Book Unicorn category #3: a WLW or lesbian book featuring a character over 40
It’s my birthday today–my 43rd, to be exact–so what better time to post a list of books about characters over 40?
In WLW and lesbian fiction, especially in romance, most of the protagonists seem to be in their 20s and 30s. But there’s life–and love–in your fourties, fifties, sixties, seventies, and beyond! So for the third Book Unicorn category, I’d like you to read a book in which at least one of the main characters is over 40.
It could be an age gap romance, in which the other main character is considerably younger, or all of the protagonists could be over 40. I’ll leave that choice up to you, as long as at least one of the main characters is 40 or older.
10 WLW or lesbian books featuring a main character over 40
I put together a list of 10 books featuring a sapphic main character over 40. I hope you’ll enjoy them!
Just a Touch Away by Jae
Hannah Martin has an unusual job: she’s a professional cuddler. While she has a big heart for her clients, she hasn’t found someone special to snuggle up to in her personal life.
Winter Sullivan isn’t looking for love. She’s an aloof workaholic who’s built walls of ice around herself. She would rather drive toothpicks under her fingernails than cuddle, and she certainly doesn’t want to share her space with anyone.
When Winter’s estranged father dies, he leaves her one last surprise: she and Hannah, a perfect stranger, will inherit a building together. But there’s a catch: first, they have to live together for ninety-two days.
Winter is determined to dislike her rival, but soon finds Hannah isn’t what she expected at all. Thanks to a hilarious doormat war, a cuddle dare from Winter’s half sister, and a kiss in the most unusual of places, the frosty fortress around her heart begins to melt.
Will she be able to accept that love might be just a touch away?
Wrong Number, Right Woman by Jae
Flirting has never been Denny’s strong suit, but so what if she’s too shy to ask women out? She’s content with her simple life, working as a cashier and helping her sister raise her niece.
But then she gets a wrong-number text message from a stranger named Eliza, asking her of all people for dating advice!
Eliza is Denny’s total opposite: witty, outgoing—and straight. Despite their differences, the accidental text sparks an unlikely friendship. Soon, Eliza—self-proclaimed queen of disastrous first dates—would rather banter back and forth with Denny than to keep trying her luck at online dating.
When they meet in person, there’s an instant connection. But what Eliza is feeling can’t be attraction, right? It doesn’t mean a thing that she’s starting to wish the guys she dates would be more like Denny. Or does it?
Can the wrong number lead to the right woman after all?
Wrong Number, Right Woman is a light-hearted, slow-burn lesbian romance that embraces likable characters without all the drama.
Hooked on You by Jenn Matthews
Anna’s life’s in a bit of a rut. As a teacher with two great kids and a boyfriend, she seems to have it all. Except…she’s bored as hell. Perhaps a new hobby’s in order? Something…crafty?
Divorced mother and veteran Ollie has been through the wars, emotionally and physically. To relax, she runs a quirky crochet class in her London craft shop. She can’t help but notice the attractive, feisty new student. A shame Anna’s straight as an arrow.
But somewhere between the chain stitches, doubles and trebles, Ollie and Anna form a powerful connection they never expected.
Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure by Courtney Milan
Mrs. Bertrice Martin—a widow, some seventy-three years young—has kept her youthful-ish appearance with the most powerful of home remedies: daily doses of spite, regular baths in man-tears, and refusing to give so much as a single damn about her Terrible Nephew.
Then proper, correct Miss Violetta Beauchamps, a sprightly young thing of nine and sixty, crashes into her life. The Terrible Nephew is living in her rooming house, and Violetta wants him gone.
Mrs. Martin isn’t about to start giving damns, not even for someone as intriguing as Miss Violetta. But she hatches another plan—to make her nephew sorry, to make Miss Violetta smile, and to have the finest adventure of all time.
If she makes Terrible Men angry and wins the hand of a lovely lady in the process? Those are just added bonuses.
One Golden Summer by Clare Lydon & TB Markinson
Saffron Oliver is the golden girl. Golden hair. Golden skin. Golden movie career.
Only one problem: she hates it.
She flees to her sister’s seaside town – where she meets the confident & charming Kirsty McBride.
Kirsty is everything Saffron wants to be. Perhaps also, everything she wants.
But Saffron can’t have it all. So now, she has to decide: does she crave Kirsty enough to blow up her golden life?
I Love You Again by Kate Sweeney
Roz Maguire and Kit Weston. No two people could be more in love or more idiotic. After eighteen years of love, laughter, arguing, and all the rest that life threw at them, they never thought retirement would be the issue that drove them apart.
And now, two years later, Roz and Kit haven’t seen or spoken to each other and Kit’s mother, Helen, has had enough of their stubbornness. And when a meddling ex-mother-in-law has had enough, there’s only one outcome—total and hilarious mayhem.
Through menopause, skydiving, and chasing their youth, Helen Weston has found a way get these two older fools back together. Heaven help everyone involved.
This Foreign Affair (Pink Bean Series Book 4) by Harper Bliss
Television presenter Zoya Das is reeling from a painful breakup. When she’s called to solve a problem at a rental flat she owns, sparks fly between her and French guest Camille Rousseau.
A short holiday fling before Camille flies back to Paris could be just the thing to help Zoya’s recovery from heartbreak.
But what happens when Zoya and Camille develop deeper feelings for each other and are faced with the prospect of being in love on opposite sides of the world?
