it’s over 400 pages, so I better get moving on this one!
Another highly recommended book by Rosaumnde Pilcher with a 35+ romance was  The Shell Seekers.



Things we never got overThings We Never Got Over by Lucy Score (Knockemout Series)
After running away from her own wedding, Naomi Witt returns back home to her small town of Knockemout. Little did she know that she was coming home to more than she bargained for. Her evil troublemaking twin Tina leaves Naomi with a niece she never knew existed. While Naomi is working on cleaning up Tina’s mess, she crosses paths with a broody, bearded, local man who finds himself more involved than he ever would have anticipated.



All Rhodes lead hereAll Rhodes Lead Here by Mariana Zapata
This slow burn romance is all about living with love and loss. Aurora is coping with the loss of her mother, the ending of a 14 year relationship, and she is about to head back to her small mountain hometown. When she rents out an apartment from Tobias Rhodes, she finds out that this landlord might just help her open her heart back up to love.



The Second time AroundThe Second Time Around by Mary Beesley
When Claire’s emotionally abusive husband dies in an accident, she is left a widow and an empty nester after her last daughter goes off to college. And after spending the past twenty-two years being a homemaker and successfully raising daughters, Claire is in urgent need of some cash – but with no work experience and no college degree, she finds herself doing what she does best. She becomes the nanny for the kindergarten son of   wealthy Banks Sexton. What she doesn’t expect is for both Banks and his 30-year-old son, Smith, to be vying for her attention. Which of the Sexton men will win Claire’s heart in this second chance romance?


Wherever the Wind takes usWherever the Wind Takes Us by Kelly Harms
After ending a twenty-two year marriage, Becca Larkin is shocked when she is awarded her husband’s sailboat, the Becky Ann, in the divorce settlement. She quickly decides she will sell the boat to a buyer in Miami, so her twenty-one year old daughter, Olivia, offers to help her sail it there. With only one stop under their belt, Liv reveals that she is flying out an Irish sailing instructor to help with the boat. This sailor is handsome and kind, and not at all what she expected – she might even like sailing after all! What will Becca’s future hold, with a new lease on life and a new found skill of sailing? If you liked this romance, check out, The Overdue Life of Amy Byler, it also came highly recommended.


Same time next summerSame Time Next Summer by Annabel Monaghan
I loved Nora Goes Off Script, and this romance by the same author looks like a fantastic beach read. Sam and her fiancé are both a little uptight. When she brings him to the laid back beach-town where she spent summers growing up to look at wedding venues, she is shocked to run into Wyatt – her first love. Will they be able to resist the natural way they gravitate to each other, even after all these years? (Another highly recommended book by Monaghan was Summer Romance about a newly divorced home organizer ready to go all in on a summer romance. Sounds like another great chick lit beach read to me!)


A Season for Second Chances A Season for Second Chances by Jenny Bayliss
With grown kids out of the house and a 26-year marriage that recently ended, Annie takes a winter guardian position in a seaside home. All the townsfolk welcome her with open arms, except for the nephew of the seaside house homeowner. He has plans for the house that he cannot take care of while she is currently staying in the house. For Annie this truly will be a season for second chances. 



The Paper PalaceThe Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller
Elle has visited the summer home they called “The Paper Palace” every summer since she was a young girl, she even met her childhood love, Jonas, there. Now fifty years later, back at The Paper Palace, Elle sneaks off with Jonas to have intimate time together, with both of their spouses still inside. Elle must make the decision to continue her life with her beloved husband, or the life she always imagined with Jonas.  



Big Stone GapBig Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani
In her quaint little town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ave Maria Mulligan has come to the realization that as a 35 year old – she is the town spinster. But after Ave finds out she is not who she thought she was…she has long lost family members and prospective husbands lining up around the block, just as she is trying to hold her life together.



OutlanderOutlander by Diana Gabaldon
After the television series came out, this became a wildly popular series. Think time-travel historical romance (I’ve heard pretty steamy romance), about Claire, a British WWII nurse who travels back in time to 17th century Scotland. And along the way, she falls in love with a young Scottish Highland warrior.



