If there’s one thing about Romance that constantly became a point of heated contention is that it must have HFN/HEA. Well, I believe people who know me enough are well aware that I like my romance to end with a non-HEA 😆.
I mean how can you not call a book that focuses on a couple’s romantic relationship as Romance just because one of them ends up dead/not together? So if 99% of the book is about Romance and just because they’re not together at the end it gets kicked off the genre? Where is it supposed to go then? Women’s Fiction? But that’s more like self-discovery kind of story. Maybe Romantic Tragedy? But hey look, still Romance there 😏
Romance is “supposed to have an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending.” What if one of them died and in the epilogue, they meet each other again in heaven. Would Romance hardcore accept that as fitting the genre? Hell, even if the main characters ended up with other people (which is technically HEA), there are going to be people questioning the genre.
Life is not black and white. It’s the same thing with genres. They crossover all the time. So that’s why I don’t believe in pigeonholing genres. Stories are much more interesting when there is more than one type of possible endings.