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Dear John

*SPOILER ALERT* If you haven't read Dear John, or seen the movie, and you don't want to know the ending, stop now and go enjoy a few Cake Wrecks instead (scroll down for the Valentine's Day posts).

I've already mentioned that one of the reasons I write romance is because I love a happy ending. After becoming emotionally invested in the characters of a novel, I want things to work out for them. In real life, things go awry daily. Lovers split, people get hurt, bad stuff happens to good people.

I like my books to be an escape from the harshness of daily life.

In romance novels, we suffer through the conflict with the characters, we wonder how they're ever going to overcome the obstacles and be together. But, we know that in the end, the big payoff is there. We count on it.

Okay, enough about HEAs. Here's the thing about Dear John by Nicholas Sparks. I enjoyed the book. I really did. But I hated the ending. Yes, it was the right ending for the story. It was the right thing for the characters to do, but it wasn't necessarily a happy ending.

After all the build up, the hero and heroine don't get to be together, and it really, really, really ticked me off!

In mystery novels, we expect the sleuth to solve the mystery/catch the villain. In spy thrillers, we expect the secret agent to catch the terrorists and thwart the major attack. In romances, the hero and heroine get their happy ending.

Like peanut butter and jelly. Romance and happy ending.

Yes, I know. Nicholas Sparks doesn't write romances. He writes novels with romantic elements that haunt you for days or weeks and require a trip to the grocery store for more tissues.

And that's why I usually don't read books like that. So, lesson learned.

Until next time. *Sigh*