Hungry for It by Fiona Zedde
Rémi’s had a crush on her best friend’s mother since she knew what lust was. Claudia is everything she wants in a lover but doesn’t think she deserves – sophisticated, brilliant, and a woman of substance. But Rémi has resigned herself to only lusting from afar.
Instead of reaching out for what she really wants, Rémi takes the easy pleasure offered by the many women she meets around Miami and at her exclusive jazz club, burying her desire for Claudia in their willing bodies and shutting down the part of herself that craves more. It works for a while.
But when a dangerous business rival starts making trouble for Rémi, she finds herself unexpectedly turning to Claudia for comfort. The heat that flares between the two women quickly becomes too explosive for either of them to ignore. Soon, their nights are devoted to pleasure – sex, food, and the sweetness of discovering each other in new ways. But Rémi knows very well they are loving on borrowed time. Because once her best friend finds out what she’s been doing, and who, it will put more than just their friendship at stake.
Touchwood by Karin Kallmaker
Twenty-nine-year-old Rayann Germaine, betrayed by her lover, flees in grief and rage. She meets book store owner Louisa Thatcher, a woman many years her senior, who offers shelter and work… and soon, passion, and a loving place in her life.
But Rayann encounters challenges to this new love—from friends who question its wisdom, from her mother who disapproves of this liaison with a woman her own contemporary, from Louisa’s son who learns for the first time his mother’s true sexuality.
And there are profound differences between Rayann and Louisa themselves, two women who come from dramatically different places in the spectrum of age and life experience. Their only common ground seems to be the searing attraction that they both try to deny…
High October by Elena Graf
Liz Stolz and Maggie Fitzgerald were college roommates until Maggie confessed to her parents that she’d fallen in love with a woman. Maggie gave up her dream of becoming an actress and married her high school boyfriend. Liz became a famous breast surgeon.
Maggie is performing in a summer stock production near the Maine town where Liz is now a general practitioner. When Maggie breaks her leg in a stage accident, she lands in Dr. Stolz’s office. Is forty years too long to wait for the one you love?
Write Your Own Script by A.L. Brooks
Beloved famous British actress Tamsyn Harris is in her early fifties and works hard to prove she’s still got “it”, despite her age. That means never revealing she’s a lesbian, for fear it would threaten her acclaimed career. After an on-set incident blows up, she disappears to a retreat to lay low for a while.
Maggie Cooper is a successful author with two pseudonyms and suffering from burn out. It’s hard enough trying to maintain both worlds, let alone keep them separate from real life. After checking herself into a retreat in Norfolk, the last thing she expects to find is the respected, beautiful actress she’s had a crush on her whole life.
As passion sweeps them up, they agree it can only be a holiday fling. But is that enough? Can they just return to their lives and leave each other behind?
The Goodmans by Clare Ashton
The lovely doctor Abby Hart lives in her dream cottage in the quintessential English border town of Ludbury, home to the Goodmans.
Maggie Goodman, all fire and passion, is like another mother to her, amiable Richard a rock and 60s-child Celia is the grandmother she never had.
But Abby has a secret. Best friend Jude Goodman is the love of her life, and very, very straight. Even if Jude had ever given a woman a second glance, there’d also be the small problem of Maggie – she would definitely not approve.
But secrets have a habit of sneaking out, and Abby’s not the only one with something to hide. Life is just about to get very interesting for the Goodmans.
Things are not what they used to be, but could they be even better?
A Wish Upon a Star by Jeannie Levig
Leslie Raymond spent the past two years wishing her life had taken a different turn. It’s time for a fresh start, a move across the country, and a new set of rules to help heal her heart—no straight women, no women with kids, and no commitment. But when she meets her new neighbors, the beautiful Erica and her special needs daughter, Siena, she struggles against the pull she immediately experiences.
Erica Cooper has learned to rely only on herself. She knows most people don’t stick around when the going gets tough. And when caring for child with autism, the going can get tough fast. She is content with the quiet and emotionally safe life she’s constructed, but when they are befriended by their kind, playful, and—damn it—really hot new neighbor, the walls protecting her heart threaten to crumble.
So much for good intentions and firm resolutions–neither stand a chance when the stars align for love.
The War Within by Yolanda Wallace
Meredith Moser served as an Army nurse in Vietnam. She went to Saigon in 1967 looking to help those in need. She didn’t expect to meet the love of her life along the way. Forty-seven years later, a summer vacation with her granddaughter, Jordan Gonzalez, puts Meredith on a collision course with someone from her past and sends Jordan on a journey toward an uncertain future.
When Meredith comes face-to-face with Natalie Robinson, a woman whose heart she once broke, can a love once lost be regained? When Jordan meets Natalie’s niece Tatum, wheelchair-bound as a result of injuries she suffered when her Marine unit came under fire in Afghanistan, will her anti-war beliefs prevent her from falling in love?
Times of Our Lives by Jane Waterton
For the residents of OWL’s Haven, Australia’s first exclusively lesbian retirement community, life is about not being afraid to take chances. Together, Meg, Allie and their spirited group of friends share their lives, hopes and dreams, proving that whatever the setbacks, hearts that love are always young.
Leave a comment
Leave a comment and let us know what book you’ll be reading for the “character over 40″ category! Are there any others with older protagonists that you’d recommend?
Subscribe to this blog to get future Sapphic Reading Challenge posts
If you’d like to get all future Sapphic Reading Challenge posts sent to your in-box, subscribe to my blog.