Wednesday, June 27, 2007

RW: Hopefully Ever After

From reader e-mail: Would you explain why you don't write HEA endings for your Darkyn books?

I started reading romances when I was a kid. I found my first at the library, from which I tore out the last page order form and used my babysitting money (Mom kindly wrote a check) to order two more. All three novels ended with the heroine and hero married, or two seconds from getting married. Every other romance I read after that trio ended with the same HEA (Happily Ever After.)

I loved the books, but I thought the endings were boring. I knew that the couple didn't go into suspended animation after the last page. I wanted to know what happened after the insanely expensive wedding and exotic honeymoon. But I quickly discovered that one novel was all I was going to get, no matter what romance author I read, because the HEA was like the money shot in a porn flick; it was there whether it was appropriate or not because it was expected. HEA also meant NMS (No More Story.)

I think that was the first sign that I was destined to be a series writer.

All of my published traditional romances do have HEAs, and you can thank my romance editors for that. But writing a SF series, however, allowed me explore an intense, sometimes romantic relationship between two very complicated characters, whose story simply couldn't be told in one novel. To date, I've written seven novels developing Cherijo and Reever's relationship while completely avoiding the HEA (and have gotten away with it, too; not one reader has ever complained about that aspect of the story.)

What I learned from writing around the HEA in the StarDoc novels gave me a new perspective on writing romance. I didn't need to put in the money shot at all. Instead of the story-killing Happily Ever After, I could explore more of the relationship in the next book. And that's how I ended up writing Hopefully Ever Afters.

Today I'm giving away a complete set of my Darkyn novels, all of which have a Hopefully Ever After ending (you have been warned.) If you'd like a chance to win the set, in comments to this post name a book whose ending you really enjoyed, whatever type ending it was, by midnight EST on Friday, June 30, 2007 (or if you can't think of one, just throw your name into the hat.) I'll draw one name at random from everyone who participates, and send the winner signed copies of If Angels Burn, Private Demon, Dark Need and Night Lost, along with a sneak preview of Evermore. This giveaway is open to everyone on the planet, even if you've won something here at PBW in the past.

110 comments:

  1. This might sound odd, and I'm sure that other people might disagree, but the ending to the Dark Tower series by Stephen King was one of my favorites. I'm sure a lot of people were mad, but I couldn't think of any better way to end it. Anything he wrote would have been a let down, so his ending was far from a HEA but more like what you said, a "Hopefully Ever After." (Although, I only waited two or three years for the series conclusion, not 30, so that might have had something to do with it.)

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  2. I really enjoyed the ending of Voices, by Ursula Le Guin. It just seemed perfect for the story, and it's one of the few books that I would happily read and reread just for that ending.

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  3. I'm with Jason on King's Dark Tower. That ending gave me chills. It resonated. That was the only time I've reached the end of a book and thought there was no other way it could have ended. (I waited about 12 years for it.)

    I don't even think it was hopeful, but it certainly qualifies for "ever after"!

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  4. I really enjoy Jill Mansell's books. Her endings have a hopefully HEA.

    Liz

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  5. I like the ending of Anne George books, happy but open too.

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  6. I was impressed with Mark Haddon's 'A Spot of Bother'. Definitely a 'Hopeful ever after'.

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  7. I really liked the ending of Tracy Cooper-Posey's Red Leopard. Not your average 2,5 children and white picket fence HEA, but nevertheless an ending with two people deeply in love.

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  8. I recently finished reading "No Humans Involved" by Kelley Armstrong. Great book and I really liked the ending. Things wrapped up nicely with hints for some fun and interesting things to come.

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  9. I love the endings to Takashi Matsuoka's A Cloud of Sparrows and Autumn Bridge. They're bittersweet and not HEA at all, but they couldn't have ended any other way.

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  10. I love the ending to "Lord of the Rings". Yes, it's an often turgid, pompous book, and its use of exclamation marks should be outlawed by the Geneva Convention. But Frodo's little speech when he's parting from Sam moves me to tears.

