Love Beyond the Age of Forty?

And the winners are: CATHY BEACH and ANDREA SHACKFORD. Congratulations to them and thanks to all who left a comment.

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The seventh and last book in the Survivors’ Club series, Only Beloved, will be published on May 3. It is the story of George, Duke of Stanbrook, who opened his home, Penderris Hall in Cornwall, during the Napoleonic Wars for the treatment and convalescence of wounded officers. Six of them stayed for three years or more, and those six plus George formed a close bond of mutual support and affection and named themselves the Survivors’ Club. The six are young men–and one young woman, but it seemed important to me at the start that George be an older man so that his decision to offer his home would not seem like a guilt-offering for not having gone to war himself. I did involve him emotionally, however, His only son fought and died in the wars at the age of 17, and his wife committed suicide soon after. George is now 48. Too old for a romance of his own? I knew from the start that I was facing the writing of his story at the end, and I trusted that I was up to the challenge–and that readers would be receptive to his love story despite his age.

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Although it would have been perfectly realistic historically to give George a young heroine, I just could not do it, and modern sensibilities don’t find it very acceptable (though Léonie is in her teens and the Duke of Avon in his forties in Heyer’s much beloved These Old Shades). Dora Debbins first appeared in The Arrangement as the music teacher of Vincent, the blind hero. I don’t think I thought of her then as George’s heroine, but I certainly did when the two of them met in Only Enchanting, and so did many readers! Dora was perfect heroine material. She had given up all her hopes and dreams as a very young woman when she remained at home to raise her young sister after their mother ran away with a lover. Now she lives alone in a cottage in a country village, earning her living as a music teacher and counting her blessings. She is 39 years old. Too old for a romance of her own?

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I think readers generally speaking are ready for romances involving older people. Many readers are older people–and so am I! In the changing social fabric of our times, more and more older people are single (for whatever reason) and looking and dreaming. It is no longer assumed that if you have not snared your man (or your woman) by the age of 25 or so and got safely locked into marriage, you are on the shelf and out of luck for the rest of your natural born days. People of all ages are dating, forming relationships, getting married, falling in love, staying in love, and so on and on. Perhaps it is time for a whole genre of romances for the over-40s. Dora almost qualifies! In fact, by the end of the book she probably is 40, and in the epilogue (yes, there is one to wrap up the whole series) she is 43. And he–gasp!–is 51.

I thoroughly enjoyed writing George and Dora’s story. As older people, they both enter into a marriage with the expectation that it will be more of a companionable friendship than a passionate romantic relationship. And their expectations are fulfilled…and severely challenged…and exceeded until the moment late in the book when George, in a moment of great stress, can call Dora his only beloved. Dora, of course, has been quietly, deeply in love with him since that evening when he turned the pages of her music as she played the piano in Only Enchanting. I hope readers will enjoy this ending to the series and then follow me into the next one–the eight-part Westcott Family Series beginning with Someone to Love in November, 2016.

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To two people who leave a comment below before the end of Thursday, April 28, I will send a signed copy of ONLY BELOVED. Good luck!

 

 

179 thoughts on “Love Beyond the Age of Forty?

  1. To be honest I’m more than ready for romances involving older people. I’m grateful when I can enjoy a book with characters close to my age.
    I’m looking forward to reading Dora and George’s story.
    Thank you in advanced, Mrs. Balogh.

      • Mary I love your books. I hadn’t read any of your books until this series (hanging head in shame) and have fallen in love with it. Thank you for these books!

    • I enjoy all of your books. The characters are individuals with depth of personality and problems.

      I enjoy the historical background and the fact that romance novels have a happy ending. There are enough problems in real life. I read to fuel my joy.

    • I say it’s better late than never!! And it’s almost a year to the date of the posting!!( LOL) I’m 73 & still holding out 4 the real thing!! LOVE TO & 4 US ALL!!!

  2. I have enjoyed this series and anticipate the next.
    George, Duke of Stanbrook was a given as the hero for a book but I’m so pleased Dora is the heroine.

  3. Hi Mary! I truly believe in love over 40s. I think age is not a impediment to love. Perhaps it’s a great addition since we are maturer and more conscious of ourselves. This book is the one I’ve been waiting most and I’m sure I won’t be disappointed! Thanks for every story you’ve been telling us!

  4. I love this series sorry to see it end but can’t wait to read this story! Can’t wait for the next series love your work.