The Bridges of Madison CountyThe Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller
This timeless story about photographer Robert Kincaid and the farm wife he meets while photographing covered bridges in Madison County, celebrates the physical bridges that connect us, and the psychological ones that bond us.



Lucy Checks InLucy Checks In by Dee Ernst
Lucia Gianatti is 49…she is jobless, penniless, and is in serious need of a fresh start! Once upon a time, she ran one of the most upscale hotels in New York – but after a huge mistake, she lost it all and is now attempting to turn a dilapidated hotel in France into something of wonder. Will her past mistakes come back to bite her, or will she be able to reclaim her life? 
There were also tons of other recommendations for Ernst’s book, Maggie Finds Her Muse, about a writer who travels to Paris to overcome her writer’s block and gets very distracted by two different men.


The Lost ManuscriptThe Lost Manuscript by Mollie Rushmeyer
This book has it all – mystery, romance, and historical elements. As Ellora and Alex begin a treasure hunt for a lost historical book in England, they might just find their lost love for each other too. 




The Perfect FindThe Perfect Find by Tia Williams
Jenna has held high-profile jobs in the fashion industry, but now finds herself working for her nemesis Darcy, at her online fashion website. Although they both don’t care for each other, Darcy needed Jenna’s fashion expertise, and Jenna was desperate for a fresh role. When forty-year-old Jenna meets Eric, the new 22-year-old videographer at the company, conversation flows and their attraction is mutual. She is finding it hard to focus on work with Eric around, but she is determined to succeed at this job no matter how she feels about him.


The Woman Who Stole my LifeThe Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes
This chick lit book is told from two different timelines about a beautician who survived a life-threatening disease (which left her paralyzed, except for ability to blink). As a result, she writes a self-help book, which led to fame and fortune, but now it is all coming crashing down.




Maybe Once, Maybe TwiceMaybe Once, Maybe Twice by Alison Rose Greenberg
Growing up, Maggie made a marriage pact with Garrett. If they both turned 35 and were not married, they would marry each other. The problem? She also made the same pact with Asher. And the even bigger problem? Maggie is now 35, and both men have showed up! It’s now up to her to make a decision and deal with the fallout.




Love PracticallyLove Practically by Nicole Van
At 38 years old, Leah is a spinster without any real prospects, so when the dashing Captain Fox Carnegie proposes a marriage of convenience, she decides to accept. Part because she doesn’t want to be alone, but also because she has had a crush on Fox for 20 years…but he doesn’t remember them ever meeting. Fox and Leah begin to long for something more, but will the secrets from Fox’s past get in the way?



The IdenticalsThe Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand
Sometimes it just takes a family crisis to bring two estranged family members back together. In this case, identical twins who have been at odds for years, finally find their way back to each other, and discover that their bond isn’t worth throwing away.




The Secret of SnowThe Secret of Snow by Viola Shipman
A 50 year old Palm Springs TV meteorologist has a major breakdown on air after being let go from her job. She returns home to icy Michigan to take a job at the only news station willing to give her a chance. She has been avoiding her home and a winter tragedy she has been trying to outrun. Can she move on and finally thaw her heart?



The CactusThe Cactus by Sarah Haywood
Susan is in her mid forties, lives alone, and is perfectly happy living her very orderly life, away from everyone…some might call her a bit prickly. After the loss of a family member and a personal situation that she never thought she would find herself in, Susan’s very organized life is shaken to it’s core. She’s about to learn that there are very ordinary people who will still love her even if she comes to the table with a complicated and messy life. 



The Enchanted AprilThe Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim
It’s the 1920s and four proper English women, previously unknown to one another, decide to rent an Italian villa for month after responding to a newspaper advertisement. In one month’s time, the four women become fast friends, they fall for the enchanting Italian countryside, and of course…companionship.



Gray Hair Don't CareGray Hair Don’t Care by Karen Booth
It’s never too late to find true love in this chick lit romance novel. After losing touch after more than twenty years, two college best friends run into one another and have a night of passion that doesn’t end well. When they run into each other again several years later, their new working relationship forces them to face their past and deal with feelings that they never truly had gotten over. 



