I read widely from many genres. Perhaps this blog will feature fewer ratings and reviews, but I certainly intend to write about my reading life - it's the subject I most find myself wanting to talk about.
I recently read five of Jane feather's "V" books, and I was disappointed that most of them featured male and female heroes with significant age differences - in some cases almost 20 years.
Now, I know that in the old days it was very common for a man in his 30s to marry a teenager, but historical romance novels have the verisimilitude level of a Renaissance Faire. There's no reason Feather couldn't write like Stephanie Laurens, who contrives a way to make most of her male heroes and female heroes much closer in age. For romances, I appreciate an age difference of less than 10 years.
"Valentine" was pretty good. I like the plot contrivance of a forced marriage with benefits to both parties, plus the backstory of the male hero's war experience and the female hero's work on her family estate.
But I couldn't help but think that although the male hero was in his late 30s, her was a better age for the female hero's widowed mother. The mother has daughters in their early 20s, and she was a young bride herself, so she could be no older than mid 40s. She is wise and kind and loving. Why not make her the female hero? It would be far less creepy for contemporary readers and a lovely take on this kind of story.