  5. I’m looking forward to the book! I’ve enjoyed the whole series so far and look forward to your next one. George and Dora definitely deserve their happy ending.

  6. I been expecting this book since the beginning. I love all the stories of the Survivors, with a capital S if you please, and in each of them I learning more and more about George, so this is like an happy end for a good friend. And what about older people’s love stories?I’m glad that finally authors realized that love is for everyone.

  7. One of the things I have enjoyed about this series is that it is not ordinary. A hero who walks with canes? A blind man? A limping heroine? I love your ability to see that anyone can find love. I am so glad that George and Dora will.

  8. From my perspective, looking back, 51 and 40 years of age is a perfect for a romance. The older man – the younger woman. And he’s already shown what wonderfully caring and generous man he can be. She has been self-sacrificing and patient. It’s time they had a love of their own. I can’t wait! (I should have that put on my tombstone I say it so often.)

  9. so looking forward to the book, happy Dora gets a love of her own, such an interesting person, caring and unselfish and talented. George is a truly remarkable individual to have nurtured and loved such damaged souls. Have loved this entire series, definitely on my keeper shelf or shelves, A ll of your books are there, Jan

  10. Love beyond the age of forty is fabulous! I was 38 when I met my husband & he was 48. Almost 22 years later our love is deeper then ever! Can’t wait to read the book!

  11. I absolutely love all your books. I have been a fan of yours since I read you the first time. Thanks for the chance.

  12. I had a suspicion when I read Only Enchanting that George and Dora would end up together. I enjoy reading about mature adults finding love. Really looking forward to this story.

  13. would love to win one of your books… have enjoyed them from the beginning…
    love after 40, guess I am just lucky to have found my forever love…almost 40 years. not always smooth or easy, however love hides a multitude of sins doesn’t it!

  14. I am so looking forward to getting Book Seven Of this series. I have all the series of earlier books and Have enjoyed nearly all of them. Thank you so much for all your novels.

  15. I married my first husband when we were both 42. I’d known him for over 25 years at that point, although we’d only spent time together a few times (he lived in England, I in America). When our marriage ended amicably (he’s still a good friend), I married someone Brit Hub 1.0 introduced me to…when we were first engaged! I say: any man who lines up his replacement years in advance is truly forward-thinking. Brit Hub 2.1 and I got together when I was 50 and he was (cough cough) 46. Ten years later, and all three of us are very happy. So yes, I am a huge fan of the romance-over-40 plotline!

  16. I have loved this series and hate to see it end. I’m glad George is getting his romance and I think Dora is a wonderful choice. I’m a never-married 60 year old and I don’t think I want to make the changes to my life that marriage would require, but I do love romantic stories in books, films, and real life.

  17. Does age matter when love beckons?
    Very excited to read George and Dora’s journey of love! Two unselfish lonely hearts must come together..
    Also excited for the new series. You are my favorite author when it comes to romance. Cant thank you enough for writing such wonderful stories

  18. I don’t think I have ever really notice the age of the characters, that being said I’m excited to see how this story plays out. I’m curious to see if George and Dora come off more mature than the other characters in the survior series and how they fall in love after thinking themselves too old. All in all, as long as characters in a book are entertaining and believable, I could care less what their ages are. I would rather read a good love story with main characters aged 80 than a poorly written book with 20 somethings in it.

  19. I have no problem with older people romace. I think love is for all ages. Therefore, I can’t wait to read this. AND May starts on Sunday! Happy reading everyone!

  20. I am older and enjoy the older romances. These seem to develop on a slower, deeper level. I cannot wait to read George’s story. I love his relationship with Vincent.

  21. Honestly, I love that you are willing to write about older couples. As time goes on, people are getting married later in life, having children later in life, so really, you’re getting the jump on it! Plus, how depressing is to read novel after novel (spinsters at 25, widowed at 30, etc) that suggest your ability to be lovable has an expiration date?

  22. Thank you for writing about heroes and heroines on the other side of 40. Romance doesn’t discriminate and we readers are thrilled.

  23. This sounds awesome. I think people can fall in love at all ages. I love that the person is older. Love your books. This looks like it is gonna be a good one.

  24. I wholeheartedly agree about the romances for the over 40 set. I am very happy you’re addressing it. I think over 40 relationships can be about romance and passion, but probably at a more mature, more patient pace. I look forward to this book.

