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Alice Gaines | What’s so wrong about a happy ending?

September 21, 2016

Romance gets put down for a lot of things. The supposedly purple prose, the heaving bosoms, the heroines who stamp their dainty feet and flounce from the room. I don’t think I’ve encountered any of those things recently in a romance novel, if ever. Frankly, I believe romance is most often rejected as “serious literature” because it’s largely written and read by women. Worse…there’s often detailed anatomically correct sex in the books. Women liking sex? Horrors. What will they want next…the vote?

But what irks me the most is the assertion that any story with a happy ending is automatically disqualified from being good. Let me state for the record. I like happy endings. I can endure the worst trials and tribulations for the characters in a book if I know they’ll be headed toward a beautiful future by the end. In fact, the worse the torment they must endure to be together, the sweeter the reward at the finish.

Honestly, if I want misery, all I have to do is turn on the news. It’s on 24/7 these days so your entire life can be filled with bleakness if you want. Natural disasters, murders, torture, and kidnapping of innocents. Sadly, all that exists, but do I really have to read it in my free time? No.

Nor do I want to read about miserable people. I avoid them in real life. Why should I seek them out in fiction? I have no intention of plunking down my hard-earned money for the privilege of spending several hours with someone I’d never put up with in reality. Thank you.

This value judgement isn’t placed on other genres. The good guy wins in a Western. The murderer is exposed and punished in a mystery. Do you ever hear critics moan “But in real life, murders don’t get solved”? Never. But somehow it’s not acceptable for lovers to end up happy at the end of a romance novel.

Great writers of the past wrote happy endings. Odysseus ended up reunited with his wife Penelope. Shakespeare wrote comedies. Is The Taming of the Shrew suddenly not great literature? Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester. Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy. Need I say more?

Sorry, critics, but the happy ending is here to stay because in this mixed-up world a satisfying resolution to a story makes you feel good, and that’s a consummation devoutly to be wished.

About Alice Gaines

Alice Gaines

Alice Gaines loves her romance hot. She’s been writing since forever and has no plans to give it up.

Alice lives in the San Francisco Bay Area in a fixer-upper she never fixed up. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her knitting, crocheting, cooking, or vegetable gardening. Her main companions are her pet corn snake, Casper, and a collection of neglected orchids.

Princes of Danislova | Club Ecstasy


JUST ONE WEEK by Alice Gaines

Just One Week

“Alice Gaines will tantalize your romance taste buds with a book you can’t put down until the very last page.” NYT bestselling author Jasmine Haynes

Her brother’s best friend is not only the hottest man Michelle Dennis has ever seen, he’s the one man she hopes to avoid after leaving town eight years ago. Of course he’s the one waiting at the airport. Worse, he made sure they’re staying in the same house.

Pro football player Alex Stafford is expecting to pick up his friend’s kid sister, not a full-fledged bombshell. He was planning to apologize for their past, but the feelings he had years ago come roaring back…and this time, there’s no denying them.

Keeping his hands off is a test he’s bound to fail—especially when they’re stuck in close quarters. But falling in love with Michelle, living in her world, isn’t an option for a guy like him. And remembering that will save them both a lot of heartache…

Romance Contemporary [Entangled, On Sale: September 12, 2016, e-Book, ISBN: 9781633757233 / ]

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