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  11. I'm all about HEA's, but only when and how they're appropriate -- that doesn't always mean marriage. As long as you don't kill of the main character or split the lovers up forever, I'm good.

    I can't think of one ending that stands out, though my favorite proposal has to be from Jenny Crusie's "Faking It" -- "Marry me, Matilda, and make me the most confused man on earth."

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  12. I have to say that it was Orson Scott Card's Songmaster is one that gets me every time with its ending. I do have to agree that the Dark Tower's ending, as Stephen King said in the afterword, may not have been good, but it was right.

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  13. The book that came immediately to mind was The Princess Bride. I read that long before the movie came out and I wish I still had that copy, because I swear all the ones with "Now a major motion picture!" on it have stuff cut out of them.

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  14. I gotta disagree with the King fans here. I was one who hated the Dark Tower ending.

    I could probably name 50 books with bad endings, but good ones don't seem to stick in my head as much.

    I'm going to say Dennis Lehane - Shutter Island.

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  15. I'll put in a vote for China Mieville's Perdido Street Station. The story definitely ends but there's a clear sense in which the world carries on as the characters go their separate ways. And although they beat the Bad Guy, it's far from happily ever after for most of them.

    pax et bonum

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  16. "Tigana" by Guy Gavriel Kay - I never saw it coming and it was so clever, at least I thought so at the time.

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  17. The end of "Bridge of Birds" by Barry Hugheart was very beautiful to me.

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  18. I think one of the most satisfying endings I've ever read was for Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. It was happy in a way, but more hopeful than happy. It wasn't all tied up in a neat little box with a pretty little ribbon. There are still problems, but the hope is that they'll sort them out because there is so much love between Sidda and her mother. One of my favorite books, really.

    Crista

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  19. Interesting that you mention the StarDoc novels.

    I celebrated going to Powells bookstore in Portland OR by picking up a copy of the first book in the series. Read it for the first time yesterday. Yes, in one sitting. I don't often do that, but well... You know StarDoc is good, don'tcha?

    I loved the fact you had the guts to write that as you did.

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  20. Anonymous8:42 AM

    I'll be a complete suck-up and say Private Demon. I found the scene in which Thierry tosses Jema up in the snowy air, with Valentin looking on, to have a bittersweet quality that lingers in the mind.
    I like HEA when they're not forced or rushed. As long as the author leaves the main characters leaning toward a HEA, I enjoy imagining various happy outcomes for them more than having them spelled out.
    Martie

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  21. I love the "Hopefully Ever After" phrase, but alas, I haven't had enough caffeine yet to think of a book whose ending I loved. So I'll just throw my name in the hat if that's OK.

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  22. Huh. I would never have said your Darkyn novels didn't have a happily ever after. Just not such a clear-cut, defined ending (engagement or marriage). But they do end up in love and solidly together, so to me it translates as happily ever after. Or maybe I just fall into the Hopeful category myself. *g*

    Interestingly enough, I recently finished the first book of a series with a "hopeful" ending that I found very romantic. The characters arrange to meet in England at the end of the book, so the open ending implies a hopefully ever after even though nothing is solid or defined. (All About Evie, the Chameleon Chronicles). OK, color me happy with hopeful.

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  23. Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas had an ending that I found both tragic, yet hopefully ever after.

    Josh here, tossing the name.

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  24. I liked the ending of "Greensleeves" by Eloise Jarvis McGraw. It wasn't all wrapped up in a bow, but it was better because of it - there was a hopeful, something is beginning feel.

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  25. I'm still enamoured of the ending the the Wizard of Earthsea quartet. Sad, poignant and beautiful, but left you wondering about the future.

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  26. Anonymous9:10 AM

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  27. Robin Hobb's Assassin Trilogy, namely Assassin's Apprentice, Royal Assassin, and Assassin's Quest. Since it's "book" and not "books", I'll say Assassin's Quest has one of the best endings ever.

    It's a depressing ending, with the protagonist, Fitz, getting no recognition for all the sacrifices he had made. Yet it is also an ending that stayed with me long after the last word was read. And it somehow drove home the lesson that not every good deed you do will be rewarded... but you do it anyway.