  25. I cannot wait to read this book. Only Enchanting was my introduction to historical romance and I have not stopped reading them since! And I am especially looking forward to this one because I am over 40 (way over)!

  26. I can’t wait to read this final book. As others have mentioned, it’s a welcome change to have slightly more mature characters. You know you’re getting older when the heroines all seen so young!

  27. I’m almost 60! I’ve been reading your books for almost 30 years! I love your stories. Like the person above, I love a good story and I welcome older characters.

  28. I’m looking forward to reading this book, since it sounds like it is a bit different from the others in the series. I have always wondered who George would end up with, and what his story is all about.

  29. Hi! I cannot wait to read the conclusion to this series! I have enjoyed every book immensely! You are a truly wonderful writer and regardless of the age of the characters, your story will be fantastic!

  30. I think its great! I am so exciting to read Georges story, I will be 38 in June and its going to be interesting to read about someone who is my age but in a different time and what struggles or challenges it is for her to simply Marry at her age as apposed to now. It’s almost the normal now for a woman to Marry later in life and have children .. Thanks to a chance to win

    Elizabeth

  31. I am looking forward to the last book in the Survivor series. I do not think of age, I simply would like a happy ending for George.

  32. I’ve auto bought this book as I often do with your books, but I would love an autographed copy, throwing my hat into the ring. I ordered the e-book and a paperback would fit in with the rest of my favorites I have of yours.

    I don’t mind younger partners, but special books that keep the age similar are very appealing because of the sharing of their experiences.

    Both winners will love having your book.

  33. I cannot wait to read this book. One is never to old to find their true love; that amazing person who was born and destined to meet them later on in life. I believe lightning can strike from your 40’s upwards!

  34. I cannot wait to read this book! I believe one is never to old to find their true love; that amazing person who was born and destined to meet them later on in life. I further believe lightning can strike from your 40’s upwards!

  35. I know for a fact that love does not have a cut off date.

    Having just read Eleanor Thompson’s story in ANOTHER DREAM, I know what a fine job you can do with a more mature couple’s love story. My only complaint with it was the same one I have for all novellas – they are just too short. I’m glad that George and Dora’s story will be a full novel. When we got to know Dora in ONLY ENCHANTING, my first thought was that that poor woman NEEDS a love story. Thank you for giving her one.

    Keep writing love stories about those sweet young things in their 20s. I enjoy those too. But I, for one, am glad you are expanding your repertoire to also include a few older hero and heroines.

  36. I might not be over 40 but my ” beloved who’s turning 60 certainly is !
    I think that when you fall in love when you are a bit older(I’m 38) is one that is fought with anxiety and trepidation.
    One knows more of themselves and quite accepting of who they are ( happy in their own skin)
    that you would like for that relationship to go the distance and not another wasted journey.
    This story is extra special because of them finding love when they are a bit older like mine

  37. I have been looking forward to this novel for quite a well. I think older romance is more interesting, as the characters have depth that only time brings to one. And these two have had such difficult lives it will be wonderful to see them both find happiness.

  38. I love the idea of “older” couples falling in love! Age is relative but it’s wonderful to be reminded that romance can happen at any age. I think there is a large market for these types of stories. Looking forward to reading your next book. Thanks for a chance to win it!

  39. I am so looking forward with such mixed feelings to reading Only Beloved. I enjoy wounded heroes and heroines which you do so well. I have always enjoyed heroes in their mid-thirty’s and it’s never made much sense to me to pair a giddy teenager or very young woman with them. They would usually have very little in the way of common interests unless the man is into arm candy. Those books, I put down as soon as I figure that out because that mentality has no appeal to me.

    I’m glad you have another series going. Don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have another Mary Balogh to look forward to reading.

  40. Having lived an “older” romance and finding the partnership to be the best of my life, I can assure you and other fans that such a romance is possible and can be magic. I’m eager to read about George and Dora. Their story is one we’ve waited for throughout the series. And now on to the next characters we’ll come to love.

  41. After hearing that if I wasn’t married by 30, I probably didn’t have a chance, I was 37 and he was turning 40. He’d never been married. We have 2 biological children and 88 other iteration all children, load to us fora moth, semester or year. Our youngest was born when I was 45 and he was 48. Twenty three exciting years!

  42. There should never be a timeline when it comes to love, finding it or embracing it. I can’t understand why anyone would want to think that there is an expiration date to finding happiness. I can’t wait for this book. George definitely deserves a happily ever after as does Dora. Eagerly awaiting the opportunity to read their story.

  43. Both George and Dora deserve a happily ever after. I can’t wait to read your latest book and to know there is another series coming is great!

  44. As a woman in her late 50’s, I like the idea of older characters falling in love and having their own happily ever after. I never married, but I still believe in true love and finding my soul mate. A woman can dream, can’t we? I look forward to reading the newest book in your series. I didn’t realize that there would be a last book in the Survivor series, but I am excited to hear about that.

  45. I’m glad you chose Dora for George, he has given so much to the group of men under his wing. My heart broke for him in Only Enchanting when he said he was to old to find someone. But stood by watching the love between the couples, I could just picture his heartache in that moment and makes me so glad he will find love. When he was turning the pages for Dora, I thought they would be perfect together! Can’t wait to read it

  46. I have loved this series. I loved the Bedwyns too, but this in some ways means even more. No one was perfect, they were human. They are not all absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. Some of the characters were not exceedingly wealthy. I like the idea that someone who is considered “older” can find happiness in their lives. You are absolutely right, many of your readers are more mature. Even though finding love may not be in the cards for everyone, it is nice to know that a romantic story can be about older people who find someone who will cherish them and who they can cherish.

    I look forward to the upcoming series. Can’t wait!

  47. I am an older reader and enjoy the typical romances of young characters in their 20s. While it is somewhat unusual to find stories with older heroes I am very interested in reading them. George’s story needed to be told and I am eagerly awaiting it. I loved this series so far.

  48. I’ve been looking forward to this book for quite some time. George and Dora’s story is going to be my Mother’s Day gift to myself.

  49. I am always interested in older characters finding love, as I am a 69-year-old widow who would really enjoy finding love again. I am definitely looking forward to George and Dora’s story.

  50. I will turn 40 tomorrow morning and feel too young to say no to love. Ok, I’m very much in love with my dear husband, but I still fall in love by the end of chapter 4 😉

  51. I have pre-ordered your new book and can’t wait till it arrives. I love your books and when I read an exceptionally good book I reccommend it to our book club. We read a book and then meet for either breakfast or snacks after dinner to discuss in detail the characters and how much we liked the book. Different views from different people always open up the book more than just one’s opinion and sometimes makes you want to re-read the book to see their point of view. Keep writing, I love your books. Your characters come alive for me. Even thought I have pre-ordered the book for my kindle, I will wait until June, when my vacation is scheduled to read it. I always save the good ones so that I can really enjoy them.

  52. You have been a go to author for me for a long time. I try to read as many of your works as I can. Your characters are likable and some even lovable. I appreciate your talent.

  53. Forty is not too late for romance and love. Although I have been married 16 years, I recommit my love to my husband ever year and make sure the love stays fresh even though we are in our mid and late forties. I can’t wait to read this book because I really love your stories Mary!

  54. Mary, I enjoy your books so much and truly believe 60 is definitely not old! Please know that your posts of reading vinnettes and quips are so much appreciated and shared daily!

  55. I picked up The Proposal from the drugstore in Fort Qu’Appelle SK because my boys were in a hockey reffing course and I needed something to read to save me from the boredom of 5 hours twiddling my thumbs in a hockey rink. And the rest as they say is history! I have the whole set in ebooks now and can’t wait to read about George and Dora.

  56. I have always loved historical romance novels. Unfortunately, the older I get the harder it is to identify with a hero and heroine young enough to be my children. I like the fact that the genre is opening up to older characters. People with a bit of life behind them. I am looking forward to reading your latest.

  57. I hope that This is the place you wanted a comment to be awarded a copy of you new book Only Beloved…I have been waiting to see how the romance turns out for Dora… I have the whole series so far except this one…

  58. Love comes to all ages and since I am over 60 I love reading about it coming to women that are 40 and older. I enjoy the other ages
    also, but love does not know an age. Love this series of books. Have read several of your series and the only problem I have is the next
    book doesn’t come out soon enough to suit me. 🙂 I do say that as I smile to myself. I know a book just doesn’t come at a drop of the
    hat and one that has a good storyline takes longer and I am willing to wait, but it is hard. Your love for writing comes out in your writing.

  59. Ms Balogh
    I would love a copy of your book. I have read you and enjoyed your stories. I love historical romances. So wish I could have lived in that era. But only if I could be in the aristocratic circles. 🙂
    Thank you and continue writing please!

