Friday is our favorite week day. We host the Educating Ethan Book Tour today and welcome everyone. Educating Ethan is a sexy, romantic novelette by author Jennifer Lynne (read my review here). The author was nice enough to answer our question in her guest blog below and share an excerpt. Jennifer Lynne is also holding a giveaway so keep reading to find out how to enter. Enjoy the rest of the day!
Guest post by Jennifer Lynne
Even though it may be 2012, it seems like some things still haven't changed that much. Older men date and marry younger women, but when women do it they're called "cougars" and sometimes become punch lines in jokes (ex. Demi and Ashton). This is the way it seems in the US. As an Australian author, do you see the same things in your country and how did you approach this topic when writing Educating Ethan?
Thank you to Reader Girls for having me here as today's guest author, and for posing such an interesting question. It seems to me as if men have been dating women younger than themselves since the beginning of time. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, these days in Australia men are on average 2.5 to 3 years older than their female partners. I'm in my forties, and I think there has been a shift in society that allows women a greater freedom of choice in an adult partner, but clearly, the shift isn't enough for full equality between the sexes.
So what really happens when an older woman dates and/or marries a man younger than herself?
I wouldn't go so far as to say that such a relationship becomes a punch line in a joke, but I do think there would still be a bit of eyebrow-raising and a lack of acceptance of an older woman/younger man relationship here in Australia as much as anywhere else. I think people do use the term "cougar" when talking about a woman who dates younger men – with all the stereotype connotations of that term around a "hot" and somewhat predatory older chick wanting to reel in a young "stud" for sex.
I consciously wanted to challenge that sterotype when I wrote Educating Ethan.
My cougar story has a deliberate twist. Yes, I wrote a story about an older woman and a younger man. But it is also a story about two people who are falling in love and trying to deal with all the prior emotional baggage that we all bring to a new and developing relationship. Regardless of age. Without wanting to give too much away, in the end I hope that Ida and Ethan's age becomes almost irrelevant to anyone who reads Educating Ethan. Here's the book blurb:
Ida Deloraine intends to build herself a new life and a new catering career after a painful divorce. When the much younger Ethan Holt moves in across the street, an innocent flirtation quickly becomes serious when the two realize their age difference is no barrier to all-consuming passion. But Ethan is the exact opposite of what Ida is looking for in a sexual partner. In her eyes he is young and vibrant, with his life and his dreams still ahead of him, whereas hers are all in the past. Can Ethan, who is fighting his own demons in the form of a car accident, failed marriage, and forced career change, convince Ida to overcome the past and live for the moment? And just who is educating who in this cougar encounter?
Excerpt from Educating Ethan:
Possibility, she thought. He represents the possibility of excitement. Of passion. The transient headiness of lust about to be fulfilled. All the things that most women wanted and rarely got. All the things that she wanted and had never truly had before.
"Ethan, do you mind if I ask how old you are?" She strove for dispassionate interest, took a careful sip of her wine, then sat where he indicated— on a bench seat in a little breakfast nook. But her glass clattered hard on the windowsill when she put it down.
"No, I don't mind," he answered. "I'm twenty-five. And you're…what? Thirtyish?"
"Wow, you don't look that old."
Her tone was flat, and he flushed in response. "Shit! Sorry, that didn't come out right. I meant—"
"It's okay, Ethan. I think maybe I should—"
"Don't go! Hell!" He reached out to stop her as she began to rise, and then exhaled noisily. "I'm an idiot, Ida. I didn't mean it that way. I meant it…as a compliment, believe it or not. You look a lot younger than thirty-six. That's what I meant."
She saw genuine dismay in the depths of his eyes, and something in her relaxed.
"It's okay," she said again, but this time she meant it. "Thanks."
He sat heavily beside her and leaned close. That warm male scent enveloped her, elusive and yet tangible enough to send her heart rate into overdrive. But he was still frowning. She reached out to trace his jawline, and a hint of stubble rasped against her fingertip. A firm jaw; stubborn-looking. Manly.
"Relax, Ethan," she said. "I won't bite. Unless you want me to, that is."
Purchase Educating Ethan from Breathless Press
About the author:
Jennifer Lynne is a multi-published author who writes sensual and erotic romance from her home in Melbourne, Australia. She has two novellas published with Red Sage, including Seducing Serena in Secrets Volume 28 Sensual Cravings, and Pandora's Gift. Her first sensual romance with Breathless Press, Educating Ethan, was published in February. Jen lives in hope that readers will continue to enjoy her novella-length tales of love and lust!
Find Jennifer on the web at:
Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
What do you think about the so-called "cougar" phenomenon? Has society changed enough that older women (like me!) have a greater ability to choose outside the box – if they so desire? Or do you think any woman who chooses to date a younger man is still risking either non-acceptance or being stereotyped?
I'll be popping in to chat and respond to any comments you might have – don't forget that if you leave a comment on the post, you'll automatically go in the draw to win a $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card. Winner will be announced at the end of my blog tour on March 30th.
If you are following my tour, I'll be stopping next at http://wowfromthescarfprincess.blogspot.com/ on March 26th.
Thank you so much for having me here today, and I look forward to the discussion.
Tour hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions.