Happily Ever After…but wait…

I love the HEA ending that romance gives us. Some may call it predictable but I’m ok with that. If I’m traveling to NYC I know I’m going to end up in NYC. I just don’t always know how I’m going to get there and what will happen along the way.

I think authors make a contract with the reader when presenting a book as a romance. I’ve walked out of theaters, tossed books across the room, when I didn’t get the ending I wanted. In retrospect, however, these were not romances. The ending was up for grabs.

I recently read book two in a series I would have called a romance, and while in book one I got my HEA ending,  in book two that ending was no more. The H/H I’d invested in were no longer a couple. I felt a little cheated, like the author had given me a “happily for now” ending.

Now, I’m not sure the series is a romance, however. It has a strong romantic element, but was the romance at the heart of the plot? Perhaps the author would argue no. And maybe she’s strong enough to go against the rules. I mean…I’m going to read the next book and that’s what we want as an author. To lead our readers through the series, to enchant or intrigue them into turning the pages.

I can’t imagine the challenge of building a romance over a series of books. I’ve been re-reading the Darynda Jones “Charley Davidson” series in anticipation of book eleven’s release in January, and even in book ten that romance is not only hotter than ever, it’s still developing and changing and growing. The relationship has had challenges – I mean he’s the son of Satan for Pete’s sake – but the couple hasn’t called it quits.

I guess that’s what I like. I’ve been a romantic for some time now. I want to believe in the ever after side of lust’s transition to love. I want to believe that people will fight for the one they love. I’d like to think that love is a choice and that choice can conquer most anything.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Happily Ever After…but wait…

  1. Vicky Burkholder

    I completely agree with you. There are thousands of romance books out there – all with an HEA ending but all with a different way of getting there and that’s what keeps us as readers coming back.

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