  60. I have this series on my “to be read” list and am reading as fast as I can to get to it. I cannot wait for this book in particular, because the heroine and I are the same age.

  61. I’ve been looking forward to George’s story since the series began.
    I am incredibly excited to hear you’ve got another series coming out so soon. What great news!

  62. George’s story is the one I most wanted to know– you’ve written him so well and I, personally, enjoy the older hearts reignited again. I became a widow almost a year ago and at 50 I’ve spent time walking around my house trying to make sense of a world I no longer knew. I have thought that George must have walked as I do, thinking of his beloved son and his poor tortured wife. My thanks to you, my dear, for giving me your stories to make my life so much more richer– and these days, something more to think about than myself.

  63. As someone who found a soul mate after I had crossed 40, I cannot say enough about the need for fiction that reflects the realities of love after a certain age. Those outside such relationships can sometimes not fathom the strength of feelings and giddy, heady happiness of the first bloom of such a love … perhaps not very different from what a younger pair of lovers would feel. The cynicism of age parallels well with the insecurities of youth.

    Thank you for this book.

  64. I’m 74 so definitely an older (but devoted) reader. Most of all, I love your character studies and the romance that develops between imperfect but lovable people. I’m hoping to read quite a few more. My daughter and I share all of your books and eagerly await the next ones. Thank you

  65. Win or not I’m so happy that it almost here. I’m sure it’s going to be a good one just like the rest of the series!

  66. I have really, really, really enjoyed each of these books and am both excited and saddened to see the last book. I’d dearly love to win an autographed copy.

  67. I don’t think you are ever to old to find love.I have seen many older people find love after the death of a spouse and say go for it.My grandpa told my grandmother if I go first be a grieving widow with your head down but be looking around to see who is available.He didn’t want her to be alone she never did remarry but she loved this story.

  68. This all reminds me of my Henry Mancini CD with “The Second Time Around” song on it. 🙂 Can’t wait for the books to come out!

  69. I read recently, “It is an easy leap from friends to lovers.” Now, perhaps if the man is still young, with a silky head of hair, a strong jaw and a rakish smile; and the lady is a young beauty with unblemished skin, a long smooth curve from chin to firm breasts with a gently slope from fundament to thigh, then it would indeed be an attraction to explore. But when age has done its damage, we must overlook the ravages of time and learn to be happy if, when he smiles at you, that smile reaches up into his still glistening eyes which promise kindness, humor and an eagerness to try to recapture the pleasures of the flesh. And if her eyes can look at him as though he were still the young man of her dreams, then….perhaps….perhaps.

  70. I’m looking forward to reading more of your books, Mary! I have recently “found” you through Grace Burrows, another favorite author!

  71. Seems like I have been waiting forever for this story. May 3rd is my birthday and this book would be a great present. Over forty romance is very realistic. I feel a mature relationship is stronger than most.

  72. I have just tonight finished rereading the entire Survivors series in anticipation of Only Beloved. Press Ghana week to wait now!

  73. There are a few romantic stories out there with heroes and heroines over 35, but they are few and far between. George and Dora’s story is welcome, as they reflect a reality that exists today, but also existed a few hundred years ago. I am eager to read how they manage their connection, and how they allow themselves to truly care for each other.

  74. Is passionate love possible for an older couple? Absolutely! Love has no boundaries. And passion comes in many forms. Combining elemental attraction with the wisdom of age can be downright sexy. I’m looking forward to George and Dora’s story!

  75. I love the Survival series tackling the aftermath of war and severe injuries and ptst. In each case you have gotten into the survivor’s head to help us understand what he or she is going through. The story of brain injury had some things that didn’t immediately ring true. And then I thought of my friend who suffered severe brain injury in a plane crash in Denver. Knowing her and for a while working with her, I began to understand what her injuries had done to her and those things I wondered about in your story began to seem real and I marveled at the job you had done. As for George, you have slowly been revealing him as a person and an injured soul until we feel like we know him and want him to find happiness.

  76. It’s so sad to see a series coming to an end. I’ve so enjoyed living with and learning from this special group of people. But I look forward to the next. My only frustrations have been the long wait between stories.

  77. I didn’t realize that 50 was old! Old is 10 years older than me!
    Love is for any age
    Sorry the series is ending. Looking forward to another.

