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Sunday, January 20, 2013

@ReadingRomances #HEGiveaway Day 2 Black moments and Sweet endings

Everyone craves Happily Ever Afters. But what makes that happy ending even sweeter is when  you emerge from some of the blackest moments. Some of those black moments have been so successful that they've become cliche.

And yet, many times we'll find ourselves at the edge of our seat wondering--will the emergency paddles work with the person who's been dead on the floor? Will the hero rescue the heroine before the Amtrak train barrels down on her?

We've all seen these cliches but still wonder, hope, and are riveted by the question. Until that sweet release happens and Happily Ever After is achieved.

Yes, yes, in every romance novel these cliches exist. But there are still writers who twist those cliches, or who use them in a way that makes you forget they are cliched. Once in a while you can find a gem of a black moment that isn't yet overdone. And you think--damn. That works!

Some of my personal favorite black moments are character choices. Will the character's issues prevent them from seeking out the companionship and love of the hero or heroine? I often find myself engrossed in a particular situation, and the one that often grabs my attention are those combining character development and character driven stories with a workable and significant suspense moment.

Menage romances are the same--all characters have to find peace and happiness. That's not to say it has to be in the same chapter and everything is wrapped up with a neat bow-presto! No, it means that their growth up to and including the black moment has to be about three people, not just two. It's not harder (all black moments are hard!), it simply needs a different mindset.

For instance, in a menage, the characters need to understand and accept all the ramifications from being involved with not one lover but two. The looks, the whispers, the never fully coming clean about who's involved with whom. (I'm talking historicals and even contemporaries, not futuristic or other worlds.)

What do you all think? What's your favorite black moment? Do you always engage in cliche? Are you more apt to be deeply satisfied with character issues?
Happy endings romance giveaway hop


Tell your happy ending story!

The Happy Endings Giveaway Hop was organized by Reading Romances!
What you can win here: $10 electronic gift card to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble and a copy of Seduction of my Proper Wife: A Victorian Menage at the Parisian Exposition
Number of winners: 5
Open to (INT, US or US/CAN): If you can receive an e-gift card then you can enter!
How to enter: Leave a comment on why YOU think darker, more believable black moments make us love the Happy Ever After. If you decide to follow this blog or me on Twitter, you get extra entries in the gift card pot.


  1. when the hero/heroine decide they're not good enough for the other person


  2. I think it's because it pushes your emotions harder :)
    GFC Cassandra Hicks

  3. BN100 That's a classic one! I like it.

    Cassandra, you're right--when the black moment pushes, it makes you want the happy ending more.

  4. I haven't thought about it, but it is the struggle that does make the happy ending so much better. One of my favorite black moments is when the hero/heroine doesn't quite have the trust to tell the complete truth. There is that intrapersonal struggle. When the trust finally happens, the love grows stronger.
    bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

  5. When the characters have to overcome those dark moments, it makes the HEA that much sweeter.

    Email Subscriber.


  6. It provides for a wonderful contrast :)
    Also, overcoming hardships makes the pair's bond stronger.

    I follow via GFC- Kirsten!


  7. I think they make us love the HEA because it's hopeful. If you can come out of such a horrible, black moment and still "get the girl"...well, that's just inspiring. Plus, it's a way of showing that even in darkest times, love will find a way. And ain't that one of the greatest cliches of all? :)

    GFC: Emily
    Twitter: chickie434