    Of course, that ending was somewhat ruined with the subsequent trilogy of an older Fitz. But at least he got to be happy.

    A happy ending does not necessarily mean a good ending, though.

    Anyway, thanks for the chance!

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  28. I liked the ending of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer so much that I'm nervous about reading the next book. Still soaking in the yummy feelings from the first book which I read it back in Jan.

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  29. "which I read back in Jan" minus the it. (Sh**)

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  30. To date, I've written seven novels developing Cherijo and Reever's relationship while completely avoiding the HEA (and have gotten away with it, too; not one reader has ever complained about that aspect of the story.)

    If you don't end the series with a hopefully, preferably HAPPY ever after, you'll hear from this reader. I'll be the scream you hear coming from the north.

    I've got all the Darkyn books so don't enter me...although I'd love the sneak peak... *G*

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  31. Night Echoes by Holly Lisle. It left just that little niggling question that let you know that although things seem to be going smoothly it might not be. I guess I belong in the hopefully ever after group.

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  32. I'm with Stephanie on the lack of caffiene causing a brain block. Ack. Right now, the only books I can think of didn't have the ending just the way I would've liked it. So, I'll have to say the book I just finished writing. I made myself cry. (But a good cry, not a bad cry. Ya know.)

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  33. I can't think of an ending that stands out in my mind as being particularly exceptional, but the ending of book that most surprised me was the end of My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult. I haven't read any of her other books, but what happened at the end of that book -- I didn't see that coming.

    Can I throw my name in the hat?

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  35. I think hopefully ever afters are better than happy ever afters.

    I just don't get the "Everyone is happy happy happy" endings because ... That's not how I see life, I suppose.

    As a corollary to what Shi said, if that's how the StarDoc series end, you'll also hear a scream from somewhere around the globe. But I have faith in you, PBW.

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  36. Anonymous9:53 AM

    Throwing my name in the hat - thanks!

    Pam

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  37. Oh, and I forgot to say- Elizabeth Haydon's Rhapsody series is another one like that... I keep thinking things are going to finally be resolved, and yet it just keeps getting more and more intricate. When the 6 books turned into 7 or 8 or whatever the last count is, I couldn't decide whether to be excited or frustrated, lol.

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  38. No Humans Involved By Kelley Armstrong. I love love love Jeremy, and have since I met his character. And this book made me love Jaime too, and Jeremy and Jaime together. And no HEA ending... just a definitely hopeful one. The end of the romantic plotline made me smile from ear to ear, and, to me, left promises of a not easy but nonetheless well worth it relationship. The ending to the other plot wasn't bad either :)

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  39. Throwing my name into the hat. Thanks a bunch!

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  40. Bridget Medora10:19 AM

    Once Upon Stilettos by Shanna Swendson. It was the second book in the series, and its ending managed to be both happily- and hopefully-ever-after without being too sugary. It also left a wide open door for the continuation of the romance in the next book(s). Perfect balance.

    The ending of the third book in that series though...well, I'm reserving judgment until I see where the fourth book goes! ;)

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  41. I just finished reading Unchained: Mac's Law by Sarah McCarty and I quite enjoyed the ending of the book.

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  42. Hopefully Ever After

    I love that. That describes the Darkyn endings perfectly.

    In my not-so-humble opinion, the endings of the Darkyn books fit the series perfectly. I like knowing that even though Michael and Alex desperately love each other, they're still a normal couple (or as normal as they can be) who aren't always blissfully happy.

    I was re-reading Heat of the Moment yesterday. I so love that book. It remains one of my favorite romantic suspense books.

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  43. I loved the ending to The Egyptologist. There aren't any happily ever afters in that book (or any happily ever beginnings or middles, either). What is excellent about the ending is that I finally understood what was really going on through the story. I had all the missing pieces that the very unreliable narrators of the story didn't give me at the time. Sort of like a mystery, but without the big reveal at the end. It was more like a slow burning lamp wick that finally took at the end.

    Excellent book. I highly recommend it.