  78. I can’t wait to read the story. It sounds off the beaten track (in romance novels) and I am really curious about their ending. But what ever it is, written by you it will be good.

  79. I am looking forward to this book with anticipation and sadness… I will miss the this series but can’t wait for George’s story – he is so deserving after all his support of the others in the series.
    And yes, love can happen at any age… and deserves to be celebrated whenever it happens.

  80. Oh Mary! Thank goodness you’ve written a story with wisdom and foolishness! I’m 58 this year and I have the temerity to think I’m still sexy. Even with my saggy, baggy, body, I love to dance, and I love to love. I become foolishly infatuated way too often, sometimes even with my husband! Sometimes I wish to be young again, or rather, have a body without arthritis and hot flashes. Really, though, I’m glad that I’ve lived my life. I’m glad that I’ve had all the light and dark parts, because my experience has made me who I am. I am a whole person and I am enough. When I read your books, the thing I love about your characters is that they are whole people, with complicated bits that resonate with me. So it will be lovely to read about George and Dora and dream together with them.

  81. My mother and I have enjoyed every book in the Survivor’s series, and all of your other books as well. You have kept us spellbound with each tale. Years after finishing I frequently wonder, “What is happening with so-and-so now?” Your characters are so well-written that we feel like they’ve become a part of our lives. We are looking forward to reading about George and Dora. Bless you, Mary Balogh, and thank you for your wonderful stories! ♡

  82. I’ve been looking forward to this book for quite some time and can’t wait to read it. I’ve loved this entire series and will be sad that it’s over, but I’ll be looking forward to your next series.

  83. Mary, I love the idea of older heroes and heroines. I just read your anthology with Grace Burrowes, and so enjoyed that the hero was 40, and the heroine 39. This has been a wonderful series, and I’m very much anticipating this last book.

  84. So excited for this final book! I already love George for opening his home and heart to war heroes, but somehow, I think I’m going to love him even more for opening his heart to Dora!

  85. I totally enjoy your books! I will go on a binge-read of the Bedwyn books, starting with One Night for Love, ending with the last Simply book. Now I have to add the Survivor books to the binge (because of Gwen!).

  86. Statistically, people are marrying later in the Western Hemisphere, so this would meet our modern sensibilities. And in terms of romance: hey, Noelle Adams has a new romance out called Late Fall, about two people falling in love after they meet…in a nursing home, in their 70s! And I happen to have loved some secondary romances featuring older couples in other romances. So I’m all for it!

  87. I am always sad to see a series end but I am looking forward to reading George’s story since he played such an important role in helping everyone else heal and move on to living and loving.
    Thank you for giving your readers a chance to win another one of your delightful books.

  88. I am just so glad that there is another series to look forward to. I had wondered briefly whether retirement was in your plans, and always felt that George would be a wonderful “finale”.

    I am so very glad that he is not!

  89. Mary, this series has overall exceeded my expectations so far. I haven’t made it through all of them yet, but I will! I have been reading your books since the 1980s and loved your regency romances. I do enjoy the longer format, too.

  90. Since I am one of your “older” readers I’m looking forward to George’s story un the last of the Survivor’s novels. Thank you again for sharing your marvelous talent with us avid readers.

  91. I love reading your book over and over again. I have many of them in English but read some in my own language even though I think that some of the feeling and descriptions are not so vivid than in English. And George. ..hmmm…can’t wait to meet him again.

  92. I believe I have read all your books; I can truthfully state I have read all that I can find. I am very happy to see you are publishing earlier works as ebooks (speaking of age, as I am 70 now, I prefer ebooks because I can enlarge the print and not suffer from eyestrain). I smiled when you explained your theme of “older” for your latest; I’m looking forward to reading it.

  93. Have been eagerly awaiting this book. Saddened the series has come to an end, but at the same time excited to read more about George. Thank you Ms Balogh.

  94. HA HA – I had my second son at age 40 – many of my hot cops are mature (20-26 year veteran of the force) – I am 74 and hopeful – crazy as it is. I love the series – want this book!

  95. Everyone deserves to find love and happiness…. So looking forward to Stanbrook’s story. Also sad it’s probably the end of this series?

  96. I am so excited for Only Beloved! I have enjoyed this series and I’m sorry to see it end. It has been wonderful to get to know George throughout the other love stories, so it’s great that he finally gets his HEA.

