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Archived/Extinct Discussions > Large difference in life span...can it still be HEA

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Just something I am thinking about as I am attempting to write my first novel. If Hero is a fey and heroine is human can it still be a HEA knowing that He will live far longer than her in all likelihood or does that always have to be "fixed" in some way. There is a huge part of me that would like to leave life span as is but then I wonder if as a reader I would find that too heartbreaking knowing that she would die after 50-60 years tops and he would still live for hundreds of years after that KWIM? It seems like in many paranormals that issue gets "fixed" to pave the way for their HEA but do you think it has to be?


message 2: by A.M. (last edited Feb 23, 2011 06:39AM) (new)

A.M. | 51 comments Considering he would also not age at the same rate as her and in 50 to 60 he would still look the same and she would be....well old. That really doesn't sound too romantic.

What if it is revealed through the course of the story that she is also part fey and this is in part is what first draws him too her?

message 3: by ~Megan~ (new)

~Megan~ (megadee) | 1084 comments Mod
I do think it kind of has to be....in Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series, she let one of her couples end up that way, but she "fixed" it in a later book in the series.

I really think it would suck to end a book and know they only had a few years together and she would get old, while he would remain young.

message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

That is sort of what I figured. I am trying to figure out a way that it could be done without it being the same old thing KWIM?....Such a tough issue.


message 5: by Pamela(AllHoney), Danger Zone (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 1706 comments Mod
Adam Black in KMM's Immortal Highlander had that problem and choose to become human. I agree it doesn't sound romantic that he would stay young and she would die old.

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Having him become human actually feels more right given the characters that I am dealing with then having her become immortal (or very very long lived LOL).


message 7: by ~Megan~ (new)

~Megan~ (megadee) | 1084 comments Mod
Choosing mortality is extremely romantic!

message 8: by A.M. (new)

A.M. | 51 comments I agree. To me signifies the ultimate sacrifice a hero or heroine can make when it comes to true love.

message 9: by AlbertaJenn (new)

AlbertaJenn A number of the early Dark-Hunters chose mortality.

I do wonder about this, though. Charlaine Harris has said that Sookie won't become a vampire, so you have to wonder if she will have an HEA in that series.

As well, we aren't yet sure if Mercy Thompson will age at the same rate as her boyfriend Adam.

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) I think that the age thing has to be addressed. Like other posters I think chosing to become human is romantic but there is something sexy about turning fae, too.

I read a shifter book once where the issue was solved by a "magic necklace" that would confer immortality to the wearer as long as they continued to love the dragon wholeheartedly. If the wearer strayed it would strange them to death.

message 11: by Deanna (new)

Deanna (stackshavemercy) | 4 comments I remember me and all my friends ooh-ing and aah-ing over the movie "Highlander" when McCleod(sp?) stayed with his Scottish wife until she died of old age.

I like it when heroes choose mortality but there's something to be said for love that lasts even though the other person's outward physical appearance changes.

message 12: by Cinquetta (new)

Cinquetta (darkfaer) | 18 comments I like either solution your mate lives as long as you do or chose to be human. It don't seem very romantic or fair he or she stay with their spouse until that person dies. That not really happy ending unless both is human. Or immortality chose to be human. Most important as long it has happy ending for the couple.

message 13: by Nikicole (last edited May 02, 2011 02:04PM) (new)

Nikicole | 4 comments I would love to read a book were the characters are not "fixed". HEA comes in many forms. The fact that someone has to die makes the relationship that much more important. They truly have to cherish each day and night they have together. To me, that is romance. Adding that small touch of reality in a a world of supernatural beings would leave a lasting impression. I know we read these books to escape, but the real life problems they face is what make the characters come alive. The connection with reader and character is simple in these sort of book. So long as you are on earth, very being will succumb by love and death.

message 14: by Madison (new)

Madison (madison2626) | 4 comments Nikicole wrote: "I would love to read a book were the characters are not "fixed". HEA comes in many forms. The fact that someone has to die makes the relationship that much more important. They truly have to cheris..."

But in the same way when u think about real life, how many years do u think that they can be tough-ether until they start to see a difference? One it will be 25 forever lets say ,and the other starts getting older, how long it take to feel a difference 10 -15 years ? How can that be HEA realistically speaking , and not thinking when they starts getting even older ,she/he will be able to still kiss a grandpa or grandma just for the idea of love ? In may opinion I think its easier and better if it gets fixed so they can be the same age, and it will be fiction any way at least then we can have HEA. :)

message 15: by Loudice (new)

Loudice (yoys) | 2 comments Hi...can't resist commenting on this.

I love HEAs in the books I read but at the same time, I really want to read a plausible HEA, something that was not done just for the sake of ending H/h's story. It's something I'm particular with...I've found myself giving 2 stars to books that start out good but have unsatisfying endings.

