Friday, January 20, 2012

Getting Older Just Means Getting Better: "Dating A Cougar" by Donna McDonald

After several decades of looking for true love and never finding it, aging model and lingerie designer, Alexa Ranger, had finally given the search. A couple years ago, she got tired of the game and just stopped dating. Friends and family keep her mostly content, so it’s shocking at 50 yrs old to find herself suddenly wanting a sex life again. It’s even more shocking to be attracted to a much younger man this time. She definitely thinks Casey Carter is incredibly sexy, but not handling her own age well, Alexa just can’t get passed their twelve year age difference to even consider a fling. Though she figures it doesn't matter anyway. Anything resembling a normal dating relationship is totally out of the question because Casey is related to and living with her daughter’s boyfriend. The last thing Alexa needs is another talk-show worthy drama in her already complicated life, no matter how amazing Casey’s kisses make her feel.

It was true 38 yr old, medically retired Marine, Casey Carter, believed for a couple of years that his military injury had made him impotent. Having lost his wife to cancer, he hadn’t exactly been worried about the problem. Most days walking with cane was enough challenge for him. But now that he was ready to move on with his life, he had become slightly more worried when none of the females his cousin brought around held any interest for him. The last woman in the world he expected to start his engine revving again was the mother of his cousin's girlfriend. Even at fifty, Alexa is drop-dead gorgeous, and his libido keeps reminding him she is the first woman he has wanted in a long, long time. Ironically, the more Casey gets to know and like Alexa, he finds out desiring the older woman is the easiest part. Jaded and cynical about love, Alexa is a difficult woman to convince of anything, but her kisses are enough for him. The former Marine decides his next mission is figuring out how to fit himself into her life.

I am truly delighted that more and more romance authors are writing stories about the women who have come to be overlooked by society: women of color, women who weigh more than 110 pounds, and women who are over 30 years of age. Our society is so in love with the rail-thin, super model image that is perpetuated in advertising and in many romances. There are wonderful women running around this planet that may be beautiful in their own right but who don't fit the very restrictive and exclusionary segment of females. And what is even worse, men perpetuate it in their own way, discarding older women whose experience and wisdom make them even nicer and more knowledgeable about life. Yes, gravity has worked its destruction with boobs and butts, but there are men out there who look beyond that to the knowledge, humor, and still sizzling passion that doesn't fizzle when one celebrates the 30th birthday or steps on the scales and the dial registers more than 110.

So it is with our heroine who is an ancient 50 years old, who is still drop-dead gorgeous, but who as been already scarred by a society for which she is already becoming invisible. And it seems to me, that once a woman determines that she is "past her prime" and has noting to offer, convincing her otherwise is an uphill task. So it is in this story that deals very realistically with the issues that confront a woman who is definitely older (eligible for an AARP membership at 50), a retired and hurting Marine whose sense of himself has already been damaged by his injuries and the looks he receives when he uses his cane, and the 12 year difference in their ages. Oh brother!! Are these emotional and psychological potholes, or what!

This is a compelling look at a friendship and romance that deals realistically with people caught in real life, whose capacity to love and respond passionately has not been dimmed by age or life's difficulties. It is an encouragement to many to realize that for older people, life has just then begun to make a little more sense: they don't get easily upended by things they don't understand; they are willing to take a little time to work things out because they have learned that such patience serves them best in the long run; and they have learned that the stuff that makes us crazy when we are 25 really doesn't make us crazy anymore. The hot button issues really is: do I still have time, energy, personal charisma in sufficient quantity to make life something worth living?

I think this is one of the nicest stories I have read in recent months. There is conflict between the two main characters over the age difference, but our Marine hero is not easily turned aside and knows he wants this women in his life long-term. He is one of the "few good men" and he is not going to waffle with this chance to know happiness and deep love with a woman of quality and character and life experience.

I hope you'll look for this book and that you'll enjoy it as much as I did. I give it a rating of 4.25 out of 5.

1 comment:

Tracy said...

For some reason I just can't picture the 50/38 age difference that big of a deal. I guess I look at a cougar being someone who is Alexa's age but then dates a 25 year old. It sounds like a good book - thanks for the review.