  97. I am so ready to enjoy this final book in the Survivors series. To be honest, I have thoroughly enjoyed all your books that I have read to date. Thank you for the wonderful characters who come alive in your captivating stories.

  98. Love after forty? I must admit that I used to think love was just for young people. But I’ve been lucky enough to see several couples to find love when they are a bit older. Now I believe that age is just a number and being in love makes you feel younger. Sometimes I like to read about young people but it’s really nice to have also more mature heroes and heroines. And waiting for George’s story has been hard. It is a funny coincident that I will have my own 40th birthday day after Only Beloved is published.

  99. I’m ready too. I just finished Eleanor and Michael’s story in your anthology with Grace Burrowes and they were just delightful. Bring on heroes and heroines of all ages: your fans stand ready.

  100. As an over 40 single I do look to my Fav historical romance novels and authors for a segment of hope and how to do this phase of adulting. The contemporary books mostly stopped speaking to me a decade ago, with Grace Burrowes writing the exceptions.

  101. Can’t wait! Being past the 30’s 40’s, etc., I love a later in life love relationship. We aren’t dead!!!
    H and H of all ages!

  102. I have long since lost all patience with too young heroines, exceptions for Leonie for her era and her life, and welcome older couples. can’t wait

  103. Love After Forty? Either new or of “higher mileage”, I’d just hope that the people involved are more understanding & accepting of themselves, and therefore of their significant other. Love is much more than a feeling; it’s a ministry.

  104. I love reading all your books. Thank you for being such a gifted writer and sharing your talent with all of us!

  105. I hope this becomes a trend and we do get to read more stories about heroes and/or heroines who are more ‘mature’. I just read a new Contemporary story by Kim Boykin with a 49 y/o heroine and it was absolutely wonderful. If anyone can successfully give us a Historical Romance with a 40+ couple to remember, it will be you! SO looking forward to George and Dora’s HEA. <3

  106. I love the survivors’ club series and all of your books! Can’t wait to read the seventh book in the survivors’s club and then see what series you come up with next!!

  107. Stumbled upon your book, Only a Promise, when it just came out, at a local bookstore and have been loving your books since then. Can’t wait to read George and Dora’s story.

  108. I am so looking forward to George and Dora’s book, I have been since I hoped in my review on GR on Only Enchanting way back that I thought and hoped I knew who George’s lady was going to be! Their age only makes it more interesting. As someone who is 53, I know I’m not past romance so Dora certainly isn’t at only 38. Sure, children might possibly be out of the picture, but romance and love isn’t. I don’t feel that much different at 53 as I did at 38, for sure, a few more pains in my knees maybe! I also don’t like the young girl/older man romances and the Leonie/Avon gap was rather large, only because I am 20 years younger than my partner and unless I have an accident he is going to die and leave me, and that has been on my mind for years. Not only the emotional wrench of losing him, but also the financial difficulty I could find myself in having to pay a mortgage on my own, as well as possibly having a lonely old age so I guess it isn’t so romantic to me for that reason, plus I don’t know in general what a 40 year old would have to say to an 18 year old, especially in this day and age. Maybe back then it was different, but that age gap is too huge now, I think.

  109. Am so thrilled you wrote this book and cannot wait to read it. YES to older protagonists finding their own happily ever afters!

  110. Honestly I am very interested in this story. I rarely encounter stories like this that I really like. Maybe its a bias to the younger couples or maybe its the lack of spotlight given to the older couples tagged as “second chances”. I would really like to see how this kind of story develops. My instinct says that it will be better because there is this element of knowing that comes with age. Though of course that is subjective but nevertheless I am so excited. Also since its you that writes this,I feel this excitement building up inside me. I fully know that this is the end to the wonderful series and it will be a nice theme to close your books full of chances. I love your books and the emotion in it, it makes me feel alive. Especially now people are surrounded with thoughts about how love does not exist. With your books I firmly believe in love and now I am praying to read this last book very soon!! thank you so much for your books give me hope in life ! 🙂

  111. I discovered your delightful stories through Hoopla and now am excited to read your many stories in paperback. I find myself laughing out loud while reading and that surprises me. You are a true artist in combining words that paint pictures to delight.

  112. I’ve just finished rereading the entire Survivor series to prepare for this final book. My favorites are The Proposal and Only a Promise. I’m eagerly looking forward to the final book. Only a few days to go!