Role PlayingRole Playing by Cathy Yardley
This sweet romance features Maggie and Aiden, both over age 45, both introverts finding love online gaming. They become guild members and fast friends before they ever meet in real life. 



Any Day NowAny Day Now by Robyn Carr
This is the second book in the Sullivan’s Crossing 5 book series. Sierra Jones’ life has been pretty troubled, and when she decides she wants to turn things around, she thinks a visit to her brother, Cal, in Sullivan’s Crossing might be just the place to start over. What begins as a short visit might just turn into an indefinite stay.  




Miss Buncle's BookMiss Buncle’s Book by D.E. Stevens
Hard times have fallen on Barbara Buncle. With her bank account nearly dry, she is desperate to write a new novel and grasping at straws for any leads. Idea strikes one day to write about her fellow residents in the small town of Silverstream. When the novel becomes a huge hit, the residents of Silverstream are incredibly mad at the anonymous author. The kicker of this entire thing, is the people of the town start experiencing the then fiction events in the book. Coincidence?



Come as You AreCome As You Are by Jess K. Hardy
Ashley is trying to save her struggling ski hill, and keep it out of her ex-husband’s hands. After spending all the money she has, she decides to hire the help of men from the local sober living home, to save on costs. Little did she know that she would start falling for the owner, a recovering addict covered in tattoos, and understand that we are all deserving of second chances.



hello beautiful bookHello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano
My assistant Analese raved about this one! William’s life is not typical. While his mother was giving birth to him at the hospital, his big sister gets sick at home and dies shortly after they get home. His parents blame William and never get over it, leaving him to live a childhood full of isolation. He has never felt love until he meets the Padavano sisters in college. Not only does his whole world change, but so do all four Padavano sisters.



Charm City RocksCharm City Rocks by Matthew Norman
Billy is a single dad and a passionate music teacher who lives above his favorite store on earth, a record store called Charm City Rocks. When his teenage son Caleb sets up a meetup with a rock star who Billy had a crush on years ago, it ends up being a bit of a disaster. What happens next is absolutely charming and heartwarming.




Love at Second SightFab Forties Series by Liwen Y. Ho
After Cassie’s husband dies, she never expects to fall in love again. But, when her husband’s best friend, Brad, delivers a letter written by her husband before he passed, she is shocked to find out he asks that Will be the one to help her practice dating again. As Cassie and Brad start spending time together, they wonder if they might be each other’s new beginning.



Love LetteringLove Lettering by Kate Clayborn
Meg is a calligrapher known for her amazing hand lettering, and while working on wedding invitations for a couple about to get married, she senses disaster with their relationship. She encodes the word “mistake” in their wedding invitations, and a year later the groom shows up at her door demanding to know how she knew. Let’s just say…the wedding never happened.



Major Pettigrew's Last StrandMajor Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson
Set in the English countryside Major is very traditional Englishmen, but receives a serious shock when his brother passes away unexpectedly. Because of his death, he frequents the town bookshop and becomes friends with the Pakistani shopkeeper, Mrs. Ali. Their friendship turns into something more and they have to decide as a couple if they want to continue forward even though the village people crave culture.



First Comes LoveFirst Comes Love by Emily Riddle
Two sisters, Meredith and Josie, find themselves estranged after a family tragedy ripped them apart. Josie is in her thirties and hasn’t found love yet, and her priorities have shifted to wanting to become a mother. Meredith on the other hand seems to have the perfect life, an adoring husband and a beautiful daughter. But as the anniversary of the tragedy looms, all the secrets from the past start bubbling to the surface, and they realize they need each other more than they ever imagined. 



And if you’d like a printable copy of this romance book list that you can take to your library or screenshot on your phone for easy access, just pop in your email address below and it’ll come right to your inbox!


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One Comment

  1. I also wrote a book about love for older couples. Rewind My Heart by Lela Leight published in November 2023, book was based on a dream. Have written a series. Our First kiss, not edited or published. Linda Smith

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