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  44. I fall in the middle. i recently read a book that had an ambiguous and somewhat unresolved ending and i just wasn't satisfied. I talked about it for days, which is horrible because i really loved the rest of the book. But on the same hand when the couple falls into marriage, eternal love and an extreme HEA ending i kind of want to vomit. i guess hopefully ever after is what i'm looking for.

    I really enjoyed the end of Holly Blacks Tithe and the follow up Ironside. both, hopefully ever after.

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  45. I just BOUGHT If Angels Burn. It's in my bag under my desk at work, just waiting for lunchbreak. :-D But I'd love another copy to pass along to friends, and the rest of the series, *of course*. Yay!

    I don't think that HEA = no more story, but I think it does make a nice tidy ending. Keyword tidy. Anyone who's ever been married could probably agree there's a whole lot more story later. ;)

    My name's in the hat. I can't think of a book crying out to be mentioned right now, but that happens when I'm at work.

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  46. A single book, hmm? I'd have to say the third book of Holly Lisle's Secret Texts trilogy, Courage of Falcons.

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  47. Oh Bridget, you're so right! I loooove Shanna's books, and Once Upon Stilettoes definitely had a great ending.

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  48. I keep bringing up this book, but when something's good, it's good. I can't help it!

    Anyway, Zelazny's conclusion to the First Chronicles of Amber is inspired. Pretty much everything is resolved, and then the hero goes off because there's still more to do. "Good-bye and hello, as always."

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  49. Dennis Lehane's Shutter Island.

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  50. A lot of paranormals don't have "traditional" HEAs. In many cases, it wouldn't make sense due to the characters' backgrounds. I mean, when they spend most of the book fighting demons or whatever together... somehow I don't see a white picket fence in the picture.

    I want the ending that's right for the story. Sometimes that's a HEA. Other times it's a "hopefully" (which in many cases is an implied HEA).

    I think my favorite ending has to be the end to the Black Jewels trilogy. The last book is one of those where you're hoping for a HEA but everything is stacked against it and even the reader doesn't think it's going to happen. I nearly threw the book aside in horror in the last fifty pages.

    I'm glad I didn't. :P

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  51. I'll never forget the first book I read without a HEA. Walk in My Soul by Lucia St. Clair Robson tore my heart out and pounced on it while I cried uncontrollably at the end. Probably just teenage hormones, but I bought a copy when I was older and still enjoyed it. I can't say that about a lot of the books I've read that did end with the traditional HEA.

    Thanks for entering me in the contest.

    Amanda

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  52. Anonymous12:56 PM

    This post got me thinking -- I realized I too really like series because I like to see the worlds continue. All of the endings that first came to mind were parts of larger stories. "No Humans Involved" had, IMO the best ending yet for a really strong series. One ending that came to mind though was a happy surprise for me. I really liked the ending of "Ten Big Ones." I hadn't been picking up the Plum series as often, but the ending of that, with Sally Sweet, was probably one of her best moments.

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  53. Kaelle12:59 PM

    The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley has a mix of happy and hopeful at the end. I sigh with satisfaction when I read the last word. This makes this book the number 1 re-read book I own; my comfort book.

    Kaelle

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  54. JillVB1:00 PM

    Gone with the Wind - the classic Hopefully Ever After ending!

    Throw my name in the hat!

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  55. Please place my name gently in the hat.

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  56. Man, I just saw that anon comment.

    Anon, you know something? you're a freaking coward. A pathetic, sniveling whining coward, using something as tragic as that to hurt a person.

    You're trash and as much as I'd love to direct some hate mongering your way (even if you did have the courage to sign your name) I can't find it in me to hate somebody as pathetic as you.

    Go get a life.

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  57. Anonymous1:55 PM

    Ooops, I just realized I forgot to sign my post here -- most of the places remember me. I posted about the books by Armstrong and Evanovich. So much for answering the phone and typing. . .
    JulieB

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  58. Anonymous1:56 PM

    Can I throw my name in the hat too? ;)

    I've got to say tho that I love best the books that take you years into the future to see how the couple is 40 yrs down the road. ;)

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  59. Anonymous1:58 PM

    I guess you need a name to go w/ that last comment. LOL! ;) Geezz, I'm slow today!

    buttons1721 (aka Misty)

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  60. Michele Martinez writes a great series about a federal prosecutor named Melanie Vargas. The third book, Cover-Up, came out recently and I enjoyed watching Melanie and her love interest Dan solve the crime.

