Happily-Ever-After Endings in Romance Books

Are you a happily-ever-afters are mandatory in romance books type of readers or are you okay with happily for now type of endings too?

For as long as I can remember, even as a little girl, romance stories have always had happily-ever-after endings. From Cinderella to Jane Austen, we read those books to get the warm feeling that fills us at the end where everything is perfect in the fictional world they created.

But we're in 2022. And happily ever afters aren't real life. Sure, we all aim for our own, but is it too "fictional" to portray characters where all their struggles and past experiences end up in a perfectly tied bow by the last page, or do we sometimes need a little "fiction reality" so we don't feel all alone when our lives crumbled or don't go as planned?

Emmanuelle Snow author romance books happily ever after

I consider myself an author of drama romance. And no, my characters won't get hit by a lighting, drove over by a car, cheated on, lose their jobs, but get happy, perfectly ending as if nothing ever happened in the previous chapters by the end. They will have forged their character, changed their perspective on their lives, made them evolved.

For me, drama romance is more like a realistic story that unfolds through the pages. Life is black. Sometimes it's white too. And other times, it's full of colors. 

Things go smoothly, and then things happens and all the plans you set go down in flames. You're happy, sometimes, sad, or angry. But you try to find a way to grow, to overcome the bumps on your road and become a better version of yourself. There'll be laughter and tears. And moments you wish you could kep forever, and others you wish you could erase. But isn't what makes life, life?

As a romance author, I feel the pressure of decades of authors who came before me to end my stories with happily-ever-afters. And it makes sense. We love knowing the characters we got so attached to will be okay. That love fought all evil.

Emmanuelle Snow Carter Hills Band series romance books HEA

Can you imagine if all movies you watch and all books you read would end on a sour note? Nah, me neither. I need the hope. The love. The flutters.  

But sometimes, even our characters need to go through the grinder. To experience life on the darker side.

Is a story ending on a happy-for-now ending shouldn't be considered romance, if love is the main theme, or should it be classified otherwise? 

It's a bit farfetched to put them only under the "general fiction" category if one of them die at the end, no? 

I've been reading many forums and posts talking about this and romance authors classified into two categories.

1. Must have a happily ever after to be considered romance

2. As long as love is the main subject, the ending doesn't matter so much

What do you think? In which category of romance readers are you? 

As an author I might be a bit biased. But I like to imagine my characters as realistic as possible, which mean I'll try to give them their happily-ever-after. But sometimes, I'll fail. But it will make sense. I won't leave my readers with questions, but a conclusion that even after the storm, as Devon in Hope and Country would say, the sun always comes up afterwards. 

If one of the books on my series ends with a happy-for-now ending, does my entire series become literary fiction or women fiction?

Once again, let me know what you think.



Wanna know more or discover my Carter Hills Band series?

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Book tropes and themes I write about:

You'll like Emmanuelle Snow's books if you love emotional books, realistic characters and storyline, small town romance, second chances romance, vacation romance, rock stars romance, dramatic and emotional romance, stranger to lovers, celebrity, girl next door, neighbors to lovers, coming of age, new adult, mature young adult, brother's best friend, friends to lovers, military, contemporary romance, grumpy-sunshine, best friends, strong and independent women, sassy love stories, country music romance, country girl, Nashville, the Smoky Mountains.



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