  113. I have only read 2 of your books Only A Promise (Ralph’s story) and Only Enchanting (Flavian’s story). I loved both of them and I know this one will be just as good. My plan is to eventually own the whole Survivor’s Club series. I love that I didn’t have to necessarily read them in order. i bought Only A Promise at Walgreens and boy I’m glad I did. I loved it. Only Enchanting I bought for my Kindle. I’m can’t decide which one I liked best. I could not put either one down. I can’t wait to buy or win more of your books

  114. I have been looking forward to this book for a long time, probably since the first one of the series, because I fell in love with George then. This is one book I’m really going to savor.

  115. I’m very much looking forward to reading Only Beloved. I’ve enjoyed all of the books in this series and have read at least sixty of your books as well as a goodly number of your shorter works. (I’m always on the lookout for your books when I go to a used book store or a thrift store.) Long may you write!

  116. I love all your books! I love that you have told stories about such a wide range of ages, disabilities, etc. It makes your books so different from the normal books out. I also love the series about families and friends. I am 60, so I really enjoy books about older people.

  117. I can barely wait for next Tuesday. I will have to fight myself to not read the epilogue first! I have already pre-purchased the first book in the new series and I do hope more of your earlier books will be re-issued. There are three or four I haven’t read yet. Thank you, Mary Balogh, for my favorite books.

  118. Today is my birthday. I would love to win a signed copy. I already have this book & your fall book on pre-order status at Amazon. I love all your books.

  119. I was so surprised to see that Dora would be the heroine in this novel. When we saw the two on stage in other novels, I never suspected anything romantic between them. I can’t wait to read how it plays out.
    I just finished reading your lovely novella, Another Dream. And I have a question. Have any of your fans ever drawn Lindsey Hall and the surrounding property? You’ve described it several times in your books, but my imagination’s eye can only see so far : )

    • Lindsey Hall, just as any other property–or character–I have created lived only in the imagination, Elizabeth.

  120. I have been eagerly anticipating the release of this book. I enjoy reading your books and have read and reread many of them several times. I still have a few to go and I look forward to reading each one!

  121. I am a dedicated romance reader but as I have aged, I find that I appreciate more reading about characters that have lived long enough to have experiences that influenced their personal growth over a period of years. The current “young adult” and “new adult” romance genres are so hard for me to relate to. So I am encouraged that there are writers such as yourself who are creating characters of mature ages. Thank you.
    I’ve read and loved each of your books although I do wish more of your OOP books (those wonderful Regency treasures) were available again.

  122. I too enjoyed all of the Survivors’ Club novels. I hope you will have a series that includes their children. That way we can catch up on what their parents have been doing at the same time finding out the fates of the kids.

  123. It is after the contest, but I still want to comment that one of the attractions for Only Beloved was the age of the hero and the heroine. I can enjoy a book about younger lovers, but it is nice to have one where the lovers are a little closer to my age (68).

  124. I just finished “Only Beloved,” and it’s by FAR my favorite of the Survivors’ Club series. I didn’t think anything could top “Only Enchanting” for me, but you’ve done it! In fact, I think OB may now be my favorite of all your books (and yes, other than the very early Regencies, I’ve managed to track down and read all of them!).

    I’m 51 myself, and seeing romances about older characters really warms my heart. It’s not as though life ends at 40, as so many younger people seem to think. Older people still have needs, desires, and a lot of love to give — and not just to their children, pets, and family members. There’s a special kind of passion that can develop between older people, when you have some life experience behind you, and you’ve had time to get to know yourself. When you get older, you’re more sure of who you are and what you want out of life, and I think that makes older characters far more interesting and well-rounded.

    My grandmother married her third husband at the age of 67, and had sixteen happy years with him before he passed away ten years ago. So she’s living proof that older people DO have wonderful relationships!

  125. I am going to be 69 in October and I still appreciate a romance, although I am very happily married. It is all the better if it is about people closer to my own age. A man in his 50s and a woman in her 40s or the reverse works just fine for me. So keep them coming Mary.

  126. I’m so glad you’re thinking of doing an over 40s series of romances. I’m a widow who will be turning 65 in a couple of months. I also moved to the country so I didn’t think I’d ever be in another romantic relationship again, ever! I was wrong. I met a wonderful man about 2 years ago and he’s 8 years younger than me. Ladies, this can happen to you at any age and it can be just as hot as when you were in your 20s.
    Mary, I hope that you and other writers will take up this call. Love and romance can happen at any age.

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