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  61. The book ending I love is the one for "Watership Down." Ok, I need my box of kleenix when I get there, but it's still a good one. An HEA for rabbits with the idea that the new warren wil survive.

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  62. Oooo... Name in hat please!

    I loved the ending of Mistress of the Empire because Kevin came back to Kelewan, and back to his Mistress Mara. I'm a hopeless romantic at heart.. what can I say!

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  63. I wasn't so keen on the ending of The Dark Tower myself...not sure what else he could have done but still...

    Anyway, I like the "hopefully ever after" endings as well and I'm sure there are many examples but it's late here in Egypt so the only one that springs to mind at the moment is "The Other Woman's Shoes" by Adele Parks.

    Name in hat please :)

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  64. Peter S. Beagle's "The Last Unicorn". I'm told it's technically a tragedy but I adored the promise of hope for the future.

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  65. I'm very, very hard to please with endings. Most of the time, I enjoy the journey far more than the ending.

    However, I have to agree with Revalkorn: the ending of the first Amber chronicles was awesome.

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  66. Dorothy3:52 PM

    Charlie Huston's A Dangerous Man. The last in a three book series, it follows the spiralling downfall of a guy who didn't believe he was bad, that all of the people he killed either deserved it or he was so drugged up at the time he didn't know what he was doing. Throughout every book there was the hope of redemption or some type of saving this likeable guy from himself. Only one way out.

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  67. I like bittersweet endings. A final victory with a big price tag, like in LOTR.

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  68. I just finished The Time Traveler's Wife. It is a beautiful story and definitely doesn't have a happily ever after ending but it does leave you with a wonderful feeling about the power of love. I is not your traditional romance.

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  69. Anonymous4:27 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  70. I like the ending of Louisa the Poisoner.

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  71. I really enjoyed the end of Time Traveler's Wife also...

    -Catherine

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  72. The most recent book I've read that comes to mind: Becoming Americana.

    I love Rios' version of a hopefully ever after, also ;)

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  73. Anonymous5:45 PM

    I just finished reading Poison Study, by Maria V. Snyder great book, and it had a hopefully after ending, of course there is a sequel that I still need to read.
    Sylvia

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  74. Cheesy, but I loved it... the ending to Marian Keyes' "Rachel's Holiday". :)

    Heather

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  75. I've deleted another inappropriate comment left by some anonymous coward, and have switched on comment moderation. This will mean a slight delay in comments posting, and I apologize for that, but I'm not going to tolerate this sort of harassment.

    That doesn't mean the harassment will end; it will just happen somewhere else. I don't know how ugly it will get this time, but as I asked you guys two years ago, please don't try to defend me or get into fights with these people. Forgive, say a prayer for them if you can, and let it go.

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  76. My favorite book with a non-HEA ending is Working for the Devil, by Lilith Saintcrow.

    I can't really get into details about the ending without ruining it for anyone who might come across this that hasn't read the book, so I won't. However, in that book I knew the ending was as it should be. It fit, and because of that I wasn't the least bit disappointed there wasn't an HEA.

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  77. Hi,

    Thinner, by Steven King.

    Of course, that ending is a "NOOOOOOoooooo!!!!!" ending!

    Cheers

    D.

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  78. I'm having trouble thinking of a more recent book whose ending I love, so I'll just mention the first ever HEA romance I ever read (albeit, G-rated, I still love it!) The Witch of Blackbird Pond.

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  79. I really enjoyed reading Laura Kinsale's Seize the Fire all the way to the last page. The last few pages tugged at my heart and had me shedding tears.

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  80. I would have to say Sunshine by Robin McKinley... It was a hopefully ever after that really seemed like a happily ever after? :)

    But thats because I'm optimistic :)

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  81. Since I am now stuck in bed for 3 - 4 days, a set of new books to read will be a nice boredom breaker.

