Yes, I own it. I can easily get into movies like Soul Food, Sounder, Lady Sings the Blues, Stormy Weather and Dreamgirls, as well as books by James Baldwin, Alex Haley, Audre Lorde, Gwendolyn Brooks, Frederick Smith and James Earl Hardy. I also own my affinity for the UK. My husband and I got up in the middle of the night here to witness the weddings of William and Kate and Harry and Meghan. I recently watched the Harry Potter movie series–again. My house is Gryffindor, and I identify with Albus Dumbledore since, like me, he was a gay man of a certain age.
When I was in my teens, The Avengers was one of my must-see TV shows–Diana Rigg definitely knew how to kick butt! Miss Marple and Midsomer Murders are among my favorite mysteries when it comes to my viewing enjoyment. British whodunits get me every time. As for my writing habits, I took a page from Agatha Christie and write the beginning and ending of my novels first. And on my bucket list is a vacation to London.
That being said, my latest must-read is 45 and Holding, a collaboration by Jacki James and Jill Wexler. Who says romance novels are only for twenty-something characters? In this novel of M/M romance, the MCs are 45. Craig Baker, part owner of the Posh Paw Pet Spa and Resort, is experiencing that dreaded phenomenon known as a midlife crisis, which is manifesting itself by buying a new Jeep and obsessing over whether or not to get a tattoo. Scott Anderson is a widower going through the rite of passage us parents experience: the Empty Nest Syndrome, now that his daughter, Claire, has gone off to college.
Let’s face it, the dynamics for dating are different when you’re in your 40s, one of them being far more life experience under your belt. This shows up in the spot-on Midlife Musings at the start of each chapter. Scott and Craig meet at a dog-training session. As it turns out, they were high school classmates, but unlike second-chance romances they only knew of each other back then. The arc of the story shows us how they become friends, and progress to lovers. Scott, having never been with a man, soon realizes he’s not as straight as he thought he was, and he embraces it. Craig, for all his restlessness, learns that what he really wants is right in front of him–Scott.
What I love most about Scott and Craig’s story is that it was handled with humor, steam and low angst. Claire is wonderfully supportive of her father. There were some challenges, yet they were resolved offstage. Having a middle-aged couple vs. a May-December romance was totally relatable to those of us of a certain age, and I hope to read more stories like this. Love is love, and love is for everyone. The ending made me cry, it was that sweet.
Thank you, Jacki and Jill, for bringing us wonderful mid-life romance. Check out their work on the shelf of your local Amazon/Barnes & Noble library. As for me, it’s time to check out another episode of Midsomer Murders. Ah, picturesque countrysides, stately manor houses, quaint villages, ghastly murders…