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  • Writer's pictureMidnightAce

Is it Romance if it doesn’t end with a HEA?

Updated: Oct 1, 2020

Romance? A definition search…” a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love.”

February is usually the time we think about romance and hearts, but if Hallmark can have Christmas in July, certainly romance is worthy of being celebrated twice in a year.  While Romance Awareness is celebrated the entire month of August, I believe it should be celebrated 365 days.  

A Little known history fact:

Celebrate Romance founder, Eileen Buchheim, created Romance Awareness Month to encourage couples to improve their relationships through romance all year long.  She encourages us to check your relationship’s pulse during Romance Awareness in August. If it needs a jump start, there are lots of ways to put some spark back into the relationship.  Passion has always been an essential part of relationships. Sometimes it is the little things that make a big difference. While romance can be the language of love for some, it is not the same for others.  During stressful times…like the present day, signals might get crossed creating misunderstandings and even conflicts.


As you know romance can be found in a variety of genres such as contemporary, fantasy, thriller, suspense, christian and paranormal.  Its demographics reach both male and female readers as well as writers.

Let me first say, people read for different reasons, they can be from different walks of life, and therefore will be in different headspaces.  I remembered having a several conversation years ago that continues to be a hot topic today. Its the age-old debate… can a title be considered romance if it doesn’t end with HEA (Happily Ever After)? What say you?

In this post, The Book Bar will spend two cents on the subject.

A reader typically reads to escape the stresses of real-life experiences. If the thought that real relationships are likely to fail or be riddled with disappointments, not having the HEA, takes away an ending they can celebrate.

While another reader’s view points are from a happy relationship or just a romantic at heart, might look for a variety of situations. They may want to witness the characters forced to fight for a romance that’s not predictable. In this case, a HEA ending may not be a deal-breaker.

This could be an unrecognized difference between readers.

A reader that purely enjoys a good story in the romance genre may be prone to seek a variety of scenarios. This reader might also appreciate the quote; People are present in our lives for a reason, season, or a lifetime.

Romance holds one of the highest purchased genres worldwide. During this month The Book Bar is open to catching up on some reading, recommending, and reviewing the wide selection of available romance novels.

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