Recently a reviewer of my Fireflies trilogy mentioned that they hoped my YA sci-fi romance story ended with a happily-ever-after (HEA). Romance readers feel very strongly about HEAs or a happy-for-now (HFN). Either way, readers want something uplifting when they turn the last page. Personally, as a romance reader and author, an HEA or HFN is what makes a romance novel classified as romance. Or, maybe I’m a hopeless romantic, and I simply require it. I don’t just fall for one or the other protag in a romance novel, and I fall for them as a couple. So, of course, I want them together. In fact, in most love triangles, which I love because they’re messy, I root for the pair that met first because I invested in their happiness first. So, as long as one doesn’t do something terrible to the other, I can’t give up. Yes, I was Team Gale in Hunger Games. I still can’t…I have to get over it. At book festivals, and sometimes online, potential readers ask if I have an HEA. Also- anyone that’s read Razers (book 2 of Fireflies trilogy) knows that I like lots of unexpected twists and turns and the end of Razers delivers. So much so, I’ve had to console a reader or two that things will be okay in book 3. I’m not a monster, y’all!
So, why are readers interested in whether or not there is an HEA? Simply put- there is nothing worse than investing in a book and characters only to find out that they don’t end up together. Ugh. That kind of thing happens in the real world all the time. Many people read to escape the everyday. I think this is especially true for romance readers. It’s also, perhaps, why some readers flip to the last page of the book to make sure there’s an HEA before starting the story.
So, my answer to readers is always the same–yes, I write novels with HEAs.