Happy Ever After is as essential in a romance novel as conflict and sexual tension, but there’s a whole bunch of ways it can manifest. I’ve read a swag of titles recently* where everything has been going along swimmingly, hero falling in love, heroine planning out lives of togetherness with great career and financial independence assured and then, seemingly out of nowhere, the hero gets down on bended knee and pops the question. My question is, did he need to?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Mrs. myself and while our wedding was less traditional than…well, anything either set of in-laws would have liked, it was still a wedding. And I love being married. Love the certainty, the definition of togetherness, the shared experience. But reading those novels made me wonder if wedding bells are as necessary in romance-land as they often seem to be. If the heroine has always wanted to get married, has a scrapbook full of pictures of her ideal dress and has been planning it since she was eight‒sure. But if she’s never really thought about it and was simply looking for a Mr. Right to share her life with, does she need to get married? My beef with the books on my recently read pile, was not that the question was popped, more that the timing seemed off. That everything was heading for Happy Ever After anyways and the addition of bended knee felt a little like the author thought they had to. So, I’ll ask it again, does the hero need to rock out a ring?
I have a current WIP where I can’t see my heroine walking any sort of isle except one in a supermarket, and yet I have another where the white dress is a non-negotiable part of her Happy Ever After. I figure that’s fine. Life is full of all sorts, I’m hoping my books will be too. But I’m keen to hear what you think? On bended knee or just a life with thee? Does your hero do de-facto?
Thanks for stopping by!
*(I should note you wont be able to work out which books those are from my lackluster Goodreads listings. I’m not very good at keeping that up to date. Must do better.)