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:~: Wednesday, September 07, 2005 :~:

Happily Ever After

The big HEA. Anyone who reads romance knows that's a given. Although we may love RS for the whodunit factor and to see just how awful the situation can get for our hero or heroine, ultimately, we know they're both going to live and they're going to get their HEA. And generally, that means marriage or a long-term commitment of some kind.

However, all HEA's aren't created equal. I read two books over my vacation. The first - a true RS murder mystery by one of my favorite authors - was about a renegade FBI agent and a gem cutter. It was heavier on the suspense than the romance, but I still expected a HEA. There was one, don't get me wrong, but after 400 pgs I expected some sort of declaration of love and devotion. And that wasn't there. There was no mention of love anywhere, and only a hint that these two characters were going to stay together. No mention of marriage or even that they might live together. (Although she said if he got shipped off to Fargo, ND, she could always cut gems up there). As a romance reader, I felt gypped.

The other was a true contemporary romance that definitely had a happy ending. And oodles and oodles of 'I love you's' the point where I was like, 'okay, enough already!' BUT (and you knew that was coming) at the end, the hero and heroine announced they were getting married but that they wouldn't be having kids. Now, maybe I'm old fashioned, but as a romance reader, that turned me off. Maybe it was because the hero coached a little league team and was great with his 8-yr old nephew. Maybe it was because he had a screwed up family and would make an awesome father because he'd know the way NOT to be. And maybe it's because I have kids and know how great being a parent is. It's definitely the hardest job on the planet, don't get me wrong, but it's also the most rewarding. And I can honestly say I find my DH way sexier now that he's a father than I ever did before we had kids. So when I read a romance, and at the end the main characters say, "I love you, but I don't want to have kids with you," I think, "Okay, I LIKED you, but now I'm not so sure. Because you're obviously selfish and don't know what real commitment is." And that doesn't mean I'm biased to people who don't have kids (I do remember what it was like to be childless - and it definitely has its pros). But when I read a romance and get all the way to the end, I want to know these characters are committed for the long haul. The option of kids? Long haul. Declaring you never want children with this person? Not all that committed. Personally, if your characters know they don't want to have kids, I'd just rather not know that part.

So what do you look for in a HEA?


Blogger Linda Winfree said...

LOL. You know that Tom doesn't want more kids. Or doesn't he count?

6:38 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Please. Tom has a reason. And if I were him, I wouldn't want more kids either. But Celia obviously does. So there's an issue there.

6:41 PM  
Blogger Carol B. said...

Well, it's certainly not the kind of endings you've been reading, I can tell you that. Please give me the names of those books, so I can NOT include them in my TBR pile, please.

I want to know that these two people are in love and committed to each other, whether that means a proposal asked and accepted, or they talk of forever, but I gotta know the hero and heroine only want each other for life.

11:09 PM  
Blogger TJBrown said...

I know what book you are talking about and somehow it worked for me. But I def want the HEA. And maybe that one author is planning a sequel? That is why she didn't give them an HEA cause they are going to have their story go on?

6:37 AM  
Blogger Paty Jager said...

I like a HEA. And it better be pretty blunt. No down the road stuff. I want them committed to one another at the end, because everything that happens to them in the story should have brought them closer and to the point of wanting to stay together. And Yeah! Kids are a commitment. And an affirmation of love between two people. It means they will be together through the long haul to raise those kids.

2:39 PM  

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