Friday Fascination

I Demand My HEA

Image courtesy of samuiblue/
Image courtesy of samuiblue/

I recently read a popular trilogy (no names, I don’t want to spoil anyone’s enjoyment) and was reminded why I love to read romance:  I’m guaranteed a happy ending. In this particular trilogy, after traipsing through disappointments and pain, triumphs and joy, the protagonist…


…as in snuffed out, never coming back, no chance of reincarnation or mistaken demise.

Courtesy of Tumblr/lawschool-adventures
Courtesy of Tumblr/lawschool-adventures 

What. The. Hell. I spent hours of my precious free time only to have my heart ripped into tiny pieces. I read to escape, to close the book and walk off with a happy sigh and warm and fuzzies dancing around in my veins. Life has enough heartache, thank you very much. I took three terms of Shakespeare in college (it’s the nerd in me) and I always leaned toward the comedies over the tragedies because the tragedies in the comedies always get resolved with a HEA. They don’t leave you feeling hollowed out, wondering why you came to know a character only to watch them be destroyed. I realize everyone dies, and sometimes minor characters die to move the story along, but come on! The main character? Leaving the love interest all alone, broken and empty?  And should George R.R. Martin happen to be reading this…kill off Jon Snow and I might have to get violent.

photo courtesy of Stuart Miles
photo courtesy of Stuart Miles

Now, don’t get me wrong. There are some tragedies I love, even if they’re painful. Like Phantom of the Opera. The English Patient. Dead Poets Society. Where the Red Fern Grows. Once in a great while, I drag those movies out, cry a little, and then make up happy endings for them. HAPPY ENDINGS. THEY’RE WHAT I WANT.

What about you? Do you prefer happy endings, or are you okay with a character kicking off at the end of the journey?


  1. Oh, girl. Me too! Thou shall not screw me over with a crappy/disappointing/unsatisfactory ending. That gets you in the never-to-be-read-again pile.

    1. CJ Burright says:

      Nah – it gets thrown into the fire after being ripped to shreds. Grrrr…

  2. Hi C.J.
    While I prefer HEA endings, I’m fine as long as there is closure of some kind. Lately, I’ve read several books with ambiguous endings that left me unsettled. That seems to be the trend with psychological thrillers.

    1. CJ Burright says:

      Oh no, like the killer escapes? Those drive me crazy! I watched a Criminal Minds episode once where this super-creepy (but frighteningly brilliant) guy would stalk his victims for months. He wore a rubber suit and laid beneath one victim’s bed for weeks. Drilled a tiny hole in the wall of the apartment next door and watched her. He got away. Shudder.

  3. Yes, I’m for the happy ending too! 🙂 I think I know which series you are referring to and I actually decided not to read the last book after I heard the spoilers.

    1. CJ Burright says:

      I heard a mixed bag of emotions – some people liked it, others hated it…so I chanced it. And suffered for it. Gah!

  4. Where the Red Fern Grows – OMG that is a tear-jerker if ever there was one. That and Old Yeller. I cry just hearing those titles.

    I do like a HEA but once in a while I can get into a good death scene. Beaches comes to mind. Great movie! Despite the death, there was happiness and hope.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    1. CJ Burright says:

      I know, Patricia! Where the Red Fern Grows gets me every time – and you know how I’m a cat person! For me, even if there’s that bittersweet wedge of hope after death, it still hurts. I want a HEA all around…except for the really, really bad guys, of course. 🙂

  5. Chrystee says:

    I agree!!! After a character survives that much pain & heartache you want the best for the character in the end. With this book in question, I suppose you might be able to see a positive, but it wasn’t positive enough for me! I much prefer the ” happily ever after scenario ANY DAY!!!

    1. CJ Burright says:

      Yeah, the positive doesn’t mean crap if the protagonist you’ve come to connect with kicks it! What I hate is it COULD have been a HEA, and it wasn’t. Grr!!

  6. hunglodojo says:

    The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense. “Tom Clancy”

    1. CJ Burright says:


  7. hunglodojo says:

    This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.
    Dorothy Parker.

    1. CJ Burright says:

      Wise words, Ms. Parker.

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