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HEA in Literature > Questionable Romances

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message 1: by Pamela(AllHoney), Fairy Godmother (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 14526 comments Is there a book or books out there that you wonder if it should actually be categorized as a romance? Book(s) that don't fit your qualifications for a romance?

One that comes to my mind is Romeo and Juliet. That is not a romance to me. It's a tragedy. I believe its even listed as a tragic play. The reason for me is mainly the fact that there is no HEA.


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) wrote: "Is there a book or books out there that you wonder if it should actually be categorized as a romance? Book(s) that don't fit your qualifications for a romance?

One that comes to my mind is Romeo..."


I TOTALY AGREE!!!!!!!! IT is a tragedy. Romance to me means HEA. Anything else is something else.


message 3: by Lisa Kay, Tinker Bell (last edited Jul 13, 2011 10:00PM) (new)

Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 21897 comments I can't believe you asked this question when I just posted in another thread here:
I have a thing about calling certain books "historical romances" - like Gone With the Wind. I don't even put that tag on it. I call it "fiction" and "history 101" and "epic" and "classic".
It is so NOT a romance! IMHO.


message 4: by Lisa Kay, Tinker Bell (new)

Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 21897 comments I thought I read somewhere that someone was trying to get them to change HEA to "cozy romances", like "cozy mystery". That's not bad; but, it still, I think the other type should change its genre name. LOL!


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Is cozy as strong as HEA.

Lisa....You know what I think of Gone With The Wind..... LOL


message 6: by Lisa Kay, Tinker Bell (new)

Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 21897 comments Faithmarie wrote: "Is cozy as strong as HEA."

Now there's a question, Faithmarie! When I think cozy, I think snuggle -- and let's face it, some pretty heavey HEA are pretty passionate!


message 7: by Pamela(AllHoney), Fairy Godmother (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 14526 comments Well, I think GWTW is historical fiction with a romantic element but not romance. I don't get the cozy thing at all. I read GWTW as an emotional teen.


message 8: by Lisa Kay, Tinker Bell (new)

Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 21897 comments Pamela(AllHoney) wrote: "Well, I think GWTW is historical fiction with a romantic element but not romance. I don't get the cozy thing at all. I read GWTW as an emotional teen."

Yes, there is a bit of some intangible something in the word "cozy" that doesn't work with HEA romances that does work with most mysteries. Not all mysteries, mind you.


message 9: by Marijayne (new)

Marijayne Stegman (mjsquirrelgirl) I think for something to be considered a romance it should end happily. Love stories that end in tragedy (i.e. Nicholas Sparks stuff) is better categorized as drama or something else. It is annoying to me to read what I am expecting to have a happy ending and then have it end with someone dying and either of the main characters alone.

I think my preference stems from the fact that I read to relax and get away from life's stresses, so I want the fantasy and the HEA ending. I don't want to get caught up in unhappy drama that might come over into dreams when I'm looking for escapism. If I want something a little beefier then I'll look for it in another category of books.


message 10: by Lisa Kay, Tinker Bell (new)

Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 21897 comments Marijayne wrote: "If I want something a little beefier then I'll look for it in another category of books."

I feel the same way, Marijayne!

P.S. I stay away from Nicholas Sparks' books. I was burned on the first one, though I can't remember what it was. It was recommended to me! Geez, what some people consider romance. **sigh**


message 11: by Pamela(AllHoney), Fairy Godmother (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 14526 comments I stay away from Sparks too. My hubby's aunt keeps recommending them to me but I won't read em.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) wrote: "I stay away from Sparks too. My hubby's aunt keeps recommending them to me but I won't read em."

Lisa Kay wrote: "Marijayne wrote: "If I want something a little beefier then I'll look for it in another category of books."

I feel the same way, Marijayne!

P.S. I stay away from Nicholas Sparks' books. I was..."


Marijayne wrote: "I think for something to be considered a romance it should end happily. Love stories that end in tragedy (i.e. Nicholas Sparks stuff) is better categorized as drama or something else. It is annoy..."

OH YEAH!!!!!!! Kindred Spirits..... Girls after my own heart!!!!!!!!!!!!!


message 13: by Pamela(AllHoney), Fairy Godmother (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 14526 comments lol Maybe we need to do bumper stickers or something that read "Real Romance Readers Don't Read Sparks".


message 14: by Lynsey A (new)

Lynsey A (lovesdarcy) | 111 comments It does bother me when people refer to his books as romances. They have no HEA, which IMO is what makes a romance!