    So I'm tossing my name into the hat.

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  82. A strange thing happened when I read this blog. I went to put in my two cents, and I realized I couldn't remember any endings to any books. I remembered my favorite line of all time: Crazy for You by Jennifer Crusie. The question Quinn asks Nick at the end of Chapter 10 and his response is priceless.

    So I decided to chalk it up to premature memory loss and came home to browse my shelves a little. Luckily, I regained some of my memory, and I have to say one of my favorite endings is Frankenstein. Not because of the monster's last speech, but because he leaps out onto the Artic ice and disappears. Leaves a lot open to imagination. Like Dean Koontz's...

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  83. J.R. Ward's Lover Awakened...

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  84. Lynn --

    FLOWERS ON THE STORM by Laura Kinsale remains one of my favorite books and my favorite endings...I reread it a couple times a year (usually when on a deadline) and still enjoy it.

    Oooh,oooh! And KEEPER OF THE DREAM by Penelope Williamson, too! The epilogue set up a possible sequel which didn't happen (darn it!) but I loved the ending..


    Terri

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  85. Oops...since there are now 2 d's on this blog I've switched my name to something less confusing. I'm the d who wrote: J. R. Ward's Lover Awakened.

    DeeCee

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  86. Lindsey Ann (shibari.manko@gmail.com)10:06 PM

    I think my favorite ending (a Hopefully Ever After) is in Kushiel's Avatar by Jacqueline Carey. It's the third in the first trilogy in that series, and it's just... awesome. Phedre and Joscelin are possibly my favorite couple of all the books I've ever read.

    Blessings,
    Lindsey Ann

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  87. Throwing my name in. My library only has one Darkyn book :(

    ~Becky

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  88. You know what's funny? It didn't even occur to me to ask you about your slightly out-of-the-ordinary endings to your Darkyn books. I guess I'm just used to you being a rebel. ^_~ (Anal sex in a love scene? Bwahahah!) I've just read the first two and I just have to say that I love how you leave the HEAs sort of up in the air. Your series is the first vampire romance series I've read that is so realistic because you do such a good job of worldbuilding. Michael and Alexandra are so cute together as a couple in love who understandably have a lot of obstacles ahead in their relationship as two strong-willed people from two completely different worlds and time-periods. I love their little inside joke about "shrieking orgasms" because it just sounds so funny having this dark, brooding vampire lord request one from his girlfriend. ;D I think that's why Feehan's Carpathian novels never resonated with me.

    I used to shy away from series because of my bad experiences with the Sweet Valley twins when I was younger. Elizabeth was supposed to be the twin who wanted meaningful, long-lasting relationships instead of her sister Jessica, but she always had a new boyfriend every month! Reever and Cherijo changed all that for me. ^_~ Now I'd *like* to see a married couple go through the day-to-day obstacles. I was so disappointed when J. R. Ward chose not to write a book about her only married vampire couple. She could have made it really interesting and broken new ground! ;p

    And now that I'm done blathering on, I've always loved the ending to L. J. Smith's *Secret Vampire*. I loved it because it wasn't sappy or contrived, just simple, fun and full of possibilities: "Poppy blew [her brother] a kiss. Then she and James drove off together into the night."

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  89. I was completely enthralled with the ending of Colleen Gleason's THE REST FALLS AWAY, which certainly was not an HEA ending. Nevertheless, it was very compelling. I could not wait to pick up RISES THE NIGHT, becuase I wanted to know what happened next.

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  90. Anonymous1:11 AM

    I don't really remember an ending that I especially liked so I'm just throwing my name into the hat.

    elaine

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  91. I liked The End by Lemony Snicket. No happily ever after, no deus ex machina, just three kids who had learned to make their way in a world where good people sometimes do bad things and right doesn't always win.

    I was content to let the Baudelaires go - I knew they'd do just fine on their own.

    Also, after 13 books, I figured it was time.

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  92. Ulrich3:05 AM

    A very interesting ending has Orson Scott Card´s "SHADOW OF THE GIANT", definitely not a HEA.