When it comes to the age difference though, it doesn't matter if the characters sacrifice his/her
immortality or give up their mortality as long as the author gets to the HEA believably.

message 16: by La La (new)

La La | 132 comments I'm reading a book now where the hero is immortal and the heroine is mortal and after they're married she finds out about his immortality and becomes dissappointed. She basically says her life is over because he can't give her the things she's dreamned of, children and having a normal life.

I think that what really bugs me about mortal/immortal relationship is that in many stories the immortal person can't have children so if you are a mortal woman and what these things do you just say forget it as long as I have him I'm happy and complete.

message 17: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenjberman) Really good question. It is an interesting issue that has different work arounds.
In Midnight Breeds, the human women ingest blood from their vampire mates and this makes them age at the same rate as their mates.
In My Immortal by Erin McCarthy, the cursed hero was redeemed and became human again.

message 18: by Athena (last edited Jun 22, 2011 09:08AM) (new)

Athena (athytee) | 28 comments I think they should be fixed. As a romance reader, I'm looking for a HEA (yes, ever meaning forever!). HOWEVER but I hate is stupid fixes. Things that are just so ridiculous that they make the reader shake their head! Bleh! Makes me think of Ghost Bitch from Lover Unbound... *cough*

message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Athena wrote: "I think they should be fixed. As a romance reader, I'm looking for a HEA (yes, ever meaning forever!). HOWEVER but I hate is stupid fixes. Things that are just so ridiculous that they make the rea..."

definately agree Athena - if you're going to fix it in some way it just can't be too out of the blue or contrived or you can end up annoying people.

message 20: by Ren Puspita (new)

Ren Puspita (renpuspita) Hi Stephanie, I like HEA in my romance, but the issue when the heroine is mortal always bugged me. Take example for Gena Showalter and Larissa Ione. Both usually have mortal women as the heroine while the hero is immortal. Then the mortal die and become immortal afterward. Yes, its romantic but that kind of ending is overused.

In Vamps at the City, the heroine is vampire and become mortal in chance to be with her hero that also mortal

message 21: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Loves 'Em Lethal (last edited Aug 02, 2012 01:20PM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 9732 comments Mod
I never answered this. I like to believe that the H/h will be together as long as possible. In PNR, I hope the author is able to figure out a way to make both immortal. I am reading the Fallen series by Kristina Douglas where the heroes are fallen angels and their wives are humans. The wives have longer lifespans but eventually die, which is a source of great sorrow to the angels. It's kind of different to do it this way, and it works for the books, but I would prefer they both had a similar lifespan. I prefer when their lives are linked through their bond. On the other hand, I am okay with the immortal becoming mortal to live out their life with their mortal spouse.

message 22: by Nomad (new)

Nomad I personally think that the 'fixing' thing is done so often in this genre that it's become... trite. To me, having a woman be old, with silver hair and STILL being beautiful to her mate, husband, what-not is epically romantic! To know that their love trancends something as superficial as age is a very romantic message.

Plus, it's so rarely done that it would most certianly get notice. In a genre full of magical fixes to make life spans match... bucking the trend is a risk, but one that at least I would be jumping up and down for and waving pom-poms for the creativity of it all.

HEA means that for the rest of their lives together they are happy in their relationship. It doesn't have to mean they live the exact same amount of time.

message 23: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (studioeastrat) | 511 comments For me I prefer for the author to "fix" it in some way. I want them to have similar life spans. But, I also don't want it to seem forced. I'm with you Lady Danielle. I like it when the author links them together in a bond.

message 24: by Jaime (new)

Jaime Rush (jaime_rush) | 59 comments A bond is nice, but I don't think it's necessary. Maybe if you don't directly address the "I'll live longer than you thing" Let the reader know they will be together, period.

message 25: by Nomad (new)

Nomad Does anyone know of a book wherein the author DIDN'T fix it? Either it wasn't addressed or it just was what it was.

Never once in my reading life have I read a PNR book where it wasn't "fixed", and at this point I'd give my left kidney to read something different. So, if anyone knows of a book, please, please, PLEASE send the title my way.

Gracias ladies.

message 26: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Loves 'Em Lethal (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 9732 comments Mod
The Kristina Douglas books didn't fix the lifespan difference, at least in the first books.

message 27: by Nadine (new)

Nadine | 18 comments In Oracle's Moon it wasn't fixed, if I remember correctly.

message 28: by Nomad (new)

Nomad Thank you ladies. Anymore that you think of, send my way... I am eager for this sort of story!

message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

I've just written a paranormal christmas novella where it doesn't get fixed though I'm going to put it to my editor whether I should or not. It will be interesting to see what she says.

message 30: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenjberman) I would be disappointed if it weren't fixed either that the human partner becomes immortal or the immortal partner becomes mortal again - otherwise, there is the idea that one will continue on without the other and that makes less of their connection and their romance.

message 31: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Loves 'Em Lethal (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 9732 comments Mod
You're right when you say we are all entitled to like what we like, Nomad. I do have to say that I'm all about the HEA when it comes to romance. I think romance fans need that because we read romance for escapism. I don't mind a dark story or angst, but I like to see some hope and optimism in the future.