As for GWTW, it is my favorite movie, but I would never categorize it as a romance. Definitely not a HEA at the end of that one.

When it comes to GWTW, I am more of a collector. I have lots of memorabilia; in fact I have an entire room decorated in GWTW stuff. :) It's true.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Lynsey A wrote: "It does bother me when people refer to his books as romances. They have no HEA, which IMO is what makes a romance!

As for GWTW, it is my favorite movie, but I would never categorize it as a roman..."


My Mom and I used to argue over that movie. She loved that movie.

Pamela(AllHoney) wrote: "lol Maybe we need to do bumper stickers or something that read "Real Romance Readers Don't Read Sparks"."

HAHAHAHA LMAO!!!!!!! I will buy one!!!!!!!!!!


 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 146 comments I pretty much agree with what has been said. In order for me to buy a book as a romance, I have to see a happy ending or promise of happiness together. Books that end tragically aren't what I'd consider romances.


message 17: by Lynsey A (new)

Lynsey A (lovesdarcy) | 111 comments Faithmarie, I do like the movie but I don't categorize it as romance. I think I just admire Scarlett because she is such a strong heroine. She really did save her family with her decisions even if they seemed to be selfish. However, she paid in the end by losing the one man who was her equal and who loved her passionately.

In college I read The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton and I compared the heroine in that book to Scarlett O'Hara in a paper. Some people say the two characters are similar in their actions but I disagreed. In The Custom of the Country Ondine (I think it is spelled differently) never learned what she did and how she behaved was wrong. Scarlett, on the other hand, I felt did. Now, admittedly, it has been over 10 years since I read either book but I do believe that.


message 18: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 15, 2011 10:42AM) (new)

Yeah my Mom loved Scarlett and I would call Scarlett a B***H. LOL and my Mom and I would argue...... I miss arguing about it with her. LOL

I read somewhere Scarlett and Rhett were real people and that he bought her out of prostitution. If I liked her I would research it. I do however LOVE Rhett.

I like my heroines sweet and gentle and in the course of the story find her strength. I like my hero ALPHA and then soften in the course of the book because of her. I would read every book like that and never tire of it. LOL I hate women who are strong like men. I get distracted and skim thru the book to get to the end if it isn't an exceptional book.
I know I am simple minded. But I want my escape into my little world of fantasy and happiness........... fluffy puffy stuff.....


message 19: by Lisa Kay, Tinker Bell (new)

Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 21897 comments If you are simple-minded, then I'm right there with you, Faithmarie. I get a little tired of all the new romances where the female pops out of the womb all Rambo-ette. I like to see a little growth in my characters, and why they developed the way they did. I also like my alpha-males to soften b/c of the female (Beauty-within and the Beast theme). I don't mind seeing a woman in a traditional male role, but I don't like her to be such a b!tch.

BTW, Faithmarie, you are right; Scarlett was a B!tch with a capital B.


message 20: by Marijayne (new)

Marijayne Stegman (mjsquirrelgirl) I don't want her to be a bitch but I like a strong woman. I hate women that can't seem to handle their own lives. I've mentally yelled at characters and told them to grow a backbone and stick up for themselves. Sometimes stories are so contrived meaning the author makes the people make such dumb decisions or not be able to make decisions that as a reader I get ticked off at the character.


message 21: by Pamela(AllHoney), Fairy Godmother (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 14526 comments I don't mind strong and independent women but mean and b****y women? No way! I remember when I was young I liked to imagine that the next day (after the book ended) was full of a new start for Scarlett and Rhett. I always imagined them having that HEA. As I've grown older I've decided that Scarlett doesn't deserve a HEA. Am I mean or what? lol


message 22: by Lynsey A (last edited Jul 15, 2011 11:05AM) (new)

Lynsey A (lovesdarcy) | 111 comments Oh, I absolutely agree with you both, Faithmaire and Lisa Kay! Scarlett was a B!tch! The movie just really caught me so I wanted to read the book. Even then I was all about romance. I just wanted to read how it all happened in the book.

