Let me preface this blog by stating: I am a hopeless romantic. A card carrying, flag waving, cry at sappy commercials romantic. A good love story makes me happy. Watching the characters meet, connect, argue, fall in love, these are all things I thoroughly enjoy reading. There's nothing like a wonderfully romantic story to make me feel good inside.
Now here's my RANT. I want my happy ending. Like any modern day fairy tale, give me that Happily Ever After. I know the trend with chick lit and women's fiction can often be happy for now, and that okay, but when I'm reading a book regardless of the specific genre, that has been touted and categorically stated to be a romance, you darn well better give my that satisfactory conclusion, the hero and heroine professing their love and wanting to be together forever.
I just finished a book (supposedly a paranormal romance) that was a decent read. Written in first person, the characters were engaging, the conflict okay, and the story moved along at a good pace. The sexual tension built without the couple actually having sex, and I'm fine with that, allowing the chemistry move the story along. The secondary story line was okay, and the couple confessed they loved each other about 80% of the way through the book. Awww, how sweet. Then near the end of the book, the heroine gets kidnapped and I'm thinking okay, now the hero gets to shine and rescue the girl.
Guess what? Didn't happen. The book ended. Just like that, no conclusion, no resolution, nothing.
Let me tell you, if it had been a physical paper book instead of on my Kindle, that sucker would have hit the wall so fast, smoke would have left a trail behind it. People, people, if you're planning to make your story a series and label it as a romance but want to leave the story open ended; you still need to have a resolution to a lot of the threads you've woven throughout the plot. Give me a happy for now ending with lots of problems still to come, and chances are good I'll buy your next book and your next one after that. Leave me hanging so abruptly with no resolution to any of the goals, motivation and conflict you've build throughout the entire book (and no I won't name names because I don’t believe that's a good thing to do to any author), it will guarantee I'll never buy another book you write, no matter how popular or famous you get. You'll have lots me as a reader permanently.
I am a voracious reader and a hopeless romantic desperately holding onto the hope authors will still give me my HAPPILY EVER AFTER. How about you, do you read to get that happily ever after for your characters, or are you content with just letting the story end with no resolution in sight? Tell me all about what kind of ending you like to see in your books (especially romances).
Kathy Ivan is busy working on her next romantic suspense novel as well as a paranormal novella. When not writing she's working the day job and reading, reading, reading, looking for that next happy ending.