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Archive for December 3rd, 2020

Mellanie Szereto: The Homegrown Café Book Club
Thursday, December 3rd, 2020

Imagine a couple. A mutual friend introduced them to each other at a large social gathering. Four months later, the couple got engaged and then married about ten months after that. What are your expectations about the couple? Are they in their twenties? Thirties? Forties? Fifties? Or even older?

While the scenario above is the story of my husband and me when we met thirty-five years ago at 25 and 21 years old, couldn’t the couple be any of those ages???

For many of the years I’ve read romance, the main characters have been almost entirely in their early to mid-twenties and rarely pushing thirty, but that doesn’t necessarily reflect today’s younger or older generations and society in general anymore. Many millennials are waiting until their thirties and closing in on forty to marry, choosing to focus on their careers and being financially stable. Some choose not to marry at all.

What about Gen X-ers and Baby Boomers? Although people of these generations often married in their late teens and early twenties, I personally know a large number who have divorced, been widowed, or haven’t married—either by choice and because they haven’t found the right person. However, I’m quite certain most of them haven’t given up on love.

In recent years, seasoned/later-in-life/mature characters have begun to appear more in romance, especially among indie-published authors. Blending families, shared parenting, aging parents, and similar issues creates complex conflicts, bringing new challenges to more experienced characters.

Love at any age is still love.

The Homegrown Café Book Club

My new romcom novella series brings some of those stories to life, along with adding another less common element in romance—the older woman/younger man trope. Are you thinking cougars? Think again!

The women of The Homegrown Café Book Club are over 40, single, and loving it. Fate, however, has a different plan with a younger man for every last one of them.


Makin’ Bacon (The Homegrown Café Book Club 1) Available now!

Heroine is 42; hero is 35.

Divorcée Tate Madison wasted fifteen years of her life with a liar and a cheat. Now she’s returned to her hometown to open The Homegrown Café, find a sperm donor, and spend time with her family and new friends. Encouraged by her fellow middle-aged book-club buddies, she begs a favor from her younger brother’s best friend—father the child her ex-husband denied her. Complications abound when she discovers she’s attracted to the man who wasn’t supposed to be more than an anonymous profile at the clinic.

Pig farmer Jim Cochon knows all about in-vitro fertilization, but he’d rather do things the old-fashioned way with the irresistible redhead he’s wanted to marry since he was five. Too bad she refuses his proposal the morning after their attempt to make a baby. He’ll have to convince her second chances are worth taking when happily-ever-after is at stake.


The Farmer Takes a Husband (The Homegrown Café Book Club 2) Available now!

Heroine is 47; hero is 39.

Organic farmer Riley Fenniman is happily single at forty-seven and refuses to acknowledge an attraction to her younger accountant, let alone surrender to it. Unfortunately, a legal catch in her farm’s ownership and a health scare give her no choice in the matter. The women of The Homegrown Café Book Club have the perfect plan to ensure Riley’s cousin can’t get his greedy paws on her legacy, but it includes a husband and two pubescent girls.

CPA Deacon Jeffries has carried a torch for his favorite client for over a year, but she would probably sooner light him with it than return his affection. She makes an offer he can’t refuse to save her farm, one that makes his wish come true and gives his daughters the mother they need—except for lessons in dropping f-bombs. When the secret she’s keeping reveals itself, he’ll have to choose between self-preservation and love.


The Butcher and the Baker (The Homegrown Café Book Club 3) New release!

Heroine is 43; hero is 37.

After six broken engagements, butcher Petra Lochsley wants nothing to do with men and romance. Her hobbies include throwing axes, discussing books and having raunchy conversations with her middle-aged friends, and eating the occasional Boston cream doughnut—when the flirtatious baker doesn’t insist she prostitute herself for the decadent pleasure. One game of tongue hockey is enough with the guy she used to babysit. So what if he’s hot and is a good kisser?

Baker Auggie Hofmeier didn’t mean fall in love with or accidentally marry the butcher, but his heart seems to know what it’s doing. Besides, his new wife invited him home for a wedding night and more, that is, until the conniving interference by The Candlestick Maker, the old man who owns the shop he and Pet both want to buy, threatens their happily-ever-after. What’s a knave to do?


When Harry Met Wally (The Homegrown Café Book Club 4) Coming soon!

Heroine is 50; hero is 40.

And Baby Makes 2½ (The Homegrown Café Book Club 5) Coming soon!

Heroine is 45; hero is 38.


Mellanie Szereto