I normally don't like my heroines to be super strong but Scarlett wasn't a romance novel heroine so it didn't bother me. She just had a certain strength, and perhaps it was her bitchiness but it got her and her family through the war and the hard times that followed. She made a promise to herself never to "go hungry again, no nor any of my folk" and she stuck to it :)

I absolutely LOVED Rhett too, Faithmarie. Loved him.


message 23: by Lynsey A (new)

Lynsey A (lovesdarcy) | 111 comments Pamela,
I like to think she really learned her lesson when she lost Rhett and I hope they did get their HEA. (In the Alexandra Ripley book,Scarlett they did but many don't count that). It's the romantic in me, I guess. Plus I have a soft heart sometimes. :)


message 24: by Lisa Kay, Tinker Bell (last edited Jul 15, 2011 11:07AM) (new)

Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 21897 comments I hate it when an author uses the heroine, giving her a TSTL moment, to further a plotline - or so the hero can rescue her. Don't get me wrong; I like the hero to step in and save the heroine (and visa versa). But can't they get the heroine into a predicament w/o her being TSTL?

BTW, Pamela, I felt the same way; Rhett deserved someone better (like me!) LOL!


message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

I am here laughing my head off and my family is looking at me like I have lobsters coming out my ears......... I like Lobster....... Anyway I am so HAPPY you all see what I see .... I love you all!!!!!! HEA thats me..... so many of my friends find my preference toward HEA shallow..... I DON"T CARE.... LOL
As for Scarlett..... her attitude after her daughter died .... sniffin around that limp lump Ashley when she had a MANLY MAN.... well that sealed the deal for me. And thats all I have to say about that ... you hope..LOL


message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

Lisa Kay wrote: "I hate it when an author uses the heroine, giving her a TSTL moment, to further a plotline - or so the hero can rescue her. Don't get me wrong; I like the hero to step in and save the heroine (and..."

And Me! LOL


 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 146 comments I don't mind a soft, sweet heroine. I like them. I also like strong, independent heroines. But I don't like catty, mean, hateful heroines. I love kickbutt heroines, but some authors don't know how to make a strong heroine that's Likable! I like heroines who grow over the course of the book. Same for heroes.

Scarlett is a real pain in the butt. I never understood why she had a thing for Ashley. He was such a fluffball! Scarlett and Rhett both had flaws, but I could see why Rhett walked out on Scarlett. I felt bad for them both when Bonnie died. That was awful.


message 28: by Lisa Kay, Tinker Bell (last edited Jul 15, 2011 02:25PM) (new)

Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 21897 comments I sometimes think I identify with the heroine more than other readers do. I really try to get into the feelings of the heroine I'm reading about. I’m a bit of a chameleon in that regards and become a bit of a devil’s advocate. I think that is why, if I really don’t like the heroine, I stop reading the book. I don’t mind if she is sweet, strong, flawed, whatever. I just can’t stand a b!tch or a cock-tease.


 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 146 comments I don't like sleazy heroines myself. And I don't really like heroines/heroes who lie to each other and play power games.


message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

Girls after my own heart!!!!!!! Thats why I love reading your book reviews and see your 5 star books. I trust your opinions.


message 31: by Pamela(AllHoney), Fairy Godmother (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 14526 comments I'm not into sleeze myself. My fave heroines are soft spoken, kind and courtesy but with an inner strength. I love Julie Garwood's heroines.


 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 146 comments Julie Garwood heroines are very lovable. :)

Thanks, Faithmarie. That means a lot.


message 33: by [deleted user] (new)

Faithmarie wrote: "YESSSSSSSSSS They are PERFECT to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I want more of them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why won't she write more of them????? I love Honors Splendour!!!!!!" SHE was my perfect heroines. And them Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Philips


message 34: by Lisa Kay, Tinker Bell (new)

Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 21897 comments Thanks, Faithmarie! Hey, I'm re-reading Honor's Splendour by Julie Garwood right now as a buddy read in NBRC group. Such fun to see people who read a lot of different genre get together to all love Garwood.


message 35: by Pamela(AllHoney), Fairy Godmother (last edited Jul 15, 2011 01:28PM) (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 14526 comments Lisa Kay, I just reread Gentle Warrior (Tapestry Romance) by Julie Garwood . Her first published novel, I believe. While not as loved as Honor's Splendour it's still a good solid read for me.


message 36: by Lisa Kay, Tinker Bell (new)

Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 21897 comments Pamela(AllHoney) wrote: "Lisa Kay, I just reread Gentle Warrior (Tapestry Romance) by Julie Garwood. She first published novel, I believe. While not as loved as Honor's Splendour it's still a good solid read for me."

