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Heidi Hart

By day, I'm a domestic violence prosecutor. By night, I read romance to restore my faith in love, relationships, and humanity in general. 

Intelligent, Body- and Sex-Positive Novella About Mature Lovers

Fanning the Flames - Victoria Dahl

I really enjoyed this novella about 'mature' (he's 46, she's 43) lovers getting a second chance at happiness. Though the romance genre, especially in contemporary romance, is growing more diverse all the time, the old trope of the virginal ingenue taming the world-weary manwhore is still the rule rather than the exception, and it's refreshing to read about a couple who are evenly matched in intellect and experience. Lauren is a divorced librarian whose sexual needs have suddenly and inconveniently come out of hibernation now that her son has gone off to college. She finds herself tempted by Jake, the captain of the fire department next door to her library.

 

Jake's wife died a few years ago, and now the whole town wants to set him up with someone as wholesome and sweet as Ruth was -- only Jake isn't necessarily looking for wholesome and sweet.

 

I loved that Lauren is deliciously selfish. She's not interested in another marriage, doesn't want to settle down and keep house, doesn't have any interest in replacing Jake's sweet, schoolteacher wife. She wants to f*ck, and feel good, and not be ashamed of putting her own needs and desires first. I loved that Jake was down with that, and was honestly attracted to her confidence and experience. I loved how sex- and body-positive this story was, and I loved that they talked about their insecurities like the intelligent adults they are.

 

(I think the clean-shaven man on the cover is funny, since Lauren is always panting after Jake's hairy chest and thinking about how much more sexy she finds it than the clean-shaven chests of the other, younger bucks on the fire crew.)

 

BONUS -- This is free right now at Amazon.