Does a Romance Require a Happily Ever After?

Photo by Bilakis on

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly series created by Rukky at Eternity Books and hosted by Aria at Book Nook BitsThe full list of July topics can be found here.

This week’s topic is Should All Romances Have Happily Ever Afters?

Do you like romances with happy endings?

Yes! Happy endings bring closure to a story. Most romances are essentially about two characters getting together. If that doesn’t happen in the end, or even in the epilogue, I don’t think it can be considered a romance.

Do you think that all romances should have happy endings? Why or why not?

Happily ever afters, commonly referred to as HEA’s, are a romance genre convention that readers have come to expect. I know many readers who say that they turn to the romance genre when they need to read a book with a happy ending. Since so many readers expect this, I think authors should recognize that that is what readers want in a romance.

What are some of your favorite romances with Happily Ever Afters?

There are three that immediately come to mind, and I’ll recap them below with as few spoilers as possible…

  • Desperate Girls (Wolfe Security #1) by Laura Griffin. This is a fast-paced story that sees the two main characters fall for each other quickly, but ends on a “what if” note that has the reader questioning how their lives can come together after the life-threatening situation they were just in. The epilogue then shows them a few weeks later, and where they are in their personal lives. It was such a satisfying, and happy, ending that was very appropriate for the story.
  • Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren. This epilogue is set several years after the story ends. I don’t want to reveal too much, but it was again a very satisfying end to what had been a whirlwind relationship as Josh and Hazel figure out they are meant to be together.
  • The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon had what I consider to be a hopeful and happy ending. The story ends on a somber note, but then we get to see the main characters later in their lives when another chance encounter, similar to the one in which they met, takes place. I wouldn’t necessarily say that we know there will be a happily ever after that, but there is hope for one.

Ultimately I think readers expect a happily ever after when it comes to the romance genre. Even just a hint of a positive outcome whether it’s in the actual end of the story or in the epilogue, can satisfy this expectation for the reader.

Do you think a romance requires a happily ever after? Tell me in the comments!

2 thoughts on “Does a Romance Require a Happily Ever After?

  1. I think a good romance needs the promise of something more even if it doesn’t happen. I always think of the Bridget Jones books, where she never seemed to get the outcome expected at the end of the previous book

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s