Yes, I've read all her historicals; I think I read that just last year. I know I'll read it again, I don't know when. :)


message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

I just went to see if anyone didn't like the book and there was one ..... she went on to say she would never disgrace her mind with such folly.
HAHAHA That is what I am talking about. Give me folly I guess lol.


message 38: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Alldredge (cheryl_alldredge) | 12 comments Hi everyone! I’m new to the group, but I love this discussion. You’re singing my song! HEA is a must for me. It is the very reason I love Romance novels. I love all kinds of heroines as long as they are well done and true to who they are. And yes, a heroine should be able to get into trouble without being tstl. She can do something stupid for a really good reason, but she can't just be stupid to further the plot.


message 39: by Lisa Kay, Tinker Bell (new)

Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 21897 comments Cheryl wrote: "She can do something stupid for a really good reason, but she can't just be stupid to further the plot."

LOL! True, Cheryl. Welcome!


message 40: by Marijayne (new)

Marijayne Stegman (mjsquirrelgirl) Looks like we finally all found something to talk about!!


message 41: by Lisa Kay, Tinker Bell (new)

Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 21897 comments Some authors are so good I'm trying to do my re-read via audiobooks. Just saw that my library added The Bride (Lairds' Fiancees, #1) by Julie Garwood .


message 42: by Pamela(AllHoney), Fairy Godmother (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 14526 comments I've never done audiobooks but I went to my library recently and glance at the audiobooks and didn't see anything I'd want to "read". Maybe I ought to look harder.


 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 146 comments I just started really getting into audiobooks. They are great for my long commutes.


message 44: by Lisa Kay, Tinker Bell (new)

Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 21897 comments I think audios are b/c more popular as young people are listening to them more via their iPods, MP3 players, etc. I was at the pharmacy the other week, and I always check out the book section; the books there were suddenly almost half audio! I was shocked. There is a way to burn the CDs to and transfer them to your listening device, but I haven't advanced that far. I did get an iTunes account, and watched a YouTube video on a device I was thinking of buying. They have really come down in price.


message 45: by Marijayne (new)

Marijayne Stegman (mjsquirrelgirl) Haven't tried audio books as my commute is only from my bedroom to my home office and I'd only get about 3 sentences a day! hehehe

I know my parents did them a few years ago while driving from Northern California to see us in SoCal. I don't know that my family, especially my son, would much enjoy an audio romance novel!


message 46: by Lisa Kay, Tinker Bell (new)

Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 21897 comments Marijayne, I must admit, it takes some getting used to to listen to a romance as opposed to reading it. And I certainly wouldn't want to do it in mixed company... or any company for that matter. Thank goodness for headphones!

I love to listen to a good mystery when I travel.


message 47: by Pamela(AllHoney), Fairy Godmother (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 14526 comments I'm thinking that listening to audiobooks would be great when I go work out. I ride an exercise bike at our community center and although they have tv on them I don't always find anything that I want to watch. My MP3 player is great but I'm thinking that listening to books would work better.


message 48: by Marijayne (last edited Jul 17, 2011 10:41AM) (new)

Marijayne Stegman (mjsquirrelgirl) (mild spoiler for Goodnight Tweetheart) So I just finished reading something that fits into this discussion. I had been reading Jil Shalvis' Smart & Sexy but wasn't loving it (very surprising because I love her stuff). I grabbed instead Goodnight Tweetheart Goodnight Tweetheart by Teresa Medeiros , a book for which I'd read lots of great reviews. It is told in large part through a series of Tweets. I've always loved the Meg Cabot books that are written through emails. Anyway, I won't give away the ending exactly but I actually can't because it leaves you hanging letting you make up your own decision. Loved the book, loved the characters. Not sure how you could have ended it differently without making it sappy but...not completely the HEA I wanted for the characters. I highly recommend though. It's a quick read (a bit pricey for being such a quick read). Something a little different. So the big question, would I classify it as a romance. It has all the elements of a romance - cute meet, fun dialog, he sweeps her off her feet, they both fall in love. But it does have that somewhat tragic element. I guess I would put it in a category for non-HEA romance.


message 49: by Pamela(AllHoney), Fairy Godmother (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 14526 comments the HFN (happily for now) category?


message 50: by Marijayne (new)

Marijayne Stegman (mjsquirrelgirl) Not even that!


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