I never will forget this one movie I watched a long time ago about time travel where the hero went back to the past, fell in love with a woman, and just when we thought they were going to be together, he got pulled back the presence, where he died of a broken heart. Oh, no!!!! That's not the kind of ending I want.

message 32: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Loves 'Em Lethal (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 9732 comments Mod
It's not that I don't see your point, Nomad. But I don't see much happy ending in a couple in which one will live say, 80 years and the other 800 years. I don't mind if they don't both live to the exact same age, but it's a downer to know that one of them has to live several hundred years more without their soulmate.

If you have read Midnight Awakening it gives you a feel for my issue with that difference. Tegan's wife was killed, and since he was bonded to her, when she died, his reason for living died with her, and he only wanted to kill bad guys from that point on. He goes on 500 more years like that. Fortunately, he found another HEA in this book. But I view this as a valid example of why I don't like the mortal/immortal pairing.

If we are talking about non-romance, that's a whole different thing.

message 33: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Loves 'Em Lethal (last edited Oct 05, 2012 11:44AM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 9732 comments Mod
I wanted to think about things before I replied, Nomad. I respect your opinion, and thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

Fundamentally, I think we might have some different thoughts when it comes to romance, and that's okay. When I read a romance, I want a story where the couple conquers the obstacles in front of them and has a happy life in the foreseeable future. I think in real life we know that illness, accidents, unforseen trauma can separate a couple and they aren't guaranteed their whole life together. When it comes to romance, I don't want real life in that sense. I want to have an escapism zone where I can have two people who do get their happy life together. I don't want to have to face the finality of death in their future. One of the cool things about PNR is that the author can make things like death less of an issue. That's why I like PNR, along with the fantasy and world-building aspects. I like knowing that while in reality we don't see that kind of immortality (although on a personal spiritual level, I do believe in eternal life), we can live it out through the characters in a book.

As far as soulmates, I do believe in them. I don't think in real life your existence should be tied to someone to the degree that you can't live without them. But as far as literature, it's a powerful, romantic concept, and that's why it's so enduring in PNR. In real life, we know that's not healthy. There are a lot of things we read and enjoy in books that ain't healthy at all in real life. That's the joy of escapism.

It's definitely a personal taste thing. I am an escapist reader. I don't read fiction books to explore my reality. I like to see some aspects of the real life struggles and issues in a book, but I like to see the author take those and entwine them into a story where I can smile at the end. That's how I roll. I think it's perfectly fine that we all have different tastes, but I don't agree with romance fans being belittled or looked down on because we do enjoy the fantasy, and I am not saying you are doing that. I will just defend our rights to enjoy these literary concepts and conventions as much and as often I can.

While I am sure we aren't in agreement, which is fine, I hope I am clear in expressing my thoughts with you and anyone else on this thread.

message 34: by Nomad (new)

Nomad I certainly wasn't trying to belittle anyone with my thoughts.

message 35: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenjberman) Well said Danielle.
I read many books from many different genres and each is worthy in its own right.
One of the reasons that I read PNR is precisely because it is not a pure reflection of reality but an alternate perspective in which anything is possible. Sometimes I just need to get away from the reality of life in which people lose those they love and must go on without them. This is exactly when I need the HEA even if it is not 100% realistic.

message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

just as an update for my upcoming christmas novella(immortal M/mortal F) I have shown the reader how it can be fixed but not had the characters discuss it (I couldn't have that big a conversation without spoiling the romantic mood!). originally I left it out but wanted the possibility of the HEA. on the other hand I'm currently writing a vampire short and will noy fix it, just give them a HFN.

message 37: by Kit★ (new)

Kit★ (xkittyxlzt) I don't really read a whole lot of PNR, but if it were me as the heroine, I really would not be happy growing old and gray and stuff while my love stays looking young and strong forever. I would want to become immortal myself. I mean, for the love thing, but also because it would be dang cool to be immortal, see where the world's at in 100 or 400 years, all the things that happen... So I would want that, for sure, no doubt. The immortal becoming mortal to live out their days with their love is romantic too. But I'd still rather be immortal lol.

message 38: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Jackson (paperbackdiva) | 181 comments Stephanie wrote: "That is sort of what I figured. I am trying to figure out a way that it could be done without it being the same old thing KWIM?....Such a tough issue."

I'm curious about what KWIM stands for?

message 39: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Jackson (paperbackdiva) | 181 comments Deanna wrote: "I remember me and all my friends ooh-ing and aah-ing over the movie "Highlander" when McCleod(sp?) stayed with his Scottish wife until she died of old age.

I like it when heroes choose mortality ..."

That seems like a romantic solution to me too. I love to see a man who loves that strongly.

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