The Truth According to HEA
Now, I have to admit the term HEA flies pretty free and easy around the romance community. Everyone seems to think the characters need to have a perfect Happily Ever After or they will shrivel up and die, or something. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good sappy romance, if the guy is a hunk and the girl is determined and relatable and don’t take away my HEA.
But then I’m also a stickler for realism. I mean, I know the hero won’t just fart at the wrong time, or let out a huge belch right before a kiss, but come on. Men do this. I read a story where the author thought it was scandalous that the hero snored. Really?
I didn’t know handsome men came with an anti-snoring device, kinda like an anti-theft device.
This isn’t a perfect world. Farts happen.
Okay, I need to qualify that. I don’t want to read about a guy passing gas because it suits some sophomoric need. Nope. But geez, if the guy has a beer, and heroes do that all the time, or the heroine has a diet soda, burps are going to happen. Or there is the ever popular, I’m stuck in an elevator with an incredibly hot guy—and oh, gads, I had baked beans for lunch. Crud.
That’s the kinda real life I’m talking about. Things I can relate to.
And yes, I was on a date with Dh before I married him and we were in the middle of this nice dinner and you guessed it, the diet soda got the better of me. Did he bolt? Did he freak? No and no. Thankfully I kept it contained, because I realized where I was, but it proved to me that he loved me no matter how gross or unpredictable I happened to be. I have to say, it made me love him more.
That’s how I want to see romance heroes and the happily ever after. Women fart, women burp. Do I want to read about a gas-fest? Not particularly. But I want to know that the characters are flawed, that they are prone to the same foibles I am.
Or another thing that strikes me in these HEA’s is the babies never have issues. I don’t mean birth defects, I mean, the baby never spits up on the guy’s crisp white shirt, or has an accident on the changing table. Trust me, my youngling was a champion at leaving his mark. Do I want this to be a comic thing where the baby is always piddling on someone? No. But I want to know that the heroine isn’t always Super Woman and doesn’t always have a lid on what’s happening around her. It makes me respect her more when she says, “Gee, I think I’m in over my head.”
So what’s the point of my raving? Just because the story has an HEA doesn’t mean every little thing has to be wine and roses forever. If there’s a bit of realism mixed in with the erotica, then I’m happy. So when I write a story, I try to mix a healthy dose of what could happen to me in with the hot down and dirty sex, because, like I said, farts happen.