    My favorite HEA I found in Jack London´s "WHITE FANG".

    Ulrich

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  93. Actually one of my favorite endings is from a classic--the Count of Monte Cristo. I love it because all the loose ends are tied up, everybody that sucks gets theirs, and he gets the girl.

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  94. this is me just throwing my name into the hat, i read waaaay to much to chose one ending

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  95. ...ok i dont think it worked the first time...

    this is me throwing my name into the hat as it were. too many books to chose from basically.

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  96. Barbara Delinsky's Three Wishes had me bawling 25 pages from the end, then all the way through. Not my usual thing at all, but she has it spot on.

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  97. Alexis B2:11 PM

    I've gotta go with The Hero and the Crown. It's not a typical HEA, but the story couldn't have ended any other way.

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  98. Neil Gaiman's American Gods
    It definitely left room for more to come and boy do I want more to come from him in terms of this story.. of course he did write Anansi Boys but what I really want is more of Shadow's story.

    I really enjoy Happily Ever After endings when I read romances and well okay, in other books, but not all books have HEA's and that's life. One of them is Tuck Everlasting by Babbitt, the ending made me sad to the point I almost cried but it as appropriate.. or David Gemmell's Midnight Falcon where I bawled my eyes out at the end but it was a good ending, but not happy at all.

    Tae

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  99. The ending of "The Amber Spyglass", the third in Phillip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy. I suppose I shouldn't exactly say I enjoyed it, since I ended up dripping with tears, but it was so moving, and has a sad ending that still resonates as perfect, in my mind.

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  100. Tae: Mr. Gaiman did write a novella starring Shadow that appears in Fragile Things.

    (I confess, I bought the audiobook. Gaiman has the sort of voice that sounds like you're hearing it on the other pillow).

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  101. Although I'll second everyone's Robin McKinley votes, especially Sunshine, I have to go with a very favorite book of mine, but little known:

    I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (who also wrote 101 Damations). It's an ending in which it's clear that the story goes on, a little bit bittersweet, but you know the narrator will make out just fine.

    This book also has my favorite opening line of all time: "I am writing this sitting in the kitchen sink."

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  102. Adele4:58 PM

    Well, I just finished reading Kushiel's Justice, and I've liked how J. C. writes her endings. Not always Happy, but definitely Hopeful.

    Adele, putting her name in the hat.

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  103. I can handle happy for now but not to be continued which is something i've actually read in books. Can't think of a book right now that the ending just stood out with me so just throw my name in the hat please.

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  104. I can handle happy for now but not to be continued which is something i've actually read in books. Can't think of a book right now that the ending just stood out with me so just throw my name in the hat please.

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  105. I read a lot of romance so most of the endings are either Happily Ever After or Hopefully Ever After which I always enjoy. When I think of other stories, I can only remember the ones where I didn't like the ending. What does that say about me? lol Kim, throwing her name into the hat.

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  106. Naturally, I can't think of a single book that I loved the ending to (and I'm sitting here surrounded by books!). Many books I hated the ending too (The Dark Tower is definitely at the top of that list). So, I'll just throw my name in the hat.

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  107. Tamith2:07 PM

    One of the best endings I've read was in "Forgiveness Day," part of a collection of short stories in Ursula LeGuin's "Four ways to Forgivness." Sad, accepting, and hopeful, with a lot of letting go.

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  108. I don't have any Darken books, so I'm throwing my name in the hat.

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  109. I recently finished reading The Rest Falls Away by Colleen Gleason. Loved the ending and I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.

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  110. The best ending I've read in recent memory that didn't have a HEA ending was Vicki Pettersson's "Taste of the Night," the second book in her Zodiac series. The heroine has to watch her the love of her life end up with one of the villians and can't do anything about it. Plus, the daughter she gave up for adoption at 16 after she was raped turns out to be said love of life's child. Oh, and her evil biological father promises to kill her if she crosses him again. Not prime HEA material, but it was still one of the best books I've read in the last year. Really. I'm not kidding. Read it and see.

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