Why I like romance novels that DON’T have a happy ending

I feel like I can talk about this now – the fact that I looooove romance novels, but always want to vomit a little when the (“happy”) endings are either: A – a marriage proposal, B – a wedding, C – a baby. I just don’t buy it – the happy endings which tie up all the loose ends. I’m mean, really – REALLY?!

No, not really, and for romance readers that’s just the point. They demand that their heroes and heroines fight obstacle after obstacle to be together – but in the end, that they do live Happily Ever After (HEA) or are at least Happy For Now (HFN).

The first book I read that did not have a happy ending was Love Story by Erich Segal, I’m also a fan of films / books aka stories like The Way we Were, Up Close and Personal, Me without You, The Promise of Stardust and The Fault in our Stars. The fact that the couples don’t end up together does not tarnish from the beauty of the love story, not in the least. On the contrary, the fact that their love is bitter sweet is the very element that resonates with me. I buy that 100%.

This morning I read Riven, a novel by local SA author Lissa Del, in one sitting. It was plot driven, brimming with romance but without the HEA. And believe me, she pulls it off effortlessly. I can’t help but wonder if this is not the way romance fiction is going, maybe one day there will be a sub-genre for romance without the HEA? What do you think?

Obviously, if you’ve read my book, you’ll already know that I don’t care much about subscribing the traditional happy ending. But I won’t lie, I was put under quite a bit of pressure to write a follow up book that would give Alkan and Victoria their happy ending – so I did, and that will be released before Christmas 2017.

So, if I’m not a huge fan of writing true romance, then I why did I do just that for Full Circle, the conclusion of Alkan and Victoria’s story? Because they are soulmates. Because some couples get their happily ever after and live it too! But that kind of love is rare, so, so rare.

And I just want readers to know that, and respect the fact that the greatest loves are messed up, but that that should not detract from the beauty of a great story.

Cindi Page Author




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